Travelers' help sought for social studies project


Calling all travel buffs who are charting courses overseas in August and September. If you have room in your suitcase for a small stuffed animal, plus a little extra money to buy a postcard and a stamp, Maren Aukerman of Union Bridge needs to hear from you.

The energetic young teacher is embarking on a social studies project with her sixth-graders and she needs help to transport small stuffed animals abroad. A little space in your suitcase, plus five minutes to write a postcard will mean a lot to Ms. Aukerman's students.

Ms. Aukerman is leaving town tomorrow, but if you are planning a trip overseas and want to help, call her parents, Ruth and Dale Aukerman at 775-2254.

Ms. Aukerman will return to Phoenix, Ariz., as a teacher at Squaw Peak Elementary School. A member of Teach for America, Ms. Aukerman is one of a select group of recent college graduates who want to be teachers in economically depressed areas, but didn't take the requisite education credits in college.

Equipped with a love of children, ideals and creativity, Ms. Aukerman jumped into teaching a classroom of third- and fourth-graders who spoke little English. She's been learning the profession day by day, working long hours.

Ms. Aukerman's teaching experience has taken her into two new territories -- the bilingual classroom and year-round schooling; her school year begins Aug. 1, after a five-week break.

Ms. Aukerman has used part of this respite to visit her mother, who is a Carroll County art teacher. Together they have been brainstorming teaching ideas and coming up with hands-on games and activities that will help Spanish-speaking and English-speaking children learn together, and from each other.

On the warm summer evening I spent with the mother and daughter, they had completed making passports and passport pouches for the stuffed animals that will become the impetus for Ms. Aukerman's class' yearlong social studies project to study the world. A bear's postcard from a foreign country will be received by an eager sixth-grader, who, it is hoped, will want to learn more about the country.


There's room in the baseball clinics for boys held at the Francis Scott Key baseball diamond this summer.

Clinics are scheduled during the weeks of July 24-28 and July 31-Aug. 4. Sessions are open to younger boys (entering grades three through five) in the morning, and to older children (entering grades six through nine) in the afternoon. Cost is $50. Information: Jamie Hitchner, 857-1923.


Boys and girls who want to learn lacrosse have an opportunity to try "the fastest game on two feet" at a free one-week clinic held on the fields behind the old New Windsor Middle School during the week of July 24. The sports clinic is held daily from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.

Coaches John Baugher, a teacher from Francis Scott Key and a lacrosse enthusiast, and Jeff Beeker will lead the clinic. Union Bridge resident Cynda Bertier, who played lacrosse in college, is organizing the clinic.

A long-range goal is to generate enough interest in the sport to start a team at Key. The clinic is sponsored in cooperation with Union Bridge Recreation Council.

Even though the game is played differently for boys and girls, at the clinic, designed for boys and girls 8-14, children will learn the fundamentals of the sport together. There should be a minimum of contact in the drills. Lacrosse equipment will be provided.

To sign up your child, contact Cynda Bertier, 775-7892 or write to her at P.O. Box 537, Union Bridge 21791.

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