With colder weather around the corner and the holiday season in full swing, local schools are preparing for their annual winter concerts.

Scotchtown Hills Elementary will have its winter concert, with chorus and instrumental music students performing, on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Two sessions will be held during the day for the student body, and a concert for the parents will be held in the evening.

Eleanor Roosevelt High's Winter Concert is Friday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. in the school's auditorium at 7601 Hanover Parkway in Greenbelt. The concert will feature students in the Roosevelt and symphonic bands, the symphony orchestra, concert orchestra and Roosevelt strings, as well as the women's and chamber choirs.

The students will be performing under the direction of music department faculty.


Submit a Letter to the Editor for the Laurel Leader, Columbia Flier and Howard County Times

The symphony orchestra, concert orchestra and Roosevelt strings are being directed by David Yarbrough. The Roosevelt and symphonic bands are being directed by Sally Wagner. The women's and chamber choirs are being directed by Michele Fowlin.

For more information, call 301-345-5393.

Rotary donates dictionaries

The Rotary Club of Laurel is in the midst of its annual effort to deliver dictionaries to third-graders in Laurel schools.

Third-graders at Scotchtown Hills, Bond Mill, Montpelier and Laurel elementary schools, as well as at St. Mary of the Mills School, have already received their dictionaries from the Dictionary Project, according to Joy Kline, Rotary Club president, and the club will soon be delivering to Oaklands, James Harrison and Deerfield Run elementary schools.

Kline said more than 780 dictionaries were presented to students this year. The Rotary has been participating in the Dictionary Project for about eight years.

"It's a simple little thing, and third-grade, that's an age where the children recognize how thrilling it is to have their own book they can take home and keep," Kline said.

The Dictionary Project is a South Carolina-based nonprofit that prints its own dictionary with maps, measurements, ASL signs, a list of presidents and myriad other information.

"It's a nice book for a third-grader to have," Kline said. "They won't have anything else like it."

Vansville holds annual Winter Bazaar

Vansville Elementary is holding its third annual Winter Bazaar Saturday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the school, 6813 Ammendale Road in Beltsville.

The bazaar is an annual fundraising event, and proceeds will go toward enhancing the school's playground. It is sponsored by the Vansville PTA.

The event will feature vendor showcases, concessions, a book fair, silent auction, a "fluff-n-stuff" animal workshop and holiday songs from the Vansville Chorus.

For more information on the bazaar, visit vansvillepta.org. Potential vendors should contact Kim Lockett at 240-391-8711 or email chrisnkim@msn.com.

Side By Side holds first Family Academy of the year

Side By Side Laurel is holding its first Family Academy of the 2012-13 school year Thursday, Nov. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Deerfield Run Elementary, 13000 Laurel-Bowie Road in Laurel.

The academy is free, and open to parents and students at Bond Mill, Deerfield Run, James Harrison, Laurel, Montpelier, Oaklands and Scotchtown Hills elementary schools.

A pizza dinner will be held from 6 to 6:30 p.m., and parents can choose one of two workshops to attend from 6:45 to 8 p.m.: Preventing Bullying, or What to Know About Gangs. A children's activity — Fun with Optical Illusions — will be held during that time.

For more information, email sidebysidelaurel@sidebysidelaurel.org, or call 202-710-5555.