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Kids reading, traveling on summer break

July 14, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Dylan Barger says there's one major difference between playing school and going to it.

"I don't like school, but I like to play it," said Dylan, 8.

The Pangborn Elementary School student said he's spent most of his summer vacation swimming and teaching his sister in their playtime classroom. Dylan, who will enter third grade in the fall, said he wants to teach first grade when he grows up.

Swimming still ranks as a big summer favorite among some Washington County Public Schools students interviewed at Valley Mall and Potterfield Pool on Sunday, but many talked about camps and places they either plan to go to or already have visited this summer.

Denise Nemcek, 13, who will be an eighth-grader at Western Heights Middle School in the fall, said she just spent a week with her grandparents in Cumberland, Md., and plans to visit Long Island, N.Y., and Alpharetta, Ga.

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Daniel Griffin, 8, who will be a fourth-grader at Winter Street Elementary School in the fall, said he's spent most of his summer swimming and camping, but added that he does his share of running, mostly "away from the ball" in dodge ball.

His cousin Devin Griffin, 11, who will be a seventh-grader at Western Heights Middle School in the fall, said she's enjoyed going on family trips to amusement parks such as Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pa., and Hershey Park in Hershey, Pa., and plans to go to Ocean City, Md.

She's also been catching up on reading while catching some rays. Devin is reading "Where the Heart Is" and just finished "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

For Julia Sutch, 17, summer has meant reading for fun and for school.

Julia, who will be a senior at Williamsport High School in the fall, has been reading books by author Chuck Palahniuk and novels in preparation for an advanced-placement English class she's taking in the fall.

She also has written some short stories and played video games.

Video games also have kept Santana Sanon, 8, busy over the summer, but he has been reading, too, he said.

Santana, who will be a fourth-grader at Bester Elementary School in the fall, scrunched up his nose as he tried to remember the names of the books.

Kristin Evans, 13, who will be an eighth-grader at Northern Middle School in the fall, said she hasn't been doing a lot. She watches Music Television and Black Entertainment Television and "sometimes SpongeBob" SquarePants.

"I baby-sit my cousin and talk about how bored I am," she said.

Amanda Trimmer, 15, who will be a ninth-grader at North Hagerstown High School in the fall, said she has a pool pass to Potterfield Pool and is there pretty often, but after-hours she goes to Barracuda's to dance. She'll start cheerleading next month.

Amanda is not the only one cheering this summer. Kelli Lowman, 13, and Ciara Preston, 11, have been spending their time either going to cheerleading camp or shaking pompoms with their squad, Xtreme Cheer All-Stars.

Their favorite part of summer vacation is a simple synchronized answer: "Hanging out with friends."

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