Historic Rail Cars Funded

Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele (R) visited Gaithersburg on Tuesday to announce $430,182 in state financing to renovate two Olde Towne Gaithersburg historic rail cars, which are part of the Gaithersburg Community Museum. The city of Gaithersburg matched the state's contribution with $435,662.

The money also will be used to repair the city-owned guest track, which will serve visiting trains for special events in Historic Olde Towne Gaithersburg, along with other railroad-history-related enhancements that are part of Gaithersburg's revitalization efforts.

Construction will start in November 2006 and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2007.

Three School Forums Set

School officials are planning three community forums to allow residents to comment on strategies for improving education for all students.

The first forum is next Thursday at 7 p.m. at Rockville High School. The others are Sept. 22 at Albert Einstein High School and Oct. 6 at Northwest High School.

The forums will focus on updating the school's strategic plan, Our Call to Action: Pursuit of Excellence, and the operating budget. For more information, call 301-279-3636.

Men's Health Expo

Montgomery General Hospital will host its second annual Men's Health Expo from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Boyer Community Learning Center inside the hospital.

The event will offer free screenings for prostate cancer and blood pressure, as well as testing on hearing, vision, skin cancer, fitness, flexibility and body fat. There will be free lectures by physicians every 45 minutes about men's health issues, and experts will offer risk assessments and information on healthful lifestyle changes. 18101 Prince Philip Dr., Olney. 301-774-8969.

Law Series for Seniors

The Holiday Park Multiservice Senior Center will host an Elder Law Series at 1 p.m. Thursdays from Sept. 15 through Dec. 1. Retirement security, health care decision-making, assisted living and financial scams targeting seniors will be discussed. $25 for the entire series or $5 per lecture. 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton. 301-468-4449.

Training for Nonprofits

Montgomery College's Workforce Development and Continuing Education program and the Carl M. Freeman Foundation are offering a three-day intensive training program for new and emerging leaders of county nonprofit organizations, Sept. 27-29 at the Shady Grove campus in Rockville.

The program will show students how to become effective directors, work with diverse constituencies and guide their organizations through change. Tuition is $495 and includes follow-up sessions in November and January. For more information, call 301-251-7970.

College Symphony Tryout

Montgomery College will hold an additional audition for the Montgomery College Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, Sept. 10, beginning at 10 a.m.

Students and residents can call 301-279-5209 to schedule auditions. The orchestra has openings for musicians who play a variety of instruments, including violin, cello, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, trombone and harp. Auditions will be held in the Music Recital Hall at the Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee St.

Student Program Is Lauded

Higher Achievement, an academic program for low-income children in the District, has won the 2005 Washington Post award for excellence in nonprofit management.

The award, in its 11th year, recognizes a nonprofit's outstanding achievement and innovative management strategies.

Higher Achievement, founded in 1975, focuses on helping fifth- through eighth-grade students to develop academic skills, behaviors and attitudes to improve their grades and standardized test scores. It provides after-school and summer programs to about 300 children each year. Nearly all Higher Achievement graduates go on to college.

Honorable mentions went to four Northern Virginia groups: the Arlington Free Clinic; Coptic Orphans, a Falls Church group that helps orphans in Egypt; the Annandale-based PHILLIPS Programs, supporting private special-education schools; and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna.

-- Compiled by ARUNA JAIN