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Office of Community Partnerships - Community Engagement Cluster Newsletter
March 2012
, Issue 47

Top_of_Page Save Time - Vote Early
Montgomery County will open 5 Early Voting Centers from March 24 - 29, from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. (Sunday hours noon - 6 p.m.)  Voters are able to vote on the same voting equipment used on Election Day, but at a time that is more convenient.
Early Voting Centers are located at:
Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center, 14625 Bauer Drive, Rockville 20853
Germantown Recreation Center, 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown 20874
Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike,   Burtonsville 20866
Montgomery County Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville 20850
Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veteran's Plaza, Silver Spring 20910
Voters are encouraged to visit our website - - to view additional information on the Early Voting Centers.  During Early Voting hours, the website will display a scroll bar which will provide wait times of each of the five Centers, updated hourly.
For more information on Early Voting, please call 240-777-VOTE (8683)
 EditorOffice of Community Partnerships Seeks Editor for Newsletter
Many thanks to Betty Barkas Hood for her excellent job producing the OCP newsletter. We are grateful to her. Our best wishes to Betty who is moving on to other opportunities.

OCP is looking for a volunteer to fill the Editor's position for this newsletter, starting with the April issue.  The newsletter requires about 15 hours of work each month, and uses Constant Contact software, a simple email marketing program.  The Editor is responsible for information sent to him or her from the OCP cluster and other nonprofit agencies, then formatted in Constant Contact for distribution at the beginning of each month. 

To view a detailed description of the position and to apply, visit this link:
Service Awards
DirectorMessage From The Director:
Honor Those Who Serve by Submitting
Montgomery Serves Nominations by Monday March 19
Bruce Adams
Director, Office of Community Partnerships
I'm going to be uncharacteristically brief here this month. I'm asking you to do one thing: nominate someone for either the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Awards for lifetime achievement by someone 60 years old or better and/or nominate an individual (young or old), business, or community organization for one of the Montgomery Serves Awards for 2011. 

As I explained in this space last month, County Executive Leggett has established the "Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award" modeled after the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. The Volunteer Center, Corporate Volunteer Council, and the Fund for Montgomery are organizing a Montgomery Serves Awards event for April 30 at Imagination Stage in Bethesda where the County Executive will present the very first of these awards posthumously to Roscoe Nix for his half century of service to Montgomery County.
Please read the next item for full information about the April 30 awards ceremony and how you can nominate a deserving community volunteer for a Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award or a 2011 Montgomery Serves Award. Or go straight to the nominations forms at  

MontServesAwardsNominate Extraordinary Volunteers for the

Montgomery Serves Awards

On Monday, April 30th, Montgomery County will recognize the extraordinary commitment and dedication of individuals, businesses, community-based organizations, youth, and seniors whose work has made a positive difference in Montgomery County.


Help us recognize and celebrate volunteers in Montgomery County by submitting a nomination before the Monday, March 19th, 5:00 PM deadline!


Find out more and nominate now!

Click Here


Neal Potter Path of Achievement Awards

In partnership with the Commission on Aging and The Beacon newspaper, two winners will be selected for their lifetime of volunteer service to our County. 

  • Nominees must be 60 years or better and have either lived, worked, or served in Montgomery County during their time of service.
  • The nomination should incorporate service performed over a lifetime, not exclusively the past year.
  • Past winners and current members of the County's Commission on Aging are ineligible.

Montgomery Serves Awards

2011 Montgomery Serves Awards. These awards recognize special volunteer accomplishments during 2011 in three categories:

  • Youth Service Awards (individual youth and/or youth groups 18 years and under)
  • Community Service Awards (exemplary volunteer service by individuals or community organizations).
  • Corporate Service Awards (businesses or corporations that engage their employees as community volunteers)


The inaugural Montgomery Serves Awards ceremony will take place the evening of April 30, 2012 at Imagination Stage in Bethesda.  This first annual event will honor some of our County's most outstanding community leaders and dedicated volunteers.


For questions email or call 240-777-2600

governorGovernor's Service Award Nominations
Governor Martin O'Malley invites nominations for the 2012 Governor's Service Awards.
The awards will be presented by the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism and recognize Maryland citizens for their significant volunteer contributions to the life and health of the State and its people.
This year's awards ceremony will recognize volunteer service during 2011 (or longer for lifetime achievement). The awards will be presented to selected recipients and invitees at a luncheon in Timonium on May 9, 2012.
Nominations may be submitted for outstanding volunteerism in the following categories:
Individual Volunteer Service                       
Youth (18 and under)                                                                                      
Adult (Ages 19 - 54)                                    
Older Adult (55 and over)                             
Lifetime Achievement                                   
National Service Participant (AmeriCorps*State/National,VISTA, NCCC, Senior Corps)
Organization/Program Volunteer Service
For Profit Business
Faith-based Organization
Nonprofit Organization
Youth Group (Volunteers are 18 and under)
Adult Group (Volunteers are 19 - 54)
Older Adult Group (Volunteers are 55 and over)
Please submit your nominations no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, March 16, 2012.
Find a sample nomination, link to the online nomination form, detailed guidelines for nominations, and descriptions of last year's recipients at
Earth_DayMC Volunteer Center Promotes Projects For Earth Day
The Montgomery County Volunteer Center is promoting environmentally focused projects during the entire month of April as a time for volunteer groups to get engaged in the recognition of Earth Day.  Springtime provides a great opportunity for volunteers to get out and make a difference cleaning up our environment (litter removal, spring cleaning, organizing, planting, painting, etc.).  Check the Earth Day page on the Volunteer Center website where registered agencies and community groups can post new Earth Day projects, or sign up for existing projects now. 
Leadership_ProgramMC Public Schools Superintendent's Leadership Program Seeks Applicants
The Superintendent's Leadership Program of Montgomery County Public Schools will be accepting applications from current MCPS high school juniors, starting now through March 15, 2012, to participate in the 2012-2013 class.

Students earn two honors credits per semester by participating in a 15 hour per week internship and community service project. The deadline to apply is March 15. For more information and an application visit the website at
Literacy_GrantsCoalition For Adult English Literacy Grants
In partnership with Montgomery County Government, Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy is pleased to continue to support Adult English literacy services in FY13 through two distinct grant tracks: Program Grants and Micro-Literacy Access Grants. The goal of the MCAEL grants program is to increase the availability of adult ESOL and literacy services that support identified community needs and diverse populations while also supporting the improvement of quality of services.
Please click here to view more information and the Requests for Proposals for each both Program and Micro Literacy Grants.
Join us on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 at 10 am for the Grant Information Session and a special workshop on Using Data to Promote Programs. MCAEL welcomes all to attend the grant information workshop at MCAEL, located in the Nonprofit Village at 12320 Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD 20852. (Directions can be downloaded from the MCAEL website at Please RSVP to
The meeting will provide some background on the grants program and space for questions from potential applicants. Additionally, the second part to the workshop will focus on how to  use data to evaluate and promote a program. 

SewingEl Rosal Sewing Cooperative Gains Support
On Saturday, February 18th, over one hundred IMPACT network members gathered in Long Branch to meet the ladies of the El Rosal Sewing Cooperative.

Attendees got an inside look at the production process, signed up for sewing classes, bought handmade products, and enjoyed great food and live music. They also heard directly from the El Rosal ladies about their mission to generate income and improve their neighborhood through their micro business.

Catherine Leggett, wife of Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, gave a rousing speech endorsing the ladies' efforts. Mrs. Leggett was joined by El Rosal supporters Jeffrey Slavin, Councilmember Hans Riemer, Debbie Speilberg from Councilmember Marc Elrich's office, and Franca Brilliant from the Takoma Foundation.

The group earned $400 in cash, received dozens of orders for custom designed bags and clothes, and registered over a dozen folks for upcoming sewing courses. Several folks also signed up as "art share investors", where they will make a set monthly financial contribution and be invited to participate in a focus group with the ladies concerning growing their business.

In addition, the event has generated amazing momentum for the group by setting off a chain reaction of promising business opportunities:

State Senator Jamie Raskin announced that his campaign had placed an order of 500 handmade campaign bags!
The president of the PTA of a neighborhood elementary school requested a bulk order of bags to sell as part of a Spring fundraiser.
The owner of Pana's Gourmet Empanadas, who catered Saturday's event, has contracted the ladies to make over 40 cushion covers for seats at his restaurant's three DC area locations.

The ladies were thrilled to have a chance to express their deep gratitude for everybody's support. El Rosal member Yolanda--who celebrated her birthday the same day of the event--couldn't hold back her tears of joys as she thanked the crowd for making this the most memorable day of her life. Co-owner of El Rosal Edelsa added "It's a thrill to see you all here and I urge women throughout the community to unite with us in our efforts to make a better Long Branch."

The ladies would love to hear from YOU!! So if you are interested in a sewing course, handmade products from Long Branch, or just connecting with El Rosal, email Sebastian at

P.O. Box 8397
Silver Spring, MD 20907

DevelopmentStay in the Know on Planning and Development Activities in Your Community
Do you want to stay informed about planning and development in Montgomery County?  If so, ensure your local organization is registered accurately with the Planning Department, which maintains a list of homeowners organizations and civic groups countywide.
The Department relies on homeowners and civic organizations to help spread the word about development applications and planning initiatives. Builders use the Department's organizational information to send notification of development applications to neighbors, and planners send notices to groups to publicize issues of general interest. Collecting accurate email addresses is paramount.
Planning Department staff has created an interactive webpage that makes updating organizational information a snap. Visit to review and update group contact information.
All currently registered groups will be notified about the new website by mail.

Youth_Survey"Excel Beyond The Bell" Youth Survey Due March 9
The Excel Beyond the Bell Workforce Steering Committee has created a 5 minute, anonymous survey, with the goal of increasing opportunities for career and professional development for youth workers.

What is a youth work professional?  According to a definition provided by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) they are individuals who work with or on behalf of youth to facilitate their personal, social and educational development to enable them to gain voice, influence and place in society as they make the transition from dependence to independence.

You know you're a youth worker if you:
1. Are employed primarily in out-of-school time settings
2. Work with young people primarily between ages 6 and 18
3. Can be employed by a variety of systems and settings-like social workers, teachers, and parks and recreation specialists.

Here's the link:
CalendarCommunity Calendar
Temporary Protective Status (TPS) Re-registration
The Mobil Consulate (Salvadoran) will be doing Temporary Protective Status (TPS) re-registration on Sunday, March 4th, from 10 AM - 2 PM, at the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity at the Mid County Regional Service Center, 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton MD 20902.  The deadline for renewing TPS is March 12th, so people should act now.  For more information regarding what documents to bring contact the Salvadoran Consulate Call Center at 1-888-301-1130.
County Clean Water Summit
The Department of Environmental Protection will host the Clean Water Summit on Saturday, March 3rd, from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM (ET) in the Silver Spring Civic Building.

Learn about the challenges of improving water quality, how your habits impact local waters, initiatives happening in your communities to improve stream health and how you can become involved. Become a part of the growing Clean Streams Movement and meet local watershed groups comprised of community members who are improving the quality of their local streams. Also learn about County-sponsored programs, such as RainScapes Rewards, that provide financial incentives to stop stormwater pollution at its source. To register,  visit:
For more information, contact Ryan Zerbe at

MCPS Parent Academy Workshops
Special Education: Parents as Advocates and the Family-School Partnership (part 1 of 4)
Monday, March 5
Learn about the special education process and how to advocate for your child.  Topics include the Individualized Education Program (IEP), resolving issues, community resources and support.  Learn, network, and share tips with other parents.  This is the first of a series of four Parent E.A.S.E. workshops facilitated by the Montgomery County Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health.
Wheaton HS, 12601 Dalewood Dr., Silver Spring 20906
Disaster Preparedness and Coping Skills for Parents
Wednesday, March 7
Montgomery County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and MCPS' Department of Student Services are offering helpful information on the topics of disaster preparedness and coping skills following a disaster. Disaster preparedness topics will include building an emergency supply kit, having a communication plan, and staying informed during a disaster. Additionally, information will be shared about how parents can help their children prepare for, and cope during and after crisis events.
Thomas W. Pyle MS, 6311 Dalewood Dr., Silver Spring 20906
Childcare and interpretation are provided at all workshops.
To register and see other upcoming workshops, please visit

Rockville Women's Business Center March Workshops
Writing a Business Plan, Tuesday, March 6, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  
New and existing businesses benefit from a strong business plan. Join the staff of the RWBC to learn why you need one and how to develop a good one, the right way.  Fee:  $10,  Register here.

Market to the Max, Thursday, March 8, 1:00-3:00 p.m.  
Build a cost effective marketing program for your company by combining marketing vehicles such as public relations, direct mail, social media, and advertising, based on your goals, budget and timeframe.  Join marketing expert and local entrepreneur, Robyn Sachs, for an introduction to the "Marketing Pyramid," a concept that will help you construct a marketing strategy that is built to last, in good times and bad, in upturns and downturns.  Fee:  $10,  Register here

Empowered Women International:  Entrepreneur Training for Success,  Mondays, March 12 through June 23, 6:30-9:00 p.m.  
Spend an intensive three months developing your business through a unique entrepreneurial training program that supports low-income, immigrant, and refugee artists and creative women entrepreneurs in the DC metro area.  The 60 hour curriculum includes nearly 20 classes and workshops, mentoring, a business plan pitch, and graduation/showcase.  After the program, each graduate continues to receive mentoring, marketing and sales opportunities, and capital access to grow her business. Location:  Rockville Women's Business Center at 95 Monroe Street, Rockville.   Contact EWI to learn more about fees and registration.

Networking Dinner with Women Business Owners of Montgomery County,  Thursday, March 15, 5:30-8:00 p.m. 
Join fellow small business owners  for dinner and discussion about current business topics.  Location:  The Legacy Hotel, Rockville.  Fee:  $35 member rate using the code WBC01.  Register here.

The ABC's of Starting a Business,  Thursday, March 22, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
What does it really take to start your own business? Learn more about the steps involved and discover the many resources that are available to support you.  Explore the demands of being an entrepreneur and take a brief self-assessment.  Review the steps involved in getting started such as developing a business plan; finding the help you will need;  and determining your business structure.   Obtain concrete information about where to go to get "registered" with the federal government and state.   Fee:  $10.00   Register here

Financial Resources,  Wednesday, March 28, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
Meet with local lenders to learn more about how you can finance the growth of your business. Receive information on microloans, SBA funded lending programs, bank loans, government programs and more! Register here.

Germantown To Host Sister Cities Soccer Match
What: Sister Cities Reception and Soccer Match (University of Maryland vs. El Salvador Olympic Team)
Where: Soccer Plex in Germantown
When: Sunday March 11th Reception at 12:30PM, game immediately after
Cost of ticket includes food, music, and entrance to the game.
More information coming shortly.
Come, bring the family,  mingle with Sister Cities El Salvador supporters and enjoy the game.

Please RSVP by emailing or call 240-777-2525. We'll have your tickets at the door. 

Montgomery Sister Cities
The Board of Montgomery Sister Cities will host a conversation on the proposal to establish a Sister City relationship with Beit Shemesh/Mateh Yehuda, Israel on Tuesday March 13 at 7 p.m. in the lobby level auditorium of the Executive Office Building (101 Monroe Street, Rockville).

Heyman Center Hosts Presentation on After School Programs
The Jewish Council for the Aging Heyman Interages Center will present Bringing People Together: Sharing Successes and Challenges of After School Programs on Monday, March 26th, 2012, from 9 - to 10:30 AM at the Center.  The JCA is located at 12320 Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD 20852.  To RSVP, call Mary Jane Kane at 301-255-4233, or email her at
Gilchrist Open Computer Lab for Job Seekers
The Wheaton location of Gilchrist Center will provide free computer help through its lab to job seekers.  Help writing your resume, completing an online employment application, or learning about web sites that have employment opportunities are a featured part of the Lab.

When:   Tuesdays, from 2-4 PM, starting March 6th.
Where:  Gilchrist Center at Mid-County RSC
              2424 Reedie Drive, Suite 220
               Wheaton, MD 20902

In-person registration is currently in progress.  Students are required to register for each 2-hour session.  Space is limited, so register early.  Students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until full.  Prior knowledge of basic computers is also required. 

For more information, call 240-777-4940.
Save the Date!
Mark your calendar.  The Gilchrist Spring Registration for classes is right around the corner. 

Spanish classes:             April 10th   Ongoing (Tuesday)
ESL classes:                   April 11th
Computer classes;          April 12th
ESL and Computers:      April 14th

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