NORTHWEST MIDDLE SCHOOL pupils have collected more than 3,500 books so far in a monthlong book drive to help an elementary school in West Baltimore.
The book drive is part of the eighth-grade class' service learning project, according to Gayle Sands, their reading teacher.
Sands said her pupils organized a clothing drive last year for foster children in Baltimore. That fueled their interest to help others less fortunate.
"My students were bugging me about doing something again this year," Sands said.
Last summer, Sands met a professor from Coppin State College in Baltimore who works with many student teachers. Those teachers had seen other book drives as a service learning project.
Through the professor, Northwest Middle School pupils learned that one school library in Baltimore was in dire need of books.
In a letter to businesses soliciting donations, the pupils noted that some of that school's materials were so outdated that one science book read, "When we reach the moon ... "
In preparation for the drive, pupils designed posters, drafted a letter that was sent home to parents and designed a Web site, Sands said. Others are taking charge of sorting and packing.
About 170 pupils are participating "in varying degrees," she said, and they are thrilled about the project.
"I really enjoyed the clothing drive last year because we had fun and, at the same time, helped other people," said Tiffany Winfrey.
"It's good for community service hours, and it's good to help other people who don't have many books," said Rebecca Miller.
In addition to the book drive, pupils are collecting change that will be used to buy new books. That part of the drive is called, "Spare Change to Make a Change."
A box has been placed at the school's entrance. Members of the community are encouraged to make book donations. The drive will end March 15. The Web site, www.rosemontproject.home stead.com, was designed by eighth-grader Kit Schuyler.
`Once Upon a Tree'
A combined choir from three Taneytown churches will present the cantata "Once Upon a Tree" at 7 p.m. March 17 at Trinity Lutheran Church.
The other churches are Messiah Methodist Church and St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. Karen Quillin, a Trinity member who teaches music at Runnymede Elementary School, will direct the choir of more than 30 members. Leslie Slater of Messiah will accompany the choir on piano.
Trinity is at 38 W. Baltimore St. Information: 410-751-1227.
Run for fun
The Woodsboro/New Midway Recreation Council will hold its annual 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) race at 8:30 a.m. April 13. The race is to raise money for the recreation council.
Runners must register by March 30. The cost is $15 for ages 19 and younger; $25 for runners 20 and older. The race will start at Woodsboro Park.
Information: Lisa Beebe, 410-775-7048.
Taneytown Lions Club will have its semiannual breakfast from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. March 16 at the carnival grounds building adjacent to Memorial Park. This is an all-you-can-eat breakfast consisting of eggs to order, pancakes, sausage, pudding and hominy and sausage gravy.
"Proceeds from our spring breakfast is directed toward support of the local Little League," said Claude Elmore Jr., Lions member.
The cost is $4.50 and $2.50 for children ages 6 to 12. Children younger than age 6 eat for free. Information: 410-751-1120.
FSK alumni dance
Francis Scott Key High School Alumni Association Class of '95 will hold a dance from 6 p.m. to midnight March 16 at the Union Bridge fire hall.
A fried shrimp and turkey dinner will begin at 6 p.m. Dancing will begin at 8 p.m. The cost is $20 for the dinner and dance, $15 for the dinner only and $10 for the dance only.
Homes, gardens and cars
Taneytown will hold its home and garden show, "Swing into Spring," from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27 at Memorial Park.
Vendors are encouraged to reserve space now, said Pam Harlow, event coordinator. The cost is $15 a space.
Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.