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In Baltimore CityPupils round the bases in...


In Baltimore City

Pupils round the bases in school reading effort

Pupils at Thomas Johnson Elementary School are nearing the plate in a campaign to "hit a home run with reading" and celebrated their progress recently with a visit from Baltimore Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson, the Bird mascot and broadcaster Jim Hunter.

The campaign is part of a program to change attitudes toward reading, as indicated in a fall survey at Thomas Johnson. It found that many pupils were not reading, did not want to read and did not think they were good at reading, says Principal Tom Bowmann.

The Orioles, among a number of businesses and organizations helping the South Baltimore school, has offered free admission to a game for all 428 pupils, 48 staff members and two parents from each classroom -- if the pupils read 8,000 books. Each base is a 2,000-book milestone.

In Baltimore County

Mars Estates Elementary links reading and fitness

ESSEX -- Reading and physical fitness have been linked at Mars Estates Elementary School, where incentives to meet a 15,000-book reading challenge include two workout sessions with WBAL-TV fitness expert Andre Miller.

Pupils at Mars Estates read 12,280 books to meet a similar challenge last year, so the school deemed it "appropriate to up the ante" -- adding not only to the number of books, but the number of incentives.

They include a pencil and an entry in a weekly drawing for a "Healthy Minds, Healthy Hearts" T-shirt for each pupil reading 25 books; choice of a free book offered by Barnes & Noble's White Marsh store for the top 10 readers; and footwork by Principal Roger Proudfoot, who pledged to run a mile for each 1,000 books read.

In Howard County

Middle school pupils to take part in celebration

COLUMBIA -- More than 9,000 pupils will participate in the county's Middle School Reading Celebration Week beginning tomorrow.

Activities will include guest readers, pupils reading to other pupils, morning book talks aired on closed-circuit television, designing covers and bookmarks, character identification contests, and collecting books for the needy.

Pupils will receive vouchers for book bags with merchandise and coupons donated by school system business partners. Vouchers may be redeemed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. March 7 at the reading celebration booth on the second level of The Mall in Columbia, where the public can see highlights from the week's activities and examples of pupils' work.

Pub Date: 2/28/99

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