Students & Teachers

In September 2002, Howard County Library System (HCLS) and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) launched a groundbreaking county-wide initiative, A+ Partners in Education. An incredible success, Howard Community College (HCC) joined the partnership shortly thereafter.

Our collective vision is to provide for Howard County students with their greatest opportunity to achieve overall academic success. What makes A+ unique?

  • Every HCPSS school, and each HCC department, is assigned an HCLS branch and liaison.
  • Each student receives an HCLS card through school registration.
  • Kindergarten field trips to HCLS are part of HCPSS’ curriculum.
  • HCLS instructors teach A+ Curriculum classes at HCLS branches, and in the schools.
  • Faculty send HCLS instructors Assignment Alerts.

More about A+ Partners…

Since its inception, numerous libraries and schools have requested information about how to replicate such a partnership. If you are interested, please review our toolkit for details.

HiTech Overview

A launching point in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) pipeline of future scientists, mathematicians, and engineers needed to fill high-tech BRAC-related jobs, Howard County Library System delivers an impressive line-up of STEM-related classes for preschool, elementary, and middle school students. The curriculum component provides students with the 21st century skills necessary to eventually acquire 21st century jobs. The series, which teaches STEM through children’s literature and experiments, includes: Having a Ball with Chemistry, Candy Science, Wiggly Giggly Gelatin, Snowflake Science, Go Figure, Robotics Fair, and Everyday Engineering. Watch a video about HCLS’ STEM-related classes.

HCLS’ A+ Curriculum Guides (includes PTAs and PTSAs), source (quarterly classes and events guide), and online calendar list the STEM and other classes, which HCLS instructors teach at HCLS’ six branches for the general public, and take into school classrooms as part of A+ Partners in Education.


HiTech provides access not only to the latest technology, but also to peer and adult mentors who can support the scientific creativity of students in grades 6-12. Headquartered at the HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center, HiTech reaches students county-wide. Details.

Battle of the Books

The seventh annual battle takes place April 10, 2015. Details.

Download PDFs of photo sheets from the 2009, 2010 2011 2012 and 2013 competitions. Visit our Flickr page for 2014 photos. Visit our YouTube channel for a quick video of the event.

HCLS Spelling Bee

Participate in the tenth annual HCLS Spelling Bee. Details.
Download PDFs of photo sheets from the 2009, 2010 2011 2012 and 2013 competitions. Visit our Flickr page for 2014 photos.

Rube Goldberg Challenge

The Rube Goldberg Challenge unleashes the creativity of fourth and fifth grade students as they apply STEM concepts to solve a problem. Details.
Download PDFs of the photo sheets from the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Awards Ceremonies. Visit our Flickr page for 2014 photos.

Summer Reading Club

Win prizes when you register for the Summer Reading Club! Details.
Download PDFs of photo sheets from the 2009, 2010 2011 and 2012 kickoff events. Visit our Flickr page for 2013 photos.

A+ Partners in Education is licensed by Howard County Library System (MD) under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Please let us know when you launch your A+ initiative so we may link to your web site Contact Us

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