Because of the July 4 holiday, Natalie Harvey's column is appearing today.
Everyone looks forward to summer vacation, especially schoolchildren. But after the first week of "freedom," parents get the question, "What can I do now?"
They can go to one of the 21 neighborhood pools. If your children can't swim, ask the life guards about free swim lessons. Information: 312-6332.
The Howard County libraries have reading programs planned for all ages from little ones to teens (East Columbia information: 313-7750).
Oakland Mills' Reading Center offers a "Passport To Adventure" series Tuesday mornings, including a passport stamped for each country "visited." Information: 730-4610 or (301) 596-5237.
The center also offers bedtime stories for 4- to 7-year-olds on Thursday evenings.
Eudora Welty's short stories will be the topic for the adult xTC Oakland Mills Book Discussion Group on July 26. Children 6-12 are invited to the Other Barn on Mondays for games and crafts.
Columbia Art Center, Long Reach Village has art camps during the day and a variety of adult classes, including drawing, ceramics, jewelry and photography scheduled for evenings and Saturdays.
If floral arrangements are of particular interest, they offer a class using live flowers from Hawaii. Call 730-0075.
Nell Geddes and Elena Hekimian's art is part of a traveling show that will be exhibited at the Maryland State Department of Education in Annapolis, the Howard County Chamber of Commerce in Columbia and the Howard County Department of Education in Ellicott City.
Art was selected from the Howard County Public Schools exhibit in The Mall in Columbia by Art Department supervisor Barry Shaulk.
Space is still available for the Sept. 23 Lake Elkhorn Festival in Owen Brown Village for arts, crafts, food and displays by businesses, professions, churches and other nonprofit organizations. And, volunteers are needed too. Stop at the Owen Brown Community Center and sign up for a fun day that benefits your neighborhood. Information: 381-0202.
Howard County Middle School parties, sponsored by the Columbia Teen Center, Oakland Mills Village Center, are scheduled from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. July 15 and July 22.
Dancing, pool, foosball and refreshments will be featured. Information: 992-3726.
If you are planning a summer party, call your village's community center and inquire about rentals.
Seniors can get in the swim every Monday at Stevens Forest pool from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Information: 730-5452.
And everyone can come to the swim meets every Saturday.
For information on who is swimming where, call the pools and ask for the schedule.
There's also a Summer Classics and All-Stars swim event.
Tomorrow evening at 7 p.m., The Whitewalls' rock 'n' roll music can be heard at Lake Elkhorn's spillway near Broken Land Parkway. The Wednesday concerts are sponsored by the Eastside Community Associations. Next week bring the kids to enjoy the magic and juggling of Barry Woods.
Whoops! I noted all of the year's end awards at Stevens Forest Elementary, but, hadn't mentioned the month of June citizens.
Awards were presented to:
Cherry Team: Matt Buonato, Ashley Starace and Katy Stanley; Tulip Teams: Daniel Jackson and Devin Kitchelt; Oak Team: Jessica Villamor, Gary Hersey and Krystle Kinsey; Dogwood Team: John Geddes, Melissa Harris, Moni Gbadebo and Steve Karadimos; and Sassafras Team: Christina McDonaugh, Michael Lottich and Tim Wu.
Owen Brown Community Center is updating its baby-sitter list. If you are on the list, reconfirm. If you want to be added to the list, call 381-0202.