Clusters unite students, fun at Meade Madness
May 13, 2011
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (May 12, 2011) -- The future of Meade High School flooded the hallways and gym Saturday morning as more than 450 elementary and middle school students from the Meade High feeder system and their parents attended Meade Madness.
The three-hour event at Meade High featured informational workshops, a faculty basketball game, music, dancing, games and food.
This marked the second year that all of the Meade feeder schools participated in one large event.
"The goal was to have the Meade community come together, and we wanted to have a great time," said Tina Edler, Meade High's Homeland Security lead teacher.
After a brief opening ceremony with remarks from Meade High Principal Daryl Kennedy and Regional Assistant Superintendent Donna Cianfrani, parents and students dispersed to various classrooms to attend 20-minute workshops. Topics varied from domestic violence and teen safety concerns led by an FBI outreach specialist to a college- and career-readiness workshop.
Tammy Washington, mother of Meade Middle School sixth-grader Asyia Poole, participated in the Parental Involvement and Advancement Via Individual Determination sessions.
"I just wanted to attend some of the workshops," she said. "They were very helpful."
After the workshops, participants filled the gym bleachers to watch teachers tip off in a friendly basketball game. Faculty members from the Meade cluster schools, 13 Anne Arundel County schools that feed into Meade High School, participated in the pickup-style game.
Kennedy ditched his business attire for gym shorts and sneakers to play basketball for the first time in nearly three years.
"It was fun just to get the community involved and have a nice game with my colleagues from other schools," he said.
During halftime, the Meade Middle School step team performed.
"I thought they were cool," said Denise Tatum, a fifth-grader at Pershing Hill Elementary.
Informational booths from government agencies such as the National Security Agency and Defense Information Systems Agency were set up outside of the gym. The Anne Arundel Volunteer Center and the Meade High Parent Teacher Student Association also manned tables at the event.
There was plenty of fun and games for the young students. Football and basketball games were set up outdoors. Students also attempted to make history by breaking the Guinness Book of World Records' "most people doing the Cha-Cha Slide at one time." Although the group fell short, Edler said they had fun.
Some teachers and other faculty members of the schools said the event offered many opportunities for students and their parents. Doris Woodruff, a chemistry teacher at Meade High, said the event facilitates communication between the schools in the area.
"There needs to be communication between the schools," she said. "This [event] is completely necessary."
Lesley Burr, a special education resources teacher at Frank Hebron-Harman Elementary School in Hanover, said the event familiarizes students and parents with Meade High.
"I think they can build on this," she said. "There's some really interesting ideas to incorporate elementary, middle and high school and get more kids and more parents involved."
Denise Tatum attended the event with her father, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Larry Tatum of the 32nd Intelligence Squadron, and two siblings.
This was her first visit to the school.
"I think it looks kind of cool," the 12-year-old said.
Meade Madness also offered participants the opportunity to meet students and parents from other schools, Edler said.
"Hopefully, we will continue to build on the relationships between all of the schools," she said. "We are all in the same community, so it just makes sense that we do things together."