Talbot County Public Schools Releases Data from Maryland State Assessments (PARCC)

Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent of Talbot County Public Schools, shared results of the 2017 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments at the September Board of Education meeting.  Data from the spring administration shows that the percentage of TCPS students scoring a level 3 or greater on PARCC increased in 5 out of 14 grade cohorts for English Language Arts (ELA) and math in comparison to the previous year, and the percentage of students scoring a level 4 or greater increased in 7 out of 14 grade cohorts during the same administrations.  In addition, TCPS students outperformed the State in the percentage of students scoring a level 3 or greater on PARCC in 10 out of 14 grade cohorts in ELA and math and outperformed the State in the percentage of students scoring a level 4 or greater in 7 out of 14 grade cohorts.

PARCC is administered for English/Language Arts and Mathematics to all Maryland Public School students in grade 3 through 8 and at the high school level for Algebra I and English 10. This was the first year students had to earn a passing score on the Algebra I and English 10 to meet graduation requirements.

The PARCC exams are considerably more rigorous than the Maryland School Assessment tests they replaced in 2015. The assessments are designed to measure students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills. While the scores on the PARCC Assessment are not being used for educator, school, or system-level accountability purposes at this time they do provide students, parents, and teachers a better idea of where students stand in regard to college and career readiness. The Individual Score Report students receive provides useful information to parents on how their child performed on the assessment as a whole, as well as, how they performed on specific skills.

“The PARCC results provide us with valuable information and support the implementation of our new Mathematics Curriculum for grades Pre-K through 8 and English Language Arts Curriculum in grades Pre-K through 5,” said Dr. Helga Einhorn, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.  “These new resources will greatly benefit our students as they are more aligned with the rigor of the Maryland State Standards assessed on PARCC.” The new math curriculum builds on a progression of skills to foster students’ conceptual knowledge of mathematics so they are better able to apply learning to complex problems and real world applications. Instructional strategies introduce mathematical concepts concretely and through visual modeling with opportunities for student reflection to foster persistence in solving complex problems. The new Wonders reading series, funded through non-recurring costs by the Talbot County Council, includes online resources, leveled readers, intervention materials, and integrated assessments, all of which allow teachers to tailor instruction to student learning needs.

Additional information regarding state, county and local school PARCC data are available on the Maryland State Department of Education’s website, www.mdreportcard.org.

To Counter Opioid Epidemic Leads State Panel to Revisit “Recovery Schools

A fire led to the eventual end of Phoenix — a groundbreaking Maryland public school program for children with addiction that closed in 2012 — but the state could see institutions like it rise again from the ashes.

Recent spikes in the Maryland heroin and opioid epidemic have triggered calls for substantial changes in education systems statewide, and a state work group is weighing the return of recovery schools after a Sept. 7 meeting.

For Kevin Burnes, 47, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, attending a recovery school separate from his hometown high school was life-changing.

Burnes said in a public letter that he began to experiment with drugs and alcohol at age 10, and his addiction to alcohol quickly escalated to PCP. He found himself homeless and was admitted into a psychiatric institute, he wrote.

However, after finding Phoenix, a recovery program for secondary school students with addiction, and attending for two years, his whole life turned around.

“What I can tell you is that this program undeniably saved my life,” said Burnes, now a full-time musician living in Frederick, Maryland. “The largest part of Phoenix’s success was due to the fact that everyone was involved. It was a community effort. It’s a community issue.”

State legislation that passed this year — known as the Start Talking Maryland Act — came into effect in July and directed schools in Maryland to take precautionary measures against opioid exposure and abuse. It also established the work group.

The panel is charged with evaluating and developing behavioral and substance abuse disorder programs and reporting their findings to the General Assembly, according to a state fiscal analysis.

The legislation additionally requires:

–To store naloxone in schools and train school personnel in the drug’s administration
–Public schools to expand existing programs to include drug addiction and prevention education
–Local boards of education or health departments to hire a county or regional community action official to develop these programs
–The governor to include $3 million in the fiscal 2019 budget for the Maryland State Department of Education for these policies
–Schools of higher education that receive state funding to establish these similar policies and instruction in substance use disorders in certain institutions

The Phoenix program and similar secondary schools that followed it were created specifically for students in recovery from substance use disorder or dependency, according to the Association of Recovery Schools.

“What we’ve known anecdotally for a while, we are starting to finally see with data. These high schools have positive effects on preventing and reducing adolescent alcohol and drug use as well as supporting the abstinence of kids post-treatment and seeing a positive impact on academics,” Dr. Andrew Finch, Vanderbilt University researcher and co-founder of the Association of Recovery Schools told the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service.

The first of its kind in the United States, the original Phoenix I school opened in 1979 as an alternative program in Montgomery County, Maryland, that provided both an education and a positive peer culture centered on recovery. Phoenix II followed, also in Montgomery County.

Since then, about 40 schools have opened nationwide, according to Finch, but none remain in the state of Maryland.

“It was amazing the support that the students gave to each other. We would have weekly community meetings where they would praise each other for their commitment, but if they weren’t working toward sobriety these kids were the first ones to rat on each other,” Izzy Kovach, a former Phoenix teacher told the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service. “It was a real sense of family…”

Critical to the Phoenix schools were outdoor challenges, said Mike Bucci, a former Phoenix teacher for 20 years, in a report. Along with regular days of classes and support groups, students would go from climbing 930-foot sandstone cliffs at Seneca Rocks, West Virginia, to biking the 184-mile length of the C&O Canal to sailing the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

“These trips helped form lifelong bonds along with an ‘I can’ attitude,” Bucci wrote.

The Phoenix schools at their largest enrolled about 50 students each at a time, according to a state report.

After years of successful work, the Phoenix schools began to lose their spark. Tragedy struck in 2001 when the Phoenix II school burned down.

However, instead of remaining a standalone recovery school, Phoenix II continued on as an in-school program, and eventually Phoenix I followed, according to Kovach.

“The program lost its validity with this model (with students back in traditional high schools). The students knew it, the parents knew it, and eventually key staff left because they also saw it was ineffective,” Kovach said.

Eventually, enrollment dwindled down to only three students and the Phoenix program closed its doors in 2012, according to a report compiled by a community advocacy group Phoenix Rising: Maryland Recovery School Advocates.

Five years later, with the rise in drug use throughout the state, talk of bringing back recovery school programs have reemerged.

“Whenever you have a program where there aren’t many of them, like recovery schools, people just don’t don’t think of them as an option. But, it is slowly changing and it’s even starting to be picked up by the media,” Finch said.

The epidemic is gathering attention and resources in Maryland — Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency from March 1 to April 30 and committed an additional $50 million over five years to help with prevention.

From 2014 to 2017, the number of opioid-related deaths reported in Maryland between Jan. 1 and March 31 more than doubled — taking the death toll up to 473, according to state health department data. Since then, the work group has begun to look at these numbers and is beginning to discuss various models for these new recovery programs.

Lisa Lowe, director of the Heroin Action Coalition advocacy group, said she fears that the work group will not be able to understand how to move in the right direction without having students, parents or teachers with lived experience contributing.

“Instead of just guessing what’s going to work, why not ask the people who are living it?” Lowe said.

The work group has considered either creating a regional recovery school or bringing the recovery programs into already existing schools — both models in which Burnes, Lowe and many others are not in favor.

Lowe said students in recovery need to get away from “people, places and things,” a common phrase that is used in 12-step programs. With a regional school or an in-school program, Lowe said, it is more difficult to maintain after-school programming and local peer support groups, and it will bring recovering students back to where their problems started.

The start-up costs for Year 1 for one recovery school are estimated to range from approximately $2,258,891 to $2,473,891 depending on whether the school is operated only for Montgomery County students or as a regional recovery school, and again should enroll about 50 students age 14 through 21 years (or Grades 8 through 12), according to a state report.

“The overdoses are not occurring as much at the high school level, but that’s where they start. They start in high school and they start in middle school. We have to get the program in place so that we don’t have the deaths later on,” said Kovach, the former Phoenix teacher.

Rachelle Gardner, the co-founder of Hope Academy, a recovery charter high school in Indiana, said that these recovery schools are needed all over the country to help battle this substance abuse crisis.

“Addiction is addiction, when you walk into a 12-step meeting you’re in a room of addicts. You have to treat the addict in itself and we have to meet everybody where they’re at regardless of their drug of choice,” Gardner said.

The workgroup is continuing to develop their ideas for recovery schools and are expected to present their findings to the State Board of Education on Oct. 24.

By Georgia Slater

Upcoming Programming at the Library October 3-7

St. Michaels Library to Offer Family Crafts

On Tuesday, October 3, at 3:30 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a family crafts program about treasure boxes for children of all ages (children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult).  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register for this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Diana Hastings, telephone: 410-745-5877

St. Michaels Library to Offer Arts & Crafts Program

On Thursday, October 5, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer an arts & crafts program featuring free instruction for knitting, beading, needlework, and tatting.  Patrons are invited to bring their coloring books, Zentangle pens, or anything else that fuels their passion for being creative.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register for this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Shauna Beulah, telephone: 410-745-5877

St. Michaels Library to Offer Family Games

On Thursday, October 5, at 3:30 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites patrons to bring the whole family to the library for an afternoon of board games and fun educational children’s games.  This program is for all ages, but children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register for this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Diana Hastings, telephone: 410-745-5877

St. Michaels Library to Screen “Til-Made: Remembering the Tilghman Packing Company”

On Saturday, October 7, at 2:00 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will screen the new film “Til-Made: Remembering the Tilghman Packing Company.”“Til-Made” is the latest video produced by the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum. It is the first film to explore the Tilghman Packing Company’s history on Tilghman Island and in the Bay Hundred area.

Founded in 1897 by the Harrison brothers in an oyster-shucking house situated on a steamboat wharf, the Tilghman Packing Company grew to include multiple operations and employ the majority of men and women in the area. In its heyday, it employed more than 600 people, the largest employer in Talbot County.  The firm closed in 1975, and today not a vestige remains of this once thriving enterprise.

The video weaves together interviews with people who worked at the packing company with vintage video and photographs from the Talbot Historical Society’s H. Robins Hollyday Collection. Created by Jennifer Shea and Peter Carroll through a grant from Maryland Humanities, with additional support from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, the film joins previous museum productions about the island — “Growing up on Tilghman,” “Another Dawn — Tilghman in Transition,” and “Tilghman Tales: Building Boats, Lives and Memories on the Chesapeake Bay.”  Some of the people featured in the film will be present for Q&A afterwards. The Tilghman Watermen’s Museum is a nonprofit corporation founded in 2007 with the mission of celebrating the heritage and culture of the Eastern Shore watermen and Tilghman Island.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to watch this film on the library’s big, professional screen.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact:  Shauna Beulah, telephone: 410-745-5877

Easton Elementary PTO Shoe Drive Fundraiser is Underway!

The Easton Elementary PTO is conducting a shoe drive fundraiser which began on September 4th and will continue through November 3rd.  The purpose of the shoe drive is to raise funds for field trips and school supplies for students. Easton Elementary will earn funds based on the total weight of the pairs of gently worn, used and new shoes collected, as Funds2Orgs will issue a check for the collected shoes. Money collected will benefit our students greatly. Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used and new shoes at the Easton Elementary School campus at 305/307 Glenwood Avenue (Dobson and Moton).

The Easton Elementary PTO is conducting a shoe drive fundraiser to raise funds for field trips and school supplies. Funds will be raised based on the total weigh of the pairs of shoes collected. Middle and high school students have volunteered their time to help the younger students!

“We are excited about our shoe drive,” said Tara Blades, shoe drive organizer. “We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets they would like to donate to us. By doing so, we raise money to provide exciting field trip opportunities and additional classroom supplies for our students.”

During the first week, 21 bags of shoes were collected (25 pairs each bag).  “So far there has been great support from businesses in the community who have donated shoes, boxes, and storage space,” Blades added.  Middle school and high school students are helping to sort and bag shoes for community service hours.  The goal is to collect at least 79 more bags of shoes in the remaining seven weeks of the project.

Shoes donated to Easton Elementary will make a difference in people’s lives around the world, as well as provide extra opportunities for our local students.  Please feel free to bring your shoes to the drop off location at Easton Elementary.

Chesapeake College Announces Timeline for New Presidential Search

Chesapeake College’s Board of Trustees has announced the formation of a search committee to select the college’s sixth president and a process to involve members of the campus and Mid-Shore communities in identifying the qualifications, characteristics and values sought for the school’s new leader.

The 14-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) will be chaired by L. Nash McMahan, Vice Chair of Chesapeake’s Board of Trustees and President of Tri-Gas and Oil Co., and include four additional trustees from the Mid-Shore: Christopher Garvey, President & CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors Chesapeake Shores Chapter; Robert Grace, President & COO of Dixon Valve & Coupling Company; Mike Mulligan, retired Colonel U.S. Marine Corps and Senior Account Manager for Battelle; and Brenda Shorter, retired Kent County Schools educator.

“Nash McMahan’s experience as a CEO, civic leader and collaborator will be catalytic in helping the search committee identify qualifications and characteristics for the president that are based on widespread community input,” Chesapeake College Board of Trustees Chair Blenda Armistead said. “In particular, we felt it was important to get broad participation from the business community since the college plays such a critical role in educating and training our region’s current and future workforce.”

Additional members of the search committee include representatives from the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board, the college’s Foundation Board and Business Council; and Chesapeake’s administration, faculty and staff.

Residents and employers in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties are invited to participate in the search process by completing a brief online survey on the campus website through Sept. 20 at noon. Results will be used to help develop a job description to recruit the new president.

“We have already completed individual interviews and focus groups on campus and in the community with elected officials and business leaders,” McMahan said. “The online survey gives others throughout the region the opportunity to share their ideas and priorities and the characteristics they would like to see in the new president.”

Based on this input, recruitment advertisements will be posted in October with applications accepted through the end of the year, according to McMahan.

The search committee will evaluate applicants in January and February and a list of three to four candidates will be submitted to the Board of Trustees in March. Campus and community engagement will be sought during the final interview process.

“We hope to announce our choice in the spring with the new president on campus by the start of the fiscal year on July 1,” Armistead said.

Chesapeake College Interim President Dr. Stuart Bounds is assisting the Board of Trustees in the search.

“Chesapeake College has had a deep commitment to the values and aspirations of the Mid-Shore community throughout our 50 year history,” he said. “The Board and the Presidential Search Advisory Committee will be seeking a candidate for the sixth president of the college who will build on that commitment and expand educational opportunity for all the citizens of our five-county community.”

To participate in the survey please go here

Washington College Among Top Liberal Arts Colleges in America!

 

Statue of George Washington on Washington College campus in front of Middle Hall.

Washington College continues its upward progress in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings, with today’s announcement that the College is 96th among liberal arts colleges across the nation in the 2018 report. This is showing a continuing positive trend, from 99th last year, 100th in 2016, and 105th in 2015.

On an overall score out of 100, Washington College bumped up from 54 to 56, reflecting factors including the College’s three-year average for retention, which went from 83 percent to 84 percent, increasing selectivity of applicants with an acceptance rate change of 54 to 49 percent, and a peer assessment score—based on surveys sent to peer institutions—that improved by a tenth of a point. Alumni giving also increased from 17 to 19 percent over a three-year average.

As previously, the College continued to be well represented in the “A+ Schools for B Students” category—“where spirit and hard work could make all the difference to the admissions office,” as the listing says.

“I am very proud that we are on this list, and that we continue to improve our U.S. News Best Colleges rankings,” says College President Kurt Landgraf. “It shows how hard we as a College have worked across the board to provide our students with terrific opportunities and a liberal arts education among the best in the nation.”

The CAC – Casey Academic Center on Washington College campus

In the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings, 77.5 percent of a school’s ranking in “is based on a formula that uses objective measures of academic quality, such as graduation rates, faculty information, and admissions data,” the report says. “The remaining 22.5 percent is based on academic reputation, determined by a peer assessment from top academics at colleges; in the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges categories, ratings from high school counselors are also factored in.”

For more information on Washington College, visit their website.

Upcoming Programming at the Library September 26-28

St. Michaels Library to Screen Movie

On Tuesday, September 26, at noon, the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will show an award-winning film, rated PG-13, on the library’s big, professional screen.  For more information, including the name of the film, (which, due to licensing requirements, we cannot publicize here), please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Shauna Beulah, telephone: 410-745-5877

St. Michaels Library to Offer Story Time

On Wednesday, September 27, at 10:30 a.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a story time program for children 5 and under accompanied by an adult.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Diana Hastings, telephone: 410-745-5877

Easton Library to Offer Program on Estate Planning for Genealogists

On Thursday, September 28, at 6:30 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County, longtime librarian-archivist Mary Mannix will give people who have researched their family’s genealogy the inside scoop on how to make sure all their work won’t be lost.  Speaking of such efforts, Mannix said, “You’ve spent years wondering what happened to all the things you know your ancestors must have recorded, the things that would have helped you so with your research.  Now it’s time to consider how to best preserve your accumulated facts, figures, and artifacts for future generations.”

Since 1998, Mannix has been the Maryland Room Manager of the C. Burr Artz Public Library of the Frederick County Public Libraries.  For eleven years she was the Library Director of the Howard County (MD) Historical Society.  She has also held positions at the Lilienfeld Library of The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Maryland Historical Society.  She holds an MLS from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an MA in American History from the University of Delaware with a certificate in Museum Studies.  Mannix is very active in MARAC (the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference) and is in her fourth term as Vice Chair/Meetings Coordinator.  She also has been very involved in the History Section of RUSA and was the 2011 winner of ALA’s Genealogical Publishing Company Award for service to the profession.  In 2015 she was given the Martha Washington Medal from the Sergeant Lawrence Everhart Chapter of the Maryland Society of Sons of the American Revolution. She has taught genealogy librarianship at the University of Maryland and public history courses at Hood College.  She regularly gives presentations on a variety of local history and genealogy topics.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this lecture.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Sabine Simonson, telephone: 410-822-1626

The Women & Girls Fund’s Impact at Horizons

When the Women & Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore was founded in 2002, their primary goal was to seek out and support the best local programs that help women and girls succeed. After much vetting and due diligence on the Board’s part, the Fund early on saw the benefits of Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s as one of the best ways to accomplish their mission and give young girls (and boys) the kind of leg up during the summer months they critically need to maintain their learning growth.

The results of those early investments have paid off.  The six-week summer learning program is now serving 170 Mid-Shore students, and have proved to strengthened the students’ academic performance, builds their self-confidence, and nurture citizenship skills.

The Spy sat down with Women & Girls Fund board member Susie Dillon, along with Horizons’ director Bob Parks, co-founder and academic director Connie Schroth, and site director Bibi Schelberg to highlight the problem of lower income students losing critically important educational and social experiences during the summer months as well as Horizons successful approach to filling this important gap through the use of the campuses of the Radcliffe Creek School in Chestertown and Gunston School in Centreville.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s please go here

Editor’s Note:  This is the first in a series of stories focused on the work of the Women & Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore. Since 2002, the Fund has channeled its pooled resources to organizations that serve the needs and quality of life for women and girls in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties. The Spy, in partnership with the Women & Girls Fund, are working collaboratively to put the spotlight on twelve of these remarkable agencies to promote their success and inspire other women and men to support the Fund’s critical role in the future.

EHS Students Join Others from Maryland at Classical League Convention

Easton High School students and recent graduates attended the 64th National Junior Classical League Convention at Troy University in Alabama, along with 1700 other Latin students from around the nation. The convention, which took place at the end of July, includes groups of students from all across the country coming together to celebrate the classic languages of Latin and Greek with contests, competitions, lectures, and other activities throughout the week. A total 21 students represented Maryland and made their mark in Alabama. The Maryland “novice” team placed 10th in the country in Competitive Certamen, a game of fast recall of facts about classical civilizations and its peoples, languages, and cultures.Several Maryland students placed nationally in events such as academic testing, essay writing, escape rooms, spirit competitions, talent shows, art contests, and sports.

Easton High Latin Students don togas to represent our region at the 64th National Junior Classical League Convention at Troy University in Alabama.

Each year, students who attend the convention come home not only with their impressive prizes, but with a higher understanding and love for the classics and new friends from all around the state and across the country.  “I strongly believe that what made Nationals special this year was the friends that I made,” said Natasha Panduawawala, the Maryland Junior Classical League President. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to bond with and create a whole new family,” added Kaitlyn Tilley, a rising senior at Easton High.

Studying the classics can be very challenging, so it’s wonderful when hard-working students are able to expand their knowledge and understanding in a favorite subject over the summer. This opportunity is enhanced by being exposed to life on a college campus and gaining experience in leadership and teamwork in a friendly, positive environment.

Upcoming Programming at the Library September 17-23

Easton Library to Offer Needlework Program

On Monday, September 18, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will once again offer its popular Stitching Time program.  Patrons are invited to work on their favorite project with a group.  Limited instruction will be available for beginners.  Newcomers welcome.  All library programming is free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register for this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Chris Eareckson, telephone: 410-822-1626

Easton Library to Host Futuremakers Program: Hypnotizers

On Monday, September 18, at 4:00 p.m. for grades 2 & 3, and again at 5:30 p.m. for all ages, in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, Futuremakers will put on a program in which children will have the opportunity to create spinning, glowing light machines that hypnotize and amaze.  This program is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  All library programs are free and open to the public, but patrons do need to pre-register to participate in this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Laura Powell, telephone: 410-822-1626

Retired University Professor and Administrator, John H.  Miller to Speak on Slave Ships at Easton Library

On Monday, September 18, at 6:30 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, Dr. John H. Miller will give a talk entitled “Amazing Grace: Slave Ships—Their Captains, Crew, and the People Who Survived Them.”  Miller’s lecture will explore the history and heroic stories of some of the valiant people who, despite being taken aboard the slave ships as “cargo,” rose above their circumstances to display amazing courage and grace.  This talk first took form as a lecture Dr. Miller gave on Marcus Rediker’s groundbreaking work The Slave Ship: a Human History as part of the University of Virginia’s “Semester at Sea” program.  Dr. Miller delivered his lecture in 2015 while the student ship on which he served as a faculty member was crossing the Atlantic from Senegal (Africa) to Salvador (Brazil), traversing the waters known to history as the notorious “Middle Passage.”

Speaking of the research that went into preparing his talk, Dr. Miller said, “What I have learned, and continue to learn, compels me to speak out in ways I never have done before, to share these stories—too long hidden and suppressed in my educational upbringing—with others who may similarly have grown up not fully understanding or appreciating the horrors of international capitalism in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Its tangled web enmeshed us all, everyone, in both the Old and New Worlds,for 400 years. We Americans are still recovering, if ‘recovering’ is the right word. There is so much unfinished business, as Frederick Douglass would readily acknowledge were he alive today.”

Miller received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and his B.A. from Yale.  Miller taught literature at Carnegie Mellon where he also served for many years as a Major Gifts Officer and Director of Development for the Dietrich College of Humanities& Social Sciences. He has also taught at the University of Pittsburgh Honors College, the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France (as a Fulbright Fellow), in addition to teaching at Washington College and at American University.  He now teaches literature courses at the Academy for Lifelong Learning at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend Dr. Miller’s lecture.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Bill Peak, telephone: 410-822-1626

Library Book Group to Discuss “Purple Hibiscus”

On Monday, September 18, at 6:30 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, the Easton book group will discuss this year’s One Maryland One Book, “Purple Hibiscus” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  One Maryland One Book is a Maryland Humanities program in which people all across the state read the same book at the same time.  This discussion will be facilitated by “the library guy,” Bill Peak.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this discussion.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Bill Peak, telephone: 410-822-1626

Children to Read with a Certified Therapy Dog at Easton Library

On Tuesday, September 19, at 4:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites children 5 and older to bring in their favorite book or choose one from the library’s shelves to read with Janet Dickey and her dog Latte.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to participate in this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Laura Powell, telephone: 410-822-1626

Easton Library to Offer S.T.E.A.M Program

On Thursday, September 21, from 3:00 – 4:45 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a S.T.E.A.M(Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) program for all ages.  Children will take a Virtual Reality field trip with Google Expeditions, enjoy Make and Take, Build with LEGOS, design with Minecraft, and more.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Laura Powell, telephone: 410-822-1626

Easton Library to Anchor Frederick Douglass Day

On Saturday, September 23, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Talbot County will celebrate Frederick Douglass Day.  The Talbot County Free Library is partnering with the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, the Town of Easton, and others to stage this all-day event, and its Easton branch will serve as a primary stage for many of the day’s activities.  Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the Children’s Village will open for children of all ages in the library’s front garden.  The day’s Amazing Race scavenger hunt will also start at 11:30 a.m. from in front of the library.  At 1:00 p.m., inspirational speaker and direct descendant of Frederick Douglass, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., will give the day’s keynote address in the Easton library’s main meeting room.  Following that, at 2:30 p.m., Artworks for Freedom will host a panel discussion on modern human trafficking.  Food vendors will be set up in the parking lot across Dover Street from the library, and the day’s music and speakers stage will be set up just south of the library on West Street.  All library and Frederick Douglass Day programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend or participate in any of these programs.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Bill Peak, telephone: 410-822-1626