Rodgers Forge students featured in TV show 'Space Racers' [Rodgers Forge]

We have three fledgling television stars in our community. Grace Batavick, Brandon Road, Sam Amos, Dumbarton Road, and Griffin Mekler-Culbertson, Overbrook Road, all fifth-grade students at Rodgers Forge Elementary School, provide voice talents for "Space Racers," a new space and science animated cartoon series for children on Maryland Public Television. The show airs Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings and teaches young viewers about scientific exploration and observation, space, and teamwork. Grace, Sam and Griffin provide the voice talent for the Quiz portion at the end of the show. And they all sound fantastic! Check out an episode. You might even learn something.

The fourth- and fifth-grade students of RFES performed Stephen Sondheim's musical "Into the Woods Junior and Friends" May 30 and 31. Students worked diligently during March and April to bring the musical to production, often rehearsing after school three days each week until 6 p.m. The show revolved around numerous childhood storybook characters, some magic beans and a spell. Sponsored by the Rodgers Forge PTA, under the direction of fourth-grade teacher, Sharon Engle, and school nurse, Gail Shapira, students worked diligently to learn lines and memorize songs and choreography. Adele Russell, Murdock Road, generously designed the set and directed the organization of painting for the scenery. The musical commanded a two-night crowd in excess of 450 attendees, all eager to be entertained. The Rodgers Forge parents rallied together, assuming responsibility for props, tickets sales, T-shirt design, program design, printing and all the other tasks necessary to create a successful production. It takes a village to stage a musical!

Dora Jacobs and Walker Stump-Cole, of Hopkins Road, have four children, aged 2 to 7, and therefore know a thing or two about mediating and negotiating. So it wasn't terribly shocking that they decided it would be fun to go to law school. The adorable part is they went to law school together. The incredible part is they did it while raising four very young children. And the fantastic part is they both graduated on May 19 from the University of Baltimore's School of Law. Congratulations, Dora and Walker! Those four kids of yours won't stand a chance against you during their teen years.

Piano students of Yuka Stein, Brandon Road, showed off their musical talents on June 1. Held at Menchey Music in Timonium, the Summer Salon showcased the talents of 22 students, aged 7 to 15. Also, Anna Keefer, Stanmore Road, and Anna Saracino, Heathfield Road, were given awards for most minutes practiced (126 and 202 per week averages, respectively) between January and June for their age groups. All of the students' dedication to practicing was evident in the beautiful pieces they performed.

As the school year ended, RFES PTA Co-presidents Chris Bieneman and Kate Sturiano, Regester Avenue, and Vice-president Trisha Schwab, Yorktowne Drive, completed their two-year terms and welcomed newly elected Co-presidents, Matt and Rebecca White, Stevenson Lane, who join Scott Heacock, Treasurer, and Jessica Brown-Strott, Recording Secretary. It's going to be another outstanding PTA team.

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