First school day starts real New Year for parents

NEIGHBORS

August 29, 1994|By JEAN LESLIE

Happy New Year!

I hereby proclaim the first day of school as the official New Year's Day for parents.

The kids are in school again, so you know that they're safe. Little Jesse's not on that bike he fell off too many times; or on the skateboard he can't even stand on; or, worst of all, he's not "on hold," filling his brain with TV-movie-video game drivel.

Now you'll start a new round of PTA, a new year of meeting with your kids' teachers and helping the children to meet the demands of school and enjoy school-based events.

And maybe this year you'll have time to enjoy an interest of your own.

Or maybe you'll have time to exercise more, or strip the wallpaper in the bathroom.

Sounds like New Year's resolutions to me.

*

Perhaps your resolutions involve your preschooler, who now has less competition from older siblings.

One inexpensive way to spend some time with the little one is to take him or her to a story time series at Howard County Library.

Elkridge Library offers two weekly story programs this fall.

"Time for Us" gives 2-year-olds and their parents six weeks of stories and activities. The program will be held Fridays at 10:30 a.m., starting Sept. 16.

Registration will be held by lottery due to the popularity of the program.

The deadline for registration is Friday.

Forms may be picked up at the Elkridge Branch Library, and parents will be notified if their child's name is drawn.

Because of the high degree of parental involvement, the library encourages parents to bring only the registered child to the program.

The Elkridge branch also will hold "Family Story Time," a six-week story time beginning Sept. 16 from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., and continuing through Oct. 21.

Registration is open to family child care providers or groups of two or more children who are not attending another story time series.

Children ages 2 to 5 are welcome, although 2-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Howard County residents begins at 10 a.m. Sept. 7 and may be made in person or by phone at 313-5085.

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Parents, staff and children of Manor Woods Elementary School are starting their new year in a beautiful new school.

Manor Woods is the newest addition to the increasing number of elementary schools in the still growing Ellicott City area.

Manor Woods drew 327 students from Waverly Elementary, 48 from St. John's Lane Elementary, and 60 from West Friendship Elementary, three of the most crowded schools in the area.

The school year begins with a comfortable student body numbering just under 500.

It seems strange that just 11 years ago, the school board actually closed an elementary school in Ellicott City. Rockland Elementary School became Rockland Arts Center as a result.

The new Manor Woods PTA begins its new year tomorrow with its first executive board meeting.

The meeting, chaired by new PTA president Pearla Filmore, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the school's squeaky-new media center.

All school parents are encouraged to come and help jump-start the new organization.

*

The school year brings more time for parents to step back and think of the needy.

The Domestic Violence Center of Howard County serves men or women trapped in abusive homes. The majority of Howard County's homeless people are made homeless by domestic abuse.

The Domestic Violence Center provides safe shelter, counseling and legal assistance to Howard County victims.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Howard County Center is kicking off local fund-raising efforts with yard sales across the county.

Families or groups are needed to hold yard sales Oct. 1 (rain date Oct. 8), with proceeds shared with the center, on a 50-50 basis.

It is hoped that the yard sales will also increase awareness of the issue across our community.

If you are interested in holding a yard sale, call the center's office at (410) 997-0304.

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The Cider Mill Farm on Landing Road in Elkridge opens for the season on Early Press Day on Sept. 10.

The Ellicott City Country Fair, on Sept. 17, gives fall lovers the chance to paint a pumpkin, make a scarecrow, or enjoy the living historians, musicians and a juried arts and crafts show.

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The Howard County Arts Council will start its Gallery Season with its fifth annual Gala Openings on Sept. 9 and Sept. 16.

The two tours represent a cooperative effort of all types of artists and their arts, at 12 locations in Howard County.

On Sept. 9, participating galleries are the Department of Education Gallery, Foundry Street Gallery, Columbia Art Center Galleries, Howard Community College Art Gallery and Slayton House Gallery, all in Columbia.

On Sept. 16, celebrations will be held at the Howard County Center for the Arts, the National Quilting Association Gallery, the Historic Savage Mill Art Guild Gallery, Margaret Smith Gallery, Ten Oaks Gallery and Oella's refurbished Dickeyville Galleries, the Riverview and Mill River I and II.

If you want to take this self-guided tour, call the Howard County Arts Council office at (410) 313-ARTS.

The staff will send you a full schedule of gala events and a map.

*

Did you know that I have been on a family vacation, but I'm back now?

We went to Seattle, Wash., because we wanted to climb a mountain, stroll on the seashore, walk in a rain forest and visit a city.

In seven days, we accomplished it all.

All five of us had a wonderful time, made sweeter because it may be the last family vacation with our eldest son who's now 21.

So if you've tried to reach me and failed, I apologize; I was unreachable for good reason.

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