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Peer Leadership Conference set

Howard County's school counselors will sponsor their fourth Peer Leadership Conference for young student leaders from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Gathering Place in Clarksville.

The theme of the conference for elementary school-age children is "Everyday Heroes."

About 500 children from 29 elementary schools and their school counselors are expected to attend. Participants are selected for their involvement in school groups and committees such as peer mediation, safety patrols, peer mentoring, student government and Students for Safe Schools.

The conference is organized on the model of a professional event, with businesslike packets, a keynote speaker, breakout sessions and a closing session with a PowerPoint presentation highlighting each school's young leaders.

Speakers will talk about character, goal-setting, resistance skills and peaceful conflict resolution strategies.

UM Young Scholars deadline is June 10

The application deadline for the University of Maryland's Young Scholars Program is June 10.

The three-week summer program for high school juniors and seniors, to be held July 8-27, offers a preview of the university experience.

This year's program will offer courses in architecture, international politics, trial advocacy, American studies, kinesiology, engineering, environmental biology, math game theory, sociology, journalism, drawing, creative writing and music technology. Students will have a chance to participate in movie nights, mixers and the Terp Zone, and visit Washington.

Students will have access to the university's libraries, computer labs, dining halls and recreational facilities; they can live in air-conditioned residence halls or commute to the campus.

Information: 301-314-8240, or

School board plans budgets meeting

The Howard County Board of Education will meet to adopt its fiscal 2008 operating and capital budgets and the fiscal 2009-2013 capital improvement program at 3 p.m. Thursday in the boardroom at the Department of Education, 10910 Route 108, Ellicott City.

The board will hold a regularly scheduled meeting at 4 p.m. The afternoon session and an evening session, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will start with a public forum during which members of the public can address the board on any topic for which there is no formal hearing process. Sign-up in advance is preferred.

To sign up to speak or to testify: 410-313-7194.

To request a sign-language interpreter for any Board of Education meeting: Colleen Rice, 410-313-7046. Two weeks' notice is preferred.

Camps are offered for disabled kids

Community Health Charities of Maryland offers lists of summer camps in Central Maryland for children with disabilities or chronic health conditions.

Camps are offered for children with asthma by the American Lung Association; for children with digestive diseases by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. The Muscular Dystrophy Association offers camps around the country for children affected by the disease.

To visit the Web site of Community Health Charities of Maryland:, scroll to "How CHC Agencies Make a Difference," and select "List of CHC Member Agencies." Programs and volunteer opportunities are listed at each agency's linked Web site.

Teaching children about invasive species

Friends of the Patapsco Valley and Heritage Greenway and the Lazarus Foundation are cooperating to educate children about the negative effects of invasive species in the Patapsco Valley area and expand computer resources at local schools.

Friends of the Patapsco Valley and Heritage Greenway is sponsoring a poster contest, the theme of which is "Garlic Mustard: Villain of the Valley." Children to age 12 are invited to submit posters showing how the garlic mustard plant spreads rapidly in open space, replacing native plants that are essential for wildlife, and why this plant must be removed from forests and open spaces.

Selected posters will be displayed at prominent locations around the Patapsco Valley area.

The winner of the contest can choose a $50 gift certificate from Toys-R-Us or a $100 savings bond. The winning child's school will receive two free computers donated by the Lazarus Foundation, which refurbishes computers for educational and other nonprofit organizations.

Entries must be submitted by Wednesday to the principal's office of the child's school or to the children's librarian at branch libraries in Elkridge or Ellicott City.

Information: Betsy McMilllion, 410-480-0824.

PTA Council seeks nominations

The PTA Council of Howard County is accepting nominations of members to serve in executive positions for the 2007-2008 school year.

Nominations are invited for president; executive vice president; vice president of issues; vice president of operations; treasurer; recording secretary and corresponding secretary.

Nominees must be local PTA members who have served for at least a year on a local PTA executive board.

Information or to submit a nomination: 410-740-5153, or

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