August 6 // Who gets a piece of Baltimore's $12 million youth fund? Grant reviewers sort through $75 million in requests

Two dozen people sat in a conference room at Baltimore City Community College with stacks of paper, highlighters and empty bags of chips scattered around. They included teachers, recent high school graduates and veteran community organizers. Some couldn’t yet legally drink; others were nearing retirement age. The majority were African-American, reflecting the city as a whole. They’ve spent weeks working through a massive task: Reading more than 400 applications from organizations seeking a slice of the city’s inaugural $12 million Children and Youth Fund, and recommending winners and losers. (Balt. Sun)

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Mayor Pugh's annual back-to-school rally distributes around 3,200 free backpacks

Parents and children lined up to get free backpacks decorated with smiley faces, baseball bats and sharks, and filled with school supplies at Mayor Catherine Pugh’s annual back-to-school rally. The event, hosted at the War Memorial Plaza downtown Saturday, distributed around 3,200 backpacks ahead of the Sept. 4 start date for city schools. Fewer than 100 backpacks were left over, which will be distributed next week, Pugh spokesman James E. Bentley II wrote via text message. Bentley said this year’s rally was more successful than last year’s, when the city gave away more than 1,000 backpacks. (Balt. Sun)

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Program at FCC exposes array of career options to local children

Twelve Frederick-area children selected by the Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County and the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick participated in a first-of-its-kind free camp aimed at exposing kids to career options over the summer. Led by Frederick Community College instructors, the six-week program includes morning and afternoon sessions, with an hour for lunch. Participants are typically of middle school to high school age. All materials and transportation costs are covered by the three sponsors. The camp aims to introduce students to a variety of careers they might not have had exposure to, including architecture, culinary arts and audio engineering. (News-Post)

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New superintendent Steven Lockard looks to increase transparency, better track data through 'dashboard'

In an effort to increase transparency, rebuild community trust and align with the soon-to-be-completed strategic plan, Carroll County Public Schools is looking to implement a “data dashboard.” The concept, unveiled at the last Board of Education work session by new Superintendent Steven Lockard, would be used both internally and externally. Internally, it will help CCPS track and monitor data, and help tie that information to the strategic plan. (Carr. Co. Times)

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In Build Challenge, students race to build computers, save the world

It's not clear how it ended exactly, the world. But what a group of a few dozen teens do know is that while they have been hiding from the roving zombie hordes, others like them have been attempting to reboot the internet, and with it human civilization. There's no Google, no smart phones. Just a pile of recycled electronics, advice coming from another group on a HAM radio, and their ingenuity. At least, that's the idea behind an upcoming competition for high school-aged teens: The first Build Challenge, scheduled for Sept. 15, in Frederick, will pit 12 teams of two to three teens against each other in a race to build a working computer, not from scratch, but from scrap. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Campaign collecting school supplies kicks off in Prince George’s Co.

Prince George’s County Public Schools has kicked off its Stuff-a-Bus school supply drive as students and volunteers gathered to collect the supplies at Bowie Town Center Sunday. The goal is to obtain 15,000 backpacks and fill them with supplies by Aug. 25. The backpacks will be distributed to students at Prince George’s Stadium, the home of the Bowie Baysox. (WTOP)

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Md. School for the Blind names new school leader

The board of directors of the Maryland School for the Blind announced Friday W. Robert Hair will assume leadership of the school, effective Sept. 1. Hair has been the Superintendent of Student Services at MSB since 2016. (Daily Record)

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August 3 // Baltimore County schools offering free meals for students who previously received discounts

Baltimore County public school students who previously received discounted breakfasts and lunches will get meals free beginning this fall. The Baltimore County Cares For Kids program, announced Thursday, comes after advocates urged interim superintendent Verletta White to expand a pilot program that provides universal free meals to some Baltimore County schools. (Balt. Sun)

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