NAPOLEON, Thomas Jefferson and Sacajawea roamed the grounds of Longfellow Elementary School last week as children celebrated the 197th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition by staging a re-enactment of the historic journey. More than 100 fourth- and fifth-graders took part as soldiers, Native Americans, politicians or members of the Corps of Discovery.
"It was huge; it was incredible," said music teacher Nancy Terrill, who came up with the idea for the re-enactment.
Terrill said Principal Lou Chillemi wanted to find a way to involve the entire school in learning the story of explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Terrill wrote a script, designed a trail and the sites along the way and researched the dress of the period.
Children in kindergarten through third grade were led through an adventure that began with the signing of the Louisiana Purchase and wound through four Native American villages, past life-sized drawings of buffalo, elk and grizzly bears to a replica of Fort Mandan and the Pacific Ocean. Terrill said it took the children 1 1/2 hours to complete the journey.
"The kids had journals with them to record what they saw, just like Lewis and Clark," she said.
Napoleon was played by Jill Cleveland. Tiffany Walker played James Monroe. Robert Livingston was played by Zach Lott, and Jasmin Sosa was Thomas Jefferson.
Three casts portrayed the members of the Corps of Discovery.
Lewis was played by Lizzi Bollinger, Evan Klatt and Julie Buonato. Clark was played by Kyesha Graham, Paddy Killoran and Bogdon Koshmaryk. Sacajawea was played by Ashley Sutkaytis, Wiaam Mohamed and Brooke Hinton.
Blacksmith Kevin Gibbins brought his anvil, hammer and bellows to show pupils how to make horseshoes.
Art teacher Michell Salamony rounded up volunteers to paint 15 life-sized cardboard cutouts of animals seen along the trail.
Second-grade teachers Bobbi Bien, Karen Wyatt and Tim Barnes created a Shoshone village, with two teepees and a story using Native American pictographs on a stretched animal skin.
Terrill said the re-enactment was a companion activity to the school's choral concert, scheduled at 7 o'clock tonight at Wilde Lake High School. Fourth- and fifth-graders, wearing costumes of their design, will perform in the musical version of the expedition.
"I was thrilled with the way the whole community came together for this wonderful day," Terrill said. "We had parents, staff, administration, community members and the PTA pulling together to create an experience that will be long-remembered by our students. We're looking forward to sharing our musical version with the community on Wednesday evening."
Remember pet rocks, Earth shoes, hip-hugger bellbottoms and the musical group Earth, Wind and Fire? They were popular in 1970, the year Running Brook Elementary School opened. On Saturday, hundreds attended the school's spring fair, which this year celebrated Running Brook's 30th anniversary with a 1970s theme.
Donna Lyman coordinated the event for the PTA. Entertainment was provided by former Harlem Globetrotter Spinney Johnson, the Hispanic Children's Dance Troupe, schoolchildren and staff members.
Mark Ruby, husband of Running Brook media specialist Diane Ruby, designed seven games with names such as "Sock It to the Seventies," in which pupils were invited to throw balled-up socks at 1970s icons - including former President Richard M. Nixon and a smiley face.
Members of the school's Latino population, coordinated by Marta Goodman, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) family liaison, contributed tamales, empanadillas and fruit kabobs for the PTA to sell.
"We certainly appreciated the generosity of our families who contributed a taste of Latin America to our school fair," said Principal Marion Miller.
The fair also included a silent auction, a Moon Bounce, face-painting and crafts.
"I was pleased with the high turnout and thrilled to see the RBES families come together to volunteer and participate in this celebration of our 30th birthday," Lyman said.
Spirit of Columbia
Three west Columbia students are among the six recipients of this year's Spirit of Columbia Scholarship award sponsored by the Columbia Association.
Applicants were required to be graduating seniors who demonstrated exceptional efforts in community service endeavors to benefit Columbia residents. Each of the winners will receive a $2,500 scholarship to be used toward college tuition.
Andrew Clegg is a member of the Wilde Lake High School National Honor Society. Andrew has volunteered for the Dazzle Dash during the Symphony of Lights fund-raiser for Howard County General Hospital and the Adopt-a-Road project, and he has participated in fund raising for the Animal Welfare Society and the Howard County Bird Club.
Kavita Krishnaswamy is vice president of the Wilde Lake High School National Honor Society and organized a used-book sale to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Frances Liu is the community service chairwoman for the National Honor Society at Wilde Lake High School. She has volunteered at Florence Bain Senior Center and has helped tutor children.