It's always nice to acknowledge young people for their educational efforts, especially academic endeavors that go above and beyond the normal school day and nightly regimen of required studies.
Here's an example of seven students from Sandymount Elementary School who recently participated in the regional Odyssey of the Mind competition in Hagerstown.
Odyssey of the Mind competitions are sponsored by the OM Association Inc., a nonprofit national organization. Competitions challenge student teams to work together and develop self-confidence by creating solutions and evaluating ideas that lead to a decision.
Sandymount Elementary School has been involved in OM competitions off and on for a decade.
This year, students Alyssa Fisher, Leah Freedman, Kelly Cooper, Sarah Snyder, Christine Nortrup, Laura Nortrup and Katie Walsch began working during off-school hours in October to prepare for the March 18 competition.
In the competition, the Sandymount team selected a problem to solve from a list of five topics written at OM national headquarters. The problems are thematic in nature, and require teams to use academic and cultural arts skills in their demonstration.
The Sandymount team chose a time-travel problem. The seven girls worked together to build a time machine that demonstrated moving forward and backward in time.
Parent Melinda Fisher, who worked with the group of third-, fourth- and fifth-graders, said the girls did an exceptional job in the competition, which included 33 elementary, middle and high schools from Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties.
"There is so much energy at these competitions that you can feel it," Mrs. Fisher said. "This group of girls devoted a great deal of their free time to prepare for this event. We were very proud of what was accomplished. Their eight-minute performance reflected all their hard work. It was a gem."
Country Connection and Parents Without Partners Chapter 395 sponsor a showcase of country music and dancing from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday at Wilhelm Ltd. Caterers.
The country music band Branded and Country Connection disc jockey Allen Sunny will provide the entertainment.
Proceeds from this event will benefit the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore.
Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. To order tickets, call Country Connection at 876-0941.
Beginning Saturday and continuing through April 11, Carroll Community College will be host to the Women's Art Exhibit.
This is the fourth year for the show, which is part of the college's celebration of Women's History Month.
Various media will be shown by local women artists. About 60 paintings will be on exhibit.
The exhibit will be on display in the Great Hall Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Expect a lot of bull Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Community Fire Hall as firefighters hold their annual bull and oyster roast.
Beef, ham, fried and stewed oysters, oysters on the half shell, macaroni and bean salads, relish trays, cheese, bologna, sauerkraut, hot dogs and cake will be served.
Music will be provided by the local band Country Addition.
Tickets are $18 per person.
Information: 848-8047 or 848-1009.
High school girls in the market to buy a dress for the prom won't want to miss Westminster High School Parent Boosters Class of '98 Prom Fair '95 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in the school's lobby.
Girls can buy once-worn prom dresses for a fraction of what it would cost to buy a new dress.
The fair also will include displays featuring hairstylists, makeup artists, florists, tuxedo and dress alteration specialists and photographers.
The cost is $2 per person. Mothers accompanying daughters are admitted free.
Chamber Music on the Hill will present 20th Century Music at 7 p.m. Sunday in Baker Memorial Chapel on the grounds of Western Maryland College.
Featured works will include music for the harpsichord and percussion, and choral selections.
Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students are free.
Take time Sunday to visit the third annual Women's Fair at Carroll Community College.
The fair will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will offer exhibits on relationships, finances, health, personal growth and recreation for women.
The cost is $5 in advance and $7 at the door.