Howard County briefs

Holiday assistance

The Salvation Army will hold registration for holiday assistance for residents from Monday, Sept. 20, through Oct. 1 at the service center, 9017 Red Branch Road, Columbia. Hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, with late hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Spanish translators are available during late hours.

Past and new clients are required to provide the following items:

•Valid photo ID

•Social Security card for every household member

•Proof of income (pay stubs, DSS, child support, and food stamp letters

•Proof of expenses (BGE, phone, cable, etc.)

•Proof of residence (lease, mortgage)

•Birth certificates for children up to 12 years old

•Gift suggestions under $30 for children.

To register and more information, call 443-656-3376.

Job search support group

Howard Community College's Counseling and Career Services Office offers a free job search support group on Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. beginning Sept. 24 and continuing through Nov. 12 at 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Meetings focus on learning and practicing job search strategies, including clarifying and marketing your skills, researching employers and industries, networking, writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing and preparing for HCC's job fair being held on Nov. 5. Information: 410-772-4855.

Environmental program

Howard County will make free trees available as part of its "Plant (It) Green" program by launching "2010 MORE Trees in 2010." Each county residence can sign up for one free native tree. Registration stays open until all the trees have been reserved. Order forms are available online at livegreenhoward.com and must be completed and submitted by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22. Past free tree participants are not eligible. Trees will be available for pickup from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 1 or 7 a.m. to noon Oct. 2. Information: 410-313-6205.

Anniversary gala

The Columbia Foundation will hold its Dinner and 40th Anniversary Finale from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 27 at Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane in Clarksville. Tickets are $70 per person. Information: 410-730-7840.

Endowment

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced that the Howard County Arts Council has been awarded a $12,000 Learning in the Arts for Children & Youth grant for its Head StART in ART program. The Learning in the Arts for Children & Youth Category offers funding to advance arts education for children and youth in school-based or community-based settings. Information: 410-313-2787 or hocoarts.org.

Auditions

•Red Branch Theatre Company, 9130 Red Branch Road, Columbia, will hold auditions for its December production of "Hansel & Gretel." Adult auditions will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20; children's auditions will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 9. All roles are open. E-mail redbranchtheatre@gmail.com with preferred date and time for audition. Everyone is required to bring a headshot and/or resume and a prepared musical excerpt (about one minute in length) that displays vocal range. Classical piece is preferable but not mandatory. Information: redbranchtheatre.com.

•The Fabulous 50+ Players will be performing an outreach program based on their show, "Fab 50s do the '50s," at the various senior centers in Howard County between October and December. Auditions will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 at the Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City. Information: 410-313-2787.

Tutors needed

A-OK (Assist Our Kids) Mentoring-Tutoring Inc. seeks adult volunteers to work in Howard County public schools and in after-school programs. Volunteers may work with individual students and/or small groups during and after school. Volunteers are asked to commit for one hour a week for a minimum of one school year. Among the schools the organization is associated with are Oakland Mills middle and Atholton, Bryant Woods, Longfellow, Phelps Luck and Running Brook elementary schools. Information: 410-730-6030.

Conservancy seeks volunteers

The Howard County Conservancy seeks volunteer naturalists for its fall elementary field trip program. Naturalists assist conservancy staff during field trips by leading nature hikes. Fall field trips are offered during October and November, and volunteers are asked to lead a minimum of three hikes. Training takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, 23 and 30. Participants will receive a manual and learn ecological concepts as well as the history, plant life and wildlife of Howard County. Cost for materials is $10. Registration and information: 410-465-8877.

Fall classes

Registration is under way for the Howard County Arts Council's visual and performing arts programs at the Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road in Ellicott City. The arts council offers classes and workshops for children, teens and adults. Among the classes offered are acting, cartooning, sculpture, sumi painting, embroidery and photography. Classes begin Monday, Sept. 20, and run through Nov. 20. Registration and information: 410-313-2787 or hocoarts.org.

Performing artist award

The Howard County Arts Council is accepting applications for its 2011 Rising Star Performing Artist Professional Development award. Competition is open to individual performers, ages 18-35, who live, train, work or perform regularly in Howard County or have done so in the past. Review criteria include artistic expression, technical ability and stage presence. Up to 10 finalists will be selected to perform at the council's gala celebration March 26. The audience of more than 500 artists, patrons, business and political representatives and community members will vote for their favorite performer; the winner receives a $5,000 award on stage. Information: 410-313-2787 or hocoarts.org.

Volunteers

The Howard County Conservancy is seeking Wednesday drop-in gardening volunteers from 9:30 a.m. to noon to help maintain thematic and native plant gardens on the property. All levels of experience are welcome.

Also, drop-in work days in the Children's Garden, located within the Community Gardens, are 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. the first and third Saturdays of the month, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays. No experience needed. Meet at the Nature Center.

Information: 410-465-8877 or hcconservancy.org.

Panel seeks members

The Secondary Language Arts Advisory Committee seeks new members. The committee, consisting of teachers, administrators, students, parents and other community members who advise, support and advocate for the continuous improvement of educational programs, meets four times during the school year at a central location. Call 410-313-6620 for information.

Call for artists

Slayton House Gallery is accepting applications to exhibit for the coming season. Applications are available by e-mailing cjblack@columbiavillages.org. Information: 410-730-3987.

Children's services

The CARE Center for Child and Adolescent Resources provides free information to Howard County parents to find services and programs in the community for children and teens. Staff will help families identify needs and find solutions. Resource and referral information can cover areas such as community services, recreation and sports, financial assistance, support groups, drug or alcohol abuse, youth development, child care programs and more. Information: 410-313-2273 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Library resources

The Howard County Library will offer one-on-one tutoring at its branches.

Call a library branch to schedule a session, available at all branches unless indicated.

•"Job Search Tools at the Library," a tour of databases, websites 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 websites 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," hands-on practice in using the Internet, offered at the Central Library. 410-313-7800.

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