Upcoming Programming at the Talbot County Free Library in April


Martha Sanger

Martha Frick Symington Sanger


Stitching Time
Monday, April 10, 3:00-5:00 p.m. Patrons are invited to work on their favorite project with a group. Limited instruction will be available for beginners. Newcomers welcome.

Monday, April 17, 6:30 p.m. The Easton Library Book Group discusses A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick.

Spring Origami
Wednesday, April 19, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Limited to 12 participants. Ages 8 thru teens.
Patrons are asked to pre-register for this program.

Author to Discuss One Family’s Extraordinary Maryland History
Thursday, April 27, 6:30 p.m. Author Martha Frick Symington Sanger talks about her book, Maryland Blood: An American Family in War and Peace, the Hambletons of Maryland 1657 to the Present, which The Baltimore Sun called, a “marvelously written, informative, and entertaining epic.”

St. Michaels

Arts & Crafts Group
Thursday, April 6, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Free instruction for knitting, beading, needlework, and tatting. Bring your coloring book, Zentangle pens, or anything else that fuels your passion for being creative. You may also bring a lunch.

Bay Hundred Chess
Wednesdays, April 12 & 26, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Learn and play the strategic game of chess. Beginners welcome.

David Klevan

David Klevan

Memoir Writers
Thursdays, April 13 & 27, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Record and share your memories of life and family with a group of friendly, like-minded people. Participants are invited to bring their lunch. Patrons are asked to pre-register for this program.

Saturday Speaker: “History Unfolded: Our Local Newspapers & the Holocaust”
Saturday, April 8, 2:00 p.m. David Klevan of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum explains how local newspapers covered the Nazi threat in the ‘30s and ‘40s, how Americans reacted, and what that means for us today.

St. Michaels Book Group to Discuss Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith
Wednesday, April 19, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Note: All library programming is free and open to the public.

Contact Person: Bill Peak, telephone: 410-822-1626, e-mail: mcpeak@tcfl.org

Mid-Shore Education: Chesapeake College’s Clay Railey

Given Clay Railey’s resume, including a doctorate in English from Vanderbilt, a long teaching career at Chesapeake College, and more recently, being provost of Bucks County Community College, it was not a total surprise that he was appointed vice president of academic affairs of the Wye Mills community college in 2016.

But perhaps missing in that background was another experience that could be seen as a real asset for the job of stewarding the college’s educational goals. And that was the not too trivial fact that Dr. Railey had been a Jesuit priest for twenty years before his move into public education. And while the order’s renowned reputation for scholarship and intellectualism may have little day to day impact on Chesapeake College, there can be very little doubt the Railey remains true to the Jesuit mission of “cura personalis,” which is Latin for “care for the whole person.”

From students moving forward with workforce career training to those on a traditional liberal arts academic track, Clay Railey is redesigning Chesapeake College’s approach with that “whole person” in mind.

In our first Spy interview with Clay, he talks about some of those redesign plans and programs that significantly expand Chesapeake College’s special mission of training the Mid-Shore adults for 21st Century jobs and opportunities.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Chesapeake College please go here


April Speakers at the St. Michaels Library

On Monday April 3, 2017 at noon, David P. Hunt, a 32 year veteran of the CIA’s Clandestine Service will be the speaker for the Brown Bag Lunch at the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library – Intelligence in Flux: From the Cold War to the Present. Mr. Hunt will discuss select operations from his experiences overseas to illustrate the cases faced during the Cold War, including a major 30 year program directed against the United States and American businesses. He will also discuss the motivations that operations officers contend with, greed, deception, revenge, resentment, courage, and risk taking. Finally, he will discuss current issues including a profession in flux, the growing complexity of technological and cyber capabilities, and take questions on any aspect of intelligence.

Mr. Hunt retired in 1995 as a senior officer after six field tours, including Italy, Vietnam, Somalia, Norway, France and New York City. He served twice as Deputy Chief of Station (Norway and France) and twice as Chief of Station, (Somalia and New York City). Mr. Hunt is an expert in Soviet operations, European affairs and counterintelligence. Mr. Hunt holds the Donovan Award for Excellence as well as the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal, its highest award. Mr. Hunt is a graduate of St. Paul’s School and holds a B.A.in History/Government from Colby College in Maine. He attended school in Switzerland. He also served in the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps and spent a year in Korea. The Brown Bag Lunch is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Bring a lunch and enjoy coffee and desert provided by the library. For more information you can call (410) 745-5877.

Saturday, April 8, 2017 at noon, David Klevan, History Unfolded: Our Local Newspapers and the Holocaust.

David Klevan is the Education Outreach Specialist in the Levine Institute for Holocaust Education at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he develops educational resources and programs for a diverse group of audiences, and specializes in experiential learning in online and digital learning environments, the most recent of which is History Unfolded: US Newspapers and the Holocaust. Through this project, educators, students, and history buffs across America are helping the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum discover how local newspapers covered the Nazi threat in the 1930s and 1940s, how Americans reacted, and what that means for us today. During this presentation, the Museum’s education outreach specialist will discuss the role this project is playing in a multi-year Museum initiative to engage the public in critical thinking about Americans and the Holocaust. History Unfolded will continue to accept new research through at least the summer of 2018. During this presentation, information will be provided on how you can participate using historical newspapers in the local library system as well as online.

During his 20+ year tenure at the Museum, Mr. Klevan has been responsible for production of the Museum’s first mobile app, supervised the Museum’s social media outreach; and coordinated the Museum’s flagship partnership with Washington, DC area schools. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his master’s degree in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Information is available by calling (410) 745-5877.


Meet Robbie Schaefer, By Far Talbot County’s Most Popular Musician — at Easton Elementary-Moton

Students from four classes at Easton Elementary School gave tribute to musician Robbie Schaefer, who has been introducing them to writing their own music for the last four years. Schaefer, through his program ONEVoice, also gave some of the students an opportunity to do a joint project with children suffering through the Syrian refugee crisis.

The entire program is part of The Avalon Foundation’s Outreach to area school students through the support of the Dock Street Foundation.​​​​The students and Principal Redman had a special message and presentation of a plaque for Schaefer, who is also the creative force behind the successful, alternative music act, Eddie from Ohio. “Dear Robbie,” the plaque reads, “On behalf of the staff and students at Easton Elementary-Moton, I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The work that you have done and the work that you continue to do encourages all of us to help make this world a better place for all, regardless of race, religion or relative location of this Earth.”​​​​​​​​The plaque for Schaefer further reads, “We have been blessed to have you work with our children at Easton Elementary-Moton for several years now.

Each time you come, I see the eyes of our children light up with pride, hope and love—the pride that comes from ‘writing a song with Robbie Schaefer!’—the hope that one day all of our communities will be united and able to speak with One Voice on behalf of all of humanity, and—the love that comes from your positive energy. It is contagious, and we are so fortunate that we get to welcome you home each year. We hope that you enjoy your time here as much as we look forward to having you!”

Last year Schaefer visited a Syrian Refugee camp in Greece and carried a special message from Easton Elementary halfway around the world with him. “It gave the school kids here an opportunity to send a message, to people their own age in another part of the world, that they were thinking of them and worried for them, loved them and hoped they were safe,” said Suzy Moore of The Avalon Foundation’s Outreach Program. On his visit to Greece, Schaefer took two puzzle pieces with him, one of which the students in Easton had colored, and the second was colored by the refugee children. When he came back with the colored pieces from Greece, the students here and children there shared in the message that we are all one. ​​​​​​​​​​Schaefer’s teaching sessions start with him saying, “Songs can come from your imagination, where you make them up, or they can come from something you have experienced in real life.” In the classroom setting, Schaefer meticulously mines the minds of the students to get whatever sounds and lyrics are in their heads, and creates songs complete with verses and choruses that the children make up entirely by themselves. In this way, music, creativity, and the positive effects on the students are magnified. The students’ tunes include characters such as two best friend giraffes, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and subjects like human nature and the importance of realizing that we are all different in our own special ways.​​​​​​​​​​

“Our 5th grade class wanted to let Robbie know how much his commitment to being a good person meant to them, because they will be graduating to Middle School next year and will leave this particular program behind,” said Ms. Heather Orr, teacher at EES- Moton. “He really has a special connection with the children and they love the classroom work they do with him. And then comes the opportunity to perform both in front of their peers and their families on The Avalon Theatre stage. It is an especially rewarding program that has fully blossomed over the last four years.”​​​​The plaque borrowed words from one of Schaefer’s own songs that the children also learned and concluded. “ ‘You were born with endless love inside you; the whole world is calling your name. Everyone’s singing ‘Hallelujah’; everybody rides on the Miracle Train. You are powerful beyond imagination; you are made of indelible light. Who is going to change this world for the better? You just might.’ Well, no truer words have been spoken when it comes to describing you. We are all here to tell you that YOU Are Beautiful, and that you have absolutely changed this world for the better. Thank you for spreading your love every single day!”​​

More information on The Avalon Foundation and its programming, including their Outreach program is available online at avalonfoundation.org or by calling and talking directly to Jess Bellis or Suzy Moore at 410-822-7299.

Easton Middle School Theatre Department presents Once Upon A Mattress

Easton Middle School, under the direction of Richard A. Vitanovec, presents this “Seuss-like” production of Once Upon a Mattress at the Easton High School Auditorium on March 24, 25, 26, 31, and April 1.

Easton Middle School Once Upon A Mattress Sammy Bonnette as WinnifredIf you thought you knew the story of “The Princess and The Pea,” you may be in for a walloping surprise! Did you know, for instance, that the kingdom was ruled over by an overbearing, talkative queen (Haley Nestel) and a mute mischievous king (Luke Adelman) and that Princess Winnifred (Sammy Bonnette) actually swam the moat to reach Prince Dauntless the Drab (Logan Herron)? Or that Lady Larken’s (Sophie McGee) love for Sir Harry (Nick Voshell) provided a rather compelling reason for her to get married as soon as possible? Or that, it wasn’t actually a pea that caused the princess a sleepless night? Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, this “rocking” spin on the familiar classic provides for some sidesplitting shenanigans. Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again!

Other principal players in this wacky fairy tale are Matthew Keeler as the Minstrel, Tah’Jay Jenkins as the Jester, Seth Wagner as Cardamom the Wizard, Claire Weedon as Lady Rowena, Sarah Anthony as Lady Merrill, and Emily Royer as Lady Lucille.

Richard A. Vitanovec, who holds a B.A. in Acting and Directing, an M.A. in Theatre Production and is currently working as a full-time student on his M.F.A. in Theatre, is in his 14th year of teaching theatre at Talbot County Public Schools. Back in 2004 he directed a production of Once Upon A Mattress with Easton Middle School. It was done very traditionally, set in a Medieval Castle with traditional Middle Ages Costumes. When he decided to redo the musical, he gave his “vision” and design a completely new twist and has taken his actors and production crew with him. Vitanovec has taken the show out of the Renaissance and set it in the “Rickyssance”—a crazy, sometimes scary, sideways world that could possibly be right out of one of Dr. Seuss’ children’s books or found somewhere in Wonderland. With fluorescent and vivid colors, off the wall costumes, and the addition of a rock band to the orchestra, the show will certainly be different than what you have seen in the past. The musical itself, with music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, and book by Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer, and Dean Fuller is a fun twist on this classic story of “The Princess and the Pea”.

Creative team includes: Direction by Richard A. Vitanovec, Music Direction by Caitlin “CJ” Freeman, and Choreography by Brienne Garland.

Show days and times are Friday, March 24 at 7 pm, Saturday, March 25 at 7 pm, Sunday, March 26 at 2 pm, Friday, March 31 at 7 pm, and Saturday, April 1 at 7 pm.

Tickets for the show are $10 for an adult ticket and $5 for a child/student ticket (18 years and under) and are on sale at the door or in advance ONLY at Easton Middle School’s Main Office.

Don’t miss out on the “rockin’” fun for the entire family!

Mid-Shore Education: The Homeschooling Option with Denise Chapman-Toth

With serious debates going on about the quality of public education and expensive private education, it is easy sometimes to overlook the third option for parents and their children when it comes to elementary and secondary education. And that is the possibility of homeschooling.

At present, close to 700 families have selected this option rather than sending their children to various public and private schools on the Mid-Shore. That sparked our curiosity about what it takes to have a successful homeschool program and the kind of commitment it requires from one or both parents during the year, and that is why we were able to track down Denise Chapman-Toth, president of the Home Educators of the Eastern Shore, to talk about this rarely used but relatively successful alternative to mainstream education programs.

In our Spy interview, Denise talks about her own experience over the last sixteen years in homeschooling her children, as well as the satisfaction of having two of them move on to higher education and be on the honor roll. She also talks about the mechanics of starting a homeschool program for your children and the kind of typical day required for parent teachers.

This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about the Home Educators of the Eastern Shore please go here.

Children’s Home Foundation Awards Scholarship to Chesapeake Student

Aaron scholarship

Chesapeake College President Barbara Viniar, Aaron Turner, Martha Austin and the Right Rev. Sanosh Marray, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton.

Aaron Turner of Easton was recently awarded the Workforce Training Scholarship by the Children’s Home Foundation, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton.

A Chesapeake College employee for four years, Mr. Turner is a custodian with the Facilities Department. He has been taking Chesapeake classes for three years.

“We’ve found that nontraditional students like Aaron are a wonderful investment. They have clear goals and are highly motivated,” said Martha Austin, board member of the Children’s Home Foundation. “Through these scholarships, we can help individuals improve their lives and achieve their goals. We look forward to helping more students like Aaron.”

Mr. Turner, a 2010 Easton High School graduate, said the $1,350 scholarship will allow him to complete the Electrician Program in May.

“I’m grateful to have this help to finish my program. I’m learning valuable skills now that will give me opportunities,” Mr. Turner said.

2017 Spring Series by Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture

Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture announces its new Spring 2017 series entitled “Faith And” at Washington College in Chestertown. The six-part series features:

Faith and Leadership
Al Sikes, former Chair of the Federal Communications Commission
“Faith & Leadership: A Discussion of a Life of Public Service”
6:00 PM, Wednesday, March 22
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College, Chestertown

Faith, Politics & The Ivory Tower
Josh Dunn, Director, Center for the Society of Government and the Individual, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Faith, Politics & The Ivory Tower: Conservatives and Higher Education
5:00 PM, Friday, March 24
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College, Chestertown

Faith & Science
JP Moorland, Distinguished Professor ofPhilosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
7:00 PM, Thursday, April 6
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College,

Faith Law & Liberty
Shannon Holzer, award winning author and scholar
7:30 PM, Wednesday, April 12
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College,

Faith & The Emotions
James K. A. Smith, Gary and Henrietta Byker, Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview, Calvin College
6:30 PM, Tuesday, April 18
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College,

Faith & Music
Andrew Balio, Principal Trumpet, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Director of the True Symphony Institute
6:00 PM. Tuesday, May 3
Litrenta Hall, 1st Floor of Toll Science Center, Washington College,

Writers Daisy Fried and Roy Kesey Work with Gunston English Students

On March 6 and 7, Gunston hosted Daisy Fried and Roy Kesey as part of the spring installment of In Celebration of Books, the school’s visiting writers series. Fried, a poet and critic, currently serves on the board of the National Book Critics Circle. Kesey is the recipient of an NEA grant for fiction as well as a PEN/Heim grant for translation.

A public reading of their work was held on Monday, March 6 in Gunston’s Field House. After that, Fried and Kesey visited Gunston’s English classrooms over the course of two days as they led students in writing exercises and craft discussions.

Daisy   Kesey - Copy

Photos: Daisy Fried and Roy Kesey

Poet and critic Daisy Fried is the author of three books of poetry: Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice (University of Pittsburgh, 2013), named by Library Journal one of the five best poetry books of 2013, My Brother is Getting Arrested Again (University of Pittsburgh, 2006), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and She Didn’t Mean to Do It, (University of Pittsburgh, 2000), which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Award. For her poetry, she’s received Guggenheim, Hodder and Pew Fellowships, as well as a Pushcart Prize and the Cohen Award from Ploughshares. Recent poems have been published in the London Review of Books, The Nation, The New Republic, Poetry, The Threepenny Review and Best American Poetry 2013. She reviews books of poetry for The New York Times, Poetry and The Threepenny Review, and won the Editors Award from Poetry for “Sing, God-Awful Muse,” an essay about reading Paradise Lost and breastfeeding. She is on the faculty of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.

Roy Kesey’s latest books are the short story collection Any Deadly Thing (Dzanc Books 2013) and the novel Pacazo (Dzanc Books 2011/Jonathan Cape 2012). His translation of Pola Oloixarac’s Savage Theories was published by Soho Press in January of this year. His short stories, essays, translations and poems have appeared in over a hundred magazines and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories and New Sudden Fiction. He is currently a visiting professor at Washington College; last semester he taught a course called “Fire and Ice: How the World Ends,” an anthropological and scientific exploration of the apocalypse, and this semester he is teaching a creative writing workshop on travel writing and a literature course on contemporary world fiction.

New Career and Technology Scholarships Available

midshore scholarship

Mr. Haines Holt and some of the 2016 Roberta B. Holt and Roberta B. Holt Trades Scholarship Recipients (Joniya Copper, Madison Bee, Hunter Joseph, Priya Patel, JamieHetrick).

The Mid-Shore Community Foundation has announced new scholarship opportunities for the 2017/18 Academic Year.  Thanks to generous donors, Career and Technology Scholarships are now available to students in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties.  Area students planning for career and technology fields are invited to apply.  Applications must be completed online at www.mscf.org and the submission deadline is March 31, 2017.  For additional information contact the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, The Bullitt House, 102 East Dover Street, Easton, Maryland 21601, (410) 820-8175.