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County libraries, Emmanuel Methodist Church offer intriguing programs | NORTH LAUREL/SAVAGE

Sign language classes are being held on Zoom through Emmanuel Methodist Church. The fourth Saturday of the month, you can join the Rev. Leo Yates for tutorials, perfect for those who are familiar with sign language and for newcomers. Classes are held virtually from 10 to 11 a.m. Go to eumclaurel.org to register. On the site, there are also links to a visual American Sign Language Dictionary and a sign language chart.

Emmanuel’s the Rev. Matt Upshaw has a YouTube channel. He posts videos on a variety of topics, so keep your eyes out for readings of his favorite books and teachings about managing emotions. Bookmark and subscribe to youtube.com/EmmanuelUMC so you can check it out often.

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The Howard County Library System has not opened yet for the public, but online classes offer a multitude of learning opportunities:

How to Select a Home Improvement Contractor is offered online from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Advice will include finding useful consumer information before you hire a contractor. There will also be discussion of strategies to mitigate the risk and stress of completing a home improvement project on your own.

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High school students and adults will enjoy the online program titled “The Visionary Genius of Frederick Douglass.” Richard Bell, a historian from University of Maryland, will explore the life and work of the great abolitionist and statesman. He will also lead a discussion about Douglass’ impact on current social causes. Be sure to preregister for this course, which will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 3.

Live, interactive virtual presentations with the Maryland Zoo are planned throughout the year. During these half-hour presentations, teens and adults will learn about the zoo’s Signature Animal Programs.

The first one is scheduled for 11 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Panamanian golden frogs will be the highlight of the Virtual Zoomobile. To learn about other offerings, go to the library website at howardcounty.librarycalendar.com.

You may be aware that February is American Heart Month. In honor of the monthly theme, the Howard County Library System is offering health and wellness courses. The first, titled “Love Your Heart,” will be from noon until 1 p.m. Monday. Participants will learn about how the food you eat affects your heart. The focus will be on salt, fat, cholesterol and hypertension. Other courses offered this month include “Reduce Inflammation Naturally” and “Love Your Guts.”

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Information about these and many more online courses offered through the library system can be found by going to the library website at howardcounty.librarycalendar.com. This is where you can register for classes that interest you. Pre-registration for all webinars is necessary.

Like all of you, I yearn for the days when I can meet friends in a local restaurant, enjoy local high school sports and volunteer for some of my favorite organizations. As we forge ahead in 2021, I wish you the best in health, peace and happiness.

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