What a difference a week can make. From an earthquake to a hurricane to an extra two days of summer vacation, school is finally in session! A First-Day Celebration at Cedarmere Elementary happened on the third day, but parents and teachers alike were just happy that the power was on and the school year could begin.
Friendly faces greeted the students and their parents as they made their way to the classrooms. Outside the cafeteria, the PTA sponsored a breakfast for the parents as they awaited the welcome address. There was also a table with information about the PTA. There were other exhibitors in the hallway and in the STEM lab, promoting community activities such as Scouting, recreation council programs, American kenpo karate classes and a partnership with Stevenson University. After the welcome address by Principal Stephen Coco and Assistant Principal Renee Jenkins, Del. Jon Cardin spoke, praising the school as one of the best elementary schools in the state. Following that, parents were invited to stay for a volunteer training program, one of three sessions that day. An ESOL parents information session was available in the library, and the Parentmobile was parked in front of the school. This is a national award-winning vehicle that serves as an educational resource center where parents can learn about Baltimore County Public Schools and obtain information in order to support learning at home. It is the school system's belief that families and communities must partner to improve student achievement.
Later in the afternoon, the Blue Sky Puppet Theatre presented "Building Bridges," a puppet show that promoted peaceful conflict resolutions. All in all, it was a jam-packed day and an informative one as well.
Another local school has reached globally to make a difference. The Harbour School, has donated 33,478 pens to the Pioneer School for Boys, in Windhoek, Namibia. This special education school houses about half of the 400 students there who are orphans or live too far to commute. The Harbour School, which educates students with various learning disablities and conditions, such as autism, used this pen drive as an opportunity for service learning, learning math skills and exploring the geography and culture of Namibia.
Dr. Linda Jacobs, founder of The Harbour School, recently traveled to Namibia and will present a slide-show presentation on the school and the students. This way, the Harbour School students will be able to put a face to the students that they are helping.
The Jemicy School is a first-through-twelfth-grade coed school for students with dyslexia. Soon, the Upper School campus will have a new addition. Student athletes have been anticipating a regulation-size athletic field, and construction will begin in the fall. The field should be ready for play next spring and will be used for two sports, boys' lacrosse and soccer. A track will circle the field, but there will be no lighting and no grandstand. The field will be natural grass because of costs, and the school is considering bids to build.
The Irvine Nature Center is preparing for its Pumpkins on the Green on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 7 to 11 p.m. This annual 'un-gala" is a fun and casual event that celebrates nature. Advertised as a blue-jeans fundraiser, the event features live music, live and silent auctions and seasonal selections from a local "green" caterer. All proceeds will support Irvine's environmental education programs. An added bonus is the honorary event chairwoman, actress Julie Bowen. She is a Baltimore native and Irvine supporter. The event co-chairs are Betsy and Bob Brennen and Mary and Greg Pinkard. Tickets can be obtained by calling Janet at 443-738-9231.
The Easterwood Park Boys Club would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year. As they begin another year together, they would like to remember recently deceased members Bernard Gordon, Harvey Lee Gordon, Stanley Satier and Sol Shurkin. The club has been in existence for many years, and has 100 members to date. Anyone interested in joining may, call Mel Epstein at 410-363-3155.
Congratulations to brand-new bundle of joy Ellie Madeline Kass, who debuted July 26 at 5:41 pm. She weighed a petite 5 pounds 6 ounces. Nine minutes later, she was joined by her twin sister, Lexi Gabrielle Kass, who weighed a delicate 6 pounds and 1 ounce. The proud parents are Irina and Scott Kass, and equally proud (and thrilled) grandparents are Adele and Howard Kass and Jane and Gary Tuder.
On a sad note, condolences are sent to the family of Christopher Strakes, who died Aug. 26. Friends and neighbors send hugs and prayers to Charlotte and Casey Strakes. We will always remember a man who lent a helping hand whenever needed. Chris was certainly one of the good guys and will be fondly remembered — and missed.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun