Students celebrate Black History with poetry slam
Nearly 100 students from kindergarten through fifth grade participated in the fourth annual Poetry Slam in honor of Black History Month at Fairland Elementary School in Silver Spring on Feb. 18.
"I wanted to give students an opportunity to learn or write some great poetry," said first-grade teacher Melanie Cofield, who organized the night of poetry. "I write and perform educational raps for children, many of which deal with character education and black history. Kids like rap music, it's a way of teaching concepts they will retain."
Thirty students performed an original rap Cofield wrote about Rosa Parks. During the song, the students reenacted the bus scene from 1955 where Rosa Parks, an African-American civil rights activist, refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus so a white passenger could sit down. Park's action, for which she was arrested and eventually lost her job, led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a year-long boycott opposing racial segregation on the city's public transportation.
"Students selected a poem written by an African-American poet and memorized their poem, then added in hand gestures, motions, etc., to bring their poem to life. I thought that this poetry slam was a unique way to learn about and celebrate Black History Month," Cofield wrote in an e-mail.
"It's a great opportunity for me to work with children of different levels and [this event] boosts their confidence and self esteem," she said.
Marian Greenblatt teaching award winners announced
Four Montgomery County Public Schools teachers have won awards from the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund. The fund was established in 1988 to commemorate the life of the late Dr. Marian Greenblatt, a teacher and former member of the school board. It is dedicated to recognizing excellence in education.
Three of the winners are finalists for the MCPS Teacher of the Year Award which will be presented as part of the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for education Champions for Children celebration April 27. They are Brian Freiss of Silver Spring, a math teacher at Highland Elementary School in Silver Spring; Peter McAdams of Gaithersburg, an English teacher at Benjamin Banneker Middle School in Silver Spring; and Sharon Moore of Poolesville, a math teacher at Poolesville High School.
Todd Stillman of Rockville, who teaches social studies at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, was selected winner of the Greenblatt Rising-Star Excellence in Teaching Award. The award is given to a first or second-year teacher who shows exceptional promise.
Each of these educators will be interviewed for The Gazette Voices in Education series beginning March 9.
Used prom dresses can dance again at Sherwood High School
The Sherwood High School PTSA is looking for slightly used evening dresses, matching shoes, purses and jewelry donations for its "New to You" prom dress program. The program offers an affordable alternative to traditional prom dress shopping by selling the donated items to students at low prices.
All proceeds from the sales will be used for the school's After Prom Event which provides a fun, safe, alcohol free environment for students to continue celebrating their prom night. A drop-off box is in the main office of the school, located at 300 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Sandy Spring. Call 301-924-3200.
Meetings planned for parents of children with learning disabilities
The Learning Disabilities Association of Montgomery County sponsors a monthly support group for parents of children with learning disabilities, the Parent Connection. This month's meeting will be held at 7 p.m. March 9 at Flower Valley Elementary School, 4615 Sunflower Drive, Rockville. Bonnie Massimino, a consultant with extensive knowledge of learning disabilities will share her insights with parents.
Spring dates for the group's meetings, also at 7 p.m. at Flower Valley Elementary School, are April 20, May 18 and June 15. Childcare for young children is available with advance reservations. Call 301-933-1076 or visit www.ldamc.org.
Thinking of teaching? Career change seminar planned
The Johns Hopkins School of Education is holding information sessions for individuals interested in pursuing a teaching career in Montgomery County Public Schools. The sessions, from 4 to 5 p.m. tonight and April 5 and from 10 a.m. to noon May 14, will be held at the school's Rockville campus, 9601 Medical Center Drive.
Applicants can choose between two 18-month immersion programs, each leading to a master's degree and Maryland teaching certification. For more information visit teach.jhu.edu or call Jim Campbell, 410-516-5588. To RSVP for information sessions visit http://hb.education.jhu.edu/infosessions.cfm.
Education Notebook accepts news items and photographs about events, people and good news at your school. Please send us story ideas at least a week in advance of the event. Contact Peggy McEwan at pmcewan@gazette.
net, fax at 301-670-7183 or 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD, 20877.