November 2019

A publication of the Howard County Office of Children and Families
Family Institute
Thrive by Five! Saturday, November 16. The first family engagement conference targeting families with children from birth to five. Early brain development has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Join the Office of Children and Families for the latest science, health and behavioral information to help your child Thrive By Five . Guest speakers, prizes, gift cards and food are available.
Interested in hosting a parent workshop at your school or
location, contact us!
Parents that are at a loss on how to control their child's screen time and digital access can learn many ideas and search for app ideas, articles, organizations and other tools from the Screenagers site. Click here
Are you Ready to build school readiness skills with your child? Ready Rosie is a free educational tool for ages birth to five! The program, courtesy of the Howard County Government, provides access to an entire video library of 2-minute instructional videos for parents which can be delivered via email or text and in Spanish or English. If you are ready to begin turning everyday activities into teachable moments, sign up here !
Ready Rosie Idea: Turn this past month's eagerness to eat any lingering Halloween candy into a fun and colorful motivator to learn! Playing with colored candies or fruit snacks is the perfect way to learn about adding, sorting and graphing while including words such as most, least and total to your child’s vocabulary. Once registered for Ready Rosie, you can view this video:
Candy Sort and Graph. Additional ideas are available to adjust for if your child is not ready for the activity or if they need more of a challenge.   Book recommendation also included: “The M & M Counting Book” by Barbara McGrath
Motivating Children with
Their Homework
Articles from Child Mind Institute
And how to know if you're pushing too hard.
What it could mean when kids just don't seem to be trying very hard in school.
Strategies you can use to help kids work up to their potential.
Bolstering children who tend to talk themselves down.
Sundays, November 10 and 15. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Ln., Columbia, 21044

For families with children, teens and adults with sensory processing differences, autism spectrum disorder, or developmental disabilities, the center opens early, allowing visitors to enjoy a calm environment. Explore the exhibits, Discovery Room, nature trails and/or outdoor NaturePlace play area. Sensory alert maps, sensory backpacks and quiet areas are available. Walk-ins welcome, but reservations preferred. To find out more, click  

NEW program from Howard County Library System, brainHQ : An interactive brain training program built by Posit Science. Think of it as a personal gym, where you exercise and improve your memory, attention, brain speed, people skills, intelligence, and navigation instead of your abs, delts, and quads. Each exercise automatically adapts to your unique skill level. Create an account on the brainHQ web site and then continue using the web site OR download the free brainHQ mobile app.
10 Tips for Becoming More
Active as a Family 

Colder weather is upon us and it can take more effort to keep the family active during this time of year. Physical activity is important for children and adults of all ages. Being active as a family can benefit everyone. Adults need 2½ hours a week of physical activity, and children need 60 minutes a day. Click on the Activity Tip Sheet in English /  Spanish to get tips to add more activity to your family’s busy schedule.
November is Parent Teacher Conference Time!

To make the most out of the short time you have to connect with your child's teachers, click on the titles below to read helpful tips from the Child Mind Institute .

Medication Safety and Your Family

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was in October, but you can properly dispose of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications ALL YEAR LONG thanks to four permanent drop-off locations set up by HCPD. Drop-off boxes are located inside the front doors of the following County locations:

·         Northern District, 3410 Court House Drive, Ellicott City
·          Southern District, 11226 Scaggsville Road, Laurel
·          Community Outreach Building, 10741 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
·          Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2400 MD 97, Cooksville (business hours only)

For more information to properly and safely dispose of medical sharps (needles, syringes, EpiPens), visit the Bureau of Environmental Services
By properly disposing of medication you no longer need, you are helping in the fight against the opioid crisis in our area as well as keeping young ones from accessing medications not meant for them. About 60,000 young children end up in emergency rooms each year because they got into medicines while an adult wasn’t looking. These emergency visits can be prevented by always putting every medicine up and away and out of children’s reach and sight every time you use it. For a full list on keeping your children safe with medications, visit the CDC . For emergencies with ingested medications, c ontact the local Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222.

Families are encouraged to register bicycles with Howard County Police Department (HCPD). Bike theft happens frequently and HCPD officers and auxiliary officers recover unattended bikes s everal times a week throughout the county. Registering your bike can help get it returned to you quickly if it has been lost or stolen. 
Saturday, November 9, 8:00 a.m.- 3:15 p.m.
Wilde Lake Middle School, 10481 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, 21044

For transitioning youth with IEP/504 Plans, their families and professionals.
Keynote Presentation: What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? Preparation for a successful adulthood and employment starts during childhood. For youth with disabilities the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” is often avoided. Families and youth need to start these conversations early. Joan and Josie Badger will discuss what “growing up” looked like for a family with high expectations for their daughter with a disability within the complicated, inaccessible, and often scary path to adulthood.
Breakout sessions: • DDA Services • DORS Services • Employment • Mental Health Services • Transition Planning • Transportation • Vocational Training. Event is sponsored by the Transition Outreach Partnership. To register, 
Ths Ins & Outs Of Middle and High School
Thursday, November 21, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Old Cedar Lane Building, 5451 Beaverkill Rd., Columbia, 21044

Parents of students with disabilities can learn about transitioning to middle school and high school. Sponsored by HCPSS. Topics include:
Middle School Academics: Are the grading standards different at the middle school level? When will my child work on IEP goals? What is double dosing? What are the guidelines in communicating with the seven teachers? What is Canvas and how do parents access this tool?
Middle School Opportunities: How will my student navigate lockers, A days, B days, changing for PE and the new organizational demands of middle school? How will my child be involved in dances and intramurals?
High School Academics: Discuss: Credits, scheduling, electives, assessments, and Bridge Plans.
High School Social Opportunities: How to help your child with high school's new set of rules for navigating the social world. Learn about dances, sports, after school activities, safety, discipline and independence. Learn about programs for work study, Community and Career Exploration, Start on Success, Community Connections and Project Search. For information, call the Family Support & Resource Center at 410 313-7161

See amazing sights, experience international cultures and enhance your French or Spanish language skills. All of that is available to Howard County high school students through CA’s annual Sister Cities High School Student Exchange Program .

Learn more about the 2020 exchange trips at one of the upcoming information sessions. Held from 7 - 8 p.m. at Columbia Association's Headquarters, 6310 Hillside Ct.
Wednesday, 11/6, Monday, 11/18, Tuesday, 12/10, Wednesday, 1/15 or Tuesday, 2/11.
For more information, visit .
November 16 - 24

Follow Howard County’s Department of Community Resources and Services Facebook page to get information on local resources, services, and statistics related to homelessness and food insecurity in Howard County. Multiple posts will be shared daily throughout Hunger and Homelessness Week (HH week), so check in regularly !
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