St. Philip's Episcopal helps organize holiday dinners for many [Old Town Laurel]

Laurel Leader

Students have just two more days of school work to push through before they get to enjoy winter break, celebrate Christmas and New Year’s and spend time with loved ones. The members of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church have seen to it that they are well fortified for the festivities.

The Main Street church is providing all of the fixings for a holiday meal plus pantry staples to help 47 families stay well fed during the break. Twenty of those families have students at Laurel Elementary School, where more than 80 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced -price meals. The other 27 families have students at Laurel High School or Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School.

This is the ninth consecutive year that St. Philip’s has provided holiday groceries for area students. School staff members identified the families in need. Parishioners donated nonperishable food items, county Councilwoman Mary Lehman donated reusable grocery bags and Laurel Meat Market provided a turkey and produce items at cost. Bravo to the members of St. Philip’s and their partners for this important support for families during winter break.

The students at St. Mary of the Mills School have earned their winter break with as busy as they’ve been in the first half of the school year. The school’s Walk for the Homeless in October raised more than $400 for Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services. This month, students created care packages for new mothers that will be distributed through Gabriel Network.

St. Mary’s, in partnership with Terrapin STEM Camp, opened its doors as a host school on Nov. 8 as part of the third annual Maryland STEM Festival. About 60 guests participated in activities related to the theme “DNA: It’s What Makes Me…Me!” Students in the school’s MathCounts program competed in November in the statewide middle school Mathalon competition. St. Mary’s was also honored recently by the Knights of Columbus Patuxent Council 2203 for the school’s its service to students with intellectual disabilities.

Earlier this month, eight St. Mary’s students were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, including: Christen Sellers, Sydnee Washington, Josephine Wu, Timothy Cronin, Adrianna Monzon-Osorio, Cassidy Vines, Briana Battle and Kiara Planta.

The Laurel Museum’s 2017 exhibit on World War I just closed, but the Laurel Historical Society is busy planning for its 2018 exhibit.

We the People: How Civic Engagement Has Shaped Laurel” is slated to open in February. The LHS is looking for objects, memorabilia, photographs and stories related to efforts to impact the Laurel community through both political and nonpolitical means. Topics that are expected to be covered in the exhibit include: the movement to stop the Redskins from coming to Laurel, Save Our Stop, the integration of the city’s schools and housing, preservation efforts and the controversy over the name of the Laurel Branch Library during its move. If you have something to share related those or other civic engagement efforts, please contact the LHS at info@laurelhistoricalsociety.org or 301- 725-7975.

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