THE FUTURE OF a tiny, rare strawberry poison-dart frog is secure for the next year. The amphibian has been adopted by Susan Lane's second-graders at Mount Airy Elementary School.
Pupils in Andrea Bunting's fourth-grade class have become "adoptive parents" to an eastern painted turtle. And kindergarten pupils have adopted one of the most fascinating creatures in the ocean, a sea horse.
Sixteen classes at the school have adopted sea creatures at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Classes earned the adoptions for participation in the school's reading incentive program, "Sea the World Through Books."
The school wrapped up the yearlong reading project last week with a program that included Maryland children's author Priscilla Cummings and aquarium representative Pam Blose.
With the support of the PTA, Blose, research coordinator for development at the National Aquarium, was presented with a check for $350 for the adoptions.
Blose applauded the pupils' efforts as well as their interest in preserving their chosen creatures. She encouraged students to pursue their interest by continuing to read and by visiting the aquarium.
Mount Airy Elementary will have a donor plaque displayed at the aquarium.
Cummings, who lives in Annapolis, told the children how she became an author and explained the publishing process. Author of the "Chadwick the Crab" series, Cummings' fictional books focus on the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay region.
Wake the kids early tomorrow,grab their fishing poles and head over to Prospect Park for the annual Youth Fishing Derby sponsored by the Mount Airy Lions Club.
From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., children age 16 and under can try their luck at catching the biggest or smallest fish in the pond. The park is on Prospect Road in Mount Airy. Registration begins at 7: 30 a.m.
Prizes will be awarded in several categories, including largest and smallest fish and highest combined weight of catch.
Each contestant must bring a pole and bait and fish stringer or bucket to keep the fish alive. All fish will be returned to the pond after judging.
Food and drama
The Mount Airy Players, in conjunction with the Mount Airy Brewing Company and Fire House Pub & Grill, offers medieval food, fun and drama this month.
The Players will present "The Dark Lady of the Sonnets," a one-act play by George Bernard Shaw. The play is directed by Sharon Templeton.
With a cast of four, the play is set on a midsummer night in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I around the year 1600. Cast members are Tom and Sharon Templeton and Amy and Lewis Smith.
A "Medieval Cocktail Party" will feature food and drink of the period. Music will be provided by Common Ground.
Show times are 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow, May 15 and 16, and 3: 30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $18. A Mother's Day menu will be available before or after the show Sunday.
The Mount Airy Fire House Pub & Grill is at 233 S. Main St., Mount Airy.
Information: 301-829-1527 or 410-751-9577.
Christy Kruhm's Southwest Neighbors column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.
Pub Date: 5/08/98