Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Reading comes to life at Bells Mill Elementary

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Submitted photo courtesy of Michael Palmer
Jon Langer reads to his son Jed during Bells Mills Elementary School’s Read Across America day on Friday at the school. Parents, along with community members like University of Maryland football players, came to the school to read to students and emphasize the importance of literacy.
Students at Bells Mill Elementary School joined millions of students nationwide in Read Across America Day Friday, an event geared toward promoting reading.

Area residents, University of Maryland football players, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Montgomery County firefighters all attended the event, and read classic children’s books to the students.

‘‘It was fabulous,” said Erin Mantz, chairwoman of the event. ‘‘The kids really enjoyed it.”

The event also celebrated the 103rd birthday of Dr. Seuss, and students honored the late doctor by dressing in Cat in the Hat costumes and decorating the hallways in Seussian style. Hundreds of parents and children filled the school’s cafeteria in the morning for a family breakfast, where parents would read to students on blankets brought from home.

The guests were an important part of the event, Mantz said.

‘‘The students know about reading, but to see people come in and tell them how important it is, that’s special,” she said. ‘‘It shows the kids how reading comes to life.”

Students especially enjoyed the Terps players.

‘‘Here are nine football players, heroes to some of these kids,” she said. ‘‘They paid attention when [the players] read ‘The Cat in the Hat’.”

Stone Mill hostingkindergarten orientation

Stone Mill Elementary School will host kindergarten orientation April 22 and 23 at the school. Parents whose children turn 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 can call 301-279-4975 for registration information. Stone Mill is located at 14323 Stonebridge View Drive, North Potomac.

School Girls Unite hosts public speaking workshop

Middle and high school students are invited to ‘‘Inspire! Speak to Motivate,” a public speaking workshop sponsored by Kensington-based charity School Girls Unite.

The workshop will be held from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Van Munching Hall at the University of Maryland College Park.

To help young people be dynamic speakers, lessons and activities will cover everything from diction and eye contact to writing ‘‘elevator speeches,” a speech or pitch meant to be given in a short time, like an elevator ride.

School Girls Unite is dedicated to tackling prejudice against girls in schools throughout the world and expanding their opportunities to succeed. The group provides funds for education and scholarships for girls in developing countries, and seminars and programs locally.

The cost for the speaking workshop is $5 and pre-registration is required, for more information, call Wendy Lesko at School Girls Unite at 301-929-8808 or visit

Psychiatrist to address teenage depression

Dr. Kaye Redfield Jamison, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will speak at 7 p.m. March 10 at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, 4301 East west Highway. She will speak oh the topic of recognizing and dealing with adolescent depression.

The event is sponsored by the B-CC PTSA, and it open to all members of the public.

Gap year benefits explained at Whitman

Walt Whitman High School is offering a panel presentation about gap years, and the students who benefit from them, at 7 p.m. April 3 in the school’s theater, 7100 Whittier Blvd., Bethesda. A gap year is a year taken between high school graduation and college.

Speakers include educational consultants, internship coordinators and students who have chosen to take a gap year.

During a gap year, a student will often work, have an internship, perform community service or study abroad.

Students will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentation.

For more information, contact Sara Robinson at 301-312-6181.

Whitman senior a finalist for presidential award

Mary Catherine Bartlett, a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, has been named as one of the 2,600 candidates in the 2008 Presidential Scholars Program. Inclusion in the program, now in its 44th year, is based on academic and artistic achievement, leadership qualities and community involvement.

The 2,600 candidates were chosen from the 2.8 million students expected to graduate high school in 2008, and will be whittled down to 500 semifinalists in early April.

One boy and girl from each state will be selected as a Presidential Scholar.

The scholars will then be invited to Washington, D.C., to receive their Scholars medallion and meet with their elected representatives.

Nursery school hasopenings for fall classes

Bannockburn Nursery School is taking applications for its pre-kindergarten class for the 2008-09 school year.

Parents are encouraged to visit, or call Sara Love at 301-365-7836, to arrange for a tour of the school.

The school is located at 6314 Bannockburn Drive, Bethesda.

Einstein Jazz Bandswing night

Albert Einstein High School will hold its annual ‘‘Swing into Spring” dance from 7-10:30 p.m. March 15.

Members of the award-winning Einstein jazz bands will perform with free salsa, swing and stomp lessons and light refreshments offered through the night.

Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased at the door.

The event is sponsored by the Performing Arts Coalition of Einstein and will be held at the school, 11135 Newport Mill Road, Kensington.

Third annual WJ Mulch Sale coming In April

The Walter Johnson High School Booster Club will host its third annual mulch sale, with deliveries on April 4 and 5.

Orders for the three-cubic-feet bags are due by March 19, and deliveries will be made only to houses in the Walter Johnson community ZIP codes — 20814, 20817, 20852, 20895 and 20896.

Bags of the dark, double-shredded hardwood mulch are $5.25 each, and proceeds support the booster club.

For information, e-mail

Volunteers are needed to help deliver the mulch as well, and student service learning credit is available for those who help.

Auction to supportOneness-Family School

Oneness-Family School in Chevy Chase is hosting its annual spring auction, at 6 p.m. March 8 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Tickets are $60 for a single ticket and $100 for two tickets. The price includes a sit-down dinner with wine and the opportunity to bid on hundreds of items.

Items include VIP passes to Redskins training camp, vacations at Deep Creek Lake, and a one-hour flight on a private airplane.

For more information, contact the school at (301) 652-7751.

GreenKids programaccepting applications

GreenKids, a partnership between Montgomery County Public Schools and the Audubon Naturalist Society geared towards promoting environmental education, is now accepting applications for new schools to join the program.

Schools that participate in GreenKids receive 100 hours of naturalist time per year, funds to build school gardens and nature trails, as well as subsidies for field trips.

Through the program, students have restored streams, built birdhouses and rain barrels, and reduced solid waste in school cafeterias.

Twelve MCPS schools currently participate in the program, and the partnership is accepting applications to admit 10 new schools.

The application is post on

For more information, contact Lisa Alexander at 301-652-9188, ext. 14, or

Education fund accepting nominations for award

The Marian Greenblatt Education Fund is accepting nominations for the 20th-annual Marian Greenblatt awards, given to excellent teachers in Montgomery County.

Three veteran teachers will receive $1,000 awards, while one first-year teacher will receive $500.

For more information and nomination forms, visit

Eat soup, helpUgandan children

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School’s Invisible Children Club is hosting its second annual Soup⁄Bowls fundraiser to raise money for Ugandan children. The event, held at 6 p.m. April 2 at the school, will offer handmade bowls and soup dinners for a $20 donation.

The bowls are handmade in the school’s ceramics studio.

Last year’s event raised more than $3,000 for the Invisible Children Schools-to-Schools campaign, a group dedicated to improving the quality of life for children in war-torn northern Uganda.

For more information, contact Judy Gilbert Levey at (301) 657-9752 or

Bethesda-Chevy Chase is located at 4301 East West Highway, Bethesda.

B-CC mulch sale to support the football team

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School will host a mulch sale at 10 a.m. on April 12 and 13, to support the school’s football team and Booster Club.

The mulch is $5 a bag, and proceeds will help the team buy new equipment.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS is located at 4301 East-West Highway, Bethesda.

For more information or to order mulch ahead of time, contact Michelle Brown

This column is for you and your school community. Share your School Notes about students, teachers and anyone associated with your school. Feel free to send press releases and news tips. Contact Bradford Pearson via e-mail at, phone at 301-280-3003, fax at 301-670-7183, or snail mail at 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.