Teachers are now admitted free to county museums
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. email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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.