Ju-Jitsu Dojo of Columbia will hold a self-defense seminar for women ages 14 and older from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 9515 Gerwig Lane, Suite 103. Class includes learning effective striking methods, how to escape from various holds, self-defense on the ground and how deal with an armed assailant.
Cost is $20. To register and more information, call 410-309-1988 or go to combatju-jitsu.com.
"Creating Rituals: Making Meaning with Stories and Symbols" takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Bon Secours Spiritual Center, 1525 Marriottsville Road. Cost is $50. Patricia Montley is the spiritual leader.
Howard County Office on Aging will hold a Thanksgiving celebration for seniors Nov. 18 at the Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane in Clarksville. Activities begin at 10:30 a.m. with "Signing Thanks, Too" celebration, and guests will enjoy a traditional turkey dinner and be the judges for the Howard County Senior Idol Contest. Tickets are $9.75 and can be purchased at any senior center.
For more information, call 410-313-6537 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Long & Foster's Columbia office announces its annual toy drive to benefit the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves' Toys for Tots Campaign. Items may be dropped off daily between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 10805 Hickory Ridge Road in Columbia before Dec. 18.
Call for artists
The Columbia Association Art Center invites artists to participate in "Singular Sensations," a holiday exhibition featuring artwork in all media priced for sale at $150 or lower. Show runs Dec. 3-13 at 6100 Foreland Garth. Exhibition will feature pottery, fiber, jewelry, paintings, photographs, collage, glass and more. Reception will be held Dec. 3. Artists receive 80 percent commission on all sales. Deadline for entry form and artwork is Nov. 22.
Call 410-730-0075 or go to columbiaartcenter.org for entry form and more information.
Directors and playwrights
Laurel Mill Playhouse invites directors and playwrights (14 to 18 years old) to submit resumes and one-act plays for the Laurel Mill Young Playwrights One Act Festival held Jan. 22-24 at 508 Main St. in Laurel. Information must be received by Nov. 15 via e-mail to email@example.com. Auditions will be held in late November.
The Jewish Federation of Howard County has received a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. County residents who are Holocaust survivors and have a limited income may qualify for a grant to obtain medical care, shelter, food and clothing.
Call 410-730-4976, ext. 120, for more information.
Information for students
Howard Community College will host a "High School Information Session" for prospective college students and their parents at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 on the fourth floor of the Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia.
Information: 410-772-4599 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Howard County Bird Club announces its annual Youth Birding Essay Contest. Applicants must be Howard County residents between the ages of 9 and 13. Topic of the essay is "My Favorite Bird Watching Experience." Length should be no longer than 250 words.
Prize for the best essay is a backpack containing a pair of Eagle Optics Triumph 8x42 binoculars, a field guide and a one-year membership in the Howard County Bird Club.
Essays should be sent to Tom Miller, 6404 Glasgow Circle, Sykesville 21784 or e-mail to birderTWM@verizon.net. Include name, age and contact information. Deadline is Jan. 31.
Women's opportunity award
Soroptimist International of Howard County seeks applicants for the Soroptimist Women's Opportunity Award. Annual award provides a cash grant to a woman head-of-household who needs financial assistance to go back to school to obtain additional education, job skills and training. The money may be used for any cost associated with continuing education, including books, child care and transportation.
Call 410-461-5922 for application or write to Soroptimist of Howard County, Foundations Chair, 8321 Main St., P.M.B. No. 101, Ellicott City, 21043.
Application deadline is Jan. 11.
Poster design contest
The Columbia Festival of the Arts will feature an original piece of artwork by a Howard County K-12 student on its 2010 brochures, programs and posters. Winning work will be purchased from the student for a cash prize of $500. Certificates will be awarded for the best entry in each grade level and also for juror's and director's choices. Selected pieces will be on display at the festival June 11-26.
On their entries, students should visually interpret the essence of a multidisciplinary arts festival. Dimensions of the artwork should be 16 1/2 by 11 3/4 inches on white paper only. Deadline is at 5 p.m. Feb. 5. Winning entries become property of the festival arts.
Call 410-715-3044 or go to columbiafestival.com for more information.
Laurel Mill Playhouse seeks a musical director for "Uh Oh Here Comes Christmas," running Dec. 4-20. Stipend available, and it's not necessary to be at all rehearsals; flexible schedule.
For more information, call Maureen Rogers at 301-452-2557 or e-mail her at maureen email@example.com.
Habitat for Humanity has placed a collection bin for aluminum cans on the west side of Columbia at the entrance to the parking lot of Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church, 6410 Amherst Ave. in Allview Estates.
This is a joint project with Boy Scouts of America and all proceeds benefit habitat projects.
Information: 410-461-4150 or 410-960-2700.
Call for artists
The Howard County Arts Council is accepting slides and CD submissions from visual artists for a 2011 group exhibit examining the environment and related issues. Original artwork in any medium within the exhibit theme will be accepted for review. Work previously shown will not be accepted nor will work submitted to the program in the past year.
Artists can download an application at hocoarts.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 410-313-2787. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Submission details can be found on the application. Deadline is Jan. 4.
Job search group
Howard Community College's Counseling and Career Services Department offers a free job search support group each Friday through Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon at 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Participants can learn how to research their target employers and industries, write effective resumes and cover letters, and more.
Call 410-772-4840 for more information.
The Howard County Library will offer one-on-one tutoring at its branches.
Those interested should call a library branch to schedule a session, which are available at all branches unless otherwise indicated.
* "Job Search Tools at the Library," a tour of databases, Web sites and periodicals as well as the business and career sections, will be offered at the Central Library. 410-313-7850.
* "Mouse in the House: Family Web Surfing," a program for children 7 and older and adults that covers the basics of surfing the Internet and Web sites that are friendly to children.
* "Open the Door to Open Office," a tour for ages 15 and older of the free software package that creates, edits and saves documents, spreadsheets, presentations and pictures.
* "Research 24/7," a way to access full-text articles and other resources for school assignments, business or personal use from any computer.
* "Surfing Basics for Seniors," a hands-on practice in using the Internet, offered at the Central Library. 410-313-7800.