The college application essay doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore. Students can learn tips and tricks Monday, September 17 at 7 pm as Howard County Library System’s Central Branch hosts Jill Kasprzak, director of college counseling at a private high school and former assistant director of admissions at Loyola University Maryland. The discussion focuses on the art of writing a good college application essay. The class provides helpful information about what college admissions officers are seeking, what makes an essay successful, how to brainstorm, and how to complete the essays without stressing out.
Please encourage interested students to register for this class.
It is a Sunday night, raining, and I am eating oatmeal
There is a language to be learned, a list to dominate
And I can’t hear what’s being said upstairs, but I can
Make out my mother’s butterscotch laughter, my
Father’s heavy lidded footsteps, the sound of the
Ice-maker and the rain. These singular things that
Make a childhood. Yet there is a butterfly effect to
This life. A waltz that you can’t see, but you feel the
Big band strike up the music in your blood. Why
Are people always leaving? Spun round and round
In overlapping rotations. If only in this world
That is mostly linoleum and revolving doors
Things could be as familiar as my childhood staircase.
As familiar as rainy Sunday nights and oatmeal
Mallory Smith. Grade 9, Howard High School
First Place, 8th / 9th Grade Group, 2011 Word Up Contest
The 2012 Word Up! poetry contest is now open! All Howard County students in grades 6 through 12 are eligible to enter. Cash prizes are awarded for first, second, and third place in three age groups. Winners are invited to read their poems at a special event on Wednesday April 25 at 7pm at the Miller Branch.
Poems may be submitted electronically at hclibrary.org/wordup. You can download the Word Up! Educator Resource Brochure or request a session of Writer’s Camp for your students. The deadline to submit up to three entries is March 14, & we look forward to receiving poems by your students.
Word Up! is sponsored by Friends of Howard County Library.
The decisions surrounding going to college can have a great impact on a person’s life. Choices start with the most fundamental ones about whether to pursue a degree and when – immediately after high school or wait a year. From there, prospective students consider to which college(s) they wish to apply and what course of study (majors, minors, other classes) to pursue. Last but not least, there is the question of how to afford tuition, room and board, and books.
Students (and their parents) need to consider these questions and others carefully, and (as needed) seek expert assistance. As your students make these crucial college decisions, encourage them to attend College: Let’s Make It Make Cents! to learn about the application process and how to secure financial aid.
This college readiness and financial literacy event happens at Howard County Library System Savage Branch on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3 pm. The event features presentations and a panel discussion with representatives from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, The University of Maryland’s Academic Achievement Program and Howard Community College‘s admissions and financial aid departments.
Your students should gain information to succeed in high school, after high school, and beyond!
Brian Hart – Howard County Library System Savage Branch
From December 1st 2011 to February 29th 2012 we’re offering Middle and High School students the chance to chill out with a book as part of Teen Winter Reading. Howard County Library System’s Teen Instructors have selected 46 titles for the 2011-12 Winter Reading List and prepared a three-question quiz about each selected title. The list includes materials for ages 11-17 from collections throughout the library, so there’s something available for everyone.
Between December 1st, 2011 and February 29, 2012, teen readers are invited to select and read (or listen to) a book from the list, and answer the three-question quiz about that book. Teen readers who read three books and answer three quizzes will be entered into a prize draw to win a book bundle. Prizes will be drawn in March, after Teen Winter Reading concludes. Your students can read as many books off the list as they want to, and enter the draw each time they read three new books and complete three new quizzes.
There are printed copies of the book list in your closest branch. You can also view the list and questions at hclibrary.org/winterreading/. Please share this information with your students and encourage them to take part!
The Maryland Library Association, Children’s Services Division has announced the 2011 winners of the Maryland Blue Crab Awards. Blue Crabs are awarded to authors of books for beginning or transitional readers. This year’s winners are:
- For Beginning Fiction: We Are In A Book, by Mo Willems
- For Beginning Non-Fiction: Just One Bite, by Lola Schaefer
- For Transitional Fiction: Lulu and the Brontosaurus, by Judith Viorst
- For Transitional Non-Fiction: Pika: Life on the Rocks, by Tannis Bill.
A complete list of honor books, and winners and honors from previous years, as well a description of the criteria for the award, can be found on the MLA website.
Do you have students who already have a sincere love of reading? Or maybe some in whom you’d like to instill a greater appreciation of books and their many delights? Howard County Library System hosts many monthly book clubs to encourage students to read for fun.
Book – N – Chat meets on one Tuesday evening each month, for ages 6 – 8, and discusses a picture book and presents other activities.
Classics Club Jr gets together on the last Wednesday of the month, for ages 7 – 9, to take a look at some classic children’s novels.
Classics Club has a similar focus for students ages 9 & up.
Pageturners, for ages 8 – 11, examines a theme each quarter. For this fall, they’ve been reading about rats. The November 15 meeting is about Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynn Jonell.
Elks Starters offers a monthly celebration of reading with a fun, fast-paced discussion of stories for young readers (ages 7 – 8), designed to inspire reading. In November, the group is reading Jake Drake, Bully Buster by Andrew Clements.
Elks Comics Club is the right place for those ages 9 – 11 who love comics, graphic novels, and comic inspired books. It also has activities to inspire students to create their own comic books. In November, the club is looking at How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Scott Seegart.
Tween Book Club, for ages 10 – 13, is a place for those “in between” other groups to get together, discuss great book, and participate in fun activities. In November, this club is discussing No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman.
For more details about these and other opportunities to foster good reading skills, visit hclibrary.org and look up the individual session in the classes and events calendar, pick up a copy of source, or visit one of the branches listed above. All specific titles listed are available for borrowing.
Greg Heffley visited Burleigh Manor Middle School for quite a while!
After making an appearance on their morning news show, their fantastic media specialist Barb Randolph kept Greg busy entertaining a guest, author Gordon Korman who was visiting the school!
Are your students Wimpy Kid fans?
You can request a visit from our cardboard Greg (sorry, we do not have a cardboard Mr. Korman) by contacting your A+ Liason.
His latest adventure Cabin Fever comes out on November 15, but you can reserve a copy today!
Have you already assigned the first of many research papers or essays to your students? Would you now like to point them in the direction of FREE writing review and suggestions? If so, take a moment to encourage them to use Howard County Library System’s online homework assistance.
This service features, among other useful aspects, a writing lab where students can actually upload versions of their original papers to receive a “second opinion” from the experts. These experts check the students’ submissions for grammar and content, then reply to the students with suggestions and tips to consider while drafting the final versions of their assignments!
In addition to writing assistance, Online Homework Assistance experts also offer your students confidential access to additional assistance/tutoring in the following areas:
- Social Studies
- Foreign Languages
- Test Preparation
Remember, this service is FREE! Encourage your students to take advantage of this and other services offered by the Howard County Library System via hclibrary.org/students.
Brian Hart – Howard County Library System, Savage Branch
Are your students planning on participating in National History Day this year? Would they like a judge’s inside view? Teachers, parents and students are invited to Howard County Library System’s Maximize Your History Day Research event on October 4 at 7 pm at the Elkridge Branch. Click here to register. You’ll get live demonstrations of our online historical research tools, tips from former NHD judges, as well as advice from history and reference experts from across the system.
This year’s theme is “Revolution, Reaction and Reform” (and requires relevant research)- we can help!
If your students cannot attend Tuesday night’s event, consider booking the A+ Curriculum Enhancement: History Day Project Preparation Class, or contact your A+ Liaison for more information.
For teachers, students, and families: You think fairy tales are boring? Not after the APL Drama Club gets their hands on them. Join the fun at East Columbia Branch on Saturday, October 22, at 3 pm. The APL players present their mash-up of classic tales, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Three Little Pigs, Star Wars. Star Wars? Sure, why not – nothing is quite what it seems.
Irva Gabin – East Columbia Branch
Teacher Notes From Howard County Library - Subject Category