Forum to improve schools

Albert Einstein High School will host the second of three community forums at 7 p.m. today to discuss ways to improve education. The forum, sponsored by the Montgomery County public school system, will focus on the annual update of the school system's strategic plan and the annual operating budget. 11135 Newport Mill Rd., Kensington. 301-929-2200.

Forum on health education, a community advocacy group, will hold a forum called, "Just Say Now to Comprehensive and Inclusive Health Education," from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the auditorium of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Speakers will include Paul Wertsch, chair of the American Medical Association's Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues; Deborah Roffman, an educator and author; and Glenn Northern, education policy manager for Planned Parenthood Federation of America., advocates for science-based health education for public school students.

Teacher awarded Japan Fulbright

Alecia Berman-Dry, a technology teacher at St. John's Episcopal School in Olney was selected to participate in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher program, which will send her to Japan for three weeks in October in an effort to promote understanding between the United States and Japan.

Berman-Dry graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a degree in English education and theatre.

Primary and secondary school educators are eligible to apply for the fund for 2006. Applications are due Dec. 10, 2005. Call 1-888-527-2636 or

Youth orchestra to hold auditions

The Rockville Regional Youth Orchestra is holding open auditions for students in grades 4-9 today at Glenview Mansion Rockville Civic Center Park, 603 Edmonston Dr., Rockville.

The auditions are open to area residents, although the orchestra seeks to have primarily Rockville residents. The cost to participate in the program is $180 and $230 for nonresidents. To schedule an audition, call 240-314-8682 or email

Optimists Club organizes youth contests

The Optimists Club of Rockville, a nonprofit organization, is sponsoring essay and speech contests for children 16 and younger. Contestants are asked to compose a four- to five-minute speech on the topic, "My Future is Bright Because...". Entries must be postmarked no later than March 16, 2006. The club also is holding a contest for students 19 and younger to write a 400- to 500- word essay on the topic, "I'm Unique Because." Entries must be postmarked no later than Feb. 6, 2006. Winners will get $100 savings bond and qualify for other competitions. Call 240-393-5029 or visit

-- Compiled by ARUNA JAIN

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