May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The pandemic has taken a toll on many individuals who have experienced increased stress, anxiety and social isolation. Research has shown that spending time outside offers physical and psychological benefits. Animals often can provide emotional support. Mary’s Land Farm in Ellicott City combines time with nature and animals with its creature-cuddling experiences. The farm hosts events during which visitors may cuddle and connect with baby animals, such as bunnies, calves and lambs. During 45-minute sessions participants can brush, feed and hold the animals and afterward can explore the 160-acre farm to observe chickens, ducks, emu, horses, pigs and goats. Animal availability for the sessions varies depending on the season. Learn more at maryslandfarm.com.
Students throughout Howard County recently participated in local and state rounds of the Maryland History Day Competition. After qualifying at the state level, several young historians advanced to the National History Day Competition to be held online in June. Cheren Song, Jayen Tolia and Tevin Son of Lime Kiln Middle School will attend nationals for their Junior Group Documentary “Tear Down This Wall: The Role of Debate & Diplomacy in Germany’s Reunification.” Nathan Zhong of River Hill High School will compete with his paper, “Exemplar or Crusader? The Debate over Philippine Annexation and America’s Departure from Isolationism.”
Other participants were recognized with special awards. The Excellence in Women’s History award, sponsored by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Department of History, was earned by Leilani Ryang, Phu Tran and Shriya Khosla of Lime Kiln Middle School for “Roe v. Wade: The Debate That Changed History.” The Major General John E. Morrison Award for Excellence in Education and Innovation, sponsored by the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation, was won by Aleina Pulim of Clarksville Middle School for her exhibit “The Space Race: The Fight for The Moon.” Claire Williams and Milan Ta of Reservoir High School were awarded the Excellence in Labor History award, sponsored by Bill Barry and friends, for the group website “Bread and Roses: The Lasting Achievements of Lawrence Mill Strikers.” Tracy Spillman, gifted and talented resource teacher at Lime Kiln Middle School, was named the Howard County History Day Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to all!
Residents who are looking for ways to connect with other people have some new programs to check out. Sneakers and Coffee is held on Monday mornings at 9 a.m. Walkers can meet in front of Claret Hall for a 1-mile walk followed by coffee and conversation. River Hill Community Association is sponsoring a biweekly lunch social for ages 55 and older on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. In June, meet-ups will take place on June 1, 15 and 29. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The St. Louis Concert Series will hold its final concert of the season on June 12, at 4 p.m., in partnership with the Columbia Orchestra. The Concert for Peace features “Dona Nobis Pacem,” which means “grant us peace,” by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Jason Love will conduct the orchestra and choirs of St. Louis and St. Francis churches in this free show.
Blossoms of Hope, the nonprofit that brought visits from Santa and his elves to the homes of area families during the pandemic, recently donated $10,000 to Zaching Against Cancer Foundation in support of its cancer-related programs. The groups worked together on The Santa Project which raised more than $4,000 for the cancer foundation.
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