The countdown is over. The big day has finally arrived! Today is the first day back to school for county students. And while the day has arrived earlier this year, kids seem to have taken it in stride.
For all the parents who enjoyed their kids being home and will miss them dearly (yes, there are quite a few), volunteer at your child's school.
The school budget, like most in the state, has been tremendously affected. Many programs that were taken for granted have been scaled down or eliminated. Area schools need volunteers for just about everything. Special skills are always appreciated, and a genuine love of children and concern for their well-being is welcome.
Even working parents are encouraged to sign up in a school volunteer program. One day a month, a few hours a week, or even an hour or two in the evenings is helpful.
You may think, "I work, I can't volunteer." Yes, you can. Work can be done at home, for example: totaling receipts, calling parents for donations.
Secretaries always welcome parents to help staff the health rooms, which no longer have school nurses, as well as to help with typing, filing and running errands. Teachers also depend on volunteers to help in the classrooms.
Our schools need all of us -- parents, grandparents and neighbors. If you can find time, volunteer.
As many of you know, hours have changed for the 1992-93 school year. Here they are for your convenience: Belle Grove Elementary School, 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m; Brooklyn Park Elementary School, 8:55 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.; Park Elementary School, 8:40 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.; Brooklyn Park/Lindale Middle Junior High School, 8:05 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.; North County High School, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Telephone numbers for local schools also have changed. Belle Grove Elementary, 222-6589; Brooklyn Park Elementary, 222-6590; Park Elementary, 222-6593; Brooklyn Park/Lindale Middle Junior, 789-8500; North County High, 859-5400.
* The Brooklyn Park High School Class of 1962 is still looking for classmates to help celebrate its 30-year reunion. The reunion will take place from 7 p.m. to midnight Sept. 26 at Council's on Patapsco Avenue.
Tickets are $25 per person and include a hot buffet, open bar and class memento. Music will be provided by a disc jockey.
For more information, call 792-4514
* Harbor Hospital Center news: Are you already planning your organization's fall program schedule? The center's speakers bureau, composed of professionals with expertise in various health-care areas, provides speakers free of charge for community, church and school programs.
Topics in family health, understanding the health care field and medical matters are available. More specifically, topics range from advances in medicine to understanding Medicare and Medicaid insurance and billing. Information on specific medical problems is available.
The speakers bureau also offers special programs on preparing children for the hospital experience and on health care careers.
To receive a speakers bureau brochure with suggested health care topics, or to request a speaker on a specific topic, call Jackie Breeden, director of public relations, at 347-3441.
The University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service offers education programs in the nutrition and health.
Topics include "Eating your Way to Good Health," "Cancer Prevention" and "Practical Ways to Eat Less Fat and More Fiber."
The extension service's programs are open to all. Call today to plan for a speaker for your club, school or church. Programs can be adapted to your group's needs.
For more information, call 222-6758.
Brooklyn Heights United Methodist Church, 110 Townsend Ave. in Brooklyn Park, has finalized plans for its Craft Fair scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 12. Many beautiful crafts will be available, along with pit beef and baked goods. Table rentals are available for $15.
For more information, call 760-1447.
There is still plenty of time to join the Arundel Singers, a nonprofit community chorus looking for new members. Openings are available in all voice sections for men and women. Members must be at least 15 years old. The group rehearses at the Brooklyn Heights United Methodist Church.
For more information, call 760-3925.
Arundel Improvement Association news: Make plans now to take a bus trip with the C.A.S.O.S. to Tilghman's Island. The bus will leave the AIA parking lot at 9 a.m. Sept. 25 and return at approximately 5 p.m. Tickets are $9. To make reservations or for more information, call 789-2192.
Brooklyn Park Youth Athletic Association news: Don't forget to save your Mars candy bar wrappers. For each wrapper collected, the association will receive five cents. Everyone is asked to save whole wrappers from their candy bars and turn them in to the Sugar Shack. Some examples of candy wrappers to save are M&Ms;, Starburst, Snickers, Three Musketeers, Combos and Dove ice-cream bars.
If you have any questions, call Pat Renee at 636-5190.