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Seaman shares tales with kindergarten pen pals at Hampstead


THE YOUNG citizens of Connie Zumbrun's kindergarten class at Hampstead Elementary School marked Memorial Day this year with a better understanding of the military.

They have had a pen pal in the Navy since January. On Friday, their pen pal, Petty Officer 1st Class Tony Beggs, 35, visited their classroom to show pictures and a video, and to chat with his young friends.

During Beggs' six-month tour along the Iraqi coast aboard the USS Samuel Roberts, the Hampstead students sent Beggs letters, hand-drawn pictures and e-mail.

Several years ago, the kindergarten class of Beggs' son, Justin, corresponded in a similar way.

This year, kindergarten student Casey Ostendorf and his mother, Alisae, who are friends of the Beggs, asked Casey's class to become pen pals.

"Those guys get lonely and like to be pen pals with kids," said Stacey Beggs, Justin's mom. "My husband hung their pictures on the mess deck so all the men could enjoy them."

"He was really able to hold their interest," said Alisae Ostendorf.

Beggs showed photos of adventures in Cairo, Egypt, and places that caught the children's interest, such as Buckingham Palace in London.

He answered questions about how the men slept and ate, and showed a video on the launching of missiles.

Young and old tend garden

May 19 was a good day for planting flowers at Spring Garden Elementary's nature center.

Three master gardeners, who have been extensively trained by the Cooperative Extension Service's horticultural program, took children, one by one, from seven classrooms to plant begonias and marigolds in the butterfly garden.

"The master gardeners have been wonderful. They've worked beautifully with the children," said Vice Principal Jacalyn Powell. "The first and third grades study plants, so we thought it appropriate that they help today."

Students in the first-grade classes of Phyllis Dull, Patty Lambert, Joanne Geiman and Sherri Blackiston and the third-grade classes of Carolyn Smedick, Sandy Bollinger and Karen Cigrang were led to the garden to dig holes and insert colorful flowering plants.

A new hummingbird garden, dedicated to retiring choral teacher Idalea Rubin, was planted by 15 students of Tom Manger's forestry class at North Carroll High School. Twenty bushes and perennials had been donated for this garden as an unusual thank-you.

Talent search winner

Cathy Allen is the proud parent of two outstanding students who have been recognized by the largest pre-college academic talent search in the world.

Her sons Scott and Keith received recognition for exceptional academic talent by the Johns Hopkins University Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth.

The top 3 percent of students, or 60,000 students from 19 states and the District of Columbia, qualify to take tests.

One percent then qualify for special academic programs.

On the Talent Search tests, Scott, a fifth-grader at Spring Garden Elementary, scored at or above the eighth-grade level.

His brother, Keith, a seventh-grader at North Carroll Middle, scored above the mean for college-bound high school seniors on the College Board SAT 1: Reasoning Test.

In addition, Keith was awarded a one-course scholarship at Western Maryland College, providing tuition for a three- or four-credit course of his choosing to be taken before August 2000. Congratulations to Scott and Keith.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 5/27/98

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