A record was set when Clarksville Elementary students jumped for one minute with 300,265 other people from all over the world. They smashed the old record of 20,245. You can learn more about this healthy event at http://www.kidsblog.nationalgeographic.com/lets-jump-community. Many thanks to Ruth Huffman for sharing the results of the students' effort.

What? Your kids are already bored with all those new toys? Maybe it's time for a novel family outing back to a time when things in this area were not at all as today.

As now, the country was at war, but not in a faraway land. We were at war with ourselves and speaking your mind might land you in a jail cell. Folks were not looking forward to the New Year 1862. Come meet John Wilkes Booth, Harriet Tubman and Clara Barton at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore Dec. 29-31 and you could win a free luncheon at the museum for 12 or dinner for four at Potbelly's. Go to http://www.mdhs.org for details or call 410-685-3750.

HC DrugFree surveyed teens. The teen responses may be exaggerated somewhat, but the results are probably more accurate than most parents suspect and they are appalling.


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The easiest place to get illegal alcohol (and many drugs) is at home. On the other hand, the greatest deterrent to underage drinking and drug usage is parental attitude and that of peers.

HC DrugFree's goal is to keep our youth drug and alcohol free. None of us want our children or grandchildren to become negative statistics. Consider your actions and the contents of your home. Consider a tax-deductible donation to HC DrugFree in your child's name today.

Happy birthday to Nadine Hines. I can't tell you what surprises husband Kevin and children Sammy and Steven have in store for her Dec. 31, but I can tell you that Nadine is a proud jazz mom. Steven plays in the Glenelg High jazz band. I'm hearing lots of good things about the quality of music at Glenelg High. Check out local high schools when seeking entertainment.

The Atholton Raiders hockey team is currently 4-0. The Marriotts Ridge team is also 4-0. The two will meet at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel Jan. 6 at 4:50 p.m. Admission is free. Come watch some great hockey.

Atholton's opponents for the rest of the season are: Reservoir, Jan. 10, 4 p.m. in Laurel; Long Reach, Jan. 16, 3 p.m., in Laurel; Cetennial, Jan. 26, 3 p.m., in Columbia; Mt. Hebron, Feb. 2, 3 p.m., in Columbia; and Marriotts Ridge, Feb. 3, 4:50 p.m., in Laurel.

The Walton's daughter Julie and husband Rick Williams brought the kids to Maryland for Thanksgiving. Their son Randy flew in from Panama City, Fla. Rick's daughter Tracie Williams rode the mega bus from New York. A wonderful Thanksgiving was had by all. Anne Margaret enjoyed giving the boys rides on the big Massey Ferguson. Jack and Randy can hardly wait to be old enough to try that on their own. The visit ended with a family photo session.

Margaret sends thanks to Helen and Keith Kozak for feeding and keeping Annie much of the time. Annie loves being with Haydn and Sean rather than supervising young twin brothers.

Be sure to call or email to share your family comings and goings as you all celebrate Christmas and the winter break from school.

The River Hill High School PTSA is offering SAT prep classes in both math and critical reading/writing. Register by Jan. 13 for Saturday classes running from the last week of Jan through mid March, Tuesdays and Thursdays. After School classes run from February through early April. Register by Feb. 1. Do not delay. Space is limited. Go to http://www.riverhill.org, email Tswygert@verizon.net or call 301-395-9728 for costs and more details.

RHHStival 2012, Howard County's largest Rock Festival will be held Jan. 14 from 6 to 11 p.m. Each year the River Hill music department produces an alternative Rock music festival featuring students from schools throughout HCPSS. Come hear local rock bands and emerging talent. Tickets will be sold at the door for $10.