Spring is finally here, hurrah! No more rain, hurrah! Now I can mow the lawn that's been growing all month. Wait a minute, I can mow 9-inch-tall grass? Is that a cloud I see? Yes it is. I think I'll go write the column, and wait for someone else to mow the lawn. Maybe we should buy a goat. Anybody have a deal on cheap sheep?
The staff and students of Guilford Elementary have designated April as Human Relations Month.
Each grade is focusing on some aspect of human relations, such as anger management, self respect, tolerance or understanding differences. The students have been writing essays and illustrating posters illuminating the chosen themes. In addition, a human relations alphabet word has been incorporated into the morning announcements, so that "F is for Friendship, R is for Respect."
Janet Quick, the guidance counselor, has invited Charles I. Ecker, the county executive, and Jacqueline Brown, the new county human relations director, to speak on April 30, Human Relations Day.
Other activities include making topical crafts such as friendship bracelets and honoring well-written essays and well-made posters.
Guilford Elementary PTA board member Ocie Watson-Thompson has been steered by one of the most effective persuaders there is: her son Paul.
Ms. Watson-Thompson teaches at Towson State University in the early childhood education department. Last year Paul, who was then a second-grader, accompanied his mother to St. John's Lane Elementary School for a daylong presentation on foreign cultures, an annual tradition of his mother's senior students. Since then, Paul has been lobbying to get Towson seniors to his school, and on May 6, student teachers will decorate part of Guilford Elementary to represent Egypt, Japan, France, Brazil and Hawaii.
The student teachers were assigned to build a curriculum that included a dance or musical activity, an art activity, some language activity -- such as teaching the pupils to say hello in Japanese or Hawaiian -- and a food-related activity.
The student teachers had help from Ms. Watson-Thompson, Towson faculty members Barbara Pour, Kay Broadwater and Carol Marcin, and members of the art, physical education and music departments. But the choice of country, the research, the curriculum taught and the teaching methods used rest entirely with the student teams.
The teacher teams have gathered authentic artifacts, cooked local delicacies, found native costumes to wear and built settings. Ms. Watson-Thompson said that the team is building palm trees out of boxes, and one group is even constructing a dragon. The project does not have a large budget for visual aides, she noted, so imagination must supply what money can't.
In two weeks, Guilford students will take a whirlwind tour of the world and be back in time for supper. They will have passports, duly stamped with the names of the countries they visited, and memories of a great day.
A week from tomorrow is May Day, a day to celebrate spring.
There's a Medieval May Day celebration planned in Carroll Baldwin Hall, Baltimore at Foundry Streets in Savage, from noon until 4 p.m.
There will be costumed performers, face painting, story tellers, Maypole dancing and food. Cost is $3 for 6 and older; free for 5 and under.
Later that night, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., the Ladies Auxiliary of the Savage Volunteer Fire Company will sponsor a Spring Fling dance at the Fire Hall, 8925 Lincoln St., Savage. Eight dollars per person or $15 per couple gets you beer and setups, with music by the Hitman DJs.
Call 604-2468 or 498-6813 for reservations or information.
There will be a festival in Savage on June 5-6, after all.
Enough volunteers signed on to make the two-day festival possible. Among them is Mark Thornton, the parade coordinator.
Call him at (301) 498-0934 or at (301) 286-4172 if your organization would like to participate in the parade.
Musical groups, floats, marching or walking units are all welcome.
The Savage Library presents a four-week storytime series in May for 3- to 5-year-olds called Just for Me.
Registration opens Monday at 10 a.m. The half-hour sessions available are Mondays 1:30 to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays 10:30 to 11 a.m.
Call Laura Capano at (410) 880-5978 to register.
The Baby Bazaar is back by popular demand!
The second Baby Bazaar will be May 22 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Forest Ridge Elementary School Recreation Center on Gorman Road in Savage.
Gather baby and toddler clothing, furniture, toys and equipment, and turn these into cash. Admission is free for buyers, $5 for sellers.
For more details and to reserve space, call Brian Emelson at (410) 880-5855 or the recreation bureau at (410) 313-2762.