WE TAKE a lot of things for granted. One of them is the delivery of mail. I took a tour recently of the main post office and observed a modern marvel -- the sorting and distribution of mail. The reason I mention this is because it made me think of the program in place at North Glen Elementary School.
The North Glen Post Office, as it is called, is an in-house operation conducted by Mary Jo Young, a reading specialist. Eleven pupils in grades five and six have jobs just like those of U.S. Postal Service employees. There are facers, sorters, carriers, nixie clerks, cancelers, and, of course, a postmaster.
Pupils interested in becoming a post office employee had to fill out an application, take a postal exam and interview for the positions. Further criteria used in selecting pupils included punctuality, attendance, grades and references from teachers.
Young said the young postal workers learn not only the internal workings of the post office but the responsibility of holding a job and the experience of going through an interview.
The program is a part of language arts instruction. According to Young, all of the children in the school write letters. The internal postal system helps them with their reading and writing skills.
Under the guidance of their teachers, pupils write letters to their friends, members of the staff, or a brother or sister in the school. They also learn how to use a street directory, the correct way to address envelopes and proper placement of stamps.
The school has house postage -- a hand-drawn stamp. And each classroom has an address.
Letters are placed in mailboxes outside the classroom doors on pickup days. The mailboxes are coffee cans decorated like the school's tiger mascot. Two letter carriers collect the mail and take it to the other postal workers.
Just like at the main post office, only by hand and on a much smaller scale, mail works its way through the system. The young postal workers check the address and stamp, reject any undeliverables, cancel the stamp if everything is OK, sort the envelopes and then give them back to the carriers to be delivered.
Fifty letters are mailed on an average day.
The postal employees are Acinta Weefur, Russell Geis, Shawana Stepp, Krista Cunningham, Monica Spriggs, Colbie Oden, Tiffany Palmer, Aftyn Garvin, Amanda Nowland, Cameron Brewer and Erin Copsey.
The post office operates on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, and these children give up recess to do their jobs.
Young said this is the program's second year. "The children love it and are very enthusiastic about it. Next year, we will probably do it every week."
Church flea market
A treasure trove of used articles awaits discovery at a spring flea market sponsored by the Methodist Men and Women of Ferndale United Methodist Church.
The event is open from 8: 30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the fellowship hall of the church, 117 Ferndale Road. No one will be admitted early. Food, including homemade baked goods, will be available. Profits will be used to make improvements to the church and support mission outreach projects.
Historical society face lift
Benson-Hammond House on Aviation Boulevard recently received an interior face lift, thanks to the journeymen and apprentices of the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades, Local Union No. 1.
Lois Ryno, corresponding secretary of the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society, said the materials for repairing and painting the walls were donated by the John B. Conomos Co.
Benson-Hammond House is headquarters for the historical society, which is run by volunteers and depends on fund-raisers, membership dues, and donations from the community to maintain the historical house and interpretive truck farm.
The house is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and tours are given for a nominal fee.
Pub Date: 5/07/00