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2024 YMCA SUMMER CAMP SPOTS FILLING FAST

2024 YMCA SUMMER CAMP SPOTS FILLING FAST

(June 11, 2024) – Easton, Md.– Space is still available in 2024 YMCA of the Chesapeake summer camps.

“Camps at the Y are all about discovery,” said Robbie Gill, YMCA of the Chesapeake CEO. “Kids will be able to try a wide variety of programs ranging from sports camps to the arts, to themed day camps and more, that will surely spark a child’s interest, excitement and creativity.”

Camp programs are offered at the Cecil County YMCA, Easton Family YMCA, Henson Camp Cook in Salisbury, Kent County Family YMCA, Lower Shore Family YMCA, Perkins YMCA in St. Michaels, Queen Anne’s County Family YMCA and Robbins Family YMCA in Cambridge.

Most camps operate Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm with before and after camp care available at no extra charge.

YMCA of the Chesapeake day camps are centered around improving the well-being of children and support each child’s individuality. They intentionally focus on three areas of development: friendships, accomplishment and belonging. The YMCA team creates a safe and vibrant environment that allows children to:

Learn and master skills that nurture their passions, talents and potential.
Bond with new friends and positive staff role models to create lasting memories.
Know they belong so they feel welcome and free to express who they are.
For more information about specific programs and to register, visit https://ymcachesapeake.org/programs/camps/summer-camp

Queen Anne’s County Invites Community to Participate in Bikeable Baltimore Region Project Open House

Queen Anne’s County, as part of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC), is excited to announce its participation in the Bikeable Baltimore Region (BBR) project. This initiative aims to identify the first regional bike network that ensures safe and comfortable biking for people of all ages and abilities across the Baltimore region.

A public comment period for the BBR project will be open from May 21 to July 26, 2024. During this time, residents of Queen Anne’s County and surrounding areas are encouraged to share their thoughts and feedback. The BBR project seeks to create a connected bike network that will enhance local communities by providing safe and equitable access to essential destinations such as public transit, schools, workplaces, and parks.

To engage the community and gather input, the BMC will host a public meeting at the Kent Island Library on Thursday, June 27, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. This meeting will provide an opportunity for community members to learn more about the project, discuss their biking experiences, and contribute to the vision and goals of the regional bike network.

In addition to the in-person meeting in Queen Anne’s County, the BMC will offer two virtual meetings to accommodate broader participation:

  • Virtual Meetings:
    • Tuesday, June 4 at 12:00 PM
    • Wednesday, June 26 at 6:00 PM

Residents who cannot attend any of the meetings can still participate by viewing the meeting materials online and submitting their comments through various channels:

This initiative represents a significant step towards creating a more bike-friendly region and enhancing the quality of life for all residents. Queen Anne’s County encourages everyone to participate in this important project and help shape the future of biking in our region.

For more information and to stay updated on the project, visit publicinput.com/BikeBaltoRegion.

Contact: Baltimore Metropolitan Council Email: BikeBaltoRegion@publicinput.com Phone: 855-925-2801 x 10292

Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Commission Launches Community Survey to Shape Future Economic Strategy

The Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Commission (EDC) is pleased to announce the launch of a comprehensive community survey aimed at gathering valuable feedback from residents and workers in the county. This survey is a critical component of the EDC’s efforts to update its economic development strategic action plan, which will guide the commission’s work over the next five years.

The survey seeks input on the EDC’s services, programs, and the priorities that will both support economic growth and enhance the quality of life in Queen Anne’s County. Residents and workers are encouraged to participate, as their insights guide county’s economic development activities for the next 5 years.

Survey Details:

  • Link to Survey: https://bit.ly/QACETD-2024
  • Deadline: 5 p.m., Friday, June 21
  • Estimated Completion Time: 10 minutes
  • Confidentiality: All responses are confidential

“Your feedback is essential in helping us understand the community’s needs and priorities,” said Heather Tinelli, Director of QAC Economic & Tourism Development. “By taking just a few minutes to complete the survey, you are contributing to a robust plan that aims to foster a thriving and diverse economy in Queen Anne’s County.”

“We are excited to embark on this project and look forward to collaborating with the community to create a strategic plan that reflects our shared vision for the future,” added Heather Bacher, Chair of the Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Commission. “Together, we can build a stronger, more resilient economy for Queen Anne’s County.”

For any questions regarding the survey, please contact Rebecca Clark at rclark@qac.org

The EDC extends its gratitude to all participants for their invaluable input in this important effort.

About Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Commission: The Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Commission is dedicated to fostering economic growth, enhancing the quality of life, and supporting the business community in Queen Anne’s County through strategic planning, resource development, and collaborative initiatives.

County Commissioners Seeking Member for Historic Stevensville Arts & Entertainment Advisory Board

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are actively seeking someone to fill a vacancy on the Historic Stevensville Arts & Entertainment Advisory Board.  The deadline for applications is June 28, 2024. 

The Historic Stevensville Arts & Entertainment Advisory Board was created to develop, promote, and support diverse artistic and cultural centers that preserve a sense of place, provide unique local experiences, attract tourism, and spur economic revitalization and neighborhood pride.

Strategies supported by the A&E District program include:

  1. Creating an accessible, unique arts destination;
  2. Leveraging the unique Stevensville identity, natural resources, and heritage;
  3. Facilitating opportunities for dynamic arts experiences that actively engage community members and attract visitors;
  4. Enabling artists of all disciplines to live, work, and prosper;
  5. Create an economically prosperous future; and
  6. Investing in the power of place. The A & E District helps further the county’s goals of reinvesting in existing communities and creating places that help people, businesses, the economy, and the environment thrive.

For individuals interested in serving, the application process is accessible online at https://onboard.qac.org/. Alternatively, applicants may navigate to the official county website at qac.org and search for the specific Board or Commission to find the relevant application page.

To be considered for the vacancy, interested candidates are requested to submit their resume and a detailed letter of interest through the online application software.

QACPS seniors earn Seal of Biliteracy for a sixth straight year!

CENTREVILLE — For the sixth year straight, World Language teachers in Queen Anne’s County Public Schools have earned Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Medalists at both Queen Anne’s County High School (QACHS) and Kent Island High School (KIHS).

Several students from both high schools were interviewed about earning “the Seal”:

QACHS: https://youtu.be/u3RhUAa4rLE
KIHS: https://youtu.be/IWgn5ZiJUHg

Dr. Darren Guido, Supervisor of Instruction for World Languages said this year, forty-one students met the criteria to earn the Seal of Biliteracy in QACPS, including twenty-one seniors, sixteen juniors, four sophomores and nine additional underclassman awaiting final results of the MCAP ELA assessment as potential Seal of Biliteracy earners.

The research is clear about the academic, cognitive, economic, and socio-cultural benefits of knowing another language. Studying another language enhances the knowledge of English language structure and vocabulary, it reinforces the core subject areas of reading, social studies, and math, and many times, students score higher than their peers on standardized tests. Students who know another language tend to be more creative and are more able to solve complex problems than their monolingual peers.

“We are fortunate to be able to offer our students the opportunity to earn the Seal of Biliteracy,” shared Dr. Guido. “Our Seal of Biliteracy earners are better prepared for the global community and job markets where world language skills provide them with an economic advantage and many have had the opportunity to complete college –level coursework in languages while still in high school. They also tend to be more aware of and show a more positive attitude towards different cultures and demonstrate a greater appreciation of people who have different cultural perspectives and practices. These graduates are now well equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century’s ever-expanding world in which we live.”

Lori Heggelke, KIHS Department Chair excitedly shared, “The students from KIHS that have achieved the Seal of Biliteracy this year all have something in common: they are incredibly well-rounded individuals. Many of them also excel in mathematics and the sciences, or other areas of arts and humanities. I’m proud of each and every one, for they have all been on their own path to proficiency, either from a young age at home or when they started high school. It’s a great day to be a Buccaneer!”

When asking David Stricker, QACHS Department Chair, about students striving to earn the Seal, he says, “The Seal of Biliteracy continues to be a goal for all World Language students at QACHS. We now have students asking how they can take the test, even when they are not currently in a World Language class. Many students are excited to receive their scores and want to know how well they did. Those that nearly pass it in Spanish 3 are highly motivated going into Spanish 4 and work really hard to increase their scores and earn the Seal.”

Students earning the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy receive a medal, special recognition at senior awards ceremonies, a gold seal affixed on their diploma and a special designation appears on the students’ transcripts so that every college knows the student is ‘biliterate’, which is a huge draw to future employers.

There have been a consistent number of Seal of Biliteracy earners in QACPS annually, beginning with seventeen in 2019, nineteen in 2020, twenty-six in 2021, twenty-eight in 2022, and twenty-three seniors in 2023, and twenty-one in 2024.

All students in World Language classes in levels 2 – AP were given the opportunity to take the AAPPL test this year (ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages) free of charge, including several retakes of sections where students were close to earning, thanks to a grant written by Michael Bell, Supervisor of Instruction at Central Office, to support this district-wide initiative. Here are the 2024 Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Senior earners from both high schools:

KIHS 2024 Seal of Biliteracy Senior Earners

Emily Alt

Mackenzie Bridgeman

Isabelle Gamez

Alisson Gonzalez Ramon

Georgia Hines

Claudia Jensen

Darcy Lynn

Schunta Matsui

Jamie Tranquill

QACHS 2024 Seal of Biliteracy Senior Earners

Brittany Bamaca Esteban

Adan Canales

Chloe Eismeier

Sophia Melendez

Luis Mendez Gabriel

Bethany Nicholson

Faith Novak

Neida Ramirez Hernandez

Samantha Rosa Lopez

Richel Solis Bamaca

Caroline Taylor

Shawn Prince

Congratulations to all students earning the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy in 2024!

Adkins Arboretum Awarded Environmental Education Grant from Chesapeake Bay Trust

Adkins Arboretum has been awarded a three-year environmental education grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust in support of its “Eating the Sun” project. The goal of this project is to embed a systemic, Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience in Caroline County Public Schools’ seventh grade life science curriculum. The project will support curricular development, teacher professional development, school ground visits, field experiences at Adkins and action project support for approximately seven teachers and 1,200 seventh graders over the three-year period. 

Through a combination of classroom lessons, schoolyard exploration and Adkins field experiences, students will find answers to the driving question, “How do native plants transfer energy to other living organisms and contribute to healthy ecosystems?” Projected activities include conducting experiments to observe how leaves release oxygen and water as part of photosynthesis, identifying native plants and wildlife in a forest food web scavenger hunt, making inferences about whether an animal is a carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore based on its skull structure and collecting data about keystone and indicator species in the Arboretum’s forest and wetland.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “The Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) is a learner-centered framework that focuses on investigations into local environmental issues and leads to informed action.” MWEEs actively engage students through hands-on, outdoor learning in order to connect students with their local environment and empower them to take actions that contribute to stronger, more sustainable communities.

A 400-acre native garden and plant preserve, Adkins Arboretum offers five miles of paths that showcase more than 600 species of native plants. Admission is free thanks to member support. The Arboretum’s mission is to provide exceptional experiences in nature to promote environmental stewardship. Youth education programs like “Eating the Sun” are a key component of this mission and engage approximately 4000 students each year. To learn more, visit adkinsarboretum.org.

Talbot County Physician Brings Unique Perspective To Caring For Foster Children

EASTON, MD – May was National Foster Care Month, and the Talbot County Department of Social Services raised awareness about the need for caring individuals and families to provide affirming care to a growing number of youth placed in out-of-home care, or foster care. Today, we spotlight the journey that Dr. Frances Seymour of Easton took to become a dedicated foster parent.

Dr. Seymour grew up in a family that always had an open-door policy to caring for family and friends’ children. Her maternal aunt and maternal grandmother raised her maternal uncle’s children, and there were occasions when relatives would take care of someone else’s child for a while.

“So, it was not necessarily uncommon in my family to do this sort of thing. My grandmother had

raised seven children single-handedly during the Depression because her husband died young.

My maternal grandmother also played a part in raising a couple of other relatives. So, there has

been this effort to fill in the gap in my family history,” Dr. Seymour said. “If we had friends who just needed a place to hang out, they could come to our house.”

As she approached retirement, she started looking at the requirements for becoming a resource home provider. She saw that the Talbot County Department of Social Services was offering a structured training and licensing program for foster parents; she thought it might be a good way to achieve her goals of adopting a child and staying active once she stopped working.

“I just started researching the process and watching some online testimonials, and I thought, ‘If

I’m ever going to do it, I have to do it while I can,’ she said. “Although I’m not necessarily ready to retire right now, I would like to shift gears a little bit.”

Adults in Talbot County who are interested in becoming resource foster parents must participate in a specially designed educational program as part of their pre-service training. This training equips participants with the knowledge and skills they need to become part of an integrated team working to reunite children with their families, once it is safe to do so.

Dr. Seymour attended the five-week pre-service training, which in Talbot County combines a mix of attending in-person and virtual classes through Foster Parent College with self-paced, online lessons. Participants are required to complete 27 hours of pre-service training.

“The classes helped me to understand that I might have a child placed with me whose

gender association or race is different from mine. I was raised to accept everyone I meet, as

everybody’s different. I also had been trained in equity issues as a physician, so this resonated

with me,” she said.

After successfully completing her training, Dr. Seymour began the Home Study process.

Talbot County DSS works with local agencies including the Health Department and Fire Marshal to conduct all legally required health and safety inspections. The Home Study process can take several weeks; there is no fee to the applicants. Inspections help ensure that:

  • Each child has their own bed and space for privacy, study, and storing personal belongings;
  • Pets are licensed and properly vaccinated;
  • All firearms in the home are registered and safely stored with ammunition stored separately;
  • Pools, hot tubs, and waterfront properties meet water safety requirements.

“It’s important to have your home be ready for any child who comes in, and the home study team helps you prepare for that,” Dr. Seymour said.

She was licensed as a foster parent in December of 2023. A month later, she agreed to provide temporary care for a teenager. She enjoyed the experience, and she has since opened her home for several other respite placements, including for a sibling group of four, followed by another teenager, and a 10-year-old child.

“Since reunification with the biological family is the primary plan for these children, and I know the value of family, I can just step into that position temporarily and provide support and allow a safe place for healing. That makes me very happy,” Dr. Seymour said.

“Dr. Seymour really advocates for the kids in her care. She has been a special addition to our team of foster parents,” said Paris Quillet, Special Projects Coordinator, Talbot County Department of Social Services. “In May, during National Foster Care Month, we thanked all of our parents who do this work, day in and day out, to care for children in our community.”

Dr. Seymour will soon begin caring for a medically fragile teenager. Her experience working as a physician gives her special expertise to fill this role. But anyone with a big heart can find a way to serve children in their community.

“I try to explain to people that I don’t have the power, the money, or the time to fix the world.

But I can try and do something in my little corner of it,” she shares.

Talbot County continuously recruits foster and adoptive parents to help meet the needs of children of all ages, most recently including infants and school-aged children. The agency also gets requests from time to time for sibling groups and older teens who are soon leaving out-of-home care and need guidance in transitioning into adulthood. For further information on becoming a resource parent, call the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-820-7371 or visit www.midshoreresourceparents.com.

Presentation at Talbot County Library on June 18

Talbot County business, agency, and nonprofit leaders interested in learning more about the power of the data available through the Delmarva Index are encouraged to attend a free presentation on Tuesday, June 18 beginning at noon at the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library.

Participants in the “Let’s Talk Numbers” program will learn more about leveraging the data tools in the Delmarva Index, a regional data hub developed by the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative that presents publicly available datasets and visualizations. The free tool lends a new and much-needed regional perspective to planning and decision-making while helping to meet the challenges facing the Delmarva region thanks to its unique geography and political boundaries.

Project Manager Erin Silva and GIS Analyst Anastassiya Suprunova will give an overview of the Delmarva Index and how to use some of the datasets it includes. The program is sponsored by the Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism in partnership with the Mid-Shore Regional Council, Talbot Family Network, and the Talbot County Free Library. Seating is limited and lunch will be provided.

Cassandra Vanhooser, director of the Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, says having good data sources ensures that decisions are based on solid evidence and enhances the overall quality and effectiveness of the decision-making process.

“The Delmarva Index is a powerful tool for businesses and policymakers,” Vanhooser says. “It’s also an incredible asset for those of us who live and work on the Eastern Shore and who need data with which to make informed decisions about the communities we serve.”

Nancy Andrews, executive director of the Talbot Family Network, agrees. “Sharing data is a way to promote cooperation among community partners,” she says. “We’re pleased to join our partners in showcasing these useful resources that are available to our county organizations, businesses, and groups in our shared efforts to advance a high quality of life and work in Talbot County.”

The Delmarva Index includes data on Talbot County throughout the 15 catalog topics, including agriculture, business, crime, demographics, economics, education, employment, health, housing, income, manufacturing, politics, population, tourism, and transportation.

Developed and maintained by the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC), an outreach entity of Salisbury University, the Delmarva Index is made possible through a partnership with the Mid-Shore Regional Council and the Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. The project is supported by the Rural Maryland Council through the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund.

“Data is one of the most powerful tools we have to make informed decisions about the future,” says Silva. “The Delmarva Index collects, analyzes, and visualizes data to reveal meaningful insights into our local populations, housing, workforce, education, and more.”

Silva says the long-term vision for the Delmarva Index is to serve as an online data repository and visualization tool that will function as a comprehensive data source for demographic, economic, geographic, and social data of the Delmarva region.

The Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s mission is to enhance and promote a business-friendly environment for current and prospective enterprises and to advocate for policies that support and strengthen the economic vitality of Talbot County. The department’s vision for Talbot County is built on the principles of strong communities, empowered businesses, and innovative solutions.

Business owners and managers are encouraged to attend all sessions of the speaker series and to subscribe to the Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s Talbot Works newsletter and breaking news at www.talbotworks.org. The department can also be reached at 410-770-8058 or by visiting their office at 215 Bay Street, Suite 5, Easton, Maryland.

CBMM to celebrate Independence Day on Big Band Night

ST. MICHAELS, Md., June 3, 2024 – The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will mark Independence Day by hosting Big Band Night on Saturday, July 6. CBMM’s Welcome Center opens at 6pm for this annual celebration that invites the community to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets for an evening of music, dancing, and fireworks along the Miles River.

CBMM welcomes back the Shades of Blue Orchestra for a performance at the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand, beginning at 7pm. At dusk, guests can enjoy the St. Michaels fireworks from CBMM’s waterfront. The rain date for the concert and fireworks is July 7.

Food, ice cream, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase during the event, which is generously sponsored by Eastern Shore Tents & Events.

Based out of Baltimore, the Shades of Blue Orchestra has been entertaining audiences across the region since 1976. The 18-piece Big Band combines brass, woodwind, and rhythm instruments to present music from the 1930s to present representing an eclectic variety of genres.

Tickets are available now at cbmm.org/BigBandNight and can also be purchased at the door. Admission is $7 for CBMM members with member children 17-and-under admitted free. The cost for non-members is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors (65+) and college students with ID, $6 for children 6–17, and free for children 5-and-younger. All active and retired military members receive free admission to this event.

To access discounted pricing for Big Band Night, plus other special events throughout the year, and join the community shaping the Chesapeake, become a CBMM member today by visiting cbmm.org/memberships or contacting Membership Services Coordinator Debbie Ruzicka at 410-745-4991 or druzicka@cbmm.org.

For safety reasons, non-service dogs need to be kept home during CBMM special events, including Big Band Night.

Woven Dreams- A Favorite Local Business Owner

In our annual Golden Anchor Awards our readers vote for their favorite local businesses, and we’re highlighting unique winners who won last year! This month we talked to event planner Emily Brown, founder and owner of Woven Dreams, who you voted a favorite local business owner. We had the chance to talk to her to learn more about what makes an event great, unique parties she’s worked on and more!

A few years ago, Emily began seeing luxury picnics on Instagram… picnics including fancy features like tables, seating and decorations. Thinking it looked like fun, she created a luxury picnic for herself and her husband and posted it online. Next thing Emily knew she was creating luxury picnics for others. “At first I was doing luxury picnics at beaches and houses, and it just kept growing,” Emily explained to me. “I started doing baby showers, weddings, and I taught myself more and more things.” Woven Dreams still enjoys offering luxury picnics that now include custom tables created by woodworkers, umbrellas, wines and more.

What makes events at Woven Dreams stand out is their dedication to creating custom, unique events for each client. “I don’t make any event the same,” Emily proudly explained to me. “A lot of event planners will have standard themes and set-ups and that’s what you pick. We create a custom info board for each event, and no two events have looked the same.” Since Woven Dreams started three years ago Emily has planned over 600 events. each one unique in its own way.

Emily’s favorite local venues to host events include The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center and the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. “The Environmental Center has nature all around. You get the whole space, and it has a gorgeous patio. They are great to work with and relatively inexpensive for a venue that fits a lot of people,” Emily explained to me. Emily also loves the Beach Club’s “Tool Shed Bar.” Despite its humble name the Tool Shed Bar is a fancy and intimate event space with an indoor and outdoor area, and of course, a bar.

Some of the most unique events Woven Dreams has worked on are children’s events. “Mom’s love to go all out for kids’ parties… lots of fun activities and crafts,” Emily explained to me. Some of the unique kids events Emily has worked on include Barbie and Paw Patrol themed kids parties.

You can see some of the unique events Woven Dreams has created on their Facebook page, “Woven Dreams by Emily” at https://www.facebook.com/wovendreams.byemily. You can also get more information, or even request to book an event online, on their website at https://www.wovendreamsbyemily.com/. Stay tuned to vote for your favorite local businesses this year in our annual Golden Anchor Awards! 

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