West Friendship: Smithsonian traveling show entertains, educates students at West Friendship Elementary School

The students, staff and faculty of West Friendship Elementary were treated to a royal theater experience last week. "How Old is a Hero?" is the name of the Smithsonian Discovery Theater traveling show which toured our own West Friendship Elementary Feb. 14.

A sweet Valentine of a show as the lively traveling troupe of actors introduced the character of Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock Nine, who was the first black student to graduate from an integrated high school along with the character of Claudette Colvin who refused to give up her seat even before the famed similar happenstance of Rosa Parks.

The compelling experiences of these real Americans were brought to the stage in a lively and informative production which sought to inspire the young audience with the courage and hope of young Americans in history. The traveling show at West Friendship also featured moving archival recordings from the original civil rights era.

The West Friendship student body had much to celebrate on Valentine's Day. Not only did the school community enjoy the production by the Discovery Theater but also shared Valentine's during classroom activities. Earlier in the month, the students had sent charming and whimsical Valentine messages, sweets, treats and crafts to Fisher House, in Bethesda, a program that supports military families. The West Friendship Elementary classrooms were busy preparing "heartfelt" gifts for distribution at Fisher House.

Tonight's the night for a warm pot of stew. The St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Community Feast is planned for Thursday, Feb. 23, 6 to 8 p.m., billed this month as a Stew Feast. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the People Who Need People organization, which supports established charities benefitting women and children in need.

Several area charities which participate are Grassroots, Sarah's House and My Sister's Place Women's Shelter. The dinner is $9 per person or $30 per family.

The Hare Raisers 4-H Club are as busy as ever. During January the club members meeting included the installation of new officers. The Hare Raisers 4-H announce the new roster to include Kristen Clark, president; Kari Splitter, vice president; Rose Sanicola, secretary; Danielle Hurd, treasurer; Anna Reich, reporter; Sara Jane Domerchie, hostess; and Logan Bitner-Parish and Maoliosa Wilson, pledge leaders.

The meeting was attended and supported by club members and families which included the Huletts, Hurds Mayos, Wilsons and Clarks, all of whom discussed their rabbit projects. Club leader Wendy Feaga presented a slide show on the varied rabbitries built by club members and their families.

Not to be missed if you are a fan of bargains. The fourth annual Marriotts Ridge High School Mustang Flea Market is in full gear. The sale which benefits the vocal and instrumental music programs is often nicknamed "too big to be called a yard sale."

The large-scale indoor flea market is set for March 3, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Rain or shine, the sale will be brimming with table tops loaded with household and sporting goods, electronics, baby items, clothing, collectibles, tools, toys, seasonal items and all the goodies one associates with a big old flea market.

The sale is a cash-only affair. Questions? Email Kathy Wehr at mustangfleamarket@gmail.com. Marriotts Ridge High School is at 12100 Woodford Drive, in Marriottsville.

No it's really not too early to be thinking about the spring and summer garden. With this in mind, the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service is offering vegetable gardening classes, this Saturday, Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the extension office which is located at 3300 North Ridge Road, Suite 240, Ellicott City.

Master Gardener Kent Phillips will start the day off at 10 a.m. with a session on lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choi, tomatoes and more. Master Gardener Gloria Lambert will teach "Vegetable Gardening for Beginners," Master Gardener Jerry Kissel will talk about integrated pest management and the environment.

If you would like to sign up for all or any of these gardening sessions, call 410-313-2707 to register.

Just a reminder. Here is a sweet opportunity for locals that's got a good buzz to it. The Howard County Beekeepers Association will host a series of classes devoted to teaching all the simplicities and intricacies of home bee keeping.

The classes will be held at the Howard County Fairgrounds on five evenings, 7 to 9:30 p.m. beginning with Feb.21 and continuing with classes on five consecutive Tuesday nights, beginning Feb. 21. The March 27 class is billed as a field trip. If you would like to learn about beekeeping, go to the club website at howardcountybeekeepers.org where one can register online.

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