South Carroll: 'Little Hands Signing: Winter' at Eldersburg library

Kathy MacMillan signs with her son, JX. She will present Little Hands Signing at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library on Jan. 18.
Kathy MacMillan signs with her son, JX. She will present Little Hands Signing at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library on Jan. 18. (Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

All of the kids in the community up to age 8 are welcome to enjoy the program, “Little Hands Signing: Winter,’ will be presented at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library on Jan. 18.

This program will be presented by Kathy MacMillan, who is an American Sign Language interpreter, instructor, consultant, writer and signing storyteller.


MacMillan served as a Children’s Services supervisor at the Carroll County Public Library. During her tenure, she presented hundreds of storytime programs for all ages at the library.

Since founding Stories By Hand, Kathy has presented American Sign Language programs for thousands of children and parents in public libraries throughout the Mid-Atlantic.


She holds National Interpreter Certification (NIC) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, a Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland, a Bachelor of English from the Catholic University of America, and a Certificate of American Sign Language Interpreting from the Community College of Baltimore County.

She is the author of “Nita’s First Signs” (Familius Press) and “Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together” (Huron Street Press,), as well as the young adult fantasy novels “Sword and Verse” and “Dagger and Coin” (HarperTeen). She has also published many resource books for educator and librarians.

Angela Knight, the Children's Services supervisor at the Eldersburg Branch Library, stated in an email interview, that throughout the event, MacMillan will be introducing sign language to the attendees through simple signs, hands on activities, books, and play.

Knight emphasized that the library hosts programs like this one because their mission is to increase early literacy skills for all the kids in the community.


“Sign language is a great way for infants and toddlers to communicate and interact with the world,” stated Knight.

She explained that the babies understand language long before they have developed the ability to use it.

“Most infants and toddlers can wave or point before they know how to speak. Providing them with signs allows them to communicate before they speak,” stated Knight. “Babies and toddlers who can communicate using basic signs often feel less frustration as they are able to express themselves and be understood. This boosts communication skills, helps create a bond between caregiver and child, leads to more self-confidence, and increase understanding of language.”

MacMillan stated in an email interview that she always provides, in each of the programs she presents, contextual information about American Sign Language for caregivers in addition to discussing how the signs support language and literacy development, which helps the parents understand the purpose of having their kids learn sign language at such an early age.

Throughout the program, the kids will be able to sing, sign, play, and learn basic American Sign Language through hands-on storytime.

The program starts at 10 a.m. and there will be books available for purchase and signing after the program.

The library will also be hosting this program on Jan. 26 at 9:45 a.m. For more information about this and other dates and times for this program at the library, call 410-386-4488.

The Eldersburg library is located at 6400 W. Hemlock Drive.

Art Gallery

The Art Gallery at the Town of Mount Airy is now open with exhibitions from artists Katherine L. Peterson and Steve D’Amato, who will be exhibiting their work to the community at the Town Hall.

Peterson lives in Mount Airy and she has been exhibiting her work locally. She specializes in illustration and portraiture and she studied at Corcoran School of Art, the National Portrait Gallery.

Some of Peterson’s paintings exhibited at the Gallery are “Emily Rose,” “Penn Station,” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

Peterson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Steve D’ Amato is a professional landscape designer and he has been painting for about 45 years.

He learned his painting techniques from an art teacher many years ago and now he is studying at The Stone Branch School of Art in Rockville, Maryland.

At the gallery, he will be presenting Sunset Coast, Seashore Hill, Maine Harbor, and other paintings.

Terri King, one of the coordinators of the Art Gallery, stated in an email interview, that this is not the first time they have an exhibition at the Mount Airy Town Hall. She explained that the first exhibition was done in February 2013 by the Mount Airy Arts Alliance that she started at the time.

King also explained that with the help of another member of the community, Katie Giganti, they are starting this new exhibition.

She also stated that this past Jan.12, the art gallery hosted their opening with a concert with music from the jazz duo, Stolen Moments, to celebrate having the gallery at the Town Hall.

King invites everyone in the community to come to the gallery because “it’s a town event, it helps support the arts, and if we don't get support, we can't keep exhibits hanging.”

“We need to bring the Arts into town and keep them going strong! Art can breathe life into a small town. It drives money into our economic development. It helps to deliver arts programming into the public schools,” stated King. “Art supports not only the artists, but veterans, seniors, families and youth through using imagination/creativity and it develops critical thinking skills (thinking outside the box solutions). The arts should always be a necessary and integral part of our everyday lives.”

According to King, the exhibition will be open to the public on Feb. 8th during the Chocolate Crawl event. This event starts at 5 p.m. and ends 8 p.m.

Throughout that event, one or both of the artists will be doing a presentation.

The gallery will be open during Town Hall normal business hours Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, you may contact the Town Hall at 301-829-1424.

The Town Hall is located at 110 South Main Street Mount Airy.

Music at the Winery

This Jan. 20, the Linganore Winecellars will be presenting Michelle Hannan and her band One Blue Night.

Throughout the concert, the attendees will enjoy country music and the band’s new single, “Tonight I’ll Scrape a Heart Off the Barroom Floor.”

This new single was considered one of the top 25 new country songs in America in June 2018.

The event starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m.

For more information about this and other events at the Linganore Winecellars, call 410-795-6432.


Linganore Winecellars is located at 13601 Glissans Mill Road.

The Art Gallery at Mount Airy is now open with exhibitions from artists Katherine L. Peterson and Steve D’Amato
The Art Gallery at Mount Airy is now open with exhibitions from artists Katherine L. Peterson and Steve D’Amato (Courtesy Photo)

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