If we residents of Central County don't experience the intellectual stimulation enjoyed by people living in a college town, it's not because our public and private school systems aren't trying.
* A calendar of free or affordable activities offered by Anne Arundel Community College -- including theater, arts, health issues and sporting events -- is available at no charge by calling 541-2341.
* The always-popular January term runs Jan. 7-22. Registration continues through Dec. 20.
This short session gives students an opportunity to advance their graduation date or make up credits. Students at home for winter break from four-year schools can acquire transfer credits.
Tuition for the special session is in addition to regular tuition. Information: 541-2464.
* A two-week travel-study course at Northbrook College in England is offered, excluding tuition, at $1,000. For details, contact David Tengwall, head of the history department, at 541-2434.
Principal Louise E. DeJesu of Belvedere Elementary School has issued a reminder that the Anne Arundel board of education has banned smoking on any property owned by the school system. This means no sale of tobacco products or smoking -- 24 hours a day -- inside school, outside school doors or in the parking lot.
The message must be getting through, too. At Severna Park High School's Tournament of Bands two weeks ago, accusing glances were cast at the lone couple seen smoking in the stadium.
Those of us who grew up without the benefit of a guidance counselor in elementary school might wonder why younger children need that service.
Janice M. Tourre, guidance counselor at Shipley's Choice Elementary School, explains today's program.
"The plan addresses the developmental needs of all children, their personal and academic growth, decision making and interpersonal skills," Tourre says.
Counselors come to the classroom, and work with small groups and individuals. They also lead workshops for parents and are available for conferences.
Contact Shipley's at 987-2508.
At Jones Elementary School, always in the forefront of family involvement, the PTA will welcome everyone back to school this month with an International Pot Luck Supper. Students transferring into Jones are mentioned in the monthly newsletter.
You can reach the school by calling 222-6565.
At Oak Hill Elementary School, students are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their guest readers. Parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts and older siblings volunteer to read for a half hour. Everyone benefits.
Call Oak Hill at 222-6568.
Benfield Elementary School has two Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) classes for children with speech and language disability. Three-year-olds attend the morning class, and 4-year-olds come to the afternoon class. At the completion of the program, children enter regular kindergarten at their home school.
For more information, call Benfield at 222-6555.
Beneath the trees at Arnold Elementary School this month, parents and youngsters joined faculty members to celebrate Earth Day.
While volunteers swept, edged and generally spruced up school property, others prepared refreshments. Folks working at least 30 minutes were eligible for prizes.
If you would like to get involved in other activities at Arnold, call 222-1670.
New student government officers at Old Mill Middle School South are: Nix Petagno, president; Margot Tobin, eighth-grade vice president; Marc Caplan, seventh-grade vice president; Sheree Wu, secretary; and Jamie Miller, treasurer.
The sixth-grade class is electing a vice president.
If you need to contact Old Mill Middle-South, call 969-7000.
Did you know the county has a Child Care Information and Referral Service?
Sponsored by the county's Child Care Administration, it provides information about licensed child care providers.