For years, Ellicott City resident Cathy Bond had been a reading teacher at RICA-Baltimore, a regional facility for troubled youngsters. So when she received an invitation from People to People International asking her to participate in the Reading Educators Delegation to China, she enthusiastically agreed, knowing that this chance might not soon return.
Ms. Bond plans to leave the country on Oct. 18, and return on Nov. 2. During her two-week stay, Ms. Bond will combine professional growth with a tour of China's sites, spending time in the cities of Beijing, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai.
While there, she will visit "normal schools" to investigate teacher training, observe classes in other Chinese schools, meet with Ministry of Education officials and tour such famous places as Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall and the Jade Buddha Temple.
In making the trip, Ms. Bond hopes to learn how the Chinese deal with students who have problems. She notes, for example, that slower students are helped by out-of-school study groups.
She also wants to get a feeling for Chinese teacher-student interaction and to understand how the Chinese approach language and reading.
Ms. Bond will be joined by about 40 reading teachers, including Vera Kao of Columbia, who works with her at RICA.
Bon Voyage, Cathy! We anticipate some great stories when you return.
Historic Ellicott City will proudly open its ninth annual Decorators' Show House at Discovery Farm at 12549 Folly Quarter Road in Glenelg on Saturday.
After the opening, you may visit Discovery Farm Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
The Show House will be closed on Mondays.
The property includes a pond with streams and footbridges, a walled kitchen vegetable garden and an exquisite herb garden, all within 16 acres of gently rolling hills and woodlands.
The 18th-century fieldstone and cedar home incorporates an original, circa 1760 kitchen with an early 19th-century, 2 1/2 -story stone addition and a 1965 frame addition. The home has 20 rooms.
The building is on the Historical Sites inventory of the Howard County Historical Society. It was originally "patented" in 1729 by Joseph and Vachel Howard and has a well-documented history.
Twenty-four designers from throughout the state have furnished the home in styles reminiscent of bygone days, yet designed for today's world. Under the professional direction of Bette E. Chambers, design chairman, Discovery Farm has been "rediscovered."
Tickets for the decorators' show cost $8 at the door; seniors and students pay $7.
Advance sale tickets for $6 will be available until Friday. Send a check and stamped, self-addressed envelope to Mrs. Margaret Filbert at 4614 New Cut Road, Ellicott City, Md. 21043.
Refreshments will be provided by Tersiguel's Restaurant of Ellicott City.
Please note that children should be 12 years or older and that Discovery Farm is not accessible to the handicapped.
For further information contact Historic Ellicott City at (410) 465-2861.
Like those in many other communities, the Briarcliffe neighbors held a block party picnic on Labor Day, breaking out the food and grills. The children came with their bikes, and adult lawn chairs formed a barricade against vehicles.
Everyone had a marvelous time getting to know their neighbors a little better.
The difference in Briarcliffe's picnic was that the neighbors were all new, as almost everyone had moved there in 1993, some of the first settlers in a development that is still being built. The work and pleasures of creating of a new community were under way.
If you traverse Ellicott City's Old Annapolis Road like I do, you might assume, as you glance over the hill at Briarcliffe's entrance, that the site is yet unpopulated.
Construction trucks are still in evidence and the grass looks raw. But the truth is, half of the new homes are occupied.
The new neighbors include six families who moved from within the county, along with three families escaping Montgomery County, one from Carroll County, and two from California.
A glance at some Briarcliffe careers will help you know a little about them. Occupations range from Jean Parker's job as general manager at Merriweather Post Pavilion, to Will Bohr's work as a researcher at National Institutes of Health, to Steve and Susan Oates' Columbia partnership in dentistry.
Tim Battaglia and Buddy Rogers are builders.
Two other couples share occupations in common: The Maddys are physical therapists in Dorsey's Search, and the Sanners are bankers.
The next event on Briarcliffe's community calendar is a progressive dinner scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 2.
Friendships will continue to form, and child care arrangements and lawn equipment continue to be shared.
Those future, more difficult discussions about loud music, barking dogs and inconsiderate children could be easier because of the good times Briarcliffe residents are sharing together now.
Special thanks to Barbara Smith for her persistence in gathering information about the Labor Day picnic.
Mid-September means "Back to School" night, when parents walk through their children's school schedules in an hour, cramming into their brains as much information as possible on teachers, grading systems, lab schedules, homework policies and the like.
This fall is no different.
Middle schools Burleigh Manor, Mount View, Ellicott Mills, Mayfield, Patapsco and Dunloggin have planned their Back-to-School nights for tonight.
Mayfield Middle's meetings begin at 6:30 p.m., with a preview of the Family Life unit in classroom 201. The program continues at 7 p.m. with a presentation on the gifted and talented program in Room 222, and an introduction to the resource room, meeting in the media center. The general meeting will start at 7:30 p.m.
At 6:30 p.m., Burleigh Manor Middle School will hold a parent orientation for the gifted and talented program, which will be of interest to all parents.
Dunloggin Middle School will hold its back-to-school event at 7:30 p.m.
Mount View, Ellicott Mills and Patapsco begin the evening's activities at 7 p.m.
Tomorrow night, Centennial High School parents will meet at 7:30 p.m., and Rockburn Elementary will hold its meeting at 7 p.m.
St. John's Lane Elementary, Centennial Elementary and Deep Run Elementary will hold their back-to-school event at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27.
Mount Hebron High School will hold a back-to-school meeting at 7 p.m. on Oct. 11. Waverly, Elkridge and Centennial Elementary each will be holding back-to-school meetings based on grade level of the child.
These meetings will take place over the span of several evenings this week. Please call the school to find the appropriate meeting for your child.
Northfield Elementary will hold its back-to-school meeting on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.
* Early birds Howard High School and Worthington Elementary already have held their back-to-school nights.
Here's a little note from me to publicity chairmen in Elkridge and Ellicott City. First, thanks for calling me. I sincerely love to chat with fellow countians.
I am a free-lance writer, so if you need to send me a press release, give me a call and we'll discuss it, as I don't have a fax machine at my home (yet).
Often we can take care of your needs on the telephone. Or you can fax your press release to The Sun office number printed on the left side of this page.
My deadline is Friday morning, although I like to line things up on Thursday.
So keep calling me! I'm happy to serve the community this way.