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Poetry contest submissions are invited

The Baltimore Sun

Youngsters in grades six through 12 are invited to submit up to three original poems to the Howard County Library's Word Up! Poetry Contest. Winners will be invited to read their poems at a spring event and will receive cash prizes.

The deadline to submit entries is March 14. The contest is being held in partnership with the Friends of Howard County Library and the Howard County public schools.

Poet and teacher Michael R. Clark will help contestants and others, ages 11 to 17, revise and perfect poems they have been working on from noon to 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Miller branch library, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City.

Registration is to begin Saturday. The program is part of Poetry's Here @ Your Maryland Library.

Information: 410-313-1950.

Around Town

Montgomery Road -- A county construction project to connect Montgomery Road to Marshalee Drive in Elkridge has temporarily closed Montgomery Road in the vicinity of 6425 Montgomery, between -- but not including -- Montery Road and Deborah Jean Drive. The closure could last two or three weeks, depending on the weather. Lisa Brightwell, 410-313-3440.

Elkridge breakfast -- Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department, 6275 Old Washington Road, Elkridge, will hold an all-you-can-eat breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. today. Baked goods will be available. The cost is $7; $6 for those ages 55 and older. Children ages 5 to 12 pay $5; children to age 4 eat for free. 410-313-4901.

Kiwanis Club -- Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City, a volunteer service organization, meets at 6:45 p.m. Mondays at the Kiwanis Wallas Building, 3300 Norberts Way, Ellicott City. Everyone is welcome. 410-418-8218, or www.

Parent evening -- Howard High School will hold an Incoming Parent Evening at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the school auditorium. An English for Speakers of Other Languages program is to begin at 6:30 p.m. Discussion will cover the academic program, course registration timeline, ninth-grade team activities, career academies, AP Scholars program, performing arts, JROTC, and extracurricular activities. The snow date is Jan. 15.

Knitting for charity -- A community-service group meets to knit and crochet blankets, baby clothes and other items for charities, hospitals and senior centers. Group sessions are held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at Kiwanis Wallas Recreation Center. 410-313-7279.

Chess -- The Elkridge library, 6540 Washington Blvd., sponsors a chess club for those ages 13 and older from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Players of all abilities are welcome, but they must know how to play chess. Snacks will be provided. Registration not required. 410-313-5077.

Learning English -- The Miller branch library offers an English conversation club from 7:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Wednesdays for people who speak English as a second language and would like to practice conversation in a group setting. First-time participants must register in advance. 410-313-1950.

Advanced Bridge -- Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks will offer bridge classes at the Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Road, Ellicott City. A new class for advancing players, "Bid Better, Play Better," will focus on bidding accurately and planning the play of the hand. The class will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays, this week through Feb. 15. Prerequisites are "Bridge Brush Up," "Bid and Play" or approval by the instructor. The cost is $42.

Also new for advancing players is "Competing in the Bidding," to be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fridays, this week through Feb. 15. Prerequisites are the same as for "Bid Better, Play Better." The cost is $42. 410-313-7320 or 410-313-7279.

Mothers, daughters -- Mothers and daughters will discuss body image, self-esteem and the pressures on middle-school girls to conform to media images and peer pressure in a program at the Miller branch library, to be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 24. "Family Communication Night: How Do I Look? A Mother-Daughter Workshop on Body Image and the Pressure to be thin, 'Hot,' and Perfect," will include a free dinner. The program, to be led by Lisa Morrell, adolescent counselor and founder of Health Integration, is designed for those ages 11 to 15 and their parents. Registration is to begin Thursday. The Miller branch is at 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City. 410-313-1950.

Family movie -- A family movie night is planned at 6:30 Jan. 23 at the Elkridge branch library, 6540 Washington Blvd. Ella Enchanted will be shown.

The branch will offer "Sound Cents," a workshop in teen financial literacy, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow. Those who attend will have a chance to learn about the importance of saving, budgeting and using credit wisely. The workshop is designed for youth ages 15 to 17. Registration is required.

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