Volunteers find an artful way to help a city school's pupils

NEIGHBORS

April 17, 2002|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FOR THREE years, Clemens Crossing Elementary School has had a partnership with Lockerman-Bundy Elementary School on West Pulaski Street in Baltimore. Because Lockerman-Bundy has no art teacher this year, volunteers from Clemens Crossing's PTA sponsored an Art Day for the school last week.

"Funding for city schools is so tight that they have to give up some things that we take for granted. I decided to do something about it," said Judy Johnson, organizer of the event. .

Johnson said she was inspired to help Lockerman-Bundy's pupils by Len Moodispaw, her co-worker at Essex Corp.

"Len and his wife, Sandra, decided to help out an elementary school in Baltimore. They started a couple of after-school classes and things kind of grew from there," Johnson said.

Since the partnership began, Clemens Crossing pupils have held book drives for Lockerman-Bundy. The Columbia school's PTA has made yearbooks for the fifth-grade class at Lockerman-Bundy. The two schools also participated in a chorus exchange in which their singing groups performed at each other's schools.

On Wednesday, Johnson, the Moodispaws and volunteers Lori Jenner, Carol Bode, Cheryl Resch, Karen Nance and Darren Briscoe went to Lockerman-Bundy armed with art supplies collected by Girl Scout Troop 1782. Clemens Crossing art teacher Ben Schmitt developed a lesson plan for the volunteers to use with the youngsters at Lockerman-Bundy.

"We chose the theme `Cities,'" Johnson said. "We talked about shapes in the city and had the children draw a horizon and add buildings and people. They added details like nail salons and McDonald's so each kid ended up with a cityscape that looked pretty decent."

Lockerman-Bundy pupils in grades pre-kindergarten through 5 got a 45-minute art lesson from the Clemens Crossing volunteers.

"Art Day was wonderful," said Faralee Bernstein, technology support teacher and media specialist at Lockerman-Bundy. "The students really enjoyed it, and some of our teachers even sat and drew cityscapes with the kids."

Johnson, whose daughters Melanie and Margo attend Clemens Crossing, said the children at Lockerman-Bundy are not the only ones who benefit from the partnership.

"Our kids are more aware of what it's like for other kids," she said. "They know that some kids don't have a lot of the things that they take for granted."

International Day

Visitors to Pointers Run Elementary School were able to tour the world Saturday, without ever leaving the school's cafeteria. The school's PTA sponsored International Day to expose schoolchildren to cultures and customs from around the globe.

"There's so much diversity in this community," event coordinator Karen Titus said. "We wanted to give them an opportunity to share their culture with us."

Participants were issued passports that they could have stamped at 15 tables, each representing a different country. Each table offered a craft activity, clothing, books or currency from that country and traditional food.

"The people who staffed the tables were either first- or second-generation [emigrants] from those countries," Titus said.

Denise Panyik-Dale worked at the Chinese table, which offered samples of moon cakes, a chance to practice using chopsticks, and materials to make the flag of China and dragon kites.

"It was a fantastic event," Panyik-Dale said. "I think we had over 400 people attend."

Quartet to perform

The Kyle Coughlin Quartet will perform Sunday at Historic Oakland, beginning at 7 p.m. A saxophonist and composer, Kyle Coughlin is a member of the faculty at Howard Community College, where he directs the school's jazz ensemble.

Coughlin, a resident of Baltimore, released his first compact disc, When Afternoons Return, last year. He will perform with quartet members Michael Raitzyk, guitar; Mike Kuhl, drums; and Jeff Reed, bass.

The program is free, but reservations are required. Historic Oakland is at 5430 Vantage Point Road in Columbia. Information or reservations: 410- 730-4744.

Yard sale

The Town Center Community Association will sponsor a villagewide yard sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Vantage Point Road Park in Columbia's Town Center.

To reserve a vendor space: 410-730-4744.

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