Thursday 5 PRESCHOOL STORY TIME, for children 3-5, with stories and activities based on books illustrated by Betsy and Ted Lewin, in conjunction with an exhibit of watercolors by the Lewins organized by the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature. Sponsored by Montgomery County Historical Society. 10:30 a.m., the Waters House at Pleasant Fields, 12535 Milestone Manor Lane, Germantown. Free. 301-340-2825 or

ENGLISH CONVERSATION CLUBS, for those interested in improving English language skills in an informal setting with other people for whom English is a second language. 10 a.m. Thursdays and 7 p.m. Mondays, Twinbrook Community Library, 202 Meadow Hall Dr., Rockville, 240-777-0240; 10 a.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Quince Orchard Library, 15831 Quince Orchard Rd., Gaithersburg, 240-777-0200; 7 p.m. Wednesdays, White Oak Community Library, 11701 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, 301-622-2492; and 11 a.m. Saturdays, Long Branch Community Library, 8800 Garland Ave., Silver Spring, 240-777-0910. Free.

WIDOWED PERSONS' SUPPORT GROUP, Next Step, a nonsectarian support and activities group for men and women ages 50-65 who have been widowed for more than one year, sponsored by the Jewish Social Services Agency. 7-9 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of each month, Hebrew Home Wasserman Building, 6121 Montrose Rd., Rockville. Free. 301-816-2680.

CHEVY CHASE AUTHOR TALK, Biblical researcher and historical novelist Thomas Hargrave will discuss his book, "The Rape of Midian: The Saga of Zipporah and Moses," sponsored by the Village of Friendship Heights. 7:30 p.m., Friendship Heights Village Center, 4433 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase. Free; preregistration requested. 301-656-2797.

WHEATON OPERA VIDEO AND TALK, for ages 55 and older, volunteer and opera enthusiast Irving Nurik discusses "Gianni Schicchi," an opera by Giacomo Puccini. 1:15-2:15 p.m., Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton. Free. 301-468-4448.

Friday 6 ROCKVILLE ENGINEERING FAIR, for high school students interested in engineering, exhibits including air-traffic control and robotics; speak with engineers about careers; learn about HeadUP, a Johns Hopkins University summer engineering program; plus free refreshments; sponsored by Lockheed Martin, IBM, the Society of Women Engineers and others. 3-7 p.m., Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus, 9601 Medical Center Dr., Rockville. Free. 301-294-7172 or

ALZHEIMER'S CAREGIVERS' GROUPS, support for caregivers of those with Alzheimer's disease and related memory disorders, presented by the Alzheimer's Association, National Capital Area Chapter. 10 a.m. the first Friday of each month, Trinity Lutheran Church, 11200 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda; 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month, Collingswood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 299 Hurley Ave., Rockville. Free; call to verify time and location. 866-259-0042.

Saturday 7 TROLLEY MUSEUM HOLLY TROLLEYFEST, for all ages, sponsored by the National Capital Trolley Museum; with decorative lighting, toy trains and Santa. Dress to keep warm. 5-9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Dec. 22; the museum will be open 5-9 p.m. Dec. 28 and 29 without Santa. National Capital Trolley Museum, 1313 Bonifant St., the Layhill area of Silver Spring. Program and admission, free; Holly Trolleyfest fares, $3; ages 2-17, $2; reservations requested for groups. 301-384-6088,

GERMANTOWN GIFT BOXES WORKSHOP, for all ages, create holiday gift boxes using restaurant "takeout" boxes (two boxes per person), inspired by the book "Big Jimmy's Kum Kau Chinese Takeout," written and illustrated by Ted Lewin. Sponsored by the Montgomery County Historical Society. Noon-3 p.m., Waters House at Pleasant Fields, 12535 Milestone Manor Lane, Germantown. $2; society members, free. 301-762-1492, 301-515-2887,

CATHOLIC SINGLES DANCE, for ages 21 and older, Christmas Singles Dance, with music by a disc jockey, sponsored by the Catholic Alumni Club of Washington. 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 9707 Rosensteel Ave., Silver Spring. $16. 301-498-3269.

BETHESDA HOLIDAY SINGALONG, pianist Myra Weinberg, with instruments, song sheets and refreshments provided, sponsored by Friends of the Little Falls Library. 10 a.m., Little Falls Community Library, 5501 Massachusetts Ave., Bethesda. Free. 301-320-4880.

ADULT ORIENTATION TO YOUTH SPORTS, for parents whose children are involved in team sports. Learn about adult behavior in youth sports, what to expect from the child's involvement in team sports and how to make youth team sports enjoyable for everyone. Sponsored by the city of Gaithersburg. 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg. Free. 301-258-6350.

ROCKVILLE ALS SUPPORT GROUP, for caregivers and friends of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients, sponsored by the ALS Association. 1-3 p.m., Adventist HealthCare, Shady Grove Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 9701 Medical Center Dr., Rockville. Free. 301-978-9855.

TAKOMA PARK BIRTH CLASS, learn about benefits and risks of a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean section. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Washington Adventist Hospital, 7600 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park. $35; preregistration required. 800-542-5096.

SICKLE CELL ANEMIA SUPPORT, for those with sickle cell anemia, their families and friends. 12:30 p.m. the first Saturday of each month, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, 9901 Medical Center Dr., Rockville. Free. 301-972-2442.

ROCKVILLE CHRONIC PAIN SUPPORT, for those with chronic pain, share pain-management ideas and emotional support. 2 p.m., Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, 9901 Medical Center Dr., Rockville. Free. 301-670-0134.

BETHESDA GLOBAL-WARMING TALK, a lecture by NASA solar physicist Stuart Jordan reviewing the current state of knowledge on the role of the sun in global warming, sponsored by National Capital Area Skeptics. 2 p.m., Bethesda-Chevy Chase Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda. Free. 301-587-3827 or

MUSIC IN THE LIBRARY, for adults and children 4 and older, the Sweet Noyse recorder ensemble plays classic and contemporary recorder wind instruments. 7 p.m., Kensington Park Library, 4201 Knowles Ave., Kensington. Free. 301-897-2211.

Sunday 8 HOLIDAY CARDS WORKSHOP, for all ages, tour the Beall-Dawson House, see a holiday tree decorated with cards from the 1930s, create your own cards. Spiced cider and homemade cookies served. 12:30-3:30 p.m., Montgomery County Historical Society's Beall-Dawson House (and the Stonestreet Museum of 19th-Century Medicine), 103 W. Montgomery Ave., Rockville. $3; seniors and students, $2; children 5 and younger and society members, free. 301-762-1492 or

HOLY CROSS HOLIDAY LIGHTS, the 12th annual Lights of Love celebration, a 25-foot decorated tree, a candle-lighting ceremony, holiday music and caroling by the Victory Christmas Carolers of the Victory Christian Church International of Gaithersburg. The tree lights are individually sponsored by employees and residents to remember deceased relatives or friends, or to commemorate special events. Sponsored by the hospital auxiliary, with all proceeds benefiting the hospital. 4:30-6 p.m., Holy Cross Hospital, 1500 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring. Admission, free; holiday light sponsorships accepted. 301-754-7130.

INFANT SAFETY AND CPR, learn how to childproof your house and how to respond in situations involving infant airway obstruction and cardiac or respiratory arrest. 2 p.m., Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Weinschel Health Education Center, 9901 Medical Center Dr., Rockville. $25; $40 per couple; preregistration required. 800-542-5096.

CHRISTMAS SINGALONG AND PARTY, bring a covered dish. 7 p.m., Sons of Italy Montgomery County Lodge No. 2288, St. Patrick's Church Social Hall, 4101 Norbeck Rd., Rockville. Free. 301-593-7724.

Monday 9 GEM SOCIETY PARTY, an annual Christmas party with a gem swap-and-sell by members, plus refreshments, soft drinks and coffee, sponsored by the Gem, Lapidary and Mineral Society of Montgomery County. Party, 7:30 p.m. Monday; club meetings, the second Monday of each month, Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Dr., Rockville. Free; visitors welcome. 301-299-8213.

LAWYERS-FOR-INDIGENTS LECTURE, Paul DeWolfe, district public defender of the Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender, discusses "Legal Counsel for Indigents -- When Does It Begin?" Plus a brown bag luncheon, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 11200 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda. Free. 301-984-9585.

ROCKVILLE BOOK DISCUSSION, for adults, "Mr. Tepper Is Not Going Out," by Calvin Trillin. 1 p.m., Aspen Hill Library, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd., Rockville. Free. 301-871-2094.

ROCKVILLE DROP-IN MEETING, Rockville Mayor Larry Giammo and City Council member Susan Hoffmann will be available to meet with residents on a drop-in basis. 5:30-7 p.m., Rockville City Hall (front door), 111 Maryland Ave. Free. Drop-in times subject to change; call the city clerk's office, 240-314-8280, to confirm.

WHEATON HOLIDAY BLUES TALK, for ages 55 and older, social worker Santa Molina discusses "Taking the Daze Out of the Holidays: Holiday Blues," coping strategies for the winter and holiday seasons that older adults often find depressing. 1:15-2:15 p.m., Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton. Free. 301-468-4448.

DERWOOD INSURANCE SEMINAR, discussion of the consumer perspective on long-term care insurance for seniors, led by Leta Blank, program director of Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program of the Maryland Cooperative Extension Services. 1-3 p.m., Maryland Cooperative Extension Services, Agricultural History Farm Park, 18410 Muncaster Rd., Derwood. Free. 301-590-2819, 301-590-9638 or

ROCKVILLE VEGETARIANISM CLASS, learn how vegetarianism can improve immunity, heart health, blood pressure and more, sponsored by Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. 7:30 p.m., Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Weinschel Health Education Center, 9901 Medical Center Dr., Rockville. $25; preregistration required. 800-542-5096.

Tuesday 10 WHEATON SMALL BUSINESS SEMINAR, starting a small business, financing options, health-insurance plans and more, sponsored by Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity, Maryland Small Business Development center, Montgomery County Small Business Resource Center and others. 6-8 p.m., Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity, 11319 Elkin St., Wheaton. Free; preregistration encouraged; space limited. 240-777-4940.

BUSINESS ECONOMY CONFERENCE, for small-to-mid-size companies seeking advice from large corporations and federal organizations, with specialists to discuss recovery strategies, sponsored by the Department of Information Technology of the Johns Hopkins University Graduate Division of Business and Management, and the Technology Council of Maryland IT Network. 7:30-10 a.m., Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus, 9601 Medical Center Dr., Rockville. $30; TCM members and guests, $15; preregistration recommended. 240-453-6239 or

CRIME NOVELIST APPEARANCE, George Pelecanos will discuss his latest book, "Hell to Pay," and his experiences as a Hollywood screenwriter on his 1997 novel "King Suckerman," soon to be released as a film. Light refreshments served. Sponsored by the Friends of the Silver Spring Library. 8 p.m., Silver Spring Community Library, 8901 Colesville Rd. Free. 301-565-7689.

MIDDLE EAST DISCUSSION, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman discusses current events in the Middle East and his recent book, "Longitudes & Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11." 7:30 p.m., Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville. $8; center members, $6. 301-230-3775.

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER, Lisa Efron, a psychologist at Children's Hospital, presents an update on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. $6; center members, $4; preregistration required. 301-881-0100, Ext. 6797.

Wednesday 11 SHADY GROVE DESIGN WORKSHOP, a hands-on planning session about the Shady Grove Road Corridor, discussing the character of the roadway and potential land use for properties along it, sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's Montgomery County Department of Park and Planning staff. 6:30-10 p.m., 16641 Crabbs Branch Way, Rockville. Free. 301-495-4554 or

CLASSICAL CLARINET CONCERT, for adults and children 5 and older, the U.S. Army Field Band Clarinet Quartet will perform classical and seasonal selections. 7:30 p.m., Gaithersburg Library, 18830 Montgomery Village Ave. Free. 301-840-2515.

GREAT BOOKS DISCUSSION GROUP, for adults, "Trojan Women" and "The Bacchae," by Euripides. 7:30 p.m., Chevy Chase Community Library, 8005 Connecticut Ave. Free. 301-986-4313.

BLADDER ISSUES AND AGING TALK, for ages 55 and older, Suburban Hospital physician Mary Dupont will discuss several new techniques that are effective in controlling stress incontinence. 1:15-2:15 p.m., Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton. Free. 301-468-4448.

ROCKVILLE MS SUPPORT GROUP, for those with multiple sclerosis, the MS Outreach group provides information and support, sponsored by Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. 7:30 p.m., Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, 9901 Medical Center Dr., Rockville. Free. 301-680-3576.

ROCKVILLE STROKE SUPPORT GROUP, for stroke survivors, their caregivers and their families. 7 p.m., Shady Grove Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, 9701 Medical Center Dr., Rockville. Free. 301-869-1580.

Thursday 12 BETHESDA FOREIGN FILM, for ages 55 and older, "Ciao, Professore" (1993), about a portly, middle-aged teacher who is sent to teach third grade in a poor town near Naples, in Italian with English subtitles. 2-4 p.m., Bethesda Senior Source, 4805 Edgemoor Lane. $5; preregistration required. 301-951-1990.

DEALING WITH HOLIDAY BLUES, for deaf and hard-of-hearing adults, a discussion on ways to cope with winter holiday stress. 7-8:30 p.m., Jewish Social Service Agency, 11B Firstfield Rd., Gaithersburg. Free; preregistration recommended. 301-990-7215 (TTY) or 301-990-6880 (voice).

-- Christine Swerda

Items are accepted from public and nonprofit organizations only, and must be received at least 14 days before the Thursday publication date. Submit information to: Community Events, The Washington Post, 51 Monroe St., Suite 500, Rockville, Md. 20850. Include event name, dates, times, exact address, prices and a publishable contact phone number.