Howard County briefs

Mini-course

The Columbia Archives offers a mini-course on Columbia this month. Classes will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 10227 Wincopin Circle on Monday, Oct. 18, Wednesday, Oct. 20, and Monday, Oct. 25. Classes will explore the power of words to inform, inspire, influence and call people to action. Series highlights the work of the Columbia Archives and celebrates American Archives Month. Information: 410-715-3103.

New Year's Eve

The Mall in Columbia celebrates its 40th anniversary with a "Ball in the Mall" from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. New Year's Eve to benefit the Columbia Foundation. Event originated in 1972 to serve as a birthday celebration for the town of Columbia's fifth birthday, and was last held in 1987 to mark its 20th anniversary. Guests will enjoy dinner, dancing, an open bar, live music and a midnight champagne toast. Tickets are $100 per person and are available online at columbiafoundation.org. The mall is at 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway.

Grant awards

More than 30 arts and cultural organizations in Howard County and Baltimore will receive $342,943 in matching grants from the Howard County Arts Council for fiscal year 2011. These matching grants will be used by 18 organizations, nine public schools and 11 Baltimore organizations to support general operations, artist residencies and art projects. Information: 410-313-2787.

Vendors needed

Hickory Ridge Community Association seeks vendors for its Holiday Craft Show from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Hawthorn Center, 6175 Sunny Spring in Columbia. All items must be handcrafted. Table fee is $20. Information: 410-730-7327.

Hall of fame nominations

Howard County's Commission for Women is seeking nominations for outstanding women to be inducted into the 2011 Women's Hall of Fame. The event honors women who have made significant contributions to Howard County, Maryland or the nation through their profession and/or community service, and who are role models. Nominees can be either living or deceased, and must have lived in Howard County for at least 10 years. Deadline for submissions is Nov. 12. Information: 410-313-6400 or howardcountymd.gov/citizenservices.

Savage Park project

A construction project to stabilize a stream channel and improve treatment of storm-water runoff in Savage Park is continuing. The purpose of the project is to repair an eroding channel that carries storm water from the park property to the Little Patuxent River, following a path that crosses the recently installed Little Patuxent Parallel Sewer Interceptor. The project should be completed by early February. Information: 410-313-3440.

Housing applications

The Howard County Department of Housing and Community Development is accepting applications for the October enrollment period for the county's Moderate Income Housing Unit program until Oct. 29. Program offers quality new homes at reduced sale prices and rental rates to eligible families. Information: 410-313-6318.

Job search support group

Howard Community College's Counseling and Career Services Office offers a free job search support group from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Fridays through Nov. 12 at 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Meetings focus on learning and practicing job search strategies, including clarifying and marketing your skills, researching employers and industries, networking, writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing and preparing for HCC's job fair being held Nov. 5. Information: 410-772-4855.

Anniversary gala

The Columbia Foundation will hold its dinner and 40th anniversary finale from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 27 at Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane in Clarksville. Tickets are $70 per person. Information: 410-730-7840.

Endowment

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced that the Howard County Arts Council has been awarded a $12,000 Learning in the Arts for Children & Youth grant for its Head StART in ART program. The Learning in the Arts for Children & Youth Category offers funding to advance arts education for children and youths in school-based or community-based settings. Information: 410-313-2787 or hocoarts.org.

Tutors needed

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 Oakland Mills Middle and Atholton, Bryant Woods, Longfellow, Phelps Luck and Running Brook elementary schools. Information: 410-730-6030.

Performing artist award

The Howard County Arts Council is accepting applications for its 2011 Rising Star Performing Artist Professional Development Award. Competition is open to individual performers, ages 18-35, who live, train, work or perform regularly in Howard County or have done so in the past. Review criteria include artistic expression, technical ability and stage presence. Up to 10 finalists will be selected to perform at the council's gala celebration March 26. The audience of more than 500 artists, patrons, business and political representatives and community members will vote for its favorite performer; the winner receives a $5,000 award on stage. Information: 410-313-2787 or hocoarts.org.

Volunteers

The Howard County Conservancy is seeking Wednesday drop-in gardening volunteers from 9:30 a.m. to noon to help maintain thematic and native plant gardens on the property. All levels of experience are welcome.

Also, drop-in workdays in the Children's Garden, located within the Community Gardens, are 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. the first and third Saturdays of the month, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays. No experience needed. Meet at the Nature Center.

Information: 410-465-8877 or hcconservancy.org.

Panel seeks members

The Secondary Language Arts Advisory Committee seeks new members. The committee, consisting of teachers, administrators, students, parents and other community members who advise, support and advocate for the continuous improvement of educational programs, meets four times during the school year at a central location. Information: 410-313-6620.

Call for artists

Slayton House Gallery is accepting applications to exhibit for the coming season. Applications are available by e-mailing cjblack@columbiavillages.org. Information: 410-730-3987.

Children's services

The CARE Center for Child and Adolescent Resources provides free information to Howard County parents to find services and programs in the community for children and teens. Staff will help families identify needs and find solutions. Resource and referral information can cover areas such as community services, recreation and sports, financial assistance, support groups, drug or alcohol abuse, youth development, child care programs and more. Information: 410-313-2273 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Library resources

The Howard County Library will offer one-on-one tutoring at its branches.

Call a library branch to schedule a session, available at all branches unless indicated.

•"Job Search Tools at the Library," a tour of databases, websites and periodicals as well as the business and career sections, will be offered at the Central Library. 410-313-7850.

•"Mouse in the House: Family Web Surfing," a program for children 7 and older and adults that covers the basics of surfing the Internet and websites that are friendly to children.

•"Open the Door to Open Office," a tour for ages 15 and older of the free software package that creates, edits and saves documents, spreadsheets, presentations and pictures.

•"Research 24/7," a way to access full-text articles and other resources for school assignments, business or personal use from any computer.

•"Surfing Basics for Seniors," hands-on practice in using the Internet, offered at the Central Library. 410-313-7800.

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