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Central Carroll: CCPS event looking at difficulties facing students; Black History Month at McDaniel College

On Feb. 20, the Zuzu African Acrobats will perform at McDaniel College. This five-person Kenyan acrobatic act previously performed on “America’s Got Talent.”
On Feb. 20, the Zuzu African Acrobats will perform at McDaniel College. This five-person Kenyan acrobatic act previously performed on “America’s Got Talent.”(McDaniel College/Courtesy photo)

On Thursday, Feb. 13, Carroll County Public Schools will sponsor a community night designed to give parents and families the tools they need to survive and thrive in the world we live in today.

The event, called “Navigating Difficult Waters Together: Supporting, Empowering, and Communicating with Today’s Youth,” will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Winters Mill High School, at 560 Gorsuch Road in Westminster.

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When asked how the event came about, Jim Rodriguez, supervisor of health and physical education for CCPS, said it was a combination of things.

“When speaking with administrators, counselors, in-house supervisors and teachers — all those stakeholders — we started to see that we have some students who are turning to negative coping strategies. We decided we really need to provide something for the community, and also demonstrate to them that we have a lot of resources available,” he said.

Rodriguez stressed that this event is for all.

“We welcome you. We invite you. We want you to come,” he said. “We want to eliminate the barriers so you can attend. That is why we have [free] childcare available. This is for any family. It is for the family who might be in distress, but it is also to be proactive, so you know where to turn to if you do encounter these things. It will put you in a good place.”

At the community night, guest speakers will share solid information about communication with your child, internet safety, and anxiety and depression. A panel of CCPS students will discuss the importance and impact of courageous conversations, and a county commissioner will share a personal family story of addiction. Afterward, resources from a list of community agencies will be available.

According to Rodriguez, Amy Laugelli from the Carroll County Health Department will speak on communicating with your child on various topics, to open up a pathway.

Joe Dugan, an internet safety specialist with Maryland State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force, will cover communicating with a child regarding internet safety. School representatives Kim Muniz and Amy Jagoda will talk about anxiety and depression. Then, attendees will hear a personal story from Commissioner Eric Bouchat.

“The last portion will include our student voices,” Rodriguez said. “The intent is to have preteens and teens speaking to the audience about the importance of communication. We want the crowd to hear this from the perspective of a teenager. Then there will be time for parents to navigate the vendors and the community resources we’ll have available. They can ask questions, interact, and pick up brochures and information.”

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Look for a long list of vendors on hand, including the Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County, the Department of Social Services, the Carroll County Health Department, the Youth Services Bureau, Access Carroll, the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster, the Suicide Hope-Line, and many more.

“We want to provide resources for all of these areas,” Rodriguez said.

For more information, call 410-751-3056. The snow date is Wednesday, March 18.

McDaniel celebrates Black History Month

McDaniel College has scheduled three events in honor of Black History Month. The first event, called “Got to Learn the Blues: A Celebration of African American Culture,” took place on Feb. 4, but two more remain. Both are free and open to all.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, meet the Zuzu African Acrobats at 7 p.m. inside Baker Memorial Chapel on the campus, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. This five-person Kenyan acrobatic show enthralled the nation when they performed on “America’s Got Talent.” The one-hour performance embodies the Bantu Culture of East Africa and features fast pyramid building, limbo, chair balancing, comedy, fast skip rope, juggling and more — all set to high-energy Lingala music.

The second event, the award-winning short film “The Negro Zone,” will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. inside McDaniel Lounge on campus, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Take a journey through a myriad of stereotypes with this comedic short film that examines a day in the life of three black males who are dealing with racism as well as prejudice from other black people. A forum called The Hot Seat will follow the film, with a question-and-answer session about social issues.

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These events are organized by McDaniel College’s Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, which promotes and facilitates programming that supports the college’s diverse student population, including such topics as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, physical ability and religion.

For more information, call 410-857-2265 or email jmoreno@mcdaniel.edu. Visit www.mcdaniel.edu for more information about McDaniel College.

McDaniel College is located at 2 College Hill in Westminster.

Westminster Municipal Band open rehearsals

Every Monday at 7:30 p.m. the Westminster Municipal Band meets to rehearse inside the Westminster Band Rehearsal Hall, at 40 John St. in Westminster, near the Westminster fire company, and they are looking for new members. All instrumentation is needed.

“We are looking for people in the community who are currently playing an instrument or played in the past and put it down and are looking to get involved again,” band director Sandy Miller said. “We are a community band. We have no auditions. We just want people to come who want to play and are ready to come back into playing.”

For 125 years, the Westminster Municipal Band has performed for community events, concerts and parades.

“If someone is looking for a different kind of activity and has maybe marched in the past in another venue, our color guard is also an option for to participate,” Miller said. “We have all the honor guard equipment, and a banner. We also look for banner carriers on occasion.”

Miller said the band performs up to 30 jobs throughout the year.

“We know that family and work commitments sometimes have to come first,” Miller said. “But we hope members will come as much as they can to rehearsals and performances.”

If you are looking to join a band with a solid reputation, one that is a solid partner within the community, just come to a rehearsal. Or, for more information email Miller at director@westminsterband.com.

For more information about the band, visit them online at www.westminsterband.com.

Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. Reach her at 443-293-7811 or LoisSzymanski@hotmail.com.

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