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 and/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.
Silhouette Stages will hold auditions for "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 15-16 at Slayton House Theater, 10400 Cross Fox Lane in Columbia. Actors/singers 18 and older of all ethnic backgrounds are needed. For auditions prepare 16-32 bars of an up-tempo vocal selection in a classic or pop musical theater style and bring sheet music in appropriate key or karaoke CD. Piano accompanist will be provided. Be prepared to read from a script.
Gallery panel members
Slayton House Gallery has been renamed the Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House in honor of the recently retired gallery director. Carole Black has been named director. Applications for the gallery's screening committee are being accepted. For an application, go to wildelake.org. Send completed forms to: Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, 21044. Deadline is Sept. 1.
Donations of books, records, DVDs, CDs, videos, etc., are needed for the annual media sale at Shepherd of the Glen Lutheran Church, 14551 Burntwoods Road in Glenwood. Items can be left inside the church and on the plastic bench next to the side door of the building. Tax forms available. Information: 410-442-2475.
Teen advisory committees
The Columbia Association is recruiting youth, ages 11-19, to become members of its Middle School and Teen Advisory Committees. The association is looking for teens who want to make a difference, get involved in their community and be a part of the solution. As members of the committee, teens can create and implement events and programs for their peers. Past activities have included the Teen Idol Competition, Teen Role Model Competition, Battle of the Dance, charity fundraisers, Teen Tuesdays concerts at the lakefront, a free college fair, Save the Planet Day and more. Information: 410-715-5523.
The Howard County Conservancy seeks Wednesday morning drop-in gardening volunteers to help maintain thematic and native plant gardens on the property. All levels of experience are welcome. Call Chris Garbart at 410-465-8877 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County hosts monthly disaster volunteer information and orientation sessions to inform community members on how to plan, prepare and effectively serve in times of disaster to improve community preparedness and resiliency. Sessions will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18 and Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Columbia Association Headquarters, 10221 Wincopin Circle in Columbia. To register and for more information, call 410-715-3179.
A Howard County construction project to replace a water main along Ducketts Lane, between U.S. 1 and Kyle Leaf Court in Elkridge, is under way. The project will include the installation of approximately 14,000 linear feet of PVC pipe. Construction will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays with a minimal effect on traffic in the area. Signs will be in place to advise motorists. Weather permitting, the project should be completed by late September. Information: 410-313-3440.
Calling all artists!
The Howard County Arts Council is accepting submissions for Art HoCo 2011. If you are a visual artist, 18 or older, who lives, works or studies in Howard County, you are eligible to apply to this biennial juried exhibit. The juror will be David Gracyalny, dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies at Maryland Institute College of Art. For entry forms and more information, call 410-313-2787. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26.
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 and along stream banks of the conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock. Information: 410-465-8877 or go to hcconservancy.org.