Education Notes

EDUCATION NOTES

November 11, 2007

Community college continues growth

The annual credit enrollment records continue at Anne Arundel Community College, where the unduplicated credit head count grew 0.4 percent during the 2007 fiscal year. Total enrollment rose to 21,373 students.

AACC also reported a 13.1 percent increase in the number of students taking credit and noncredit continuing professional education courses. A record 2,594 students enrolled in both in fiscal year 2007, up 300 students from last year and almost 500 students more than in fiscal year 2002. These students represent 4.8 percent of all current students.

The fiscal year runs July 1-June 30.

Credit enrollment gains occurred in all five terms: fall, winter, spring and two summer sessions. As usual, the greatest number of students -- 14,699 -- enrolled in the fall 2006 term, a gain of 0.5 percent. Spring enrollment grew by 0.6 percent to 13,215 students. The biggest percentage gain was recorded in the two-week winter term, which saw enrollment grow 7.5 percent from 761 students in winter 2006 to 818 in winter 2007.

Families invited to help ready gifts

Anne Arundel County public schools and the United Way of Central Maryland invite families to help assemble baskets for the needy from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, National Family Volunteer Day.

Volunteers at the county schools' headquarters in Annapolis will put together baskets of toiletries, books and clothing previously collected by students. In addition, there will be various activities for all ages, including making cards for sick children who are receiving treatment at Anne Arundel Medical Center and wrapping holiday gifts.

National Family Volunteer Day, created by the National Points of Light Foundation, highlights the benefits of family volunteering and provides an outlet for families to support local causes. Held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, this event serves as a hands-on way to teach children the value of community responsibility and citizenship.

Information: 410-895-1475 or Amrit.Dhillon@uwcm.org.

Students write authors in contest

Reading, writing and expression are the key ingredients that comprise the 2008 Letters About Literature Contest, part of the Maryland Center for the Book.

Children and young adults use their creativity and imagination to address a real-life author whose literature affected their lives in this national contest.

"The competition is pretty stiff," said Catherine Gourley, the national project director of Letters About Literature.

More than 55,000 students from across the nation participated last year.

"Yes, we do read every one of those letters!" Gourley said. "Some are very moving, very personal."

The contest, which focuses on reading and reflective writing, has three competition levels: Level 1 for students in grades four to six; Level 2 for students in grades seven and eight; and Level 3 for students in grades nine to 12.

Awards are presented on both the national and state level. Six national finalists will receive a $500 Target gift card and a $10,000 Reading Promotion Grant for their school or community library.

The 12 national runners-up will win a $100 Target gift card and a $1,000 Reading Promotion Grant. State winners receive a $50 Target gift card, cash prizes and recognition at a statewide awards ceremony.

All entries must be postmarked by Dec. 14. To obtain an entry form and a copy of the "how to enter" guidelines, visit www.loc.gov/letters.

Program teaches Australian culture

More than 6,000 Anne Arundel County public schools students will learn about Australian instruments, songs, dances, and animals this month because of a program that is funding assemblies about the land down under.

As part of the program, made possible through Board of Education funding and grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, performer Seona McDowell will teach children dances such as the Queensland Back Step, the Stockyards, and the Kangaroo Hokey Pokey. Students also will play instruments in a bush band and learn some Australian vocabulary.

McDowell, who wears traditional Australian dress during the assemblies, is a TV and recording artist who has been honored as Best Female Australian Folk Singer.

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