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The Southern Maryland College Access Network, or SoMD CAN, is holding two free events aimed at families who plan to apply for financial aid for their children’s college tuition.

The first event will be a line-by-line discussion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The discussion will take place from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Huntingtown High School.

Sonia K. Wagner, the SoMD CAN founder and board president, said the event is aimed at parents, “so they can understand the intricacies of completing the FAFSA.

“There are lots of mistakes that can cost a family a lot of illegibility if it’s not completed correctly,” said Wagner, who said she has been holding the discussion since 2004.

The second event is College Goal Sunday, during which high school seniors and their parents can actually complete and file the FAFSA form online. The event will be from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Calvert Library Prince Frederick.

“We help them complete the FAFSA right there so they have expert help,” Wagner said, adding that personnel from the College of Southern Maryland will also be on hand to assist this year.

A $500 scholarship opportunity is available for students who complete their FAFSA that day.

Since computer slots are limited, Wagner said registration is required. To do so, go to the Calvert Library calendar at www.calvert.lib.md.us/events.html, or contact Shelby Potts at 410-474-0742 or somdcan@comcast.net with a request for a one-hour time slot. Attendees are asked to bring student and parent 2012 tax documents or estimated tax information to the event to ensure accuracy.

Library to host ‘camp’ for teddy bears

Calvert Library Prince Frederick is offering a look at the library after hours through the eyes of a teddy bear. Register and drop off a stuffed animal to Teddy Bear Camp Calvert at Calvert Library Prince Frederick, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, through Wednesday, Feb. 6. Then, from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, bring a picnic lunch and return to the library to pick up the stuffed animals, watch the overnight activities of the teddy bear campers on a big screen, read stories, play games and make s’mores. For further information, contact Robyn Truslow at 410-535-0291, or go to the library’s website, http://calvert.lib.md.us.

JPPM recruiting docents

Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard is recruiting docents for its 2013 class. The 10-week training course will begin Jan. 23 and costs $15. Classes will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Benefits to becoming a docent include a Friends of JPPM family membership, a 10 percent discount in the Show Barn Museum Shop, Friends’ newsletter and a discount on special event entry fees and workshops. For more information, contact Erin Atkinson at 410-586-8512.

Church hosts health care discussion, panel

Middleham and St. Peter’s Parish in Lusby will host a community forum, “The Big Conversation — Health Care in Southern Maryland: A Right, Responsibility, or Privilege?” The forum will feature a panel of health care personnel who will address the major health challenges in Southern Maryland, and answer audience questions. The event will start at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at the parish hall at 10210 H.G. Trueman Road in Lusby. For more information, go to www.middlehamandstpeters.org/.

Become a certified naturalist

The American Chestnut Land Trust, in cooperation with the Calvert County Cooperative Extension of the University of Maryland, Battle Creek Nature Education Society and Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust, will be offering Maryland Master Naturalist training beginning Feb. 11. Lecture topics include ornithology, mammalogy, geology and botany. Once trainees complete the required course hours and final exam, they must provide 40 hours of volunteer service to the program to become a certified naturalist. A variety of volunteer opportunities will be available in invasive species control, public awareness campaigns and field research, according to a press release from ACLT.

Classes will be held from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays at the Community Resources Building at 30 Duke St., Room 105, in Prince Frederick, and at the ACLT office at 676 Double Oak Road in Prince Frederick. The program cost is $250 per student and will include a total of 52 hours of class lectures and two Saturday field trips. For more information, call the ACLT at 410-414-3400, or go to www.masternaturalist.umd.edu.

Books & Bubbly to be held next Friday

Friends of Calvert Library is hosting the annual Books & Bubbly party from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Calvert Library Prince Frederick. Featured at the event will be author Christine Trent and music by the All Saints House Band. According to a press release from the library, Trent will be giving participants a sneak peak of her book, “Lady of Ashes,” which will be released Feb. 26.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at any Calvert Library location. For more information, call 410- 535-0291 or 301-855-1862.

Social Security office hours change

Effective November 2012, the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area Social Security offices have been open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, a reduction of 30 minutes each weekday. In addition, beginning Jan. 2, the offices have been closing to the public at noon every Wednesday.



ldukes@somdnews.com