It's the end of January and the Howard County School System is talking about kindergarten next fall. Will your child be 5 years old by Sept. 1? If so, he or she will be starting kindergarten and I am sure you have many questions.

Good thing the school system will hold parent informational meetings throughout the county. The one closest to us will be at Hammond Middle School on Feb. 5, starting at 6:30 p.m. The school is at 8110 Aladdin Drive in North Laurel.

Child care is offered for children over 2. For more information on kindergarten registration or to find out how to apply for a waiver for your child, go to the website at http://www.hcpss.org/schools/kindergarten/.

Hammond High School's principal, Marcy Leonard, is holding a Lemonade with Ms. Leonard night on Monday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m. This is a chance for parents, students and any interested community members to learn how Hammond has progressed towards the school improvement goals, as well as the administration's view on the school's strengths and weaknesses. This will be hosted by the PTSA and will be held in the cafeteria.


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Mark your calendars for the monthly Saturday night at the movies at the North Laurel Community Center. The movie will be "Smurfs" and it will be on Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. Cost is $2 for members and $4 for non-members. Children under 5 are free but everyone must be registered to attend. Registration is required by calling 410-313-0390. The community center is at 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road.

Gorman Crossing has some very smart financial advisers. The team known as the Bankers won first place by the Maryland Council on Economic Education in the regional elementary school stock market game. This includes all schools in the Central Maryland and D.C. areas. The team consists of Kimberly Ho, Shelby Lechner and Karl Malicdem.

A Howard County nonprofit, Making Change, will offer Volunteer Income Tax Assistance at the North Laurel-Savage MultiService Center through the tax season.

The nonprofit will offer free tax preparation to most people making up to $50,000 last year. It will also offer free electronic filing.

Preparers will be available Monday and Wednesday, 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments can be made at 410-880-5917. The center is at 9900 Washington Blvd. (Route 1). The website is http://www.makingchangecenter.org/VITA.htm.

AARP is also provide tax services for low and moderate income earners at the North Laurel Community Center on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 6 p.m. To schedule your appointment, call 410-313-0380.

Happy belated birthday wishes to Sarah Blough, Laura Yingling and Kathy Harris. I hope you enjoyed your birthdays.