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Elmer Wolfe pupils are canvas for art teacher's colorful play


USUALLY WHEN schools put on a play, they use one published by a known writer. Not so with Elmer Wolfe Elementary School in Union Bridge.

Tomorrow night, more than 100 fifth-graders will present the musical "Runaway Colors," written by the school's art teacher, Ruth Aukerman. The music teacher, Charlotte Herbstomer, arranged the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for the accompaniment.

The play is about the three primary colors running away after they are mistreated by children. The children are careless with how they mix their paints and the colors run together to make brown.

"The colors run away to find a real artist," Aukerman said.

First the colors go to Rome to find Leonardo da Vinci. Then they go to Tahiti to look for Paul Gauguin, and so on.

Aukerman said she had thought of the play idea for several years.

"I wanted to challenge myself," she said. "I wanted to do something out of the ordinary."

She wrote the play during free moments from September to December last year.

The play teaches about famous artists and different cultures.

"They are learning about artists and art concepts," Aukerman said. "All the stories are historically based."

Aukerman was quick to praise pupils for their work on the stage design and program, noting that all fifth-graders will have a part in the musical. Professional director Arnie Hayes is directing the play, she said.

"The music teacher has done a tremendous amount of work pulling the music together," she said. "It's amazing how many resources it takes to put something like this together."

The concept of the colors fleeing a hostile environment is ironic. Aukerman's family fled Germany in 1945. She immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. She has taught art at Elmer Wolfe for 18 years.

The free play begins at 7 p.m. Information: 410-751-3307.

Registration under way

Even as Little League is in full swing, some youngsters are eager for soccer to begin. Charles Carroll Recreation Council will hold soccer registration this month for boys and girls ages 5 through 13.

Registration will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and May 26 and from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 30 at Charles Carroll Elementary School.

The cost is $30 per player with a maximum cost per family of $65. Information: Ray Davis, 410-386- 0853, or at raydavis@mac.com or ruthdavis@starpower.net.

Teacher honored

Gayle Sands, a language arts teacher at Northwest Middle School in Taneytown, recently was honored as one of Carroll County's top eight teachers by Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, Sands involved her pupils in helping foster children in Baltimore. Pupils held a clothing drive for the foster children.

She earned a grant for that work and used the money to buy the foster children new books.

Sands said she was surprised to be named one of the top teachers. During the ceremony, she listened as the names were called.

"I was the last one called and had already mentally 'checked out' when they started talking about things that applied to me," Sands said. "Mostly, I was surprised."

Lions friendship day

Taneytown Lions Club recently held its friendship day at Trout's Jubilee to thank community members for their support.

The Lions displayed photos from fund-raisers and served refreshments to passers-by.

"This is our opportunity to thank the Taneytown community for their support of Lions Club activities over the past 54 years," said Claude Elmore Jr., a Lions Club member.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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