October 24, 2007

Education analyst to speak at meeting

Nationally known education policy analyst Neal McCluskey will be a guest speaker at tomorrow's meeting of the Anne Arundel County Citizen Advisory Committee as part of the group's effort to improve participation and attendance.

McCluskey, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, will speak about the changing nature of public education, particularly in high schools, under federal mandates like No Child Left Behind. It's a topic McCluskey has explored in numerous newspaper columns as well as in his latest book, Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Board of Education building, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis. The public is invited.

"You don't have to have a child in public schools to care about education," said CAC member Tom Frank.

The CAC is planning a follow-up meeting on Nov. 14 featuring South River High School principal William Myers.

That meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end just before the school board meeting scheduled for 7 p.m.

Information: 301-261-6181 or tfrank@perinatronics.com.

Librarians honor author Cummings

The Maryland Association of School Librarians presented Annapolis author Priscilla Cummings with the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award for her young adult novel Red Kayak on Friday at its annual conference.

The award, presented annually since 1992, honors outstanding books chosen by Maryland students. More than 50,000 students voted for this year's books.

The purpose of the children's choice award is to promote literacy and lifelong reading habits by encouraging students to read quality, contemporary literature.

Set on the Chesapeake Bay, Red Kayak is the story of 13-year-old Brady Parks and his best friends, J.T. and Digger, who become entangled in a tragedy that tests their friendship and their ideas about right and wrong.

The novel was named a 2006 Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association and last year was on state reading lists in 16 states and Canadian provinces.

"I am both honored and flattered to have Red Kayak win these awards," said Cummings, who is known to younger readers as the author of the Chadwick the Crab series. "What makes these awards so special is that they are based on votes by young readers. That's the highest compliment a children's book author can receive."

School volunteer wins mentor award

A Severna Park Middle School volunteer was honored as Anne Arundel County Mentor of the Year on Friday.

Mikio Manuel has conducted a Black Youth Summit at the school and is one of the founders of the African American Park Pride Parents at Severna Park Middle School, working to provide opportunities for greater parental involvement.

Finalists for the award were Moses Lattimore, a mentor at Maryley Elementary School, and Victor Puglisi, a a mentor at Arnold Elementary and at prisons in the county.

The Program Award winners included:

Johns Hopkins Healthcare Mentoring Program at North Glen Elementary School in Glen Burnie

Restoration Community Development Corp.'s Gems and Jewels After School Program at Bates Middle School in Annapolis

The YES Initiative program

Living Waters Worship Center in Odenton

Cardinal Choices mentor-coach program at Corkran Middle School in Glen Burnie

STARS Mentoring Program at the Woodland Job Corps Center in Laurel.

The awards, presented at the third annual Mentoring Awards and Fair at Anne Arundel Community College, were sponsored by the Volunteer Center for Anne Arundel County and the Anne Arundel Mentoring Roundtable.

Information: 410-897-9207 or pam@volunteerannearundel. org. or www.VolunteerAnne Arundel.org.

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