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Students at Ohr Chadash Academy win writing honors [ Owings Mills]

Flag Day (United States)Johns Hopkins UniversityThe Home Depot

Three fifth-grade students at Ohr Chadash Academy are published writers of their historical family stories. Submitting their work to the Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration, these young people were competing with 120 entries from 12 different states. Only 17 entries in the fourth-fifth grade category were chosen for publication and three were from Ohr Chadash Academy: Students whose work was chosen are Rivka Abedon ("No Child Left Behind"); Nili Hefetz ("Bravery in Battle and Beyond"); and Yaakov Reches ("Saved by the Blink of a Statue's Eye").

Participating students were required to write a family story based on their interview with an older relative. The students' fifth-grade teacher, Becca Friedman, shared that her students were excited to submit their work to Grannie Annie. The concept of turning in a manuscript that may get published allows for a unique learning experience.

These three stories already appear on the Grannie Annie Web site (Vol. 8) joining other students' stories spanning 100 years and occurring on four continents. These stories allowed all of the students to connect with their family history, as well as improve their writing skills. I had a chance to read these essays online and I was touched by the courage of their ancestors.

A celebration of student authors took place on June 4 at the Park Heights JCC. Congratulations to these amazing student writers!

Additional congratulations are extended to two third-graders, Moshe Tzvi Hefetz and Ephraim Ruttenberg, who also attend Ohr Chadash Academy. They were honored because of their exceptional achievement in the Center for Talented Youth Talent Search, sponsored by Johns Hopkins University Center. The students were given rigorous, above-grade level tests geared to academically talented second- through eighth-grade students. Participation included 40,000 students from over 120 countries. What a spectacular accomplishment for these two third-graders! Their school, family, and friends are beyond proud.

The Prostate Center at Chesapeake Urology is known for spoiling its patients. This was obvious at the 6th annual Survivor's Picnic held on June 1 at the center. Dr. Sanford Siegel had a vision which would bring families together to celebrate the survivors and give them a chance to interact with the physicians and staff in a nonmedical environment. The center treats the whole person, including the family, as they all navigate the scary path of cancer treatment.

Bands were playing throughout the day, and several cars ( including an Orioles car) were on display. Food was continually served and the desserts were decadent. There was hardly an empty chair at the tables as everyone chatted and got acquainted, or re-acquainted, with other survivors. The attendance grows every single year.

The Home Depot graciously offered two gas grills to be raffled off, and there were other door prizes as well. The men were certainly spoiled that afternoon, as they should be. Cancer changes a life, and having compassionate medical staff that treats the patient as a person, and not a disease, is not always the norm.

My husband and I are somewhat new to the journey. He had surgery last May and just finished 38 sessions of radiation as a precaution against a reoccurrence. The staff at the Prostate Center made him feel so at ease that the weeks just flew by. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone there that truly make all the difference in the lives of these men. Families could not get through this without your caring and support.

A fond farewell is wished to the Rev. Terry Thrasher of Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church. After almost 40 years of ministry, he will be retiring on June 30. Twelve years of his tenure were spent at Pleasant Hill and life-long friendships were made. Best wishes are sent to Rev. Thrasher and his family, Gail, Alexandra, and Sean, as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

If communing with nature with the little ones is on the summer outings list, head over to Soldier's Delight on June 16 and 30 from 1-2 p.m. for the Children's Storytelling Hour. A volunteer ranger will share short stories with an animal or nature theme, and the event is suitable for young children with an adult. The event is free, and story time is in the Visitor's Center. Soldier's Delight is located at 5100 Deer Park Road in Owings Mills.

An indoor yard sale occurs at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC on Sunday, June 23 from 8 a.m.- noon. There will be great deals on children's clothing and toys. Vendors may register to participate by calling 410-559-3542. The JCC is located at 3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue.

Happy belated June birthday to Thomas Bosley on June 4, Brittany Davidson on June 6, and Tyler Principe on the June 10. A very happy anniversary is wished for Elizabeth and Fred Goethe on June 30.

Flag Day is an important holiday on June 14 and it became even more so last year when our second grandson was born. Happy first birthday to Finley Boone Davidson! He is our joy, as is his big brother, Oliver.

School is officially over so here's to all the students who worked hard all year and deserve a summer vacation ... and to all the parents who will be counting down the days until school starts again in the fall! May your summer be relaxing and full of fun. See you in July.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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