Peace festival Saturday at Swansfield Elementary

March 10, 2004

The first Swansfield Peace Festival on Saturday will celebrate concern for the environment, random acts of kindness and peace, through singing, dance, poetry and drumming.

Swansfield Elementary School Principal Earl Slacum will sing "What About the Children," a Yolanda Adams gospel song.

Performers are to include SGI (Soka Gakkai International) Women African Drummers, a Buddhist organization; SGI Korean Women Drummers and the Washington Chorus. Swansfield children will present conflict-resolution skits and read poems.

The program, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., is the culmination of about eight weeks of activities funded by a grant from the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office in Annapolis.

Parent Vivian James-Williams applied for the $5,160 grant to create an after-school program for Swansfield, called "United in a Peaceful World." Teaching Tolerance, a Web project of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., contributed $1,000, James-Williams said.

"The whole purpose was to expose our children to all kinds of environmental issues, talking about how to live peacefully together," Slacum said.

"Those are the kinds of programs we support ... innovative school-based programs that help young people think about conflict in a different way," said Lou Giesel, deputy executive director of MACRO.

The Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center at Howard Community College sent representatives to talk to the children, and there were lessons, and art and music projects, Slacum said.

The Sierra Club sent a representative named Spice (Deborah Kleinmann), who "brought these beautiful drums with her; the kids loved that presentation," James-Williams said. Sister Mary Ann Mulzet of Bon Secours Spiritual Center led Dances of Universal Peace.

"We wanted to make sure that as our children are growing up, that they understand ... resolving conflict, cultural knowledge and environmental awareness," Slacum said.

The festival will end with a South African dance, Umoya, calling for peace on Earth.

Information: 410-740-5225.

- Fay Lande

1954 3-D film classic to be shown at school

Clemens Crossing Elementary School will sponsor a showing of the film, It Came From Outer Space, in three-dimensional Stereovision at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The 1954 classic is part of a 3-D Film Salute organized by the school's media center.

Tickets are $4, and include 3-D glasses and popcorn.

Information: 410-313-6866.

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