The Baltimore Sun

HCC offers Arabic, Mandarin classes

Howard Community College will begin its second year of STARTALK, its free program for high school students (including incoming ninth-graders and newly graduated seniors) to learn Arabic or Mandarin Chinese. Classes, which will be taught by experienced native speakers, will teach communicative ability and cultural awareness. Students will receive eight college credits and will be prepared to start intermediate-level classes.

The seven-week session of classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, June 23 through Aug. 7. There is a $50 registration fee, which can be waived for students with demonstrated financial need. The deadline to apply is Friday.

Information: Professor Cheryl Berman, 410-772-4861 or Office of Admissions and Advising, 410-772-4599. Or visit

Chinese camp held for children

The Washington Metropolitan Association of Chinese Schools and the Chinese Language School of Columbia will present their STARTALK summer language camp for middle school students in Howard County. The program seeks to jump-start Chinese language skills for students who do not speak Chinese. Participants will also be involved in cultural activities such as the lion dance, Chinese yo-yo and Chinese calligraphy.

The camp will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. weekdays, June 30 through July 25; an optional cultural camp will be offered July 28-29. Both camps are for students entering grades six through nine will be held at Burleigh Manor Middle School, 4200 Centennial Lane.

The cost is $200. Information: Bianca Chang,

Disability council to hold listening post

The Howard County Commission on Disability issues, in partnership with the Maryland Commission on Disabilities, will hold a listening post from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 16 at the Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Members of the community are invited to share their ideas, concerns and experiences.

The library is fully accessible, and a sign-language interpreter will be available.

Information: Joyce Lehrer, 410-313-6431.

Feasibility Study to be discussed

The Howard County Board of Education will hold a regularly scheduled meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday in the boardroom at the Department of Education, 10910 Route 108, Ellicott City.

The afternoon session and an evening session, which convenes at 7:30 p.m., will begin with a Public Forum, when 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: 410-313-7194.The Feasibility Study, which includes enrollment projections, future plans for attendance-area adjustments and capital projects, will be presented during the evening session.

The board will hear a briefing on the format of the Feasibility Study from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday in the boardroom at the Department of Education. The board's Audit Committee will hold its quarterly meeting at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Department of Education.

Information: 410-313-6682.

CARE Center offers aid to families

The CARE Center for Child and Adolescent Resources will help families discuss their needs and offer resources and referrals.

Information is available on community services, county recreation and sports facilities, financial assistance, support groups, emergency needs and other topics.

The center is a service of the Howard County Department of Citizen Services' Office of Children's Services. Information: 410-313-CARE (410-313-2273), between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Or visit

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