Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007

Dancers to perform in China

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Two Montgomery County teens will be traveling with Tappers with Attitude Youth Ensemble to perform in Beijing.

The Silver Spring-based group was invited with the Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) by the China Performing Arts Agency and the Ministry of Culture. Maria Guerrero, 17, from John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring and Hannah Kenton, 15, from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School will travel to China with the group. The ensemble and other dancers will perform ‘‘JUBA! Masters of Tap” to 2,900 people in the Beijing Exhibition Hall this weekend.

Victoria Moss, the artistic director of the Tappers with Attitude Youth Ensemble, said that the festival was innovative because groups from all over the United States will be performing the same dance in another country.

Other ensembles are from North Carolina, Texas, Illinois and Minnesota.

‘‘I’m really excited, because China is a culture that really reveres tradition,” Moss said. ‘‘... The kind of dancing that we are going over there to do is very much traditional base tap dance.”

The dancers ages 11 to 19 will be part of Silver Spring’s ensemble. But Moss said the ensembles will have a chance to meet and perform with adult dancers, including Jason Samuels Smith, best known for his role in Broadway’s ‘‘Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk.”

‘‘As of last night everyone was thinking, ‘Wow, we’re going to Beijing,’” Moss said on Thursday. ‘‘Some [dancers] have traveled out of country before, but not one has spent time in Asia, so that’s exciting.”

Kiwanis delivers Thanksgiving to troops and needy families

Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Crossway Community Inc. in Kensington were the recipients of Thanksgiving food baskets created and delivered by the Kiwanis Club of Wheaton-Silver Spring and the Wheaton High School Key Club. Kiwanis Chair Fran Ware and Vice President Nancy Savas led the effort, according to a news release from Wheaton-Silver Spring Kiwanis.

Complete Thanksgiving meals were delivered to returning troops at Walter Reed, along with books that were given to children of the men and woman who serve. Food baskets also were delivered to everyone at Crossway Community, a facility that houses low-income and at-risk parents and children and provides job training for adults and a school for the children.

Free health screeningat Wheaton Library

A free blood pressure screening will be held 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today and every third Wednesday at Wheaton Library, 11701 Georgia Ave. The screening is sponsored by the Wheaton Library Health Information Center, Montgomery County Public Libraries and the American Red Cross. For more information, call 240-777-0678 or 301-929-5524⁄TTY.

Kennedy students raise money for African children

Seniors in John F. Kennedy High School’s Leadership Training Institute will show the documentary ‘‘Invisible Children” to raise awareness and money for former child soldiers in Africa. The documentary will be shown 7 p.m. Thursday in Kennedy’s auditorium, 1901 Randolph Road, Silver Spring.

Three college students created the documentary in 2003 by about children in Northern Uganda who were kidnapped and forced to become soldiers. The money raised will go toward improved education and health care to help reintegrate children into society.

If anyone is interested in making a donation but cannot attend the event, call Rachel Bolling at 301-962-5930.

Volunteers sought for blood collection

The American Red Cross is looking for volunteers age 14 and older to assist its blood collection staff at blood drives and blood donor centers. Responsibilities include greeting donors and providing them with essential reading materials, serving refreshments and observing donors for post-donation reactions to giving blood.

Volunteers will be trained and must make a commitment of two or more blood operations each month. Blood drives last four to six hours. To register for training or for more information, call the American Red Cross volunteer office at 1-800-272-0094, ext. 1, or e-mail karlofft@usa.redcross.org.

Planetariumcelebrates solstice

The Montgomery College Planetarium will hold a winter solstice presentation 7 p.m. Saturday to explore what happens on the shortest day of the year. The presentation, led by planetarium director Harold Williams, will include a slide show of images from throughout the region.

The planetarium is located at 7651 Fenton St. in Silver Spring. Contact Williams at 240-567-1463 or Harold.Williams@montgomerycollege.edu.

Items for People and Places may be sent to Kristina Gawrgy, The Gazette, 13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707. The fax line is 240-473-7501, ore-mail kgawrgy@gazette.net. Call 240-473-7559.

Holiday closings

All federal, state and county offices, courts, schools and libraries will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s days. Trash and recycling will be collected one day later. Ride On and Metro buses will operate on Sunday schedules; Metrorail will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight. Parking at public garages, lots and meters will be free.