BEING A PARENT of an adolescent has never been easy. With their minds and mouths racing, bodies blossoming and emotions sometimes on the edge, it can be difficult knowing how to stay involved.
Remembering my own kids in the middle-school years, I vividly recall episodes of them wanting my help without letting go of their growing status as individuals, especially in front of their peers. Saving face was, at times, the most important thing.
The joy of my being involved with them in elementary school activities was in the past. Middle-schoolers didn't need the involvement, or so they tried to convince me. Just ask any middle-school teacher, they need our involvement in their lives.
George Fox Middle School is doing its part in fostering involvement by inviting parents and the community to the next Parent, Teacher, Student Association (PTSA) and Community Advisory Council (CAC) meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the school on Outing Avenue.
Several topics will be discussed, including the creation of an independent, affordable, after-school program, open from 2: 30 p.m. until 5: 30 p.m. or 6 p.m. The program may operate within the school building or at a nearby location, and give kids quiet time to do homework or read, have a snack, use a computer, play a board game or burn off energy participating in athletics.
Crofton Middle and Severna Park Middle schools have independent, after-school programs. The PTSA hopes to have the program running for the second semester or at least by next year.
PTSA officers for the school year are Sandy Dorsey, president; Vicki Dulko, vice president; Linda Reid, secretary; and Tammy Wonder, treasurer.
Before the PTSA/CAC meeting, parents, friends and George Fox Middle School pupils are invited to celebrate Teen Read Week by attending an Evening of the Arts, sponsored by the school's reading and book club, in the media center.
"We will have a potpourri of the arts starting at 6: 30 p.m. Tuesday evening," said Carol Maid, Reading Resource teacher and reading club co-adviser. Members of the reading club will read excerpts from favorite books and poems. Student musicians will perform short duets and solos. A mixture of pupils' artwork will be on display, and student dancers will perform, promising a great evening highlighting the talents of Fox students.
Families are invited to learn about fire prevention and safety at an open house sponsored by the Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Company and auxiliary from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Mountain Road firehouse.
The event will have lots to do, learn and see, including giveaways, demonstrations, door prizes, kids games, free lunch with Smokey Bear and Sparky the firehouse dog, rides on an antique fire engine, plus much more, said Jane Huffman, auxiliary spokeswoman.
Due to parking limitations at the firehouse, visitors must park at Lake Shore Elementary School, 4531 Mountain Road, and ride the shuttle bus provided.
Volunteers with the Friends of Downs Park are seeking donations of baked goods (cookies, cakes, pies, breads, fudge and homemade candies) to be sold at the group's bake table at the autumn craft festival, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 23 at the park, on Pinehurst Road, Pasadena.
Donations can be dropped off at the park information center the day before the festival or before 10 a.m. the morning of the event.
Information: Faith Bagley, 410-255-2601.
Lake Shore craft fair
Lake Shore Elementary Schools playground committee is sponsoring a craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 6 at the school, 4631 Mountain Road.
Spaces are $20 each. Tables are available for use if necessary.
Sunset craft fair
Sunset Elementary School PTA will have its annual fall/holiday craft fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4 at the school, 8572 Fort Smallwood Road.
Spaces are $20 for one, $35 for two. Tables are available if needed.
Lions Club candy sales
Members of the East Anne Arundel Lions Club will be out in force this weekend selling candy to help support Vision Day 2000. The fund-raiser helps support vision projects available to the community year-round.
Tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., local Lions Club members will be at the Safeway Store in Lake Shore Plaza, and at the Giant Food Store in Southgate Shopping Center off Ritchie Highway, selling candy.
Sales will continue from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Safeway and Giant locations. Additional sales will also be conducted from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at both Lauers IGA stores, Fort Smallwood Road and Edwin Raynor Boulevard.
Information: Tom Flanagan, 410-437-5798.