Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, through its charitable foundation, is inviting local organizations that are working to end the opioid crisis in Southern Maryland to apply for the charitable funds that will be raised in 2020.

As part of its commitment to the community, each year SMECO raises money for a different local charity. For 2020, SMECO is focusing on organizations working to end the opioid epidemic in Southern Maryland. Across the nation, small-town life has been turned upside down by opioid use, and SMECO understands that successful programs require an engaged community to help save lives.

Local nonprofit organizations are invited to apply for consideration to be selected as the SMECO Foundation’s 2020 corporate charity. To be considered, organizations must be located in SMECO’s service area and working to address the opioid epidemic through education, prevention or treatment. To submit an online application, go to

The cooperative’s main fundraisers are the SMECO 75 Bike Ride held in June and the annual Charity Golf Outing held in October. Both events are supported by volunteer employees, the SMECO executive team and vendors. In 2018, the SMECO Charitable Foundation contributed more than $55,000 to local organizations.

School system sponsors bus hotline

Charles County Public Schools is sponsoring a bus hotline for parents to call with questions about school bus routes. Call 301-932-6655 to access the hotline. The hotline is available 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 29-30, and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 3-4.

Bus route information for the 2019-20 is now available through the School Locator feature on the school system website, School Locator is designed to allow the public to enter an address and see which three schools — elementary, middle and high — an address is zoned for. It also indicates if the address is eligible for bus transportation to a particular school, the bus number for each route and the location of the closest bus stop to the address.

Bus stops within established subdivisions are permanently placed at specific locations to ensure consistency and equity among riders and will not be changed. Buses may run later than normal during the first week of school to adjust for changes in routes and/or established stops.

School Locator can be accessed at Select Transportation from the Quick Links menu located on the home page, and then choose School Locator from the menu. School Locator uses mapping data from the county and filters it by the system’s current school zones.

For more information about bus routes, visit, contact your child’s school, or the transportation department at or 301-934-7262. Bus stop change requests must be submitted online through the school system website at

School system offers free breakfasts first week of school

Charles County Public Schools will offer all students free breakfast the first week of school, Sept. 3-6. The goal is to provide students with a jump-start to the new school year and an opportunity to start the day with a healthy breakfast, according to a school system news release.

Breakfast items to be served include milk, cereal, juice and fruit with an additional option of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for high school students.

On the first day of school, Tuesday, Sept. 3, some elementary schools may not serve breakfast in order to accommodate student arrivals and classroom transitions. Additionally, free breakfast offerings during the week at the secondary level do not include a la carte items.

Charles County Public Schools will also offer free breakfast to students during the week of Jan. 2-10, 2020, when both students and teachers return from winter break. Menu options, including breakfast, lunch and a la carte choices, are posted on the school system website at

Free grant training seminar set for Sept. 12

The 14th annual Free Grant Training Seminar at the College of Southern Maryland, La Plata campus, is Sept. 12. Learn how to identify potential funding sources, write good grant requests and tap into the many local, regional and national resources available to nonprofits, according to a CSM news release.

Elizabeth Madjlesi, a community outreach manager, will give a presentation at the free event and share expert tips with grant seekers on how to use data, technology and research to improve their nonprofits, foundations or social enterprises, including individual donors. The event will highlight smarter giving and receiving. This seminar is strongly recommended for anyone who writes grant proposals for nonprofit organizations, county and state agencies, academic institutions or civic associations, according to the release.

The event is from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the CSM Center for Business and Industry (BI Building), Chaney Enterprises Conference Room 113. The La Plata campus is located at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata.

The seminar is sponsored by CSM, the Nonprofit Institute, Charles County Government, the Governor’s Grants Office, the Charles County Public Library and the Charles County Charitable Trust.

For required registration, go to