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Ellicott City: Harvey maps out winning path in Trinity School's Geographic Bee

Where in the world is Mauritius? Trinity School's Kathryn Harvey would probably know. The seventh-grader correctly answered several rounds of questions to clinch her school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee. This was the first round in the Google-sponsored 24th annual National Geographic Bee with a grand prize of a $25,000 college scholarship at stake. Congratulations to Kathryn and the runner up Gustav Gulmert.

When it's cold outside most people think of a winter coat, hat and scarf. That's not the case with eighth-grader Tyler McVicker. On Saturday, Jan. 28, he's trading his winter coat for a bathing suit to swim in the cold Cheasepeake Bay waters at Sandy Point State Park as part of the 16th annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge.

Tyler, along with thousands of other bathing suit-clad brave souls, will take the plunge to benefit Special Olympics of Maryland. The Burleigh Manor Middle School student is participating in this annual fundraiser as a member of the team Owen United. If you would like to learn more about Maryland's Plungefest or to donate to Tyler's team, go to, click on the "donate" tab, then "sponsor a plunger" link and enter "Tyler McVicker. Good luck, Tyler!

Do you want your kids to be financially literate? Join the Y-Fi Challenge Saturday Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Howard Community College's Kittleman Room in Duncan Hall.

Free to middle and high school students and their parents, the program will give students an opportunity to participate in a "real life" financial decision simulation. Here's how it works: Each participant is given a "career." Then they must find out how much it pays and follow a budget while making decisions about transportation, housing, utilities, food, clothing and more. Although the game is a simulation, participants have a chance to win a real reward: a laptop computer.

For registration information go to To learn more about the Y-Fi Challenge call the sponsor makingCHANGE at 410-446-8635, email them at or go to its Facebook page at The event is sponsored by makingCHANGE and Junior Achievement in partnership with the Howard County Public School System.

If you have musical instruments in your home that you are no longer using, please consider donating them to needy students in our area. The ECHO Project (Every Child Has Opportunities in Music) will collect musical instrument donations Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mt. Hebron High school.

All instruments donations are welcome but violins, violas, cellos and basses are especially needed. Snow date is set for Feb. 11. For more information, email Linda Franke at

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