Students have been back to school for just over a month, but already Amy Syversen, director of bands at Dayton Oaks Elementary School, is proud to name a scale star. Students are rewarded for each scale played by memory, and receive additional recognition for achieving memorization of all scales on their scale sheet.

In September, third-grader Gracen Alsheimer mastered the B flat and E flat concert scales on the alto saxaphone. Something tells me that Gracen may have been doing some practicing over the summer. Keep up the great work and I hope to share other scale star names soon.

I know that many people believe in spring cleaning, but in my house we live by fall cleaning. After spending most of our summer hours outside, it is time to turn some attention back to the inside of the house. With winter holidays quickly approaching (seems hard to believe), it is time to put my house back in order after a summer of neglected housework.

As you may be clearing out the house and doing some of your own fall cleaning, keep in mind that Poplar Springs United Methodist Church Thrift Shop gladly accepts donations of gently used clothing and kitchen supplies. If you are looking to restock, these items are also available for sale.


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The shop has new hours this fall – open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. The store also offers a bag sale the last full weekend of each month, plus seasonal sales. For more information, call the thrift shop at 410-489-6258

The National Spanish Honor Society at Glenelg High School is currently sponsoring a "jean drive," The group is collecting new or gently used pairs of jeans for boys in Honduras. These boys range in age from 12 to 18. Go through your closets and donate any new or gently used jeans. You will make a difference in the life of these students in Honduras. Donations can be left with Dianne Barnoski in the school's front office by Oct. 31.

Howard County Police will be offering several sessions of its Collision Avoidance Training course for teens this fall. Collision Avoidance Training is a defensive driving and vehicle control program for teens developed by the National Traffic Safety Academy.

Participants will receive classroom training on a Friday evening, then on Saturday, participants buckle into their own vehicles and gain valuable on-the-road experience. Sessions will be offered Oct. 21 and 22, Nov. 18 and 19 and Dec. 9 and 10.

During the two-day course, adapted from law enforcement training, teens learn how to handle their vehicles in any situation. Designed for new drivers who need more specialized experience on the road, Collision Avoidance Training teaches hands-on techniques for evasive maneuvers, emergency braking, cornering, backing, skid recovery, steering, acceleration and more.

The course is offered at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center, 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville. The price is just $95 for this valuable experience. Meals for the participants are donated by Browning Reagle Insurance Agency. Additional program support is donated by the Howard County Police Foundation.

Participants must be ages 16 to 19, possess a valid Maryland driver's license and bring a vehicle to drive during the practical exercises. For more information about CAT or to sign up, call 410-313-3758 and leave a message. Space is limited. A video about the course is available on the Howard County Police Department Facebook page here.

Town and Country Auto Repair, on Ten Oaks Road, will be hosting a Ladies Car Care Clinic Saturday, Oct. 8 from noon to 2 p.m. Are you unsure about what questions to ask when you take your care to the shop, or even when your car needs to go in for a 'check-up'? This clinic is the perfect opportunity for ladies to learn everything they need to know about car care.

You will learn about tire pressure and tread depth, fluids and oil, signs that brakes give you, how to clean battery posts and how to jump start a vehicle, what emergency items should always be kept in the vehicle in case of breakdown, as well as a basic understanding of automobile systems, so that you can be well informed and knowledgeable about your automotive needs.

For more information or to register for this workshop, call Town and Country at 410-531-2493.