Grange Elementary students show gratitude with art
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 11:16

Association donates Easter eggs to Grange

by Nicole Rodman

    This past spring, a cancelled Easter egg hunt became a learning opportunity for students at Grange Elementary School — thanks to the Eastfield-Stanbrook Civic Association (ESCA).
    Each year, the group holds an Easter egg hunt for community children in the gym at Grange Elementary School.
    Along with the hunt itself, the annual event usually features a number of festivities, including karaoke, games, crafts, face painting and a visit from the Easter Bunny.
    As in years past, ESCA began preparing for the event early in the spring.
    The group obtained more than a thousand plastic eggs and the treats to fill them, securing donations from businesses such as Mars Supermarkets, Wal-Mart, BJ’s Warehouse Club, Costco, Giant and Redner’s Warehouse Market.
    Preparation for the Easter egg hunt was well underway by the time the association found out it could not hold the event at the school.
    “Grange called to say that they were having work done on the school, the roof was being replaced and other work during the spring break, and we could not use inside the school,” ESCA president Karen Cruz told The Eagle.
    As she noted, “We were already in the planning stage of the Easter Egg Hunt and had approximately 1,200 filled eggs.”
    With so many plastic Easter eggs already on hand, Cruz and the association decided to put a new spin on the egg hunt tradition and donate the eggs to the school so that each class could have their own egg hunt.
    Accepting the donated Easter eggs, teachers at the school got to work incorporating the treats into their lesson plans.
    According to Tara Wilkins, assistant principal of Grange Elementary,  each class in the school received a number of the candy-filled eggs to incorporate into lessons with students.
  

One teacher used the eggs to teach probability (students guessed what kind of candy could be in the eggs).
    Another teacher used the treats to reinforce the concept of division.
    While the donated eggs became a learning opportunity for students at Grange, teachers at the school also took the opportunity to teach their students lessons in composition and gratitude as well.
    Students in almost every class wrote a letter of gratitude to ESCA, decorating their carefully created cards with colorful drawings.
    For the kindergarten students, teachers had the children sign a pre-printed card.
    In one letter, a student named Ally wrote of her appreciation not only for ESCA’s Easter egg donation but for their work cleaning up the local area.
    “Thank you for all the time, energy and effort you put in to help make our community a better and cleaner place to live,” she wrote.
    As Ally’s letter noted, ESCA has done more for the school and community than just donating Easter eggs.
    This past spring, association member Patricia Paul, who is also on the Baltimore County War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee, represented the community group at the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Night event at Grange.
    In addition, Paul and the community association helped secure a trip to Fort McHenry for intermediate students at Grange Elementary this fall.
    “The community has been a strong supporter of the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail,” Cruz explained, adding, “Through this connection, Grange Elementary School was selected to participate in the Young Defenders Program at Fort McHenry in September.”
    As part of the Young Defenders Program, students from Grange will spend the day at Fort McHenry.
    During the event, students will get the chance to experience the fort as it would have been during the War of 1812.
    With the help of more than 100 re-enactors and guides, students will learn all about life during the 19th century, serving on a mock cannon crew and learning about African-Americans who defended the fort.
    Calling the program a “great opportunity” for students, Wilkins noted that one Grange teacher even went through extensive training through the Young Defenders program in order to effectively teach related lessons to students.
    Aside from their work with Grange Elementary, ESCA is also busy promoting Stansbury Park’s participation in the Coca-Cola Take it to the Park Contest.
    Featured in an article in the June 27 issue of The Dundalk Eagle, residents can vote online for their favorite community park now through Monday, July 15.
    To cast a vote, visit the web at http://coke.com.parks/.