IF CHILDREN play a part in your life, be sure to attend the Howard County "Children On Board" fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Columbia Hilton, 5485 Twin Knolls Road.
Debbie Yare, program manager for the new Howard County Child Care Resource Center, reports that representatives from 44 community organizations will answer questions.
Parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, child-care providers and neighbors are welcome.
Each visitor will receive a free copy of the 1999 "Childhood Education Guide."
Of the 27 Columbia organizations participating in the fair, 14 are from east Columbia.
Included are Early Intervention Services, Howard County Parent Teachers Association, Howard County Library, Howard County Family Childcare Association, Maryland Public Television, Howard County Recreation and Parks, and Howard County Health Department/Children's Health.
East Columbia schools providing services to young children also will be represented at the fair.
Participating schools include Wee Friends, Bet Yeladim, Julie Brown Montessori, Dasher Green Nursery Inc., Children's Time Preschool, Oakland Mills Nursery Inc., Young Care Child Development Center, The Young School, Children and Company, Stevens Forest Neighborhood Center, the Goddard School, Columbia Academy, Love of Learning Montessori School and Christ Memorial Christian Nursery.
Welcome to a new teacher
Kathy Hoshko of Stevens Forest Cooperative Nursery School has announced that the newest member of its staff -- Jacqueline Meeker -- will teach 3- and 4-year-old children.
For seven years, Meeker taught at Mount Zion Christian Preschool in Highland and Sunny Day Preschool in Columbia.
Registration for the 1999-2000 year begins Saturday.
Parents may call 301-317-4719 to make an appointment to visit a class.
Free from television
Talbott Springs Principal Rachel Slacum has announced that 43 students were invited to a special awards banquet this month.
The children were winners of the "TV Free 10 Day Challenge" issued by state Sen. Martin G. Madden, Howard County Republican.
Krissie Littman's third-grade class were rewarded with an extra-long recess because so many of the children competed in the challenge.
The school's Parent Teacher Association also is planning a party for the winners.
Oakland Mills Middle School Principal Carl Perkins has announced that the school's students and staff are participating in "SEE" -- School Energy Eye -- a program sponsored by the Howard County Department of Education.
The program promotes awareness of resources and encourages everyone to reduce energy costs.
Student "energy monitors" are Michael Nathan, Nicole Nolan, Billy Rademacher, Jasmin Jennifer, Peter Ost, Aiden O'Donohue, and Steve Siani.
Building supervisor Erle Hale is working with the monitors on such strategies as monitoring empty classrooms to be sure lights are off, checking that lighting fixtures are clean to provide improved lighting, checking doors that need weatherstripping and noting areas that are unnecessarily lighted.
Science teachers coordinating the program include George Clifford, sixth grade; Jerry Adams, seventh grade; and Susie Hix, eighth grade.
There is an additional incentive for the students and staff: the Howard County Department of Energy will refund 50 percent of the savings to be used for equipment and supplies for the program.
An incidental benefit: The students will carry their energy-saving awareness into their homes.
Partners in education
Oakland Mills Middle School has had a busy educational partnership program this year.
The school was selected for partnership with the Professional Development School of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
College students studying for education degrees come to Oakland Mills to observe and sometimes to teach.
All Oakland Mills schools are part of the student-teacher placement program, and college students are assigned to a school at the academic level at which they plan to teach.
The Metro Food Market in the Oakland Mills shopping center provides snacks for students who are part of the school's homework program.
Phillips Way Inc. has paid for field trips.
Palace 9 Theater donated theater tickets to be presented to students as an academic incentive.
The business partners provide speakers for Career Day and tangible rewards for curricular activities.
In return, the students provide art displays and musical presentations for the partners.
Another community-minded group is the Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) at Oakland Mills High School.
Under the leadership of Capt. Joseph Shepherd (retired) and Master Sgt. Alvin Bowman (retired), the group's exhibition drill team has competed in local and regional championships.
Last month, the team won the Howard County Championship competition at Oakland Mills and placed second among 25 high schools competing at the first competition at Lake Clifton High in Baltimore. The inspection team placed second in a regional competition.
Sophomore Gayna Holcomb-Johnson is a cadet tech sergeant and commander of the drill team.
Shepherd and Bowman have been with the Oakland Mills program since it began in 1980.
In a joint statement, the two said, "We help our cadets to become productive citizens by working together in the community. Many on our team are mentors at Oakland Mills Middle School. We are proud of our cadets' accomplishments when they leave school for further adventure in school and life."
Two Oakland Mills plays
Oakland Mills drama teacher and director Holly Pasciullo has announced the schedule for the school's next two productions.
Advanced Drama II and III classes will present Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" on Feb. 4 and 6.
The production features every member of the class.
The 7 p.m. performances are free, and everyone is welcome.
Next month, the Performing Arts department will present "Pippin."
The March 12 and 13 performances begin at 8 p.m.
Leading a cast of 65 will be Laila Ayad, Laura Bacon, Dawn Christensen, Jimmy Dilmore, Jennifer Kersey, Jack Lange. Michael Lieberman and Christopher Nichter.
Admission is $6.
Pasciullo is also directing the Dundalk Community Theatre's production, "A Few Good Men."
Oakland Mills High School alumnus Porka Tokpa is one of the leads in the production, which runs Feb. 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28.
Curtain times are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. The performance will be at 7200 Sollers Point Road, Dundalk.
Time for learning
Columbia seniors have the opportunity to learn about drawing, painting and acrylics this week.
Artist Carol Zika will demonstrate the techniques at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Columbia Art Center, 6150 Foreland Garth, in the Long Reach Village Center.
Those who attend are invited to bring any multimedia supplies they have, plus a pencil with an eraser.
The program is sponsored by Howard County Recreation and Parks Department.
Thank you, all
This is my final east Columbia "Neighbors" column.
I want to thank all of the people who contributed to the column since it originated and for "spreading the word."
It was a pleasure and an education to meet so many people working so hard for their Columbia neighbors.
Pub Date: 1/19/99