Volunteer Notes

February 23, 2007

Naturalists sought at Mount Pleasant

The Howard County Conservancy is seeking volunteers to serve as naturalists for its school programs at Mount Pleasant, the conservancy's headquarters and 232-acre nature reserve in Woodstock.

Training will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays, next week and March 8, 15 and 22. Participants learn ecological concepts and become familiar with the history, plants and wildlife of Mount Pleasant. The cost for materials is $10.

The conservancy is the county's only nature center and largest land trust, and it provides educational programs for children and adults and summer camps for children ages 5 to 11 at its Gudelsky Environmental Education Center.

Mount Pleasant is at 10520 Old Frederick Road.

Information: Martha Moore, 410-465-8877.

Peer facilitators needed for programs

The SPRING Peer Support Program is recruiting peer facilitators for its group programs. SPRING (Senior Peer Resources, Individuals, Networks and Groups) groups provide a confidential, comfortable setting in which men and women share their concerns, insights and ideas. Programs are held at senior centers and other venues in the county.

An eight-week series of weekly two-hour training sessions is to begin March 30. The volunteer facilitators will be placed in a group and must make a one-year commitment; they must also attend continuing training provided by SPRING. They will receive a SPRING training manual and are invited to an annual luncheon.

Training will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Fridays at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia.

Information: Karen Hull, mental health coordinator, Office on Aging, 410-313-7466.

Aid group wants telephone assistance

Better BedRest Inc., a nonprofit support, resource and referral service for women placed on bed rest during pregnancy, is seeking telephone volunteers who have had a bed-rest experience or have been close to someone undergoing such an experience.

An interview is required; training is provided.

Volunteers are also needed to help with fundraising.

Information: 410-740-7662.

Knitters, crocheters meet twice a month

The Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource and Image Center is sponsoring a knitting and crocheting group, which meets from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

Members donate knitted and crocheted items to the Claudia Mayer center, or to Project Linus (which distributes blankets to children in hospitals and shelters) or to the neonatal intensive care unit at Howard County General Hospital.

Assistance and instruction in knitting and crocheting is to be available to those who need it. Volunteers are asked to bring two No. 8 knitting needles or a "g" or "h" crochet hook.

The Claudia Mayer center is at 5900 Cedar Lane, Columbia.

Information: Diane Tollick, 410-740-5858.

FIRN is seeking tutors in English

FIRN, a nonprofit organization serving the foreign-born in Howard County, is seeking volunteer tutors for its English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

The two programs are Club LEAP (Learning English After School Program) and the Adult English Tutoring Academy.

In Club LEAP, volunteer tutors plan and conduct English-enrichment activities for elementary and middle school children.

Programs are held twice weekly at Howard County schools after classes.

In the Adult English Tutoring Academy, volunteers are matched one on one with adult English learners.

Classes meet weekly Tuesday evenings or Saturday afternoons.

Teaching experience is not required. Training is offered.

Information: Mary Barton, 410-992-1923, Ext. 14, or e-mail, volunteer@firnonline.org.

Habitat Stewards training scheduled

The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks and National Wildlife Federation will offer Habitat Stewards training next month.

Volunteers are needed who are interested in wildlife, ecology, gardening and habitat conservation.

They should be willing to participate in hands-on learning.

The stewards will help their communities develop and restore wildlife habitat in backyards, schoolyards and other public and private areas.

Training will be offered from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 13, 15, 20 and 22; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 24; and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 27 and 29.

Participants, who must be ages 18 or older, must be able to attend all of the workshops.

They are expected to contribute 50 volunteer hours to the National Wildlife Federation and assist with certifying at least three backyards or one schoolyard within a year of completing the training.

The cost is $45, which includes workshop materials. Take a supper for evening sessions and a lunch for the Saturday session.

Applications are due by March 9.

Information or to apply: Brenda Belensky, 410-313-4724.

Advocates needed for at-risk children

Voices for Children, a nonprofit organization, is seeking volunteers to be court-appointed advocates and mentors to abused, neglected and at-risk children in Howard County.

Voices for Children is part of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, which provides advocates for children involved with the juvenile court system.

Volunteers must be at least 21, complete a 30-hour training program and undergo a background check. They will work with children, their families, agency professionals and the courts to ensure that the children are safe and receive appropriate services.

Information or for an application: 410-740-0933, or Voices for Children, 5550 Sterrett Place, Suite 215, Columbia.

Send volunteer announcements to howard.events@baltsun.com or fax to 410-715-2816.

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