READING IS fundamental to education, and pupils at Carrolltowne Elementary School are striving to make reading a daily habit.
The PTA's Literacy Committee kicked off its newest reading program Thursday afternoon with a school assembly and guests.
Many pupils and faculty were dressed in black and orange as they welcomed former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson and the Oriole Bird mascot.
Literacy committee Chairwoman JoAnna King and members Tricia Boyd, Kathy Groose, Jackie Hill, Jeanne McHale, Rochelle Schneiderman and Audrey Sutherland encouraged the pupils' excitement as they chanted, cheered and led in singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
Johnson read "Casey at the Bat" while the Bird pantomimed the action for the crowd. Johnson talked briefly about his major league pitching career and encouraged pupils to make reading an important part of their daily life.
"Reading will take you anywhere you want to go," he said.
Kevin Burkholder, 9, took that advice to heart as he sat reading a book while his schoolmates clamored for a handshake with the Bird. Kevin had read to page 28 of the book he purchased at a school book fair.
"Books bring you into the story," he said.
With the theme of "Bat 2000 with Reading," pupils at Carrolltowne will reach for a goal of at least 100 days of reading at home with parents, grandparents or siblings. Incentive awards will be offered at regular intervals and have been provided by local businesses.
Danny Haines, a fourth-grader, plans to read for at least 100 days. He read for 116 days last year.
"Reading can get you an education," said Danny.
Zack Ahmanson, 8, also is aiming for the 100-day goal, but said he would be happy if he reached 75 days. Zack said reading is not his favorite activity, but he highly recommended the book "The Worst Team Ever" to his friends.
"It's a good book," he said.
The Freedom Elementary School PTA is sponsoring a family portrait program at the school from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Photographers from Premiere Media will take family portraits for anyone in the community.
A 10-by-13-inch canvas family portrait will be offered for $9.95. Other photographs may be taken at the same sitting and all photos are to be ready for the holidays.
Appointment times are being set to avoid waiting. A participant does not have to be a pupil at Freedom.
Information or appointments: Carole Williamson, 410-549-0830.
The Freedom Area Recreation Council will hold basket bingo Friday at Oklahoma Road Middle School. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and games will begin at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
Ticket reservations: 410- 549-6296.
Put on your spookiest costume and dance the night away at a Halloween dance from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Oct. 30 at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Community in Eldersburg.
Music will be by Junior Disc Jockeys. Beer, wine and set-ups are provided. A 50/50 raffle and a money wheel are scheduled. Tickets are $15 each or $25 for a couple. Costumes are optional but encouraged.
The Freedom Astros U14 girls soccer team is sponsoring the event. Proceeds will go toward the team's trip to Florida to compete in an international soccer tournament in July.
Tickets and information: Donna Crutchfield, 410-795-0980.
Springfield Hospital Center will hold its annual health fair from 7 a.m. to 3: 30 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Geriatrics Building.
The event will feature many exhibits on traditional and alternative health services. Enjoy morning refreshments, massage and facials. Learn about chiropractic care and weight management. Flu shots will be available for $5.
Register with Northwest Hospital Center at 410-601-9355 for a complete blood screening for $15.
Lunch, provided by Volunteer Services, will be available for a fee.
Information: 410-795-2100, Ext. 3385.
Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.