Thursday 13

LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM, for home-schooled students ages 5 and older, learn about books available for summer reading, 2 p.m. today, Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd., 410-313-5077; 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville, 410-313-5577. Free; preregistration required.

Friday 14

STEVENSON NATURE PROGRAM, for children ages 2-3 accompanied by an adult, learn about baby animals born in the spring, includes songs, stories and a walk on trails, sponsored by Irvine Nature Center, 9:30-10:15 a.m., the center, 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson. $5; center members, $3; preregistration required. 410-484-2413.

ELLICOTT CITY DUPLICATE BRIDGE PROGRAM, play the game and improve skills, bring a bag lunch, coffee and tea are available, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fridays, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

Saturday 15

COLUMBIA BABY-SITTING CLASS, for current or prospective babysitters ages 11-14, learn about first aid, emergency procedures, age-appropriate activities and other baby-sitting skills, participants receive a certificate of attendance, sponsored by the Columbia Association Teen Center, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. the third Saturday of each month, the Barn, Oakland Mills Village Center, 5800 Robert Oliver Pl., Columbia. $48; Columbia residents, $40; preregistration required. 410-992-3726.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAM, for those with English as a second or third language, practice skills in a group setting, presented by the English Conversation Club, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free. 410-880-5975.

OWINGS MILLS HIKE, a five-mile hike at Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area, bring lunch and water, sponsored by Sierra Club, Howard County Group; carpool departure, 10 a.m., from the Bagel Bin parking lot, Enchanted Forest Shopping Center, 10000 Route 40, Ellicott City. Free. 301-725-3306.

ELKRIDGE BABY-SITTING PROGRAM, for ages 11-15, a 4-H extension educator of the Howard County Cooperative Extension will discuss safety, first aid and more, 12:30-5 p.m., Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5077.

Monday 17

COLUMBIA ARTHRITIS EXERCISE CLASS, ongoing, exercises and activities to increase mobility and function and decrease pain and stiffness, taught by Arthritis Foundation-certified instructors, sponsored by the Columbia Association Athletic Club, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, 5435 Beaverkill Rd. $3; members, free. 410-730-6744.

COLUMBIA FOOD AND CONVERSATION, for seniors, "The Kitchen Table," a light gourmet dinner and conversation, 4:30-6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, East Columbia 50-Plus Center, 6600 Cradlerock Way. $2.75. 410-313-7680.

ABUSED CHILDREN'S PARENTS SUPPORT, for parents and family members of children or teenagers who have been sexually abused or assaulted, "Dealing With the System: What Happens Next?," 5-6 p.m. the first and third Mondays of each month; an optional parent support group follows the class at 6 p.m., the Sexual Trauma Treatment, Advocacy and Recovery Center, 9810 Patuxent Woods Dr., Suite C, Columbia. Each class, $25; preregistration required. 410-290-6432.

COOKSVILLE CONTAINER GARDENING, a master gardener will discuss gardening in containers, the advantages, how to select plants and creative planting, 7 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5577.

COLUMBIA BATTERED WOMEN SUPPORT GROUP, a drop-in program, 7 p.m., Domestic Violence Center of Howard County, 8950 Route 108, Suite 116, Columbia. Free. 410-997-0304

COLUMBIA BOOK DISCUSSION, for fourth- and fifth-grade students, "The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963," by Christopher Paul Curtis, plus TV game show questions based on the book, sponsored by the Phibliobiles book group, 7-8 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7730.

Tuesday 18

COLUMBIA ARTHRITIS ACQUATIC CLASS, gentle exercises in warm water to aid in decreasing pain and stiffness, taught by instructors certified by the Arthritis Foundation, sponsored by the Columbia Association Swim Center, 9:30-10:15 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia. $3; center members, free. 410-313-7000.

PARENT-CHILD BOOK DISCUSSION, for children ages 9-12 accompanied by an adult, "Ella Enchanted," by Gail Carson Levine, 7-8 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5577.

PARENT-CHILD BOOK DISCUSSION, for children ages 9-12 accompanied by an adult, "The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread," by Kate DiCamillo, 7-8 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7730.

PARENT-CHILD BOOK DISCUSSION, for children ages 10-13 accompanied by an adult, "Define 'Normal'," by Julie Anne Peters, 7-8:30 p.m., Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5085.

Wednesday 19

BRIDGE AND PINOCHLE GAMES, a drop-in program, play bridge and pinochle or bring a favorite table game; bring a bag lunch, coffee and tea available, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

BREAST-FEEDING SUPPORT GROUP, for pregnant women, discussion on "Advantages of Breastfeeding," sponsored by the La Leche League of Columbia, 7 p.m., Grace Community Church, 9180 Rumsey Rd., Columbia. Free. 443-857-3738.

MCCOURT BOOK DISCUSSION, "Angela's Ashes: A Memoir," by Frank McCourt, sponsored by the Third Wednesday Book Club, 7 p.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free; preregistration required. 410-880-5980.

COOKSVILLE BOOK DISCUSSION, "Dark Star Safari: Overland From Cairo to Cape Town," by Paul Theroux, sponsored by the Nonfiction Book Club, 7 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5577.

STEVENSON GARDENING DISCUSSION, "Native Plants for Rain Gardens," sponsored by the Maryland Native Plant Society, 7:30 p.m., Irvine Nature Center, 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson. Free. 410-366-9365 or www.mdflora.org.

Thursday 20

SENIORS ASSERTIVENESS TALK, "Building Personal Assertive Skills," learn how to enhance relationship skills, sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging and the Mental Health Association of Maryland, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Florence Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7213.

COLUMBIA BOOK DISCUSSION, "Charming Billy," a novel by Alice McDermott, sponsored by the Howard County Central Library's Noontime Book Club, noon, the library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7860.

-- Compiled by LINDA JAMES

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