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Ellicott City: Stories and music come together in Girl Scout project

By Lisa Regnante

July 11, 2012

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The girls have been friends since elementary school, where they all played the clarinet in the school band.

They continued their friendship and their love of music throughout their middle school years as members of the school band and Girl Scout Troop 549.

This summer, Girl Scouts Nina Parekh, Bushra Lohrasbi and Jinia Sarkar will combine their love of music and children to undertake an ambitious community service project to earn their Girl Scout Silver Award, a program that requires leadership skills and 50 hours of community work.

The project involves making CD recordings of children's books for sick kids at Howard County General Hospital, recording a total of eight books.

These are no ordinary storybook recording. The Girl Scouts, now raising ninth graders at Centennial High School, will use their music skills to record background music and special effects.

In addition, each girl will play multiple book characters using different voices to make the story come alive.

The CD recordings, along with the written books, will be donated to the hospital. Some of the CD/book combinations will reside in the children's emergency room waiting room, while the others will be offered to the families of sick children to take home.

Good luck Nina, Bushra and Jinia! What a thoughtful project.

Clark Elioak Farm is a busy place.

This weekend Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, is Trusty the Tractor Weekend. Meet Martha Clark, the author of the children's book, "Trusty the Tractor." Clark will be available for book signings and personalized book inscriptions.

Next week on Tuesday, July 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. Clark Elioak will host a foodie and locavore favorite, the third annual Howard County Film "Feastival" — a celebration of the local food movement in Howard County highlighting the connection between Howard County farms, restaurants, food producers and the community.

The Film "Feastival" begins with an array of food samples prepared by local restaurants including Aida Bistro & Wine Bar, Bistro Blanc, Eggspectation, the Mango Grove, Lisbon Town Grill and the Woodstock Inn.

The food samples will serve as a sneak peak of the upcoming Howard County Farm-2-Table Restaurant Weeks July 18-Aug. 6.

In addition, a Farmer's Market will be available to purchase Howard County farm produce and products including Clark's 100 percent grass-fed beef, local cheese, honey, fruits, vegetables and jellies.

After sampling the delicious local foods, enjoy the featured film, "American Meats." The new documentary illustrates America's grassroots revolution in sustainable meat production through the eyes of the farmers.

The Film "Feastival" cost is $5 with proceeds going toward Farmers Market coupons for families in need. Registration is required at http://www.hceda.org/agriculture. Registration is limited. The event is a joint effort of the Clark Elioak Farm, the Agricultural Marketing Program of the Howard County Economic Development Authority, Howard County Tourism and Promotion and the University of Maryland Extension.

While we're on the topic of local foods, Clark's Produce Stand is now open for the season. it will operate seven days a week until Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Located across from the Iron Bridge Wine Company, the roadside stand will feature an assortment of seasonally farm fresh fruits and vegetables including sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, eggplant, blackberries, peaches, watermelon and cantaloupe. They also offer cut-your-own flowers and herbs.

Go to their website at http://www.clarklandfarm.com. <

Big news at Trinity School. The Marion I. and Henry J. Knotts Foundation granted the school a technology grant in the amount of $81,000.

According to the school, the award will "be used to upgrade the school's network infrastructure, install wireless internet service, provide upgrades to the middle school computer lab and assist in the development of Trinity's tablet initiative."

The Trinity Technology Advisory Committee, consisting of parent volunteers including Christopher Adams (Solutions Architect at Hewlett Packard), Evan Padousis (Director of IT at KPSS Inc.) and Richard Bestany (Owner of Allegian Systems), will assist the school as it launches its technology upgrades.

Mark Thompson, chairman of Trinity's Board of Trustees, said, "This grant is another step to providing our students and teachers with 21st Century curriculum and digital devices."

Trinity School is an independent, Catholic, pre-school, primary and middle school at 4985 Ilchester Road.