"Together we can accomplish great things!"
County Executive Ike Leggett
March 2014 - Issue: 71
Volunteer Center
MLK Day of
Service & Tribute 2014
Martin Luther King Jr. Logo

The Fund for Montgomery and Chair Keith Haller released a  5 minute video commemorating MLK Day of Tribute & Service. Check it out -- uplifting and a great watch.


Volunteering in March


March is early spring, time to explore new ways to volunteer in our community. Try the search box on our website to find volunteer opportunities throughout the year,  Did you know that if you create a volunteer account on the Volunteer Center website you can have an email sent to you any time a new opportunity is posted that meets your criteria? Just log in to your volunteer account and click on "create a volunteer profile".

Check out these opportunities to serve:

Tuesday, March 11

Foster Parent Information Meeting  

Come to one of these weekly meetings to find out more about becoming a foster parent. Foster parenting is both a responsibility and an opportunity. It is one of the highest forms of community service.

Saturday, March 22

H2O Summit  

You can help as a volunteer, or just bring the family and participate in fun activities focused on water.  

Friday, March 28

Office of Emergency Management needs 300 volunteers to help with response exercise in Damascus.

Saturday, April 5 -  

Potomac River Watershed Cleanup 

Thousands of volunteers needed at hundreds of sites.  


The 2014 "Montgomery Serves



Watch next month's newsletter for the list of honorees receiving Montgomery Serves Awards as extraordinary volunteers in Montgomery County. You can sign up to attend the awards event.

Monday, April 28 at 6:30pm 
Imagination Stage in Bethesda
African American Community
Recognizing Black History 
Black History Month's 2014 theme of "Civil Rights in America" was celebrated on Feb. 4 by the Montgomery County Council and members of the County's Black History Month Committee. This year's theme chronicles the important milestones achieved by African-Americans and others in the battle for civil rights, as well as marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. At the ceremonies in Rockville were, left to right: Council President Craig Rice; JoAnn Barnes; Debra Jones; James Stowe, director of the County's Office of Human Rights; Teresa Blair; Deborah Milo; Cornelia Gregory; Julian Norment; and Council member Cherri Branson.

The State of Black Montgomery

The first annual State of Black Montgomery forum was held in the Silver Spring Civic Center where community engagement was the topic surrounding discussions on political, economic and social justice issues close to the African American community.  The forum was hosted by the African-American Democratic Club of Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Young Democrats.  Among the public officials in attendance were Congressman Sarbanes, Congressman Van Hollen, County Executive Leggett, Council President Rice, several other council members, and Lt. Governor Candidate Jolene Ivey.
Asian Community
Xi'an Sister City Update
Members of the Northwest Chinese American Association of Greater Washington meet OCP staff to discuss future projects for the Xi'an Sister City relationship on February 16th in Rockville.  
Gilchrist Center
Gilchrist Center January 2014

In January, 356 county residents signed up to learn English, basic computer skills, Spanish, job search skills, and how to become a citizen through the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity's programs in Wheaton, Germantown and for the first time, in Gaithersburg.  This number includes 50 students studying English and basic computers at our newly opened site at the Gaithersburg Library.    On most registration days, long lines revealed the need for our classes. Unfortunately 69 potential ESL students were placed on waiting lists due to a lack of space, as well as 22 potential basic computer students.

Although sometimes hectic, registration days remind us of the importance of team work, and the commitment of our volunteers.  Several of our volunteer ESL teachers helped us on our first day of ESL registration in Wheaton, when we managed written placement tests and oral interviews of roughly 130 people, provided them with counseling as to ESL options and other needs, and registered 80-90 students in a two hour span.  Our teachers applied their previous education experience, (and their stamina!) to interview client after client, assessing their language skills to assure they enrolled in the correct class.   We are lucky to have 53 volunteers teaching our classes this session!

The Gilchrist Center Issues its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013

The Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity has issued its FY 2013 Annual Report. It highlights the Center's work and also offers more insightful information beyond the numbers, including how the Center impacts the lives of clients and how it strives to improve the quality of its services and programs. The annual report is available online.

For more information, call the Gilchrist Center at 240-777-4940.
Interfaith Community 
Neighbors in Need Working Group

The Inaugural Meeting of the Neighbors in Need Working Group (NINGW) occurred on February 19 at Rockville Presbyterian Church.  Co-Chaired by Rabbi David Shneyer and Claire Waggoner the NINWG consists of a religiously diverse group of leaders representing individual faith communities and nonprofits.  It is the third working group organized by the Reverend Mansfield "Kasey" Kaseman, Interfaith Community Liaison in the Office of Community Partnerships. 

Outcomes of the meeting included the following Mission Statement: "The Neighbors in Need Working Group seeks to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable residents of Montgomery County by engaging and helping to empower faith communities, nonprofits, government officials and entities in collaborative study, education, action and advocacy. "

Six Goals were approved and two committees were formed to address Hunger and Healthcare in Montgomery County.  The next meeting of NINGW is scheduled for March 31.  Persons interested in joining NINGW or serving on wither of its committees should contact Kasey at or 240-447-1715.  The Mission Statement and Goals will soon be available on a website.

Creating Partnerships in Serving

The County' Executive's Faith Community Working Group (FCWG) convened a meeting with Uma Ahluwalia, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 28, where she encouraged 58 faith leaders to create partnerships in serving the needs of our diverse communities. Co-Chair Rabbi Batya Steinlauf explained FCWG's efforts to expand cultural diversity training to MCPS, while Dr Hedieh Mirahmadi shared the White House's recognition of the Montgomery County Model as a best practice in community-led efforts to reduce violent extremism. Rev. Mansfield Kaseman reported on the work of the Clergy Response Team and invited leaders to join the new Neighbors in Need Working Group.  Rev. Ken Howard reported on the work of the Religious Land Use Working Group.  Any one interested in these programs may contact Rev Kaseman at or cell 240-447-1715.

National Photography
Grand Prize Winner

The Pluralism Project at Harvard University recently announced the Grand Prize Winner of their national contest to document the vibrancy of religious diversity in the United States.  The winner, Chuck Lee, has been chronicling such events throughout the past year related to the Faith Community Advisory Council of Montgomery County and its Faith Community Working Group (FCWG).  

Chuck's image, "The Conversation," was taken on April 25, 2013 at an interfaith meeting organized in response to the Boston Marathon Bombing.  The meeting of some 70 faith leaders was hosted by the FCWG at the International Cultural Center to defuse tensions, open dialogue and organize for joint action. The leaders pictured are Imam Jamil Ahmad Dasti with the Islamic Society of Maryland and Daniel Spiro with the Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society.  

Reverend Kasey Kaseman, Interfaith Community Liaison, encouraged Chuck to submit his photos because of his capacity to reflect the spirit of interfaith events.  "Chuck," says, Kasey, "combines a professional photographers eye with a spiritual heart resulting in pictures revealing the healing and unifying power of the divine."

Understanding Violent Extremism

Come interact with a great panel of speakers who will cover violent extremist threats ranging from white supremacist groups to Al Qaeda inspired terrorists. Click here for more information.

Saturday, March 8, 2014 from 1 to 4 pm

Islamic Center of Maryland (ICM)
Library Room
19411 Woodfield Rd
Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Space is limited, RVSP here.
Latin American Community
Ama Tu Vida Multicultural
Health Festival
Saturday, April 5, 2014
1:00pm to 5:00pm - Rain or Shine

FREE medical screenings; (blood pressure, cholesterol, vision, blood sugar, etc.) and
Information to help you stay healthy.

New Location:
The Activity Center at Bohrer Park
506 S. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(Near Gaithersburg High School)

Montgomery County Executive's Latin American Advisory Group Budget Summary

County Executive Ike Leggett began the meeting with an overview of the budget and fiscal situation as he begins preparation of the FY2015 operating budget for submission to the County Council in March. He stated that the fiscal situation is better than in recent years, but he noted the need to be cautious because of the uncertainty caused by possible action by the Maryland General Assembly, a lawsuit pending at the state level that could have a negative impact on local governments, and the unpredictability of Congress. The County Executive explained that he had submitted his FY2015-20 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) to the County Council. He noted that the CIP reflects the need to respond to a huge increase in the number of students in MCPS. He said that he included a large increase in funding for the Housing Initiative Fund, and that his administration in concentrating on affordable housing for seniors. In addition to affordable housing, the County Executive pointed to increased investment in language access, Gilchrist Center, and after-school programs and recreation facilities for youth. He highlighted several important goals in the upcoming budgets including after-school programs in every middle school and greater diversity in the middle management of the County government workforce.

Advisory group co-chair Teresa Chapa referenced the January 10, 2014 letter from the LAAG to the County Executive laying out the advisory group's budget priorities for FY2015. 
  • Ensure Affordable Housing for Latino Residents
  • Expand the Latino Workforce in Montgomery County Government
  • Increase Funding for Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity
  • Support Funding for Latino Health Issues
  • Support Business Development Services to Latino Businesses
  • Support Sports, Recreational, and Job Readiness Programs for Latino Youth 
Middle Eastern Community 

hsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries Celebrate the Persian New Year with a Free Family Festival

"Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration" Is Saturday, March 8

The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will present its sixth annual "Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration" free family festival Saturday, March 8, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Throughout the day, visitors of all ages can dance, play and feast to mark the Persian year of 1393 at a celebration encompassing both museums and including live music, film, art making, hands-on workshops and traditional cuisine.

Visitors will be able to hear storyteller Xanthe Gresham weave tales from Persian folklore, discover the meaning of colorful "Haft Sin" displays, watch a master calligrapher at work and dress up in costume to take photos in front of the ancient Persian capital Persepolis. Other activities include "fire jumping" for good luck in the new year, an artwork scavenger hunt, face painting and hands-on art workshops. Traditional dancers will perform throughout the day, and docents will highlight important masterpieces in the galleries.

Lively and entertaining Iranian cartoons will screen throughout the day in the Freer's Meyer Auditorium, and the festival will culminate in an evening concert of the music of Iranian American composer Reza Vali, performed by the Carpe Diem Quartet and guest artist Dariush Saghifi. Persian cuisine will be available for purchase.

The event regularly draws crowds of 10,000 visitors, and is made possible by a grant from Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar.
Sister Cities
Montgomery Sister Cities
Board Retreat

On Saturday February 22, the Board of Montgomery Sister Cities held a retreat at the Silver Spring Civic Building. Led by newly elected Chair Theresa Cameron and facilitated by Silver Spring Regional Center Director Reemberto Rodriguez, the meeting was an important bonding experience for the Board that pointed the way to an inspiring new strategic approach for the nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the County government to promote our Sister City program.

As the former Chair of Maryland Nonprofits, Theresa Cameron reminded the group of the importance of adhering to the organizational fundamentals of successful nonprofits. Representatives of our four active country committees representing El Salvador, Ethiopia, China, and India briefed the Board members on their plans and projects. The Board agreed to organize an annual meeting in 2014 as well as establish committees to review the bylaws and develop a fundraising plan.
Photo from left: Solomon Teklai, Evelyn Gonzalez, Bill Kaschak, Lorna Forde, Neftali Granados, Mumin Barre, Senior Fellow Dave Robbins, Secretary Dianne Smith, Treasurer Bill Nance, Bruce Adams, Chair Theresa Cameron, Elsie Walker, and Ram Konda.

Global Village Trips t

Morazán, El Salvador
Are you looking for an adventure that will expand your mind, help you into better physical shape, and touch your heart and spirit all at once?  Then join us on an excursion to beautiful El Salvador while we build some homes for the El Barrial Community in Morazán, El Salvador.  You will learn about the country and the people in a way that ordinary travel never could.
If you are interested in learning more about either of these trips to El Salvador please contact Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland
  • John Paukstis for the July 19th to July 27th, 2014 trip; call 301-990-0014 Ext. 11  
  • Sarah Reddinger for the July 26th to August 3rd, 2014 trip; call 301-990-0014 Ext. 27 
Join Us for National Conference on Ending Poverty 

Many thanks to our friends at A Wider Circle who have taken the lead in organizing the National Conference on Ending Poverty for Saturday March 29, at the Silver Spring Civic Building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Experts will be coming here from around the country to share best practices. But, even more important, we need to turn out and learn what we can do by rolling up our sleeves and committing to the fight against poverty.

For more information, please see this informational flyer with the preliminary schedule.

On Sunday March 30, the day after the conference, A Wider Circle is partnering with the UMB School of Nursing, the UMBC School of Social Work, and the Universities at Shady Grove to have a Poverty Simulation at the Universities at Shady Grove. These simulations have proven to be a great way to help folks connect to what our neighbors endure each day. AWC has room for 85 participants and needs about 25 volunteers. If you are interested in participating or volunteering, please contact Alice Kersting at



Bruce Adams
Director, Office of Community Partnerships
County News & Events
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Montgomery Country Animal
Services and Adoption Center

Saturday, March 1, 2014
10:30am to 12:00 noon

7315 Muncaster Mill Road
Derwood, MD 20855

For more information and parking location please visit
Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Chris Van Hollen

Congressman Chris Van Hollen will convene a town hall meeting for residents of the 8th Congressional District.  The Congressman will report to residents about the activities of the 113th Congress and the important issues facing the nation.  Congressman Van Hollen will respond to questions and comments from the audience. All residents of the 8th Congressional District are invited.

When:  Thursday, March 6, 2014
            7:00 p.m. - Information tables
            7:30-9:00 p.m. - Town Hall Meeting

Where:  John F. Kennedy High School
1901 Randolph Road, Silver Spring, MD 20902
Social Services Officer and Chief of Children, Youth and Families

The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR), in cooperation with the Montgomery County Government, seeks a strong administrator to serve as Social Services Officer and Chief of Children, Youth and Families.  The SSO/Chief will direct all program activities including Child Welfare, Family and Adult Services, Financial Assistance Programs, and Nutrition Assistance.  In addition, the Chief will also manage programming related to Early Care and Education, Linkages to Learning, the Community Schools Program, Positive Youth Development and other local initiatives and partnerships. The position, located in Rockville, has a staff of approximately 450 and a $62.5 million operating budget.

Applications will be accepted via DHR's online job board. You will be required to provide a resume, salary history, and current salary requirements. Additional information about DHR is available at
Montgomery County Council Seeks Applicants for the Position of Chair of Montgomery County Planning Board

The deadline for applications is
Monday, April 7, at 5 p.m.

Learn more at
Working Parents Assistance Program Offers Help to Pay for Child Care Costs

Montgomery County's Working Parents Assistance Program (WPA), part of the Department of Health and Human Services,  has funds available to help County residents pay child care costs.
The WPA provides subsidies to help eligible single and two-parent families pay for licensed child care costs.

To find out more about The Working Parents Assistance Program, call 240-777-1155.
Nonprofit Roundtable's Future Executive Director Fellowship Program

The Nonprofit Roundtable is now accepting applications for our 9-month fellowship program for accomplished nonprofit leaders who aspire to be part of the next generation of executive directors of small or medium-sized community-based nonprofit organizations.

Applications for the 2014-2015 Future Executive Director Fellowship are due on March 31st. Click Here to view our program overview and schedule. Click Here to view FAQ sheet.

Contact Amy Kurz with additional questions.
Women of Character, Courage & Commitment

Sunday, March 2 at 1:00pm

Maryland Women's Heritage Center
39 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Seating is limited. Reservations Required.
Cost $35 -Members $25/sliding scale
More Info & Reservations:
Step up to a Unique Montgomery County Experience
Leadership Montgomery is both a leadership organization and a networking coalition. The core values of the organization include integrity, diversity, service, relationships and passion, as well as fostering and sustaining leaders.

Find out how you can apply at

Attend an Information Event
Thursday, March 6, 8:00am to 9:30am
Upcounty Regional Services Center
12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD 20874
Grants Available from Montgomery Alliance

Montgomery Alliance for Community Giving announces the availability of grants to purchase equipment for client programming purposes. Health and human service nonprofit agencies located in Montgomery County are eligible to apply. Requests must be for a minimum of $5,000 but not exceed $38,000. Equipment must be purchased and receipts submitted by May 31, 2014. Deadline for applications is March 12, 2014. The grant application form and instructions are available at
Celebrate the Grand Reopening of Olney Library

March 15, 2014 at 9:00am
3500 Olney-Laytonsville Rd.
Olney, MD 20833

Please RSVP to 240-777-0033
by March 7th.
Beyond the Tracks
- One day workshop on the Purple Line Corridor

Save the Date
Friday, March 21, 2014
8:30 am -  5:30 pm

University of Maryland School of Architecture,
Planning and Preservation

Learn more at

Please register here.
Urbanized Suburbia: How to Strike a Balance 

All over the globe, rural and suburban areas are becoming more urbanized. One such place is Montgomery County, Maryland. At a recent UN-Habitat forum for global leaders, held at the United Nations, Future Cities met with Ike Leggett, County Executive for Montgomery County, to discuss how his county is managing its own urbanization, and how to strike a balance between urban and rural lifestyles.

Hear County Executive Leggett speaking on Urban Futures at the United Nations Habitat Forum.
Board of Elections Seeks
Student Election Aides

The Montgomery County Board of Elections is seeking school-age students, grades 6-12, to participate in its "Future Vote" program.  Future Vote students will serve as Election Day student aides during the 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election on Tuesday, June 24.  There are also opportunities for students to assist the Board of Elections with a variety of activities before Election Day.

Interested parents/guardians may register their student(s) before May 1, 2014 online.

For more election information, call 240-777-VOTE, visit, the Maryland State Board of Elections' website at, or follow the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Facebook or Twitter.
Nominate the next Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year!

Do you have a friend, neighbor or colleague who...
  • Is an energetic, creative, and generous donor in Montgomery County?
  • Supports one or several nonprofit organizations working on our county's most pressing community issues?
  • Inspires others to do the same!

Now is your chance to nominate her/him to be the next Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year!
Through March 20, 2014, The Community Foundation for Montgomery County is accepting nominations for the 2014 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year. The awardee will be honored at The Community Foundation for Montgomery County's Annual Celebration of Giving event in the fall.
Click HERE to learn more and download the nomination form. If you have any questions please contact Bridget Hanagan or 301-495-3036X169 to learn more.
A call to address Domestic Violence

The People's Community Baptist Church, located 31 Norwood Road, Silver Spring, MD.20905.,  is sponsoring a project to bring awareness and educational services, to women who are victims of domestic violence. The services are free of charge and will be provided through various workshops and classes. These include: Basic Computer Skills, Personal Finance, Business skills and writing, Public Speaking, Dress for Success, Parenting Skills, and Life Skills. Open House and Course enrollment will be March 29, 2014, 9:00am to 11:00am at the church. For Questions and additional information, contact: Kim Barry- President of Yasha Circle- Domestic Violence Ministry, (church 301 384-2601 or to Carolyn Grant 410 627-8053), or through
Leadership Montgomery
Save the Date

25th Anniversary Celebration
June 12, 2014 at 6:00pm

Now Accepting Nominations

One award from each category below will be presented at Celebration to an organization that demonstrates leadership in Montgomery County in the following areas:  
  • Nonprofit
  • Business
  • Public Sector

If you would like to nominate an organization, email Kati at for a nomination form. 

Summer Camp Registration

The Spring issue of the Montgomery County Guide for Recreation and Parks Programs is now available.  The Spring Guide offers a wide variety of classes and programs designed to help participants stay active and have fun, such as aquatics, sports, therapeutic recreation services and active adult senior programming.

Popular programs fill up fast, so be sure to register early visit Department of Recreation.
The Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy Seeks Professionals to Serve of Panel 

The Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy ( is seeking professionals passionate about literacy to serve on the MCAEL Community Grants Panel in the spring of 2014. Grants will support programs for fiscal year 2015 (July 2014 - June 2015). The panel consists of nonprofit professionals, business leaders, education specialists, and community representatives from around and in the Montgomery County area.

To apply, please request an application from Please email with any questions. Deadline for application is March 6, 2014
Montgomery County Announces 14th Annual
Housing Fair and Financial Fitness Day;
Sponsors and Exhibitors Invited


The Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) invites realtors, banks, credit unions, homeowner associations, property managers, assisted living facilities, state and local government agencies, community organizations, businesses and nonprofits to be sponsors and exhibitors at the 14th Annual Montgomery County Housing Fair and Financial Fitness Day. The fair will take place on Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, Summit Hall Farm, 506 S. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg.

To become a sponsor or exhibitor, contact Myriam Torrico at 240-777-3627 or email

Seasoned Spellers
- A Senior Spelling Bee

Join us in a day of friendly competition and a celebration of words. If you are a senior (55 or over), register today for our Senior Spelling Bee!

April 5, 2014 at 11:00am
Gaithersburg Library
More information visit:

Registration ends Monday, March 31, 2014
Registration Fee is $25.00 per competitor
There are limited competition slots.

Register today! Download and send in your registration information.

All contestants will receive a registration packet within 5 days of receipt of registration fee.
Youth Leadership Montgomery

Youth Leadership Montgomery provides an experience to develop leadership skills and community awareness for Montgomery County public or independent high school students entering grades 9-12.

Learn more about the program

Come to the information event on    THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 6:30 - 8 P.M.

155 Gibbs Street, Rockville Town Center

Advance reservations are requested at least two days before the event. 

Office of Community Partnerships
21 Maryland Ave., Suite 330
Rockville, Maryland 20850

Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved. Office of Community Partnerships. Montgomery County