Teach­ers are now ad­mit­ted free to county mu­se­ums

The Enterprise - - News - Jesse Yeat­man jyeat­man@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @JesseEn­tNews

Teach­ers and other ed­u­ca­tors in St. Mary’s can now go to the county’s two his­tor­i­cal mu­se­ums free of charge.

Ad­mis­sion fees are now waived at St. Cle­ment’s Is­land Mu­seum and Piney Point Light­house Mu­seum and His­toric Park when pre­sent­ing a valid teacher ID from any ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion. Staff from St. Mary’s County Mu­seum Di­vi­sion hope this ini­tia­tive will in­spire more ed­u­ca­tors, and in turn chil­dren, to learn about the rich trove of his­tory avail­able at the two sites.

“We’ve kind of lost touch with the teach­ers in the county, and thought this would be a good way to re-in­tro­duce them,” to the mu­se­ums, Karen Stone, man­ager of the St. Mary’s mu­seum di­vi­sion, said.

The two mu­se­ums of­fer not just lessons on lo­cal his­tory, but can also be the im­pe­tus for other learn­ing, whether its scenic-in­spired art, build­ing con­struc­tion or en­vi­ron­men­tal land­scap­ing.

Stone, who has over­seen the di­vi­sion for about a year now, said she hopes that ed­u­ca­tors will “see all the po­ten­tial at these sites.”

While tak­ing ad­van­tage of this op­por­tu­nity to visit and learn more about his­toric sites, teach­ers are en­cour­aged to also find out about “In Touch with His­tory,” a free out­reach pro­gram de­vel­oped by the mu­seum di­vi­sion that is avail­able to schools, se­nior cen­ters and non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions. Skilled mu­seum staff visit class­rooms with in­ter­pre­tive ma­te­ri­als and con­duct hands-on pre­sen­ta­tions on par­tic­u­lar top­ics.

With “A Tale of Two Trunks,” classes can ex­plore the con­tents of two travel trunks to learn about pack­ing for a jour­ney to the Mary­land colony in 1634, or pack­ing for a va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion on the Po­tomac River in 1925. The “Solv­ing a Mys­tery in His­tory” pro­gram has puz­zles that use copies of ac­tual let­ters, pho­tographs, di­aries, maps and other pieces from the St. Cle­ment’s mu­seum col­lec­tions. Stu­dents and teach­ers can see how lost posses­sions of yes­ter­year can pro­vide valu­able in­for­ma­tion for to­day with the one-hour pre­sen­ta­tion about arche­ol­ogy called “Trea­sures Be­neath the Soil.”

Other out­reach ex­hibits in­clude “St. Cle­ment’s Is­land: Small Is­land, Great His­tory,” “Around the House” and “The In­cred­i­ble Shrink­ing Is­land.”

All of the out­reach pro­grams can be adapted to suit var­i­ous age groups, grade lev­els and in­ter­ests, Stone said.

While school field trips are pop­u­lar at some of the state mu­se­ums and parks in the re­gion, they are rare at the two county-owned mu­se­ums, she said. She hopes to change that, too, as ed­u­ca­tors learn more about what the sites have to of­fer.

In ad­di­tion to the St. Cle­ment’s and Piney Point mu­se­ums, the county gov­ern­ment di­vi­sion also over­sees the re­cently ren­o­vated Dray­den African-Amer­i­can School­house. The his­tor­i­cal struc­ture is avail­able for tours upon re­quest, and is open to the pub­lic on the first Satur­day of ev­ery month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing free mu­seum ad­mis­sion for teach­ers or the ed­u­ca­tional out­reach pro­grams, call Christina Bar­bour at 301-769-4723. Visit www.co.saint-marys.md.us/ recre­ate/Mu­se­ums.

TOPS group rec­og­nizes weight-loss roy­alty

Mem­bers of TOPS Club, or Take Off Pounds Sen­si­bly, the non­profit weight-loss sup­port or­ga­ni­za­tion, were hon­ored ear­lier this sum­mer for their weight-loss en­deav­ors at the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s an­nual con­fer­ence, held in Mon­treal, Canada. The fes­tiv­i­ties rec­og­nized TOPS award win­ners who, with de­ter­mi­na­tion, per­se­ver­ance, and sup­port from fel­low mem­bers, achieved the great­est weight loss in 2017.

In ad­di­tion to crown­ing a king and queen who over­all lost the most weight, di­vi­sion win­ners (based on ini­tial start­ing weights) and state win­ners were hon­ored. Doris Martin of Char­lotte Hall was named the Mary­land queen for los­ing 105 pounds last year.

Vis­i­tors can at­tend their first TOPS meet­ing free of charge, and mem­ber­ship is $32 per year plus chap­ter fees. To find a lo­cal chap­ter, visit www.tops. org or call 800-932-8677.

Gift do­na­tions sought

Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child on Nov. 12 to 19 will open up col­lec­tion sites, in­clud­ing Lex­ing­ton Park Bap­tist Church and Leonard­town Bap­tist Church, for its shoe­box gifts, part of the Sa­mar­i­tan’s Purse project. Fam­i­lies, churches and groups can fill empty shoe­boxes with toys, school sup­plies and hy­giene items to do­nate. Those boxes are then de­liv­ered to chil­dren in need around the world.

Vol­un­teers hope to col­lect more than 20,500 gifts na­tion­ally to con­trib­ute to the group’s goal. A list of drop-off lo­ca­tions can be found at www.samar­i­tanspurse.org/op­er­a­tion-christ­mas-child/drop-off-lo­ca­tions. Call Jen Acker, min­istry as­sis­tant at Leonard­town Bap­tist Church, at 301-475-2131.

An­nual bingo will ben­e­fit Stephen’s Fund

The 19th an­nual Char­lotte Hall Ro­tary Club Hol­i­day Bas­ket/De­signer Purse Bingo will be on Sun­day, Nov. 4, at the Hol­ly­wood fire­house to ben­e­fit Stephen’s Fund for chil­dren with spe­cial needs and their fam­i­lies. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and bingo will start at 1 p.m. Make a reser­va­tion in ad­vance to be en­tered in a free spe­cial draw­ing. Cost is $30 for 20 reg­u­lar games. To re­serve a ta­ble for six or more or en­ter a free draw­ing, con­tact Shirley at 240-298-3885 or Shirley. mat­tingly@ver­i­zon.net.

Youth men­tor­ing ini­tia­tive ses­sion slated

The St. Mary’s County Health Depart­ment is seek­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions that want to cre­ate or fur­ther de­velop lo­cal youth men­tor­ing pro­grams. An open in­for­ma­tion ses­sion for in­ter­ested or­ga­ni­za­tions will be held on Thurs­day, Nov. 8, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Lex­ing­ton Park li­brary.

Re­sources and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance with start­ing youth men­tor­ing pro­grams are avail­able to in­ter­ested or­ga­ni­za­tions. Grant fund­ing to sup­port this ini­tia­tive was pro­vided by the Ro­tary Club of Lex­ing­ton Park.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact call 301-475-4342 or email sm­chd.lbha@mary­land.gov.

Farm­ers con­fer­ence planned next month

Farm­ers can regis­ter now to at­tend the 37th an­nual South­ern Mary­land Crops Con­fer­ence to hear the lat­est ad­vances in crop pro­duc­tion and man­age­ment tech­nol­ogy. The con­fer­ence will be held on Tues­day, Nov. 27, from 4 to 8:30 p.m., fea­tur­ing a catered din­ner, at the Baden Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment in Brandy­wine. Top­ics to be dis­cussed in­clude pes­ti­cide le­gal is­sues, up­date on hemp pro­duc­tion, crop in­sur­ance, field crop dis­ease and more.

The reg­is­tra­tion fee of $10 in­cludes din­ner. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 301-475-4484 or 301-934-5403. Regis­ter by Nov. 13, to en­sure din­ner avail­abil­ity.

See tal­ent this Satur­day

The South­ern Mary­land’s Got Tal­ent con­test will be Satur­day, Nov. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Great Mills High School. Am­a­teurs of all ages from St. Mary’s and Calvert coun­ties who au­di­tioned will be per­form­ing. Tick­ets are $5 per per­son or $10 for a fam­ily. Hosted by the St. Mary’s Arts Coun­cil and South­ern Mary­land Com­mu­nity Re­sources. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.somdcr.org/events.

Sand­wiches for sale on Elec­tion Day in Ridge

The Ridge Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment Aux­il­iary will be sell­ing stuffed ham and chicken salad sand­wiches on Elec­tion Day, Tues­day, Nov. 6, at the fire­house. Stuffed ham sand­wiches will be $6 and chicken salad sand­wiches will be $3. Baked goods and hot dogs will also be avail­able for sale on Nov. 6. For more in­for­ma­tion, email aux­il­iary@ridgevfd.org or call 301-872-5090.

Fourth-graders and their fam­i­lies get in parks free

The Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources is again part­ner­ing with the U.S. Depart­ment of the In­te­rior’s Ev­ery Kid in a Park pro­gram to pro­vide fourth-grade chil­dren and their fam­i­lies free ad­mis­sion to na­tional pub­lic lands and state parks.

This marks the fourth year the Mary­land Park Ser­vice will honor the fed­eral passes, valid through Aug. 31, 2019, at all 75 state parks. To print a pass for this year, visit the web­site https://ev­erykid­i­na­park.gov.

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