Pupils' human flag lets them show patriotic colors


A HUMAN FLAG measuring 130 feet by 230 feet stretched across the grassy expanse at Fort McHenry in Baltimore Thursday. The flag was created by about 3,000 elementary school pupils from across Maryland.

Participating in the "Living American Flag" was a patriotic and educational experience for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders representing about 80 of Maryland's public, private and parochial schools.

Ten pupils from Freedom Elementary School earned the opportunity to participate by writing essays titled "What the Flag Means to Me."

In addition to creating the human flag, Ricky Deitchman, Justin Ford, Molly Harrington, Brian Hellman, Matthew May, Morgan Seal, Christin Silva, Alexandra Simpson, Katie Steers and Lauren Tabor sang patriotic songs and had a chance to meet with character actors portraying historical figures such as Dolley Madison, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.

Also attending the festivities were surviving members of the first "Living American Flag" celebrated on Defenders' Day in 1914.

Happy 50th birthday

With bubbles, candles and the traditional birthday song led by Carroll County schools Superintendent Brian L. Lockard, Mechanicsville Elementary School launched its 50th birthday celebration Friday.

Mild temperatures and a cool breeze were the perfect setting for the annual Play Day. Before the relays, tugs of wars and teachers' volleyball game began, everyone participated in an opening ceremony to honor the school's half century.

Lockard, who attended Mechanicsville Elementary from first through third grade, is a member of the Over 44 Quartet, with Larry Bohn, Kyler Brengle and Larry Henze. He admitted he liked singing in a group better than alone, but his pitch was perfect.

Some pupils held plastic cones with artificial flames pushed up through the middle for birthday candles, and all 600 pupils blew bubbles. Several programs have been scheduled for the fall to continue the celebration, said Ronda Robinson, a third-grade teacher.

Cultural cruise

You can take a trip around the world tomorrow evening at Sykesville Middle School as the school is host to a "Culture Cruisin' Festival."

Pupils in all grades have taken an active roll in planning the event, the first of its kind for the school. More than 200 pupils will participate as models in a cultural fashion show, and as interactive presenters at booths representing countries. Ethnic music performances also will be given.

There will be 25 booths to introduce visitors to foreign cultures. A food garden will offer samples of dishes found on dining tables around the world.

Entertainment will include Polynesian dancing by professional dancers Meki's Tamure, storytellers and African drumming. The seventh-grade's own rock 'n' roll band Bleach will perform.

"The entire school has worked hard to make this a really fun evening," said Jo Ann Heller, a teacher at Sykesville. "We're hoping to be able to hold the festival outside, but if the weather doesn't cooperate, we'll move it inside."

Information: 410-751-3545.

Mystery Night

I like nothing better than to settle in a chair with a good mystery.

Team 3 pupils at Oklahoma Road Middle School are prepared to share some mysteries of their own with family and friends from 7 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m. tomorrow at "Mystery Night." The seventh-graders will present a play and invite the audience to solve the mystery.

Teachers Tammy Blum, Marlene Friedenberg and Frank Tippett have guided the pupils through preparations for the mystery performance. Each student also has written an original mystery and some will be shared tomorrow night as well.

The mystery stories have been individually published and will be donated to the Pediatrics Unit at Carroll County General Hospital after Team 3 pupils visit Carrolltowne and Freedom elementary schools to read their stories.

Crossroads '98

Eldersburg Elementary School is preparing for big changes as the school bids farewell to most of its pupils.

Many are heading to the new Linton Springs Elementary School in September. Pupils from Freedom and Piney Ridge elementary schools will be transferred to Eldersburg.

The school will celebrate the "dawning of a new millennium" at Eldersburg with a "Crossroads '98" festival from 1: 30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The event will be held rain or shine and will feature lots of entertainment, including jugglers, magicians and clowns, carnival games, face-painting and hair-painting. A variety of food will be available for purchase from local vendors. A commemorative T-shirt will be available for $3.50.

Current pupils and incoming pupils and their families are welcome to attend. Information: 410-751-3520.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 5/26/98

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