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Help second-graders develop a ­lifelong love of the printed word

       When did you learn to read?        That lifelong magic happens very young, at five or six. Young as it is, seven may be too late. The high school dropout rate for kids who haven’t learned to read at grade level by the third grade is 40 percent higher than for those who do.
Surprised Allison Felton wins the Oscar of Education
        “Could it be me …” Allison Felton wondered in amazement as eyes turned her way in the Annapolis High School auditorium Wednesday, January 24. “When I first started teaching, I really questioned whether teaching was for me, but thanks to support from my colleagues I decided to stick with it,” she said through tears.          Felton, an algebra teacher at Annapolis High School, had just found out she was the winner of the $25,000 Milken Educator Award.
Is cursive an evolutionary dodo?
       Can you sign your name in cursive?

Fourth-grade student artists tell it four ways

       Kathy Wolfstone-Smith took an artistic gamble last summer.        Wolfstone-Smith, who teaches arts and humanities at Shady Side Elementary, asked the Captain Avery Museum to display her students’ work.         “Kudos to them for being so supportive,” she says. “At the time we set this up, I had no way of knowing how it was going to turn out.”

This time of year, a bird eats what it can get

      Great blue herons in the Chesapeake Bay area do not migrate in the winter. They struggle to find food when the waters freeze. They will look to areas of flowing water and sometimes stake out grassy fields to catch mice and small birds.        Herons from the snowier north usually migrate to warmer climates.       This Chesapeake heron has caught a hogchoker.

Rich or poor, Owensville ­Primary Care turns no one away

Over $10,000. That’s what the average American spent for health care in 2016, and up is where that number is heading.      “My wife’s health insurance jumped 38.9 percent,” laments a friend recently retired. “My pension is disappearing.”      Across the age spectrum, you hear endless variationa of the same story.

The state has a new, more environmentally friendly way to fight snow and ice

     Now that winter has come to Maryland, the State Highway Administration is hard at work keeping our roads free of snow and ice. Snowplows are a familiar sight after a heavy snowfall. But just as much work goes on before the cold stuff even starts to fall. As soon as snow, sleet or freezing rain is forecast, fleets of trucks lay a preemptive layer of de-icers.

"If we don’t tell these stories, no one will know what life was really like"

      Important African American history is being lost with each passing year. You can help preserve the past before it disappears forever by sharing a story about the civil rights era and historic sites in Anne Arundel County.       The Lost Towns Project wants to hear your stories about African American history for two grants sponsored by the National Park Service Civil Rights African American Historic Preservation Program and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. 

Most Baltimore orioles head south … Not this one

     This Baltimore oriole failed to migrate. Orioles usually fly down to Central and South America and winter in the warmth. Occasionally a bird will stay behind and tough it out in the cold. I think this is the second year for this bird to winter-over; one of its stops is my backyard in Riva.
A “little taste of summer" drops anchor at the Baltimore Boat Show
      Why wait until spring to indulge your inner boat fanatic? Head to the 2018 Baltimore Boat Show to see what’s in store for this summer’s boating adventures.       “The show is a great outing for the whole family, whether you’ve been on the water your whole life or you’re looking to dip your toes into boating. We have a huge selection of dealers and boats, plus boating seminars for all skill levels,” says show manager David Bachinski.