Harford's new Choose Civility campaign announces several summertime fun events

The Aegis

Choose Civility Harford County announced a series of community activities and opportunities for individuals and local organizations to join the campaign promoting respect, empathy and tolerance countywide.

Planned events include a free outdoor jazz performance in August by the award-winning Daniel Bennett Group.

Harford Choose Civility program was launched June 27, as nearly 300 leaders from diverse backgrounds attended a kickoff breakfast at Water’s Edge in Belcamp hosted by County Executive Barry Glassman and Harford County Public Library CEO Mary Hastler. The featured speaker was Valerie J. Gross, from Howard County, the founder of the national Choose Civility movement.

“We were thrilled with the turnout and response to our launch,” Hastler said. “The next step is to keep the momentum going with summer activities for all ages.”

Through Aug. 8, the Joppa Library is collecting supplies for birthday party bags that will be given out at the Harford Community Action Agency’s food pantry. Volunteers will assemble the bags on Friday, August 10 from 2 – 3 p.m. to help spread kindness to those in need.

Kindness ROCKs! is a family-friendly activity, painting rocks that represent joy and kindness then placing them in public spots for others to find and enjoy. Painting sessions are planned at several library branches; details and registration are available on the library’s website hcplonline.org.

Using positive words and images, “Chalk Our Walks” will beautify library walkways at various branch locations on selected dates in July and August.

At the Bel Air Library, join “Rufus,” a lost dog searching for his owner, in an interactive puppet show about friendship and individuality on Wednesday, July 18; and make something to benefit a local community service organization when you visit STREAMworks during Acts of Kindness Week July 30 – Aug. 4.

Bring your lawn chairs for free outdoor music at the Abingdon Library on Wednesday, August 8 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. from The Daniel Bennett Group, voted “Best New Jazz Group” in the New York City Hot House Jazz Awards. This concert is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For details on the above events and more, visit the Harford County Public Library Web page at www.hcplonline.org/choosecivility and follow Choose Civility Harford County on Facebook. To pick up car magnets and other materials, visit any of the eleven Harford County Public Library branches.

Car magnets and other Choose Civility giveaways will be available at the Harford County government tent during Harford County Farm Fair running Monday, July 23 – Saturday, July 28. Visitors to the fair can also find kindness rocks at secret locations, and beat the heat at the “keep-your-cool” misting tent, sponsored by county executive Glassman.

Organizations interested in becoming a Choose Civility Harford County alliance partner can sign up on the website and join a growing list of participants. While sponsors are always welcome, there is no cost to becoming an alliance partner.

The following organizations have already joined the effort by becoming Choose Civility Harford County steering committee members or alliance partners: Aberdeen IronBirds, Extreme Family Entertainment, Extreme Family Outreach, Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, Harford Community Action Agency, Harford Community College, Harford County Chamber of Commerce, Harford County Department of Social Services, Harford County Health Department, Harford County Office of Community & Economic Development, Harford County Public Schools, Harford County Sheriff's Office, Harford Family House, Harford Tutoring Center, Healthy Harford, The Highlands School, Humane Society of Harford County, Inner County Outreach, The John Carroll School, Joppatowne Christian Church, Klein's Shoprite, McNally Leadership, NVS Merle Norman, Strategic Alliances Group, Inc., UM Upper Chesapeake Health, Visit Harford, The Ward Y in Abingdon, and Welcome One Emergency Shelter.

Special thanks to the Harford County Commission for Women for becoming a sponsor.

“I am proud, but not altogether surprised, at Harford County’s enthusiastic response to Choose Civility,” Glassman said. “We have strong community and business leaders and selfless volunteers who are eager to stand up for kindness and civil discourse.”

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