Education Digest

County library among 29 chosen for reading program

The Howard County Library has announced that it is one of 29 libraries nationwide - and the only one in Maryland - selected this year for the MetLife Foundation's "Reading America" program.


"Reading America" is a library-based book and film discussion program that aims to increase the use of public libraries and to promote intergenerational understanding, particularly among new immigrants in communities where there is significant demographic change.

The Howard County Library received a $5,000 grant to start a nine-week discussion series for Hispanic families in Columbia. Library staff members will work with teens who are eager to embrace a new culture and with their families, who might want to uphold traditional values, to help them become more connected to their new neighborhoods.


Each participating teenager will receive a digital camera to photograph themselves and their families for a display of photographs at the end of the program. Captions will be written by the families.

Co-sponsors are Conexiones, Community Building in Howard County and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teachers from the Howard County school system.

The Howard County Library was chosen by Libraries for the Future, the program division of the Americans for Libraries Council, a national nonprofit organization that promotes new approaches to developing and sustaining libraries.

School board to hold budget hearing July 22

The Howard County Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the fiscal 2006 capital budget and the fiscal 2007-2011 capital improvement program at 7:30 p.m. July 22.

The hearing will be held during the evening session of the regularly scheduled board meeting at the Department of Education, 10910 Route 108, Ellicott City.

The evening session and the afternoon session, which starts at 4 p.m., will begin with a public forum at which residents can address the board on any topic for which there is no formal public hearing process.

Advance sign-up is preferred. Those who want to testify at the hearing are asked to limit their presentations to three minutes and to provide 15 written copies of their testimony at the time of the hearing.


Information or to sign up: 410-313-7197.

To request a sign-language interpreter: Rebecca Davis, 410-313-7046. Two weeks' advance notice is preferred.

Teen summer camps visit amusement parks

Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks is offering "Teens on Tour" summer camps, two weeks of traveling to amusement parks and other destinations in and out of Maryland and an overnight stay in a hotel. Remaining two-week sessions start July 19 and Aug. 2.

The groups will choose daily adventures from a variety of destinations, including Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Six Flags America in Largo and Hershey Park in Pennsylvania.

The camps conclude with a cookout.


The cost is $425, including transportation, supervision, admission to attractions, the overnight hotel stay and a commemorative camp T-shirt.

Information or to register: Dawn Thomas, 410-313-4719.

Homeschool Book Swap is scheduled for today

Columbia Homeschool Community will hold its fourth Homeschool Book Swap, Shop and Show from noon to 3 p.m. today at Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia.

New and used books and other educational material will be available.

Admission is free, but sellers must register.


Information: 410-740-6688.

Nature programs offered for preschoolers

Howard County Conservancy is offering summer nature programs for preschoolers, ages 3 to 5, and their parents or caregivers at Mount Pleasant Farm in Woodstock.

Topics are to include "Wiggly Worms" July 20, "Marvelous Mammals" Aug. 17 and "Feel the Wind" Aug. 31.

The programs, which run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., include stories, crafts and a short nature walk, weather permitting. The cost is $5 a child.

Registration is required. The 232-acre farm, which houses the conservancy's offices, is at 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock.


Information: 410-465-8877.