The following were among actions taken at the Aug. 20 meeting of the Prince George's County Board of Education. For more information, call 952-6000.

SAY THANKS AMERICA PROGRAM -- The board unanimously voted to implement a new reading and writing curriculum designed by a Prince George's County resident to build values in children throughout the county.

The two-year-old "Say Thanks America" program, which was begun in the Midwest and endorsed last year by President Reagan, will begin Oct. 1 in the second, sixth, eighth and 11th grades. Prince George's County schools will be among 110,000 nationwide expected to participate in the program.

The program will include monthly reading and writing exercises that allow students to express appreciation for relatives, friends, teachers and others who helped instill in them a sense of values and of self worth.

The program was created two years ago by county resident Rhoda Zione, who was abandoned by her parents at a young age and shuttled around among relatives and neighbors, she said in a speech before the board.

Zione, a registered nurse, said she was "sick of seeing suicide and drug cases coming into the emergency room . . .

"Having been abandoned myself, I decided to leave a legacy to tell children they could make an impact, and that there were people who cared.

"I didn't realize the impact {my mentors} had until I got older. I want to tell the children 'Don't wait until you're 35 to extend yourself. Do it now.' "

Zione said each month during the school year will be dedicated to a different mentor category, from which a student will pick a person to interview and write about. Categories include: female relatives; male relatives; the business community (with an emphasis on laborers); community service workers (police and fire workers); educators (dance teachers, school teachers, coaches); national and community leaders; volunteers and armed services personnel; religious leaders; health care professionals; friends and neighbors.

Students will take field trips to fire stations and local businesses and they will be encouraged to read about and interview people who have helped them.

Not only will students be required to describe their relationships with their own mentors, but they also will write essays documenting what help their mentors got from other people, Zione said.

"Of all the social ethics we gain in life, gratitude is just as necessary to build a healthy disposition," Zione said, "as vitamin B is good for healthy bones."

SCHOOL RENOVATIONS -- The board unanimously voted to award a contract to the SHWC Inc. architectural firm, to design the renovations of two county schools built during World War II. Design plans are expected to be completed by Sept. 1. Construction is set to begin next summer, with completion by September 1990.

One, Bladensburg Junior High School, which has been closed for several years, will undergo a $5 million restoration and expansion and be turned into an elementary school, replacing Bladensburg Elementary School at 4915 Annapolis Rd. The county elementary school will then become town property.

The project calls for demolishing a portion of the building and adding 28,000 square feet, creating an elementary school for 690 children. The building will be equipped with multipurpose rooms, a media complex, computer rooms and classrooms for the hearing impaired.

The other school scheduled for renovation is Happy Acres Elementary School at 64th and Kilmer streets in Cheverly. The $4.4 million project calls for renovating and expanding the building to house 600 students. It now can accommodate 393.