Child fair rescheduled
"Children on Board," Howard County's annual Preschool/Child Care Information Fair sponsored by the Office of Children's Services, has been rescheduled and will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 4, at Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane in Clarksville. The event will provide parents, guardians, grandparents and child-care personnel with information on child care and preschool programs. Representatives from community service organizations will also attend. Admission is free; attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item for the Howard County Food Bank. Information: 410-313-1940.
The annual "Black Saga" competition will be held Saturday, Feb. 11, at Veterans Elementary School, 4355 Montgomery Road in Ellicott City. "Black Saga" is an academic challenge focusing on African-American history that involves students from county elementary and middle schools. The middle-school opening ceremony begins at 9:15 a.m. and competition concludes with an awards presentation at 11:30 a.m. Elementary competition begins at 1 p.m. and concludes with an awards ceremony at 3 p.m.
Winning teams will move to state competitions beginning in March, where they compete against students from other school systems. Snow date is Feb. 25.
The Howard County Genealogical Society meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Ellicott City Senior Center, 9401 Frederick Road. Dottie Aleshire will present "Are You Ready for the U.S. 1940 Census?" After a 72-year mandatory waiting period, these records will be made available to the public on April 2. An informal workshop takes place at 7 p.m. with a help table, browsing table and surname file table. Admission is free. Information: 410-730-7917.
Registration is open for Howard County Youth Program's upcoming season for girls 6-17 years old. The league is for all girls, from beginners to experienced players. Practices begin in March, and league play starts in early April. To register, or for more information, go to hcyp.org.
The public school system's Office of Early Childhood Programs and the Transition to Kindergarten Workgroup will host a workshop for parents with children who will be 5 by Sept. 1 and will enter kindergarten in the fall. The workshop will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, at Hammond Middle School, 8110 Aladdin Drive, Laurel. No registration is required, and the session is free. Child care is available.
Tickets are available for the Columbia Jewish Congregation's annual film series, continuing Saturday, Feb. 11, with "The Infidel." All screenings take place at the Columbia Jewish Congregation, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Room 200. Tickets are $24 for the remaining three films, or $17 for two showings. Single tickets will be available at the door for $9. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; screenings begin at 8 p.m. Refreshments and post-film discussion included. Information: 410-381-4809, 410-997-0694 or SBloch@comcast.net.
Exhibition of oil, pastel and watercolor paintings by regional artists is on view through Feb. 24 at the Artists' Gallery, American City Building, 10227 Wincopin Circle in Columbia. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays. Gallery is also open by appointment. Information: 410-740-8249 or artistsgallerycolumbia.com.
Tax assistance site
The county's first Volunteer Income Tax Assistance office has opened at the North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, and will remain in operation throughout the tax season. The site offers free tax assistance preparation and free electronic filing to most taxpayers who earned up to $49,000 last year. Hours are 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. For appointments and more information, call 410-313-0386 or go to howardcountymd.gov/vita.htm. This year's tax-filing deadline is April 17.
Call for artists
The Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House is accepting applications for artists to exhibit in the galleries for the 2013 season. The Gallery Screening Committee will begin reviewing applications in the spring. Deadline for applications is June 1. For applications and more information, go to wildelake.org. Mail applications to gallery director Carole Black at Bernice Kish Gallery, Slayton House, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, 21044; or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration is under way for a practice SAT being held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Vantage House, 5400 Vantage Point Road in Columbia. The American Association of University Women is sponsoring this event to promote higher education for middle- and high school students; the cost is $15 for the practice SAT and a follow-up strategy session from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 3. Princeton Review will conduct the sessions, with all proceeds going to the association's philanthropic funds. Refreshments will be served. Registration is required. Register online at princetonreview.com/events or call 800-273-8439. Bring a check made out to AAUW Howard County on the morning of the test or mail it before Feb. 4 to Jennifer Ingram, 5570 Vantage Point Road, Unit 1, Columbia, 21044.
Vendor applications are being accepted for the annual GreenFest, to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 14 at Howard Community College's Burrill Galleria, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Vendors and exhibitors with information on green products, ecological home cleaning and lawn care, alternative energy, water conservation and reuse, and tips for greening everyday activities are encouraged to apply. Other topics of interest include energy efficiency, green buildings, green consumer products, green landscaping, wildlife exploration, children's activities and information on local green organizations. Each exhibit space includes a 5-foot table and two chairs. Cost to nonprofits is $25 per space; $35 for others. An additional $10 late-application fee now also applies. Preference will be given to local businesses and organizations that promote environmentally friendly goods and services. Applications are available at hcgreenfest.org. Information and applications: Lindsay DeMarzo, 410-313-4374 or email@example.com.
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Howard County offers several support groups each month. Sessions include groups for family and friends of adults with a mental illness, groups for parents of school-age children with mental health issues, a group for young adults (18-30) living with a mental illness and a weekly group for adults of any age living with a mental illness. For times and locations, call 410-772-9300 or go to nami.org/sites/namihowardcounty.
A-OK (Assist Our Kids) Mentoring-Tutoring Inc. seeks adult volunteers to work in Howard County public schools and in after-school programs. Volunteers may work with individual students or small groups during and after school. Volunteers are asked to commit for one hour a week for a minimum of one school year. Among the schools the organization is associated with are Atholton, Bryant Woods, Cradlerock, Longfellow, Phelps Luck, Running Brook and Stevens Forest elementary schools, along with several new partner schools in North Laurel. Information: 410-730-6030 or 410-740-3850.
The Howard County Conservancy offers free guided hikes and talks on the second Saturday of the month. Visitors can enjoy an easy walk in the meadows and woods of the conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock. Information: 410-465-8877 or go to hcconservancy.org.
The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks has received a $30,000 grant from the National Recreational Trails Program Fund. The grant will be used for the renovation of the Village of Owen Brown's pedestrian pathway system. Howard County will provide $30,000 in matching funds, along with any remaining funds needed.
Renovations will consist of repaving the 3,909-foot pathway that serves the Owen Brown Community Center, Owen Brown Interfaith Center, Owen Brown Village Shopping Center, Cradlerock School, the Howard County Library's East Columbia branch, and the Southwick and Elkhorn housing communities. Completion is expected this summer. Information: 410-313-2022.
Kindred Spirits, a social club for people diagnosed with early memory loss or dementia, will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays in the 50+ Center at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center at Glenwood. Highlights include speakers, discussion of current events, yoga, meditation and art therapy. A daily fee of $26 includes snacks, lunch, coffee and tea. The program is sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Maryland. Information: Judy Miller at 410-313-5441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Habitat for Humanity and the Boy Scouts of America have placed a collection bin for aluminum cans at the entrance to the parking lot of Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church, 6410 Amherst Ave., in Allview Estates. Information: 410-997-4949.
Recycle old TVs
The Howard County Bureau of Environmental Services reminds residents to recycle electronic devices rather than throw them away. Dropoff locations include the Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Area, 2350 Marriottsville Road. The facility is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and accepts TVs, computers, keyboards, printers, scanners, laptops, VCRs, radios and other electronics. Also, Best Buy's Customer Take-Back Program allows customers to bring in old TVs (32 inches or smaller) at no charge. Offer limited to two televisions per person per day. Console televisions are not accepted.
The Southeast Howard County Health Services Directory, a guide to resources near North Laurel and Savage, is available free at the North Laurel-Savage Multiservice Center, 9900 Washington Blvd. The directory includes listings of clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, general and family practices, dentists, obstetricians and gynecologists, transportation providers and crisis contacts. The guide also indicates whether Spanish and Korean are spoken at the facility, as well as the address, contact information and hours of operation. Hours and information: 410-880-5917.
Panel seeks members
The Secondary Language Arts Advisory Committee seeks new members. The committee consists of teachers, administrators, students, parents and other community members who advise, support and advocate for the improvement of educational programs. Meetings will take place four times during the school year at a central location. Information: 410-313-6620.
The Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network, 5999 Harpers Farm Road, Suite 200-E, Columbia, needs Spanish-speaking volunteers to greet clients, answer basic questions, make appointments and support the staff. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday; other times may be considered. Information: 410-992-1923, ext. 14.