Meetings on School

Several information nights have been scheduled for parents and current eighth-grade students who want to find out about programs at the new North Point High School for Science, Technology and Industry that will open in Charles County in August 2005.

Following are the locations, dates and times for the sessions:

* 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mattawoman Middle School.

* 7 p.m. Thursdayat Matthew Henson Middle.

* 5:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at Piccowaxen Middle.

* 7 p.m. Nov. 8 at Benjamin Stoddert Middle.

* 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at John Hanson Middle.

* 5:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at Milton Somers Middle.

* 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Career and Technology Center.

* 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at General Smallwood Middle.

For information, call Pete Cevenini or Kim Hill at 301-753-1757 or send an e-mail to northpoint@ccboe.com.

Calverton School Meeting

Families interested in the Calverton School can meet with faculty and students next Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. on the campus in Huntingtown.

Calverton is a college preparatory school for students pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

For reservations, call the Office of Admission at 301-855-1922, 888-678-0216, Ext. 101 or www.calvertonschool.org.

Essay Contest Set

High school juniors and seniors are eligible to enter the annual "Charles S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest," sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution, Thomas Stone Chapter.

The essay, required to be 750 to 1,000 words, must be about "an event, person, philosophy or ideal associated with the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence or the framing of the United States Constitution," according to organizers.

Essays will be judged on historical accuracy, clarity of thought, organization, grammar, spelling and creativity. Use of the Internet or encyclopedias is acceptable but will not count in the required use of at least five references.

For detailed rules and a listing of approved sources, contact the contest chairman, George C. Dyson, at PO Box 217, Ironsides, Md. 20643. Awards range from $50 at the local level to $3,000 at the national level. Entries are due Dec. 31.

Substance-Abuse Grants

A number of mini-grants are available from the Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse, an organization dedicated to fighting alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse in Calvert County.

Community groups with programs targeted to prevent substance abuse are welcome to apply for a grant. Applications are due by 4 p.m. Dec. 30. 410-535-3733.

Motorcyclists Aid Charity

More than 300 motorcyclists raised $21,000 to aid the March of Dimes earlier this month during a 77-mile ride through Southern Maryland

The inaugural Southern Maryland March of Dimes Bikers for Babies ride, held Oct. 10, was an effort to raise awareness of the problem of premature births, the leading cause of death among children during the first month of life.

Riders were escorted by sheriff's officers from St. Mary's and Calvert counties.

Park Opens in Charles

Turkey Hill Park, a new Charles County recreation center, opened to the public last week.

The park includes practice soccer fields (by permit only), an off-leash exercise area for dogs and a half-mile-long asphalt-surface oval for running, walking, biking and rollerblading.

Turkey Hill Park is open from dawn to dusk, year-round. It is just north of La Plata, one block off Route 301 on Turkey Hill Road.

For information, call the Charles County Department of Public Facilities at 301-932-3470.

Play Set on Ruling

The St. Mary's College of Maryland Center for the Study of Democracy and the Division of Arts and Letters will present a concert reading of Marcia Cebulska's play "Now Let Me Fly," Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. in Room 25 of Montgomery Hall.

The event is free and open to the public.

Based on hundreds of oral histories and personal interviews, "Now Let Me Fly" brings to life the real stories and people behind the Brown v. Board of Education case. The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision pronounced "separate but equal" education unconstitutional and started unraveling racial segregation.

Eight student actors will perform under the direction of recent St. Mary's graduate, Paul Takacs, a Washington, D.C.-based actor and director. A discussion will follow the performance.

"Now Let Me Fly" was commissioned by Washburn University in Kansas and the Brown Foundation to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1954 ruling. The play has seen numerous readings throughout the nation, with the help of A Nation Acts, an Internet-based grass-roots movement designed to educate citizens about the legacy of Brown and to fuel discussions about race and racism in America.

Substitute-Teacher Training

The substitute teacher training course is being offered through St. Mary's County public schools on Nov. 17 and 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Board of Education office at 23160 Moakley St. in Leonardtown.

Walk-in registration is scheduled Nov. 15, beginning at 9 a.m. Registrations will be taken on a first-come first-served basis. Registrants must be at least 18 and are required to bring their Social Security card or birth certificate, driver's license and $42 (check, cash or money order payable to St. Mary's County public schools) for a criminal background check fee. Registrants will be required to complete all paperwork and schedule a fingerprint appointment.

Additional information is available by calling 301-475-5511, Ext. 189.

Election Day Closure

The St. Mary's County Housing Authority's Leonardtown office at 41650 Tudor Hall Rd., next to the Circuit Courthouse, will be closed Tuesday for Election Day.

Residents who need assistance Tuesday may visit the Housing Authority's Lexington Park office at the J. Patrick Jarboe Family Education and Head Start Center, 21161 Lexwood Dr., or call the Lexington Park Office at 301-866-5994.

Families living in Housing Authority properties with emergencies on Tuesday should call the emergency telephone numbers provided to them by the authority.

Housing Authority staff, except for reception staff at the Jarboe Center and maintenance personnel, will participate in training at St. Mary's College of Maryland on Tuesday. Normal operations will resume Wednesday.

Heritage Awards Given

The Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium recently announced five recipients of awards in its first annual mini-grant program, which specifically funds small projects for organizations throughout Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties.

The grants are for various amounts, with a maximum award of $500. Organizations must match the awards dollar-for-dollar to fully fund their project or event. The award recipients for 2004 are:

* Historic St. Mary's City, for its Maritime Heritage Festival, an award of $300 to help finance musicians who will perform and demonstrate sea shanties at the festival in June 2005.

* The Bayside Museum in North Beach, will receive an award of $500 to purchase permanent display cases for artifacts relating to Camp Roosevelt, the first Boy Scout Camp. An additional grant of $200 will be made to the museum for professional framing for part of its collection.

* Friends of the Old Wallville School in Calvert County will receive $500 to help stabilize the building's structure while a permanent location and further preservation efforts are planned.

* The Chesapeake Bay Floating Theatre, in Indian Head, will receive $300 to upgrade its Web site. The site currently supports the Black Box Theatre and will be enhanced to include information about the ongoing project of re-creating the historic Floating Theatre.

* Friends of the One Room Schoolhouse, in Port Republic, will receive $300 to help create and publish a promotional brochure that will tell the story of early public education at this site.

Recipients will get the funds as soon as they are ready to begin their projects. All projects must be completed within a specified time.

Thanksgiving Day Meal

The 14th annual Free Thanksgiving Day Dinner presented by the Lighthouse Inn restaurant and SMILE, an ecumenical food pantry and thrift shop in Lusby, will take place Nov. 25 from noon to 3 p.m.

Hundreds of people in the past have accepted the annual invitation of a free Thanksgiving dinner at the Lighthouse Inn's waterfront location in Solomons Island. Anyone in the Southern Maryland area who is alone for the holiday, or unable either to afford or to prepare a big Thanksgiving meal, is invited to join others at the Lighthouse Inn.

Transportation can be arranged in advance by calling Jennifer Jordan at 410-326-2444.

CSM Official Named

The College of Southern Maryland has named Giovanna Colosi as its director of student life.

"I am looking forward to working with the students at CSM to provide dynamic and diverse opportunities outside the classroom that will enhance their college experience," Colosi said in a statement announcing her appointment.

CSM's student life operation consists of athletics, campus activities, drug and alcohol education, leadership development, service learning, student organizations and Volunteer Southern Maryland.

Previously Colosi has been an admissions counselor and assistant director of admissions at Cayuga Community College in Fulton, N.Y. She has also served as a director of residence life at Bryant & Stratton College in Syracuse, N.Y.

Colosi has a master's degree in counseling and human services and a bachelor's degree in psychology from State University of New York at Oswego.

Help for New Theater

Studio Theatre in Washington recently donated 100 padded, professional theater seats for the Newtowne Players' new theater in St. Mary's County.

The Newtowne Players are developing a theater that would be part of the revitalization efforts in Lexington Park.

'Pied Piper' Auditions

The College of Southern Maryland Theatre Company is seeking aspiring actors young and old for "The Pied Piper," its upcoming children's theater production.

Auditions will be 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 17, and 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 20, at the La Plata campus, Fine Arts Center Theater. The production runs weekends, Jan. 28 through Feb. 6.

Based upon the classic Grimm's Brothers fairy tale, "The Pied Piper" is a musical adaptation, telling the story of the mysterious Pied Piper who chases the rats out of the little town of Hamlin, when all other efforts by the townsfolk fail.

"The music and script are very enjoyable, and suitable for young actors and grown-ups alike," director C. Emmitt Woody said in an announcement.

Performers will need to bring a prepared song, with sheet music, and a monologue. An accompanist will be provided; a CD/cassette player also will be available.

Auditions will be held in private and by appointment. To schedule an audition, call 301-934-7828, 301-870-3008 or 301-884-8131, Ext. 7828, e-mail Bxoffc@csmd.edu or visit www.csmd.edu/FineArts/auditions/index.html.

Education Center Open House

All residents of the tri-county area are invited to learn more about graduate degrees in engineering, applied science, education, counseling, nursing, social work and management at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center's winter/spring semester Open House 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the center's campus, 44219 Airport Rd., California.

Representatives from the center's nine university partners that present graduate degree programs at the St. Mary's County facility in the areas of engineering, applied science, nursing, social work, education, counseling and management will provide course information, application procedures, admission requirements and general academic advising. Class schedules also will be available.

The center's university partners are Catholic University of America, Capitol College, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Old Dominion University, Towson University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland University College and Washington College.

Next spring, new programs will begin offering master's degrees in counseling from Johns Hopkins University and bachelor's completion degrees in engineering from Capitol College.

The Higher Education Center campus is a half-mile off Route 235 in the Wildewood Technology and Professional Park, five miles north of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

For additional information, call the center at 301-737-2500, or visit the Web site at www.smhec.org.

The center presents almost 60 graduate degree programs, with courses held weeknights and weekends to accommodate working professionals. All degree programs are approved for presentation by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

-- Compiled by SUSAN BARTON

Chef Pete Hutchings loads up a turkey during a free Thanksgiving Day dinner offered annually by the Lighthouse Inn. This year's event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. and is open to the public.