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7th-graders review books nominated for awards


READING MAY OR may not be a favorite pastime for many middle-school pupils, but the chance to read and discuss the books nominated for two writers' awards brought more than 80 children and parents to Oklahoma Road Middle School on Wednesday.

In their first "Celebration of Books," teachers Marlene Friedenberg, Pam Knellinger and Susan McDowell and media specialist Blair Reid guided seventh-grade pupils in reviewing the books nominated for the 1999 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award and the Maryland Children's Book Award.

During this school year, pupils have been reading many of the books nominated by Maryland educators. Pupils may vote for their favorite book either through their reading class or the school's media center.

Both awards will be decided in a few weeks as the votes of middle-school pupils across the state are tabulated.

Children and parents discussed what makes a good reading choice, some popular authors, and the plots of the nominated books. The participants also explored Internet sites to learn more about the authors.

Oklahoma Road will hold its first "Author-in-Residence Day" with renowned juvenile fiction writer Avi on March 17. The media center is selling copies of Avi's books in preparation for his visit and autograph sessions with students.

Authors' tea

Fifth-grade pupils at Freedom Elementary School displayed their writing skills in an annual event for parents and friends dubbed "Authors' Tea."

Teachers Jennie Dow, Sarah O'Neill, Pat Reed and Lorraine Thompson had their pupils display some of their best stories and writing projects Friday. Visitors and classmates gathered in small groups to listen as pupils took turns sharing stories they felt reflected their best writing efforts.

I had the pleasure of hearing Brentyn Finn, P. J. Graham, Rachel Munn and Rebecca Scott describe a typical day in the life of a child who arrived in this country on the Mayflower. Their pupils deemed their work on a project called "Plimoth Diary" to be their best work this year.

Their entries in an imaginary diary transported Sheri Munn, Rachel's mother, and me back to a day in the life of one of the 28 children aboard the Mayflower, from breakfast to bedtime, chores, play and school.

The children also shared a giant book created by the entire class featuring the history and travels of famous explorers and colorful maps.

Children's fair

The Carroll County Children's Council will present its annual Children's Fair Saturday in Carrolltown Center during regular mall hours.

The event will provide opportunities for families to learn about activities and services available for children.

Exhibitors involved in the arts, education, child care, child development, health and wellness, and parent skills will have information booths in the mall.

Entertainment will include MPT's Bob the Vid Tech, Katherine the Great, Mother Goose, Corky the Penguin, Ms. Frizzle, and McGruff the Crime Dog.

Information: Joyce Tierney, 410-857-0629.

Open house

The Carroll County chapter of FEMALE (Formerly Employed Mothers at the Leading Edge) has scheduled two open house events.

FEMALE is a national nonprofit organization that advocates support for women who have chosen to interrupt their careers to care for their children.

The group will hold an open house for prospective members from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County public library.

Interested mothers will have the opportunity to learn how the local chapter provides services not only for mothers, but for their families and communities.

An open house craft play group will be held from 10 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. Friday at the Eldersburg library. The event will include a holiday craft activity and musical activities for children. Mothers and children are invited.

Both programs are free.

The Carroll chapter of FEMALE was formed in August 1997 and has 25 members. The group will also have a booth at the Children's Fair, where members will be available to answer questions about the organization.

Information: Tiffany Livesay-Yakes, 410-549-3580.

Pub Date: 2/23/99

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