A-OK project seeks mentors, volunteers

East Columbia

August 19, 2007

The A-OK (Assisting Our Kids) Mentoring/Tutoring Program, a project of Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, is recruiting and training volunteer mentors and tutors to work in elementary and middle schools with individual children and small groups.

Opportunities are available during school hours, directly after school and in elementary school homework clubs.

No skills are required; volunteers should be willing to commit to one hour a week during the school year.

Information: Chaya Kaplan, 410-730-6030 or Joe Willmott, 410-730-0229.

Columbia pond is to be repaired

The Howard County Department of Public Works will begin repairs on a pond near Samuel Morse Drive in Columbia on or about Aug. 27.

The project is to include repairs to the pond's outlet piping and headwall and includes the installation of two monitoring wells.

The project is not expected to have any impact on traffic along Samuel Morse Drive. If temporary lane closures or detours become necessary, flagging operations will direct motorists.

The work is expected to be completed by Oct. 19.

Library offering children's programs

Children's programs at the east Columbia branch library, 660 Cradlerock Way, are to include "Market Tales -- All Together Now," a program of stories, songs and activities for children and adults, at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursdays, Sept. 6 through Nov. 15.

Participants can visit the farmers' market in the library's parking lot in the afternoon.

"Hola and Hello," a program of bilingual stories and songs for ages 2 to 5, will be offered at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 12 through Oct. 3.

Tickets are available at the library's Children's Desk 30 minutes before each program.

Information: 410-313-7730.

Around Town

Help wanted -- The Oakland Mills Community Association is seeking participants for its International Fall Festival at the village center Oct. 13. Festival planners are seeking people interested in sharing their ethnic heritage with the community. Representatives of social service organizations, artisans, food vendors, cultural clubs, school groups and entertainers are welcome. Entertainment is to include performances by the Kinderman; Turner, Dean of Magic; the Fun Drug Rhythm Circle; and a Chinese dragon dance. Vendors are also needed. Susan Azoulay, 410-730-4610.

At the library -- An adult summer reading club, sponsored by Friends of the Howard County Library, is being offered through Sept. 4. Participants will be eligible for monthly prize drawings. Entry forms are available at the information desk in each library. www. hclibrary.org.

Extra lane -- The State Highway Administration has begun a $460,000 project to widen Route 108 (Old Annapolis Road)near Howard High School, Centre Park Drive and Phelps Luck Road. The project will create a right-turn lane along westbound Route 108. The project, which is intended to improve safety and reduce congestion near the school, is expected to be completed early next month, weather permitting. Motorists can expect single-lane closures between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. weekdays. 301-624-8100 or 800-635-5119.

Tai chi -- East Columbia 50+ Center in the east Columbia library will offer "Simplified Yang's Tai Chi" from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursdays. The cost is $6. 410-313-7680.

Summer eating -- "Summer Meals From Local Crops," a program on nutrition, cooking, preserving and gardening led by experts from the Howard County Library, the farmers' market, Tai Sophia Institute and the Howard County Master Gardeners, will be offered at the east Columbia library at 2 p.m. Thursday. Shopping is available at the farmers' market on the library parking lot after the program. Registration is required. 410-313-7700.

Martial arts -- Long Reach Community Association will offer martial arts classes from Sept. 11 through Nov. 6 at Stonehouse. The classes in three-circle hapkido are based on movement along three circular planes to apply striking, joint-locking, throwing and pressing techniques against hand and weapon attacks. The technique draws on different styles of Korean self-defense and is influenced by other martial arts such as chen tai chi, aikido, jujitsu, bagua and mudukwan. Classes for ages 5 to 11 will be offered from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; for those ages 12 and older, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The cost is $160 for eight weeks. A 5 percent discount is offered to those living on Columbia Association-assessed property. 410-730-8113.

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