A new program aims to help young mothers build strong families through ongoing mental health assistance.

Organized by the St. Mary’s County Health Department, the Strong Beginnings Program will provide intensive case management services for women of reproductive age who are facing issues or have needs related to behavioral health, including mental health and substance use concerns for themselves or a partner.

Strong Beginnings aims to educate and provide personalized care coordination with referrals to needed services for women identified with maternal depression or substance use disorders, according to a release from the St. Mary’s health department. Caregivers with be given resources for positive child development and learn how to reduce what are called “adverse childhood experiences” that impact children in the community.

“We want to educate and empower women so that they can effectively use our local health care system to meet their unique needs,” Ashley Milcetic, Strong Beginnings community nursing supervisor, said in the release. “Our hope is that the program will not only help women to improve their own health but will also leave a lasting positive impact on the health of their families.”

The program will serve women throughout the reproductive cycle — preconception, prenatal and postpartum — addressing issues that arise with each stage and providing individualized support, according to the release. Home visits, education and specialty referrals will be provided free of charge to program participants. Strong Beginnings will also include an educational program for female inmates at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center.

Local health care providers and partner organizations are working with the health department to provide program referrals and to assist with planning and evaluation.

For more information, visit www.smchd.or/strongbeginnings or call 301-475-4330.

Bluegrass show planned

The Nashville-based band Williamson Branch will present a high-energy, high-steppin’ show that features a fine-tuned variety of bluegrass, gospel and country music, accentuated by world class Appalachian clog dancing, on Sunday, Oct. 13, as part of the Hughesville American Legion’s bluegrass series.

This is the second of seven shows in the performance; all start at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person, and there will be food and beverages available for a separate price. Although not required, nonperishable food donations are accepted for the Helping Hands Food Pantry. For more information, visit www.americanlegionbluegass.com or call 301-737-3004.

SMCM lecture to feature journalist Rezaian

Jason Rezaian and his wife were detained in their Iranian home in July 2014, and he went on to spend 544 days in Tehran’s Evin prison, released on the same day that the historic nuclear deal between Iran and world powers was implemented. On Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m., former U.S. correspondent Rezaian will deliver the Benjamin C. Bradlee Distinguished Lecture in Journalism on the topic of his new book, “Prisoner.”

The lecture will be held in Auerbach Auditorium of St. Mary’s Hall on the St. Mary’s College of Maryland campus. Presented by the Center for the Study of Democracy, this event is free of charge and open to the public but registration is recommended at www.smcm.edu/bradleelecture. An audience question and answer, and book sale and signing, will follow the lecture.

Help restock oysters

Volunteers are needed to fill oyster cages on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. as part of the Marylanders Grow Oysters program. The project will take place at the St. Mary’s College of Maryland waterfront, and is being organized by the St. Mary’s River Watershed Association. For more information, visit www.smrwa.org.

Regional transportation meeting set for Oct. 15

The Calvert-St. Mary’s Metropolitan Planning Organization will hold its kickoff meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland in California. The group is responsible for setting priorities for regional transportation planning, including improvements to roadways, transit systems, bike facilities and sidewalks. For more, visit www.calvert-stmarysmpo.com.

Catholic school to host fundraiser on Oct. 18

The Archangel Scholarship Foundation, in support of St. Michael’s School in Ridge, will present Rhythm & Riches 2019 on Friday, Oct. 18, at the Hollywood firehouse starting at 5 p.m. There will be live music, featuring Robbie Boothe and The Amish Outlaws. Food and drinks will be for sale, and there will be a silent auction and raffles for $25,000 in cash prizes. For more information or tickets, visit www.rhythmandriches.com or call 240-587-7111. Tickets are also available at St. Michael’s rectory and school as well as at Ridge Hardware.

Oct. 24 dinner, auction to benefit The Mission

The Mission, a nonprofit that helps people who are homeless and the working poor, will hold its annual fundraising dinner and silent auction on Thursday, Oct. 24, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Hollywood firehouse. RSVP and buy tickets to the semi-formal event that will feature live music at www.themissionevent.org.

Election judges sought

The St. Mary’s County Board of Elections is seeking eligible individuals willing to serve as election judges for next year’s elections. Training is provided and participants are compensated. Those eligible must be registered to vote in Maryland, 16 or older, not a candidate for public or political party office and able to speak, read and write the English language.

Judges receive $200 per election as well as $30 for attending the required training class. For more information, call 301 475-4200, ext. 71614, or email electionjudges@stmarysmd.com.

NAACP to hold jazz brunch this Saturday

The St. Mary’s County branch of the NAACP will hold its annual Freedom Fund banquet on Saturday, Oct. 12. The event is billed as a “jazz brunch,” and will be held at the Leonardtown firehouse social hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with music by the Casual Groove Band. This year’s honorees are Kelsey Bush and Marcia Greenberg. Tickets for the fundraising event are $60 per person. For more information, including how to buy tickets, visit www.stmarysnaacp.org or contact Darlene Johnson at darlenejohnson2012@gmail.com or Charlottis Woodley at wood748@aol.com or 301-863-3011.

Residents encouraged to get weather warnings

The St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services wants residents to be prepared and informed by signing up to receive email warnings, updates and special notices including road closures, severe weather updates, recreation and park notices and CodeRED weather warnings. The county’s CodeRED Emergency Notification System is an ultra-high-speed telephone communication service used to quickly contact citizens. This system makes calls to all or targeted areas of the county when important information needs to be immediately relayed to citizens. Sign up online at www.stmarysmd.com/emergencycodered.asp.

Sail on the river

Looking for a way to experience the Patuxent River? The Calvert Marine Museum will offer its last of the year two-hour public sails aboard the historic skipjack Dee of St. Mary’s, departing from the museum dock at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20. Tickets are $25 for ages 13 and up and $15 for children 5 to 12; no children under 5 permitted. To reserve a spot, visit bit.ly/DeeOfStMarysCruises. For more information, contact Melissa McCormick at 410-326-2042, ext. 41, or Melissa.McCormick@calvertcountymd.gov.

Help available for nonprofit groups

The Nonprofit Institution at the College of Southern Maryland regularly shares resources to assist nonprofit organizations in the region to enhance their effectiveness and achieve success. Grant information, training opportunities and other resources can be found on the institute’s website at www.csmd.edu/community/institutes/nonprofit-institute.

Rent Cove Point Lighthouse

The Cove Point Lighthouse in Calvert County can be rented for three, four or seven nights. The entire lighthouse accommodate up to 16 people; or just one side of the duplex can be rented for up to eight people.

Since this mixed-use lighthouse property on the Chesapeake Bay is still a fully functioning site, in addition to being a vacation rental, it continues to welcome the public for tours of the grounds from 1 to 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays, May through September, and daily June, July and August.

The lightkeeper’s house was originally built in 1828, but enlarged in 1925 to make it a duplex for two keepers and their families. Four acres of the grounds are fenced with a private entrance and direct access to the beach.

For more information and to book a stay, visit www.calvertmarinemuseum.com/218/Cove-Point-Lighthouse-Rental, call 410-326-2042, ext. 17, or email purdyma@co.cal.md.us.