Eighth-grade students may not be allowed to smoke, but they have opinions about smoking.
Twenty-two Owen Brown Middle School students and their teacher, Barbara Kleinknecht-Hall, joined Del. Virginia M. Thomas to express their ideas at the House Ways and Means Committee hearing in Annapolis on Feb. 25.
Five students -- Nikki Dennis, Nakia Henley, Blu Schmitz, Brieanna Berrian and LaDante Collins -- spoke to the committee. They commented on the health issues of secondary smoke, the increase of cancer caused by cigarettes, the availability of cigarettes from vending machines and other issues.
The students arrived prepared to lobby in favor of Delegate Thomas' cigarette vending bill (HB-800) that would increase the penalty for selling cigarettes to minors.
During the past school year, the students have researched the health hazards of smoking and the availability of cigarettes to minors.
Selecting 10 stores at random, they attempted to purchase cigarettes and were able to buy cigarettes at eight of the stores. State law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under age 18.
Their research was reinforced while the group was in Annapolis when one student bought cigarettes from a vending machine and another bought them at a legislative cafeteria.
YOU'RE SAFE! YOU'RE OUT!! Your call needs to be heard on the baseball diamond this summer. The Columbia Youth Baseball League needs trained, and potential, umpires for the 1993 summer league. Certified umpires will be paid $35 for each assigned upper level baseball game. High school and college students will be trained and will receive $17.50 per game. Information: Bob Russell, 730-4024.
Grandparents are needed to volunteer at the Howard County Library to read to 3-year-olds, help with activities and, perhaps most important, tell the children about their childhood experiences.
Call Louise Riemer, 313-7918, and find out about the planned programs, "Grandma's Garden," "Hats Off to Spring" and "Open the Door and Let's Explore." A planning session for grandparents will be held at the Central Library tomorrow from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Information: 313-7825.
Boy Scout Troop 613 and Cub Scout Pack 613 participated in the annual "Scouting For Food" in Owen Brown village's Dasher Green and Elkhorn neighborhoods. Seventy Cub Scouts and their parents left food bags on doorknobs on Feb. 27. Then 40 Boy Scouts picked up the bags Saturday, weighed and counted the canned goods, and delivered them to the National Guard Armory in Ellicott City for distribution to Howard County churches and the Maryland Food Bank. Last year, 1,200 cans were donated.
Boy Scouts of Troop 617 and Cub Scouts of Pack 617 also collected food in Kings Contrivance village neighborhoods to provide food for meals for thousands of area families.
Today at 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Columbia Teen Center, at the Barn in Oakland Mills Village Center, begins a four-week series of twice-weekly cheerleading workshops for Middle School students.
High school coaches and cheerleaders will teach techniques, jump skills and jumps. Registration fee is $15. Information: 992-3726.
April 1 is the deadline for the Columbia Council Spear Family Scholarship. It is awarded each year to high school seniors who have shown extraordinary dedication performing community services. Applications are available at all high schools, village community centers and the Columbia Association. Information: 715-3170
"Unity" is more than a word for Joann Berrian, instructional assistant at Dasher Green Elementary School. She edits the newsletter, which is distributed to the staffs of Dasher Green and Owen Brown Middle School. Both schools have been under one roof for 17 years.
A "Unification Committee" is working to foster cohesiveness and understanding between faculties.
Middle school students work with the committee, too, in an effort create a K-8 campus concept and increase a positive educational experience for students and faculty.
"Needed: Adult Males in the Educational Experience of Young Children" will be the topic at at 7:30 p.m. at the Oakland Mills Meeting House. Sponsored by Lornwood Child Development, the guest speaker will be Dr. Spencer Holland.
The public is invited to hear Dr. Holland discuss his male role model program "Project 2000," which has been implemented in Washington and Baltimore. The program trains adult male volunteers to serve as teaching assistants in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms.
Dr. Holland is director of the Center for Educating African-American Males. Information: Mary Kate Murray, 410-992-7810.
Stevens Forest Elementary School in Oakland Mills is a busy place these days.
"Of Mice and Mozart," directed by teacher Barry Palmer, will be presented by a dual cast of fourth- and fifth-graders at the school. The fourth grade performs at 2 p.m. March 17, the fifth grade at 2 p.m. March 18.
At Oakland Mills High School on Kilimanjaro Road, the students will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 25 and 26.
To mark the school's 20th anniversary, T-shirts, sweat shirts, and Cal Ripken candy bars will be available before and after performances.
Owen Brown Middle School invites residents, parents and friends to join the celebration of "National Middle Level Awareness Week" March 14-20.
Students' school work will be shown throughout the school representing the week's theme, "Middle Level Schools & Youth Services: Building Bridges for Student Success."
Parents are invited to meet and chat with the school's new principal, Walter Caldwell, during an informal breakfast March 16 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dr. Robert Ziegenfuss is coordinator for the week's events.