THE SCHOOL year has ended, but it is never too late to give credit where credit is due.
Our neighborhood unsung heroes and heroines are members of the School Mentor Program and School Improvement Team who gave so many hours to benefit our children.
Stevens Forest Elementary School received three awards for the school's mentor program, coordinated by school counselor Pat Shifflett.
The program recruited retirees and parents to spend time each week with students, to befriend them and help them with their studies.
The mentors were heard to say that they believe they benefited as much from the program, perhaps more, as did the children.
Mentors who are proud to have helped the school earn the Maryland Recognition Award, the Governor's Citation for Outstanding Service and the Athena Award for the Mentoring Program of the Year from the Maryland State Mentoring Resource Center include Wallace Cook, Lois Deming, Barbara and Michael Brill, Eloise and Bill Lee, Ardell and Bill Bradley, Gary Selby, Claire Kelly, Thomas Dawson, Pat Leek, Frances Rohlfing, Nat Sherman, Wilbur Crable, Alice Brehm, Taylor Chestnut, Loreece and Gurney Basnight, Betty Curtis, Lillie Frazier and Othella Rogers.
Oakland Mills High School's Student Improvement Team, chaired by guidance counselor Carol Haggard, depended on the efforts of the community for its achievements, too.
The team's 30 members included parents, students, teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators.
The group helped define long-term goals, set priorities on the use of funds and track the school's progress.
Goals included attaining the highest possible grade point average for all students, achieving the highest possible attendance rate and success for freshmen.
The committee worked with parents, teachers and the school administration to provide incentives for these goals.
Attendance improved and so did student productivity. Committee members met with students who were chronically late or absent and contacted their parents.
Freshmen were encouraged to keep a daily organizer, something that proved helpful to them and their teachers.
The TEACM tutoring program, which took place Saturday mornings, contributed to the school's efforts to meet its objectives.
With summer here, it isn't too soon for neighbors and organizations to think about how they might help our schools move ahead next year.
Community involvement is key to the success of programs like these.
Young and old
Hammond High art teacher Peg Coulson's students have enjoyed an intergenerational art program with residents of Morningside Park in Laurel.
Once every other month during the school year, a group of students traveled to the senior center to teach and assist with art activities.
On alternate months, the 35 seniors went to the school art room to share creativity in painting handkerchiefs and tiles, share lunch in the cafeteria and share friendships.
Plans are being made to continue this successful, happy partnership.
Remember Zachary Lyon's fund-raising campaign for his Project Rescue View -- a helmet to aid firemen in smoke-filled buildings?
The Stevens Forest fourth-grader was successful.
He raised $7,500 from a raffle and donations, and presented the check to Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services at the school's Fire Safety Festival before school closed for the summer.
Summer nights seem to bring out the stars.
Children age 5 and older can register for East Columbia library's program, "Star Light, Star Bright!" to learn more about those mysterious sparkling lights.
Theresa Freedman will read stories and explain the names of constellations at 2 p.m. and 3: 30 p.m. July 7.
Speaking of summer
Speaking of summer, warm weather and longer daylight hours are a pleasure to be shared.
Lake Elkhorn's waters, parkland and playgrounds are popular with hundreds of residents, families and friends on sunny days.
But this area needs to be kept attractive and neat.
Barbara Nugent, parks supervisor for Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, reminds residents that it is a crime to not pick up after pets, or to paint graffiti or vandalize park property.
The department asks citizens to report any of these violations to 410-313-DIRT.
Every park area has public telephones.
Cleaning up is expensive, and the money could otherwise be spent to enhance the parks for everyone.
Signs of dogs
Dog problems in your Kings Contrivance neighborhood?
Would you like to help educate pet owners?
Pick up a "dog sign" at Amherst House community center to place near any animal leavings left on your property.
One side of the sign has a drawing of a dog with a diagonal
line drawn through it.
The other side states that a Howard County law requires picking up after your pet, and that violators can be fined.
The sign should encourage owners to obey the law.
If you can identify the owners who do not respond to the warning, you can fill out an affidavit with Animal Control.
Pub Date: 6/30/98