Getting a glimpse behind the scenes


April 23, 2002|By Dana Klosner-Wehner | Dana Klosner-Wehner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHILDREN FROM Oakland Mills Middle School went to the movies two weeks ago and were treated to a glimpse behind the scenes. About 70 eighth-graders toured the projection room of the United Artists' Snowden Square stadium-seating, 14-screen movie complex as part of a partnership agreement between the theater and the school.

For many youths, what they saw was not what they expected. One long room housed 3-foot platters that held movie reels and fed them into projectors for all 14 screens. Digital sound boards and automatic slide projectors punctuated the room. On two walls, on either side of the room, the projectors looked into rectangular holes and from there movie magic was projected onto the screens below.

"I expected the room to be bigger with lots of racks of film," Luke McDade said. Classmate Marie Detes thought the room would be bigger, too, but she pictured something a little more old-fashioned. "I just thought the movies would be in a projector," Marie said.

But whatever they expected, the kids were pleased with what they saw.

"It was cool," said Corneil Cox. "They let you touch the buttons."

Technology is not all the children learned about on their tour. Some realized that the theater might be a possible career choice.

"It would be a fun place to work," Marie said. "I would get to see a lot of people and a lot of movies."

Learning about career possibilities was one of the goals Principal Carl Perkins had in mind when the partnership with the UA Snowden Square theater was formed in November. Plans include displaying student art and technology-education work in the theater lobby. The theater also will provide incentives - in the form of movie passes and private screenings - to Oakland Mills children and staff members.

English teacher Michelle Ferrara used the theater trip as a teaching tool. The youths read H.G. Wells' novel The Time Machine in class and then enjoyed a private screening of the latest movie rendition of the book.

"My goal was to compare the different uses of creative license," Ferrara said.

On that, there was an opinion:

"I like the movie better," Luke said. "It had a lot more detail."

Spring in the air

The Long Reach High School chapter of the National Honor Society held a Spring Fling for senior citizens this month, and the school's atrium was converted into a ballroom for the occasion. Entertainment was provided by the cast of the Long Reach production of the musical George M; the young actors presented a few numbers from the show.

When the entertainment was over, the kids and seniors danced the Macarena, the Electric Slide and the Twist, faculty adviser Katie Chesler said.

The students prepared a luncheon, music was provided by Creative DJs and decorations were provided by Party Party Party. Seniors from the Longwood, Elkridge and Florence Bain senior centers attended, along with some residents of the Shalom Square Apartments.

Students who helped organize the event were Teresa Coffin, Meghan Bowden and Shen Chen. Other club sponsors who worked on the event were Robert Siskind and Rene Wasserkrug. Judy Bard from the Howard County Office on Aging helped coordinate the party.

"It was a lot of fun," Chesler said. "This is a great way to help form positive relationships between teens and seniors."

The group will hold another event for seniors and young people next month. Chesler said she hopes to hold monthly intergenerational events, beginning with the next school year.

Neighborhood cleanup

"Green up" your neighborhood. Kings Contrivance residents are invited to join the Hammond High School chapter of the National Honor Society for the first Earth Day neighborhood cleanup. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at Amherst House in Kings Contrivance Village Center.

The cleanup will end with the building of a "trash mountain," using collected bags of trash. Teams that have collected the most bags will receive a free T-shirt with the new village Earth Day logo. Cleanup tools, plastic gloves and cold drinks will be provided.

Information: 410-381-9600.

Clay workshop

The Columbia Art Center is offering a polymer clay workshop Saturday and Sunday. Sessions will be taught by Nancy Pollack of Kings Contrivance. Polymer clay is a relatively new medium that can be used to mimic wood, ceramic and other natural materials such as turquoise, jade and ivory, Pollack said.

During the two-day workshop, students can learn basic and advanced techniques. They will be able to make beads, pins or keepsakes boxes that resemble shimmering glass, said Liz Henzey, communications representative at the art center. Tuition is $30 for residents; $35 nonresidents.

The center is at 6100 Foreland Garth Road in Long Reach Village Center.

Information: 410-730-0075.

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