Free vehicle identification number etching will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 30, at Amherst House, 7251 Eden Brook Drive in Columbia. Owners can get their vehicle's identification number engraved on all of the vehicle's major pieces of glass. The engraving is a deterrent, and assists in returning a stolen vehicle to its rightful owner. Also, register for "Watch Your Car," a national vehicle theft prevention program, and get a free steering wheel lock (while supplies last). Event is sponsored by Howard County police and the Maryland/Washington Anti-Car Theft Committee. Information: 410-313-4759.
Spring art classes
Registration is underway for visual and performing arts programs at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City. Classes and workshops for children and adults, ranging from one-day workshops to five-week classes, begin the week of April 26 at 8510 High Ridge Road. Class brochures are available at the center or online at hocoarts.org.
For more information, call 410-313-2787 or go to the website.
Event presented by the Milltown Quilters will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 28-30, at First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, 9325 Presbyterian Circle in Columbia. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Show features more than 250 quilts, and include demonstrations, vendors, raffle baskets, peddler's table, a silent auction with cash and carry items, and the "Summer Morning" raffle. Information: milltownquilters.com.
Volunteers are needed for the annual Columbia BikeAbout, being held on May 14. This is a free event organized by the Columbia Association and the Columbia Archives. Volunteers will assist with traffic control, directions, registration and act as guides along the 12-mile route. Flexible shifts are available between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. A free T-shirt and training will be provided.
This year's route, which will start and end at the Town Center Lakefront, winds through Wilde Lake, Harper's Choice and Hickory Ridge. The Town Center walking tour will include the lakefront art and architecture, and Historic Oakland. Information: 410-715-6781.
Disaster information sessions
The Volunteer Center of Howard County hosts monthly disaster volunteer information and orientation sessions to inform community members on how to plan, prepare and effectively serve in times of disaster to improve community preparedness and resiliency. Sessions will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11 and Tuesday, June 28, at 10221 Wincopin Circle in Columbia. Each session will identify local response agencies and inform participants of how they can volunteer, prepare and train to respond in times of disaster.
To register and for more information: 410-715-3179.
Yard waste collection
Howard County's Bureau of Environmental Services will resume weekly yard waste collections through Jan. 20, 2012. Yard waste collection will be picked up once a week during a resident's regular recycling day and should be placed outside by 6 a.m. Allowable yard waste items include grass, leaves, hedge clippings/light brush, small limbs or branches less than 4 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length, dry seed pods, straw, hay and bamboo. Residents are encouraged to use paper bags or reusable containers.
To obtain a free paper yard waste bag (limit two bags per family), go to the Bureau of Environmental Services at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 514 in Columbia, or the Alpha Ridge Landfill at 2350 Marriottsville Road in Marriottsville.
For a complete list of what yard waste is and is not accepted, or more information, go to howardcountymd.gov/DPW/recycling.htm.
The Howard County Conservancy hosts its annual Juried Art Show and Auction, "The Art of Stewardship — Lands & Historic Buildings & Structures," through Wednesday, April 13, at 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock. Open to all original art and photography media, including sculpture, from traditional to contemporary work, using a variety of techniques and imaginative interpretations. Works will be judged on their focus on the care, appreciation and understanding of our lands, historic buildings and structures. For information, call 410-465-8877 or go to hcconservancy.org.
Jewish Community Services is offering a new community bereavement group, beginning on May 2. The group will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for eight weeks, through June 27. For anyone mourning the death of a loved one, the group will provide a welcoming place where participants can be with others who are grieving, find support within the Jewish community and benefit from the opportunity to talk with specialists about grief. Pre-registration is required by April 15. Fee is $36. The group will not meet on May 30. For registration, location and more information, call 410-730-4976, ext. 120.
Vacation Bible school
Glen Mar United Methodist Church will hold two vacation Bible school sessions this summer for 3-year-olds through present sixth-graders. The theme is "PandaMania." Session I runs July 5-8 and Session II runs July 11-15. Both are from 9 a.m. to noon at the church, 4701 New Cut Road in Ellicott City. Suggested donation is $25 per child or $50 per family, and includes a T-Shirt. Registration deadline is April 30. To register and for more information, call 410-465-4995, ext. 204, or go to glenmarumc.org.
The Columbia Association's International Exchange and Multicultural Programs are sponsoring the annual Sister Cities Young Artist Competition. Residents, ages 13-17, are invited to create original artwork illustrating their vision of this year's contest theme, "Shaping Your Community for a Greener Future." Artwork should reflect the many ways you or your community are working to protect the environment. Artwork may highlight a problem, issue or solution that is important to you. First-prize winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to The Mall in Columbia and be entered into the Young Artist Competition of Sister Cities International, which awards 10 finalists. Second- and third-place finishers will receive a $25 gift certificate to be used toward a class or workshop at the Columbia Art Center.
Accepted media include watercolor, oils, pastels, pen and ink, charcoal, photography, mixed media and collage, as well as computer-generated art. All work must be two-dimensional and no more than 1/4 inch in depth. Artwork must be submitted by Friday, April 15, to the Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth, 21045.
For an entry form and more information, call 410-730-0075 or the association's International Exchange and Multicultural Programs at 410-715-3162, or go to columbiaartcenter.org.
Summer day camps
Glen Mar United Methodist Church in Ellicott City will hold weekly summer day camp sessions June 27 through Aug. 5 for children entering kindergarten through sixth grade. Full- and half-day sessions are available. Costs are $145 to $225 per week. A $50 deposit is required for each camp at time of registration; balance is due by June 1. Sessions include Pioneer Outdoor Camp; Mix It Up Camp; What's Cooking?; Summer Fun and Games; Lights, Camera, Action; Celebrate; and Talent Camp. Information: Andrea Calomeris at 410-465-4995, ext. 212, or e-mail email@example.com. Registration forms available at glenmarumc.org.
Solar cooking contest
The Columbia Association's Teen Advisory Committee and the Columbia Archives are sponsoring a Solar Box Cooking Contest on May 14 at the Columbia Lakefront. Solar boxes can be used to make hot dogs, cookies and nachos, among other items. Prizes will be awarded. The contest is part of the Save the Planet Day Celebration and the Columbia BikeAbout events. For more information and instructions on how to build a solar cooker, call 410-715-5523.
The Elkridge Adult Athletic Association is accepting applications from area high school seniors for its 2011 scholarship awards. Applications will be accepted until April 22. Information: 410-796-8088.
The Howard County Office of Children's Services presents a series of workshops for parents and guardians raising children from newborn to age 8, one Thursday of each month through April at Howard County Library's west Columbia branch, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Topics include child development, encouraging self-esteem and good behavior, positive guidance and discipline, and how to keep children safe and healthy. Classes meet from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $5 per class. Registration and information: 410-313-1940.
"Kindred Spirits," a social club for individuals diagnosed with early memory loss or dementia, will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays in the 50+ Center at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center at Glenwood. Activities include speakers, discussion of current events, yoga, meditation and art therapy. Daily fee of $26 includes snacks, lunch, coffee and tea. Information: Judy Miller at 410-313-5441 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The program is sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Maryland.
•Habitat for Humanity and the Boy Scouts of America have placed a collection bin for aluminum cans at the entrance to the parking lot of Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church, 6410 Amherst Ave., in Allview Estates. Information: 410-997-4949.
•Students at Patuxent Valley Middle School have joined the Great American Can Roundup. A collection bin for aluminum cans is outside the school, and proceeds from recycling will be used to fund green school projects and field trips. The school is at 9151 Vollmerhausen Road in Jessup.
The Southeast Howard County Health Services Directory, a guide to resources near North Laurel and Savage, is available free at the North Laurel-Savage Multiservice Center, 9900 Washington Blvd. The directory includes listings of clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, general and family practices, dentists, obstetricians and gynecologists, transportation and crisis contacts. The guide also indicates whether Spanish and Korean are spoken at the facility, as well as the address, contact information and hours of operation. Hours and information: 410-880-5917.
Council seeks members
The Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education is seeking at-large members for the coming school year. The council sponsors educational programming for members and provides the opportunity to study and have input into curriculum, educational policy, redistricting and budget. It meets at 7:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at the Department of Education in Ellicott City. At-large members serve a two-year term. Information: 410-313-6682.
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 workdays in the Children's Garden, 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.
Theater workers needed
Red Branch Theatre Company is accepting resumes for costume designers, lighting designers and stage managers for the remaining shows this season. Send applications to Jennifer Spieler at email@example.com.
Panel seeks members
The Secondary Language Arts Advisory Committee seeks new members. The committee consists of teachers, administrators, students, parents and other community members who advise, support and advocate for the improvement of educational programs. Meetings will take place four times during the school year at a central location. Information: 410-313-6620.
Call for artists
Slayton House Gallery is accepting applications to exhibit for the coming season. Applications are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Information: 410-730-3987.
Spanish speakers wanted
The Foreign Born Information and Referral Network, 5999 Harpers Farm Road, Suite 200-E, Columbia, needs Spanish-speaking volunteers to greet clients, answer basic questions, make appointments and support the staff. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday; other times may be considered. Information: 410-992-1923, ext. 14.