Eighteen teams of double-dutch jump ropers from District schools traveled this summer to the World Invitational championship in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Competing against 160 others from across the country, one local team placed in the top four.
Not surprisingly, it was the varsity team at Brown Junior High School in Northeast, the same foursome that captured first place in a citywide competition earlier in the year.
Team members Keeoda Patterson, Stephanie Williams, Nicole Givons and Tasheika Taylor placed fourth for their 30- to 60-second freestyle performances to songs and chants.
Keeoda, who has been jumping double-dutch for five years, said the team's routine includes at least one frog hop, which requires doing a handstand between jumps while the ropes are turning.
The team practices two hours a day during the school year.
Keeoda said the best thing about double dutch is "the team spirit . . . even if we don't win."
But placing fourth was exciting this year, she said, because TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey handed out the trophies.
School PR Conference
Five public relations professionals from the D.C. public schools' communications office attended the annual National School Public Relations Association's conference in Washington last month.
The conference brought together 600 people in the field for five days of workshops and seminars, and a keynote address by Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder.
The five included Angela Aiken, Gloria Henderson, Cheryl Johnson, Patricia Lambe and Bradley Green.
Golfer's Dream Journey
A month of playing the best golf courses in England was a dream come true for Stevie Volchko, 18, of Woodley Park.
Volchko, who will be a senior this fall at St. Anselm's Abbey School, was one of eight youths selected to participate in an annual four-week golf exchange between Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., and Stowe Academy in Stowe, England. The exchange has been held every summer for 20 years.
Participants stay with English families and at various boarding schools. During the most strenuous part of their stay this year, the U.S. team played 19 courses in 19 days.
Volchko's most memorable shot? "At Royal St. Georges. The course is right on the English Channel, and there are no trees. The wind was blowing at 50 miles per hour . . . . I hit an unbelievable shot downwind."
Volchko started playing golf when he was a preschooler and dreams of playing professionally.
He grew up playing with his parents and brother Eddie on Congressional Golf Course. He is on his high school golf team and practices every day during the summer. When not on the green, Volchko plays basketball, runs cross country and is a summer intern in Vice President Quayle's Senate office.
Local Activist Honored
Robert Bates, a resident of Kingman Park since 1927, recently was honored by elected officials and community leaders in Northeast for his work as an activist in Ward 6. Bates, 84, was the founder of the Struggle for Equality and the Fair Housing in the District organizations.
The two groups were organized in the early 1960s to lobby and protest racial inequality in public schools and housing. Bates started the groups when he was working on the H Street Project Area Committee charged with overseeing the reconstruction of the H Street corridor after the 1968 riots. Bates was chairman from 1970 to 1978.
In that role, Bates helped plan a 93-unit HUD-funded complex at 15th Street and Benning Road NE. The apartment complex was named Azeeze-Bates in honor of Bates and Abdullah Azeeze, who succeeded Bates as chairman of the H Street Project Area Committee.
A retired U.S. Postal supervisor, Bates also was active in the Kingman Park Civic Association, serving as its president and vice president for seven years. Last month, well-wishers gathered at a ceremony at St. Benedict the Moor Church to honor Bates.