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Youths train in Harry Potter wizardry

August 05, 2010|By HEATHER LOWERY
  • Fifth-grader Peter Stein takes a bite of his cauldron cake that he made Tuesday in World of Harry Potter class at HCC's College for Kids.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer,

Hagerstown Community College has temporarily become Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for Harry Potter and his young accomplices, who this week are whipping up potions, creating transfigurations and studying divinations.

The youngsters are participating in The World of Harry Potter, one of 70 courses offered this summer through HCC's College for Kids program.

One day this week, Kristina Norgard, 10, was wearing a Hogwarts robe and had brought with her a golden snitch and a stuffed owl named Hedwig.

Kristina, who will be in fifth grade at Paramount Elementary School, said "the golden snitch is what the players try to catch in Quidditch. If you catch the golden snitch, you get 150 points and it basically ends the game, and you win, unless the other team has more points. You can also score points by throwing the quaffle through the keeper. And Hedwig is Harry Potter's owl."

The World of Harry Potter is offered to students entering fourth, fifth and sixth grades. All things Harry Potter are covered by Sheila Mount, a reading specialist at Winter Street Elementary School.

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"I have been teaching this class for six years. We do potions, which are recipes, and transfiguration, which are crafts. The kids also get computer time and get to play games," Mount said.

Mount knows her Harry Potter.

"I have read all of the books and have seen all of the movies," she said.

Her students are up on their Potter info, too.

Kristina noted that the game of Quidditch is played on broomsticks in the air. During the World of Harry Potter week, students play Quidditch, but not Harry Potter's version.

Mount said students play three games at one time -- tag, dodge ball and basketball.

"One game has a snitch go around and the kids try to catch the snitch. Then there is dodge ball, known as beater practice, where the students stop for 20 seconds if they get hit. Then there is a level of pass along, which is like basketball, where you can't move until you pass the ball," Mount said.

Students also make potions -- or recipes. One day, students made cauldron cakes with brownie bites, caramels, milk, crispy rice cereal, mini chocolate chips and licorice whips.

Alex Gwizdala, 9, an incoming fourth-grader at Fountain Rock Elementary School, said he was more than excited to be involved in the World of Harry Potter week.

"I really like potions. I like the stuff that lasts; potions really last. Yesterday, we made sorting hats and chocolate frogs. Right now, I like Quidditch, too," he said.

Alex is up on his Harry Potter trivia and explained that the chocolate frogs were not real frogs.

"In Harry Potter, the frogs are enchanted, but they aren't real. They are chocolate, but they are enchanted to act like real frogs," he said.

Alex said he has read the entire series of Harry Potter books but has seen only the first two movies.

Lily Sanbower, 10, who will be in fifth grade at Summitview Elementary School in Waynesboro, Pa., said she planned to go to the midnight showing Nov. 19 of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part One."

Lily said she looks forward to having fun every day.

"I will have fun playing Quidditch, during trivia time and doing potions," she said.

Lily said she is halfway through the seventh Harry Potter book and has seen all the movies so far.

Abby Nigh, 10, an incoming fifth-grader at Paramount Elementary, said she likes the transfigurations, also known as crafts.

"I like doing them because it's like origami. In Harry Potter, transfigurations are when they turn some things into something else, like animals into cups," she said.

Abby said she plans to continue practicing transfigurations -- the origami kind -- and plans to see the upcoming movie.

Today, parents can view a presentation of posters and potions by the class.

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