MCPS Community Message: Six Things to Know for Thursday, April 21


Here are the key things to know for Thursday, April 21. They include an important message about mental health and wellness from Interim Superintendent Dr. McKnight, upcoming community engagement events, summer program registration and more.

    1. Welcome Back from Spring Break
      Earlier this week, Interim Superintendent Dr. Monifa B. McKnight sent a letter to the community on the importance of community well-being and mental health. The message included resources MCPS has and is working toward to support the mental health and social-emotional health of students and staff as we bring the school year to a strong close.

    2. Get the Shot: Vaccination Is Essential to Remaining Vigilant and Combatting  COVID-19 Spread in our Community
      Individuals 5 and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination. They are free, safe and readily available. MCPS is hosting vaccine clinics on Saturday, April 30;  the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services also has ongoing vaccine opportunities. Learn more on the MCPS website and the DHHS website.

    3. May 2 Save the Date: Out-of-School Time Wellness Day
      As part of a districtwide day devoted to wellness, students are encouraged to participate in one of many out-of-school time opportunities that focus on physical, mental and emotional well-being. Activities include fitness, yoga, dance, art and music. Both virtual and in person opportunities are available. For more information, please visit the OST webpage. MCPS staff will have many of the same opportunities and will receive more information soon.

    4. tableMore than 200 Come Together for  Community Engagement Event with Dr. McKnight;Next Event April 27
      The first of three events, called All Together Now: Putting Our Students First, was Wednesday, April 20 at Gaithersburg High School; two more events are set for April 27 and May 7. These events are bringing together families, students, staff and the community to discuss the district’s strengths, priorities and opportunities for how MCPS can better serve its students.
      The next events will be held:

      • Wednesday, April 27, 7:30 p.m., Walter Johnson High School cafeteria, 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda

      • Saturday, May 7, 11 a.m., Paint Branch High School cafeteria, 14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville

      RSVP is encouraged. Limited MCPS bus transportation will be provided.

    5. Registration for Most MCPS Summer Programs Now Open
      MCPS will offer free programs for elementary, middle and high school students this summer. Most programs will be in July, and high school credit courses and the Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) program in Title I elementary schools will be offered during June, July and August. Generally, in-person programs will take place in the morning through midday. Afternoon programs sponsored by county and municipal agencies and outside providers will be available in some schools. Learn more here, or visit the Summer Programs website.

    6. Watch Live: Champions for Children Event on Thursday, April 28
      Who will be the MCPS Teacher of the Year for 2022-2023? Three finalists will be celebrated during the annual Champions of Children program, which begins at 6:30 p.m. They are:

      • Irma Najarro, dual-language fourth-grade teacher at Washington Grove Elementary School
      • Michael Edwards, world studies and global humanities sixth-grade teacher at Julius West Middle School
      • Johnathan Dunn, choral teacher at Sherwood High School

You can watch the big announcement via the MCPS website, MCPS YouTube channel or on MCPS-TV on cable (Comcast 34, Verizon 36, RCN 88).

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.



2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES



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