ELKRIDGE RESIDENT Beth Hodge is a licensed nurse who works as a health educator for the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation.
She also volunteers in the children's acquired immune deficiency syndrome education program, the Whitney Project.
The project is a pen-pal effort, which pairs a group of elementary students with a child who is infected with or affected by the human immunodeficiency virus.
The project also includes a curriculum in which the students learn about people living in circumstances different from their own, compassion, and community involvement. In addition, children are taught how to stay healthy and maintain high self-esteem.
The groups of children -- a school class, Scout or youth group -- correspond with an HIV-positive child, who often lives in another part of the country.
Some Whitney Project children have been able to arrange face-to-face meetings.
"One of the social problems HIV-positive children suffer is isolation from others," Ms. Hodge says.
The Hodge family includes two children who attend Elkridge Elementary.
"The push to help the Whitney Project has come from my own kids and from their curiosity," Ms. Hodge said.
She will explain the Whitney Project to community groups.
Ms. Hodge can be contacted through by her pager at (410) 408-0428.
Ellicott City resident W. Lee McFarlane is Maryland's chief trainer for the American Association of Retired Persons' 55 Alive Mature Driving program.
This month, Ms. McFarlane will teach Defensive Driving for Seniors. The course will be held in the new Elkridge Senior Center, with the cooperation with AARP.
This refresher course will deal with handling adverse driving conditions and traffic hazards.
Some companies will give an automobile insurance premium reduction on the completion of the course.
The eight-hour course will be taught in four-hour session Friday and Jan. 26.
Advance registration is required.
You can pick up registration forms and more information about the course at Elkridge Senior Center at the Elkridge public library, or call (410) 313-4930.
Help for leukemia victim
Here's an update on Christa Borcherding, the 1-year-old Elkridge girl who has leukemia, but whose family health insurance has not started.
The Alleluias choral group's Christmas concert offering was set aside for Christa. The church was so full that evening that extra space had to be opened on the sides. A fund also is being collected through Dorsey Emmanuel United Methodist Church. The funds received for the Borcherding family total almost $3,000.
Christa is home for the holidays but still in chemotherapy.
Her bone marrow transplant is scheduled for the middle of this month, when her sister Lauren will donate bone marrow to Christa.
L The church continues its efforts for the Borcherding family.
A benefit spaghetti dinner is in the planning stages for early next month. The church office continues to collect mail-in contributions.
If you want to respond to this urgent need, send your contribution to the Christa Borcherding Benefit Fun to Dorsey Emmanuel Church, 6951 Dorsey Road in Elkridge. The church's phone number is 796-8598.
Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department is having an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday.
Firefighters will serve pancakes, eggs, sausage, toast, hash jTC browns and beverages. The cost is $4 for adults and $2.50 for children ages 5 to 12. Children younger than 4 eat for free.
Proceeds from the breakfast will help pay for the new community hall built last year. Elkridge Fire Department is at 6275 Old Washington Road in Elkridge.
Here are a few events to brighten up January: On Jan. 11, 12 and 13, Howard High School will present its annual student/faculty variety show, "Showcase '96."
This evening of music and dance will be the largest showcase, with more than 75 students and faculty members performing. The Pom Squad and Howard High Dance Classes and music acts will perform.
Tickets to Showcase '96 are $5 and may be purchased in the front office during school hours or at the door on the night of the performance.
On Jan. 24, Rockburn Elementary School faculty and Spirit Soccer team will play their annual Rockburn-Spirit Soccer/Volleyball game.
Spirit players can't use their hands to play volleyball, while the faculty will be allowed to use theirs. Should be interesting.