Principal urges parents to become involved with children's schools


Meet the Teacher Night at Spring Garden Elementary School last Thursday was more than squeezing adults into child-size chairs.

Parents who packed the school auditorium that evening left with an invitation from school Principal Larry Bair to become involved as much as possible with the school and their childrens' education.

He began to speak by updating the old "three R's." In its place he used "VCR."

"V is for visible," Mr. Bair began.

"As a parent, be visible in our school. There are many opportunities to be part of the school community," he said, including volunteering, family learning night, a self-esteem workshop and a skating party scheduled this fall."

"C is for communicate. Establish good lines of open communication now, to carry you through those difficult middle and high school years."

"R is for read," said Mr. Bair, as many parents murmured in agreement. "Reading is the foundation of every child's learning. Take time out as a family to read magazines and books and show your excitement to your children.

"This will last them a lifetime. Read, read read!"

He said Spring Garden is Carroll County's largest elementary school, requiring eight portable classrooms this year. He proudly noted that 50 percent of its students participated in the Carroll County Public Library summer reading program. This fall, two-thirds of the fourth-graders have started to play musical instruments.

A Macintosh computer lab is under construction, he said, that will include the latest available programs.


Do you make quality crafts? The annual winter Arts and Crafts Show sponsored by the Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary is accepting contracts for the Nov. 26 show.

"In two weeks, we've had an overwhelming response. The contracts are coming in real fast," said show organizer Treasa Markle. Twenty vendors have signed up for the show, which holds a maximum of 60 tables.

She has reserved space for Middle Bridge Baskets, makers of hand-stenciled baskets; for Small Time Crafts, usually a large display of wood shelves, benches and accessories; Heavenly Creations, jewelry, hairpieces and dolls; Sunswept Meadows, dried flowers and herbs; and Sudden Inspiration, the miniature shadow boxes filled by Diana Francis with "tiny things inside," said Mrs. Markle.

Each 5-by-8-foot space includes a table for $20. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 26.

Information: Treasa Markle, 374-5088.


Oysters and ham, family style, will be spread upon the tables at the Hampstead Fire Hall Oct. 15 starting at 2 p.m. The hall is at 1341 N. Main St., with parking at the rear.

"We make sure plenty of good food is on the tables. Family-style means bowls get passed around. It's all you can eat.

"And some people can eat quite a few oysters -- that's what they come for," said Fire Chief Herb Raver. "I generally serve the oysters. We go around as many times as they want."

The menu includes family-style oysters and sliced boneless ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, tea and coffee. The bake table of pies, cakes, candy, fudge and other goodies made and sold by the fire company auxiliary serves as the dessert.

"We usually sell between 1,000 and 1,200 suppers," said Chief Raver. "We buy 115 gallons of oysters to pad. That's a lot of oysters!

"They start padding them at 7 a.m. and repad them before they start frying. We fill the refrigerator up and deep-fry them all afternoon." Padding means to coat the wet oyster with cracker crumbs or cornmeal.

Tickets for the dinner are sold at the door. Adult tickets are $9. Children ages 6 to 14 pay $4. Children under 6 eat free. Carryout meals are sold for $10.

Information: Hampstead Fire Hall, 374-2424.


"Christmas at the Church," held Saturday by St. John's United Methodist Church in Hampstead, survived despite occasional rain showers.

"We did pretty good," said Treasa Markle, an organizer of the craft sales.

She estimated that the church raised $3,000 during the event.

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