Sometimes the most important lessons learned in school are not found in a book, but garnered from school experience.
The 75 hours of student service credit required for graduation from Carroll County schools often provides students with opportunities for personal growth and learning.
Students at Sykesville Middle School recently participated in a school-wide student service project and learned what it means to help others.
When physical education teacher JoAnn Stull was searching for a new fund-raising project to spark students' interest, she found an advertisement for "Human-i-tees" -- a company that produces T-shirts with environmental and animal themes.
Mrs. Stull made plans for students to sell the shirts for student service credit. With the full cooperation of the school's science departments, the teachers used the T-shirts' themes to reinforce classroom lessons on the dangers threatening our environment, as well as biology lessons on difficulties that affect many animals.
The sales were a huge success. The students sold more than 3,000 shirts and made a profit of more than $10,000 from the sales.
Sixth-grade student Brandi Stevens presented a check for $8,000 to Susan Banks of the Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore. Brandi was the school's top salesperson, with $426 in T-shirt sales.
Mrs. Stull plans to use the remaining money from the sales for a fund to assist Sykesville students with future student service projects.
Some students at International TKD Karate Academy in Eldersburg know that hard work and dedication to their sport are necessary ingredients for success.
Having competed successfully in the 15th Annual Maryland Junior Olympic State Championships recently at Essex Community College, seven students from the academy are going to the next step, the Junior Olympic Nationals in Los Angeles early next month.
Academy owner-instructor Master Bun Huor and assistant coach Paul Mink will accompany the students on the trip.
Competing will be Jamie Ball, Billy Brockmeyer, Jimmy Fiori, Glenn Gordon, Chris Graye, Michael March and Chris Walsh. This will be the second trip to the nationals for Jamie, Glenn and Chris, who competed last year.
To earn money for the trip, the karate academy students have planned several fund-raisers. On Saturday, the youngsters will wash cars at the Roy Rogers restaurant and will sell homemade baked goods in Carrolltown Center. Anyone who wants to donate to the travel fund should call Ed or Terry Ball at 795-8148.
The Halbrook family of Marriottsville briefly played host to an unusual visitor recently when a newborn fawn was discovered by the family's dog.
The Halbrook children and their dog were playing behind their Forest Hills home when the dog sniffed out the baby animal. To prevent the fawn from being injured, the family kept it in their house while they tried to contact the Department of Natural Resources.
After several exciting hours of picture-taking and dreaming of a new pet, the family released the fawn back into the woods. The animal's mother may have been waiting for its return, because the fawn hasn't been seen since.
The end of the school year is always a great time for kids to enjoy traditional end-of-the-year activities. For students at Piney Ridge and Freedom elementary schools, the last month was a whirl of fun.
Piney Ridge students, undaunted by overcast skies and intermittent rain, made the most of their annual Play and Field Day. They played games of skill and luck at the event, which was organized by Stephanie Pappas and members of the Field Day Committee.
Freedom students also spent a day running, jumping and laughing at their annual Playday in late May.
Freedom's traditional farewell picnic for fifth-grade students was held at Piney Run Park. The fifth-graders were officially promoted to middle school at graduation ceremonies on the school's lawn June 8.