A Peer Helpers program has been introduced to North County High School under the leadership of Jan Virsack. This national program is designed to provide trained, competent students who will assist their peers with concerns and problems through listening, understanding, communicating and caring.
Peer Helpers has been in the Baltimore area since 1974. Six county high schools are forming their own programs.
The North County guidance department selected 30 students for thenew program between Thanksgiving and Christmas, based on written applications, interviews, grades, attendance and teacher recommendations.
Virsack said the students who applied are caring people by nature and with training should be able to hone their skills to help fellow students. In weekly training sessions, she coaches the students in decision-making and conflict resolution, as well as in recognizing when it is necessary to alert professional school counselors to potential problems.
The following students are now in training: Cindy An, Bobbie Boney, Jennifer Henn, Angie Horne, Tom Hospelhorn, Brandon Hux, Matt Hylton, Tracie Hutchins, Kara Jacques, Nicole Kearney, Tonya Kolodziejski, Amy Luebehusen, Vanessa Molinas, Tracy Mamby, Thomasina McCoy, Eric Miller, Becky Oswald, LaRae Owens, Christy Payne, Christian Ross, Kristine Rey, Malkia Singleton, Anna Spanomanolis, Deedra Thomas, Karen Thomas, Suzanne Valenta, Jennifer Wells, Christine Wilt, Diamond Wyatt, and Nicole Zsittnik.
Workshops and seminars on this innovative concept will be offered at Anne Arundel Community College this March, with all county schools participating. Bruce Seward, whose program at Perry Hall High in Baltimore County includes 70 volunteers, will speak.
The Peer Helpers program has been well received by students, staff and faculty. Students have been made aware of it by messages on the intercom and posters.
The program's goal is to create a climate in which students know that their peers are availableto listen, talk and help.
* A general meeting for parents at the school is set for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.
The agenda will include approval of the Parents Club's bylaws. A 6 p.m. executive board meeting will precede the general meeting.
Parents will be able to buy tickets for the Jan. 26 dance sponsored by the North County Knights Parents Club, set for 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Roland Terrace Democratic Club.
Music will be provided by disk jockey Mr. Nimm, featuring the best of the 1950s through the 1980s.
Dance contests also are planned.
Tickets sell for $10. Call chairwoman Cindy Barton at 761-1784 for more information.
"Checkmate" will be the word on everyone's lips Saturday at the third annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Chess Tournament, set to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Brooklyn Park Library, Ritchie Highway and 10th Street.
All county high schools have been invited to the competition.
The chess club from North County High will be represented by its top five players: defending county champion Michael Chearney, Rob Steiner, Sean Rollinson, Matt Tullius and John Torres.
Trophies will be awarded to the first-place and runner-up teams, the top four individuals and the leading player in each class.
The tournament is expected to end between 3 and 5 p.m.
For more information, call coach Frank Utley at NCHS at 859-5400.
Tomorrow's meeting of the Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association will feature an open agenda.
The meeting begins at 7:30p.m. in the Linthicum Elementary School Media Center, School Lane atCamp Meade Road.
Residents of Linthicum are encouraged to attend.
The Linthicum Heights American Association of Retired Persons No. 2244 had a very informative meeting last week.
"Safety for Seniors" was the topic of county police Officer Robert Aurand's presentation.
Aurand emphasized the importance of being aware of our surroundings while shopping. One of the most useful tips was a device called a shriek alarm.
Designed to be hand-carried, the alarm emits an extremely loud shriek -- loud enough to frighten away almost any potential mugger -- when a button is pressed. Most hardware stores carry this item.
Another tip was to avoid carrying such valuables as credit cards and driver's licenses in pocketbooks.
Officer Aurand said the police department provides security checks on homes. Anyone interested should call the department.
AARP meetings are scheduledfor the first Thursday of each month at the St. John's Lutheran Church hall, 300 W. Maple Road.
For more information, call Mary Fosterat 850-4630.