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Early Childhood and Youth Programs

Mission Statement: To provide an opportunity for the youth of Howard County to enrich their lives through quality, planned recreation activities, including arts, computers, cooking, dance, drama, music, preschool, and science.


Adventures in Learning 
Preschool Summer Camps 
One-Day Special 
Contact Information 


Adventures in Learning programs are designed to help children make a successful transition to an independent experience. Focus is on learning through play while building a foundation for a preschool experience.  Programs include classes such as Tots Discovery, My First School, and Step into School, Alphabet Action and Wee Chefs. Programs are for children ages 2-5 years and generally last six to ten weeks.  

Parent/Child programs are designed for a parent, or favorite adult, and child to spend quality time learning together through theme-related music, stories and crafts. Programs include Mommy & Me Fundays, Terrific Twos, and Snuggle Bugs. 

Preschool Summer Camps are offered for children between the ages of 3 – 6. Campers can choose from a large variety of programs covering topics including: Art, Cooking, Dance, Drama and Science.  Camps include Princess Dance Camp, Stories on Stage, Jr Discoveries Camp among many others! 

One-Day Special programs are designed around a specific theme and focus on fun activities which include crafts and music.  Themes vary season to season. Parent or caregivers are welcome to attend if they choose. 

To find and register for Pre-K programs online, click here! 


Life Skills  
Science & Technology  
Contact Information  


Art: Experienced instructors lead our slate of Pre-K and Youth Art classes, including Edward Taylor, Christina Kaputsos, and Carol Zika.  All of them have produced some top notch classes & camps, in a wide variety of topics including Drawing, Cartooning, Fine Art, Puppetry and Art Adventures.  You will be very impressed at the creativity & talent that these instructors are able to find and develop in your kids! 

Cooking: Our cooking programs now include after-school classes with Cannelloni Kids Cooking School, at 16 different elementary schools, to entertain kids for an extra hour-and-a-half after school – giving parents a little more free time! Daytime cooking classes are for the preschoolers in our Wee Chefs program, while the in the evenings, our Junior Chef classes, Kids Night in the Kitchen, and Kisha’s Kitchen give school-aged kids a great chance to learn more about being a top chef, and parents some free time as well.   

Dance: Classes are run by a variety of high quality instructors and dance studios with many options for days/times/locations.  Dance genres include: dance basics, ballet, pre-ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, rhythm & steps, and creative movement. Instructors include Chris Thomas, Cindee Velle, Jennifer Martin-Aversa, Lynette Voegtli, Nicki Barton Sandra Duerr, Tatia Zack and companies including Kinetics Dance Theatre and Misako Ballet Studio. 

Drama: Kids can enjoy either an after school program (After School Musical Theatre for Gr 2-5), Friday morning program for preschoolers (Kinder Drama), Saturday programs (Broadway Babies Drama for preschoolers), a mini-camp workshop when schools are closed (School’s Out Drama Workshops), and a Parent’s Night Out PJ Party on Friday night – when parents can enjoy an evening to themselves while kids enjoy an entertaining production from the Red Branch Theatre Company.  Most of these drama programs are in partnership with Drama Learning Center on Red Branch Rd in Columbia, while Sandra Duerr runs the Kinder Drama at Bonnie Branch MS.  

Fitness: Preschool children, and in some classes parents, can enjoy the fun in getting active and playing games while improving their fitness, agility, balance, motor skills, and social interaction.  Classes are held at various locations throughout the county, including Schooley Mill Park, Glenwood Community Center, Meadowbrook Athletic Center, and Pump It Up in Elkridge. 

Language: We currently are offering some helpful classes for kids interested in learning Chinese, French, and Spanish.  Most occur on Saturdays, including a Mommy & Me French class that has been very popular to parents & kids. With the ever increasing diversity in this country, it’s important for our children to be prepared for multicultural & international communication – something that can become very handy in their careers when they are older. 

Life Skills: International School of Protocol is in partnership with our Department to offer several classes each season relating to Life Skills.  Current offerings include classes on dining behavior and etiquette, table manners, building self-esteem, showing confidence in social situations, and showing kindness and respect to others.  Sean Gibson of Model Citizens Models (a former National Modeling School Instructor), runs a very popular and successful Modeling Workshop class to help those interested in personality development, grooming habits, confidence building, auditioning, and public speaking skills. 

Music: Classes are designed to help children learn & develop their musical talents, including voice, piano / keyboard, guitar, and the entire world of musical instruments. Kids ages 6 months to 13 yrs old can participate in a variety of classes, including: Music Together, Keyboard Studio, Voice Studio, Guitar Studio,  Locations include Olenka School of Music - studios in Ellicott City & Columbia, and some classes at Glenwood, and separate classes at River Hill High School Music Technology Studio. 

Science & Technology: Dr. David Furr, a popular teacher at Pointers Run Elementary, offers some exciting and innovative classes such as Clay Animation, Movie Making, and What’s In A Computer.  These classes feed off his very popular summer camps for school-aged children. 


To find and register for Youth programs online, click here!