Getting kids excited about reading is one of the goals of A+ Partners in Education and one way to go about that is through "Battle of the Books". This year's competition took place concurrently at Howard, Mt. Hebron, Oakland Mills, River Hill and Wilde Lake high schools. Fulton Elementary School fielded three teams.

In no particular order, the teams were: The Bookworms consisting of Madison Granzow, Sophia Pereira, Faith Pope, Brooke Robertson and Grace Weirich and coached by Christine Pereira; the Minnie-Mousters consisting of Kaylee Bennett, Madison Bloodworth, Lillay Gebru, Cadence Miller and Madison Roberts and coached by Jennifer Weathers and Paula Fisher; and, Sisters Grimm consisting of Clare Chung, Kiersten Jewel, Michelle Lee, Michelle Rhee and Camille Williams and coached by Suzanne Jewel and Claire Wise. The Sisters Grimm took first place for team spirit. Congratulations.


Another activity that the staff and students at Fulton Elementary got really excited about was Jump Rope for Heart. The school set a goal of raising $10,000 for the American Heart Association. The total amount raised exceeded that lofty goal by over 60 percent — $16,118. Awesome!

Fourth grader Zach Gaynor in Jillian O'Brien's class was the top fundraiser, jumping his legs off and raising $1,300. Congratulations! The students, their parents, friends, family and the school staff deserve a big round of applause and hugs!

The Allied Softball Team at Reservoir High School came away with back-to-back wins, one a squeaker and one a blow-out. The first win against Wilde Lake at Wilde Lake High, was a real nail-biter, but the team came away with a one run victory, 11-10. Then the team hosted the Oakland Mills Scorpions in a dominating win, 15 -7. Russell Grumbine had a stellar day with three home runs. Teammates Will Alexion, Gillian Eisenberg, Yihui Wang, Becca Quintern, Konnor Young, Chris Dominguez, Joey Colleli and Keenan Regner added their bats to the win. Congratulations to the team and to their coach, Suzanne Hughes.

The Reservoir High School swim club put in a great performance at the Howard County High School Swim Championships, coming away with fifth place. The swimmers were Christina Barrett, Henry Buda, Thomas Chung, Eanna Hehir-Keys, Siddharth Karunakaran, Dalton Kleinhen, Stefan Novacic, Amanda O'Shaughnessy, Emily Rowell, Drew Rutten, Jack Saunderson, Eric Scholz, Cole Winters-McCabe and Lucas Woo.

Here is how the team did. In the individual events: First place: Jack Saunderson, 100m and 50m butterfly. Third place: Drew Rutten, 50m freestyle; Fourth place: Eana Hehir, 200m freestyle and Amanda O'Shaughnessy, 100m freestyle; Fifth Place: Cole Winters-McCabe, 200m intermediate medley. In the team medleys: Fifth Place: Women's 200m Medley Relay of Christina Barrett, Eanna Hehir-Keys, Amanda O'Shaughnessy and Emily Rowell; Fifth Place: Men's 200m Medley Relay of Drew Rutten, Jack Saunderson, Eric Scholz, and Cole Winters-McCabe. Congratulations to the swimmers and to Jill Altshuler, the club's sponsor.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Fulton is having its annual Ladies Night Out on May 9 at 6 p.m. This year's menu centers around a fantastic spaghetti dinner set in a 1950's theme. Once again, Johnny Seaton will be back reprising his performance from last year. Ladies, come dressed in your best 50's attire. Tickets are $16 and can be purchased by calling Ann Thompson at 301-854-0902.

Happy Mother's Day to all of our mothers, especially my mother-in-law, Jennie Thompson. You are the bedrock for our families.