There's no warmer place to be on a windy October morning than Janet Stevens' second-grade classroom at Uniontown Elementary School.
On Monday morning, I was a lucky volunteer who got to come in from the cold and manage the computer station. Eager kids came into the lab, sat down and started playing math games, asking questions, helping each other, and taking turns until all had a chance to participate.
Nine Apple computers were donated by Potomac Edison; computer programs were earned when the kids collected enough Giant supermarket register tapes and sold dozens of magazine subscriptions.
And, says Mrs. Stevens, "Our volunteers make it possible for the kids to use the lab in all areas of the curriculum."
If you have any spare time at all, on your lunch hour or day off, consider volunteering at your local school. And never throw away one of those yellow cash register receipts! Give it to a school.
Women of any age are encouraged to attend Judy Trickett's informative session on breast cancer awareness at 12:30 p.m. today at the Taneytown Senior Center on Roberts Mill Road. Ms. Trickett will discuss breast cancer detection and the efforts of the Carroll County Health Department to provide free exams and screenings to eligible women. Information: 751-1656.
Also available at the Taneytown Senior Center: flu shots for $4, noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 26, for people of any age.
Kids from Taneytown Elementary Annex are still riding high on Friday's visit from former Baltimore Oriole Dave Johnson. Mr. Johnson, who was the celebrity guest for the school's "Just Say No" club, talked to the students about the impact of drug abuse on playing sports.
Linda Kulp, a fifth-grade teacher and adviser of the "Just Say No" group, said Mr. Johnson spent an hour talking to the kids about the perils of drug use. He encouraged them to believe in themselves and not go along with the crowd -- a philosophy that got him into the major leagues while his drug-abusive acquaintances were passed over.
"That really impressed the kids," she said.
Mr. Johnson's visit isn't the only tactic the Taneytown teachers are using in the war on drug abuse. The "Just Say No" Club includes all fifth-graders and meets weekly during school time.
"We try to have fun while teaching the kids about the dangers of drug use," says Ms. Kulp.
Tomorrow's meeting includes a tour of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, a nice follow-up to Mr. Johnson's visit.
Taneytown community groups such as the Kiwanis, Senior Citizens and American Legion Women's Auxiliary also are involved. They have donated money so the students can design "Just Say No" T-shirts for a community presentation, "Be Smart, Don't Start," Nov. 23.
The big man on campus at New Windsor Middle School these past few weeks has been sixth-grader Ryan Dickson. Ryan entered a poster contest sponsored by the American Kennel Club last spring and learned in June that he had produced a winner.
Ryan's poster featuring "what every dog deserves" is the December illustration for the AKC's 1993 calendar. It also appeared in the group's August magazine issue.
Ryan, a member of 4-H rabbit clubs (he currently has nine rabbits, but no dog) learned about the contest through his 4-H leader, who encouraged him to enter. He entered the competition to make his leader happy. Then he won at the local level, and his poster was sent to New York to compete on the national level.
The youth didn't expect to win, and all the attention has him a little flustered.
Asked if he would enter the coming D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) anti-drug message poster competition, Ryan said he doesn't think so. "I'm still trying to recover from this one," he said.
It's been a tradition with Barbara and Roland Childs to celebrate their wedding anniversaries by treating their children to dinner. Their three children broke that tradition this year by surprising the Uniontown couple with a grand dinner celebration that rounded up 100 people from as far away as Texas, including the men who were ushers in the Childs' wedding party 40 years ago. Theymade it an anniversary to remember.