PARENTS WEARING badges and equipped with walkie-talkies patrol the hallways during lunch periods at Atholton High School. Their participation in the Parents on Patrol program allows teachers to spend more time teaching and keeps students from disrupting classes.
It is the parents who are getting an education by volunteering for this duty, according to Assistant Principal Celia Carr.
"High school is different from when today's parent was in school," she said. "It gives the parents an idea of what their child goes through each day. They see what the kids wear and how they act and interact with each other."
One of the biggest differences between students now and in the past, Carr noted, is that "students are more insistent on being heard." And they are more apt to question authority.
The Parents on Patrol program is in its second year at Atholton.
"Our principal, Mrs. Connie Lewis, did some math and figured that if every parent volunteered just one day over their child's four-year high school career, we would have coverage in the halls every single day," Carr said.
Response from parents has been great, Carr said. More than 200 parents have participated in the program since last year.
When parents come in to monitor the halls, they sign in and are given a list of the kinds of passes that are acceptable. Parents are advised to bring a book, because once the bell sounds and the halls have cleared, "it's a very quiet and lonely job," Carr said.
However, there have been a couple of interesting moments.
"Last year, we had one kid who had made his own pass," Carr said. "It said 'Senior Pass.' The parent flipped it over and it said, 'I can do anything I want.' He didn't know the parents had been given a list of the accepted passes and the colors we use."
This year, two students from another school came to Atholton and were intercepted by the parent on patrol.
"They were older-looking students and they looked out of place," Carr said. She escorted them from the building.
"They saw how closed this campus is," she said.
Having parents in the halls has improved the students' respect for adults in the school. "They see that the teachers and administrators are not alone and are supported by the parents," Carr said.
The board of directors of the Howard Community College Educational Foundation has established the Benay C. Leff Endowment Fund, in honor of Leff's years of distinguished service and dedication to the foundation and the college.
Leff, a resident of Harper's Choice, retired in March from her position as vice president of organizational/community development at the college.
"It's a very gracious thing for the foundation to do," Leff said of the endowment. "It was so unexpected and it really reaffirmed the importance of providing for students so they can succeed."
The Town Center Community Association will present an evening of chamber music by the U.S. Army Field Band at 7 p.m. Sunday.
The concert will be held at Historic Oakland on Vantage Point Road.
The program will include music by Vivaldi, Muczynski, Francaix and Bach. Dessert will be served after the concert. Admission is free, but reservations are required.
Wilde Lake Community Association will hold "Wilde Bingo Night" at 7 p.m. Friday at Slayton House on Wilde Lake Village Green.
"This is a family bingo night," said Sharon LeaM-5, special events coordinator for the association. "It's very laid-back. Singles come, older individuals and families, too. We have snacks and sodas, and it's just a fun night."
Cash prizes will be awarded. Cards cost 25 cents, or five for $1, and will be available at the door.
Festival and flea market
The Swansfield Elementary School PTA is planning its Fall Festival and Flea Market, to be held Oct. 14.
The festival will include games, face-painting, cotton candy, snowballs and popcorn.
Members of the community can purchase spaces at the flea market. Spaces cost $10 each, $15 for two. Vendors may call Beth Mackey, 410-992-9030.