County recognizes volunteer mentors

Volunteer mentors recognized

Commissioners proclaimed January as National Mentoring Month and recognized local volunteers who contribute their time and energy to mentoring children in the community. Maranda Carlson and Kim Cook accept a proclamation on behalf of Maryland MENTORE.

The Southern Maryland Family History Study Group will hold its third annual Southern Maryland Genealogy and History Conference from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, at the Maryland Veteran’s Museum at Patriot Park, at 11000 Crain Highway in Newburg.

The day will consist of vendors, directly and indirectly related to genealogy and the history of Southern Maryland, speakers, videos, tours of the veterans museum, memorials to local veterans a Skype session with the Maryland to Kentucky Reunion being held that day, mini Southern Maryland family reunions, the sharing of family history and lineage and more.

The cost is $10 for pre-registration, or $15 to register at the door.

For more information, contact fair coordinator Wanda Simmons at or 301-752-5298.

Library branches will open at noon Jan. 27

In order to accommodate the interview schedule for executive director candidates, Charles County Public Libraries has announced that all branches will have a delayed opening of noon on Monday, Jan. 27. The library apologizes for any inconvenience and encourages patrons to visit to access their account and online resources.

Tool encourages parent-educator partnerships

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood has launched a new interactive tool on the Maryland Families Engage website; the virtual Maryland Early Childhood Family Engagement Toolkit.

The goal of the new and improved toolkit is to help teachers, providers, parents, and families build a network of community support and share best practices.

The MSDE Division of Early Childhood, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Innovation in Development, Engagement and Learning Systems Institute, designed the new and improved online version of the toolkit to guide educators through the state’s Family Engagement Framework. The toolkit features a variety of updated content with navigational tabs that provide easy access to family engagement strategies, topics, and success stories in the form of articles, videos, infographics and downloadable resources.

Originally created in 2016 as a colorful box set with large informational cards, the online version of the toolkit was developed based on feedback from the state’s early learning community. During focus groups conducted last year, educators requested a more user-friendly toolkit. Educators requested a toolkit that would be less text-driven and highlight family engagement strategies “in action.”

In July 2018, the MSDE Division of Early Childhood launched the state’s family engagement community hub, Through funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the website serves as a “one-stop shop” for parents, families, providers, teachers and other stakeholders to share resources that promote school readiness, positive parent-child relationships and the benefits of family engagement.

For more information about the virtual Maryland Early Childhood Family Engagement Toolkit, please visit

Panelists needed for state arts grants

The Maryland State Arts Council is seeking panelists to review grant applications for the second year of Creativity Grants.

MSAC relies on a diverse array of arts and grants experts from across the state to do the important work of evaluating grant applications. Creativity Grant panelists will remotely review grant applications each month for six months. Serving as a panelist is a great opportunity to learn about MSAC’s granting processes.

The Creativity Grant program is meant to strengthen the vitality and sustainability of artists and small organizations to maintain a strong and stable arts infrastructure in Maryland. Applications are submitted by independent artists or arts organizations; are for amounts between $1,000 and $3,500; and include a narrative statement responding to four questions.

Grant panelists review applications from April to September, receive modest compensation and are required to attend one of the following training sessions in March: Monday, March 16, at 9 a.m.; Tuesday, March 17, at 2 p.m.; or Wednesday, March 18, at 6 p.m.

Panelists, who must be Maryland residents, will review grant applications remotely between the 10th and 15th of each month.

Panelists must have access to a computer with an internet connection to complete the monthly reviews.

Apply by filling out the online application form by Friday, Feb. 14:

For more information, contact program directors Emily Sollenberger Dobbins at or Laura Weiss at