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Preschool made easy at information fair [Clarksville]

January offers many opportunities to explore educational, recreational and cultural activities for kids. Finding daycare, locating learning experiences and preparing for preschool can be a daunting task for new and experienced parents alike. At Howard County’s preschool and child care information fair, parents, grandparents and guardians can “one-stop shop” for these resources. Hosted by the Department of Community Resources and Services Children On Board will be held on Saturday, Jan. 20, from 1 to 4 p.m., in the Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane, Clarksville.

At the event, caregivers of young children can meet with teachers and program directors who represent child care providers, preschools, summer camps, infant programs, play groups and school-age programs. Parents may also attend an information session on “How to Choose an Early Childhood Program.” This presentation will be offered each hour by the Parents As Teacher’s Program.

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My family attended this event when we were investigating preschool options for our children and found it to be a real time saver. We were able to gather information and meet with teachers and parents from multiple programs in one afternoon.

Admission to Children on Board is free but attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item or unopened pack of diapers to donate to the Howard County Food/Diaper Bank. For more information about the fair, contact the Office of Children and Families at 410-313-1940 or children@howardcountymd.gov.

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For families who have a child turning 5 years old by Sept. 1, the Howard County Public School System will be holding sessions on how to prepare for the transition to school. The “Road to Kindergarten” workshops share information on school readiness, details about the kindergarten program and details on how to register students. Attendees receive a Ready for Kindergarten toolkit. Three sessions will be held: Jan.24 at Oakland Mills High School, Jan. 25 at Centennial High School and Jan. 29 at Hammond High School. All programs begin at 6:30 p.m. Registration is not required.

The River Hill Community Association is looking out for the physical well-being of young community members, planning to upgrade two tot lots. Improvements, such as installing modern play equipment, will occur at one playground in the Pheasant Ridge neighborhood and one in Pointers Run. A community meeting will be held on Jan. 18, from 6 to 7 p.m., at the Claret Hall Board Room, to discuss site selection and project timing. For more information, contact Dalia Shlash, River Hill board member and Open Space liaison at dalia.shlash@gmail.com.

The St. Louis Concert Series will offer a musical experience specifically for kids. Its Fourth Annual Children’s Concert will be held Sunday, Jan 28, at 4 p.m., 12500 Clarksville Pike. “A Wintry Mix” offers live music for the youngest patrons in the community. The free concert will feature “The Snowman” by Briggs and Blake and songs from the Disney movie “Frozen.” Children will also have the opportunity to meet the organist and to play the organ. A hot chocolate reception will follow. For more information, call 443-535-1691 or email events@stlconcertseries.org.

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