Skate into Scouting fall membership drive, choir travels abroad and more.

Columbus International Children's Choir travels to Germany
In the spring of 2009, the Columbus International Children's Choir (CICC) was able to host a choir from Bohn, Germany and travel abroad to Toronto, Canada to meet the High Park Children's Choir. These enriching opportunities connected the choir to other cultures through a common love for singing. Through these experiences, the singers have gained some new musical wisdom from visiting conductors and new friends.

The youth choir from Bohn enjoyed meeting the CICC so much that it has invited the group to visit them next year in Germany. This will be the choir's farthest trip and will be a great opportunity to learn about music, Germany and its traditions.

The CICC is a part of the Columbus Music and Art Academy which enrolls 150 members from the Columbus area. It is composed of six groups based on age and experience.

The Swallow and Chamber Choirs are the oldest groups and have traveled to Carnegie Hall, Chicago, Ft. Wayne, Toronto, King's Island and several other venues. The choir has performed at community events such as the Purple Hearts Award, Ohio Capitol Statehouse and Greater Columbus Convention Center events, the Asian Festival, the Columbus International Festival, Christmas tree lighting ceremonies and more.

To join the fun and excellence, visit www.cmaacademy.org, or call (614) 789-9392.



Museum admission free nationwide on September 26
On a budget but looking for a cultural getaway? Embark on a free journey to celebrate culture, learning and knowledge on Museum Day 2009. Smithsonian Magazine has designated September 26 as its fifth annual Museum Day, when participating museums and cultural institutions nationwide open doors free of charge to emulate the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution's Washington, D.C.-based facilities.

With 1100 museums in all 50 states already registered, Museum Day 2009 is the largest in the event's 5-year history. Check out the map to see which Ohio museums are part of the event: http://microsite.smithsonianmag.com/ museumday/venue.html.

Last year, nearly 200,000 people attended Museum Day. All 50 states plus Puerto Rico were represented by over 900 participating museums, including 84 Smithsonian affiliate museums. This year, the magazine already has attracted over 1,000 museums.

Museum Day's supporting sponsors are CITGO and Heritage Travel. Attendees must present the Museum Day Admission Card to gain free entry to participating institutions. Visit www.smithsonian.com/museumday to download your Museum Day Admission Card, or find it in the September issue of Smithsonian Magazine. Each card provides museum access for two people, and one admission card is permitted per household.


It's My Heart Columbus advocates for those affected by heart defects
It's My Heart is a national organization with the mission to provide support, spread awareness, educate and advocate for those affected by acquired and congenital heart defects (CHD) through the creation of alliances with fellow families, hospitals, support groups and the community.

According to the March of Dimes, congenital heart defects are the number one type of birth defect. And the Children's Heart Foundation says one out of every 100 babies is born with a type of CHD. Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding, only a fraction of a penny is directed toward congenital heart defect research.

It's My Heart fundraises for research, but the main focus is to provide education, awareness and support to families affected by CHD. As awareness increases, so will the funds for research.

It's My Heart Columbus offers support groups every second Monday of the month from 6-8 p.m. at the Columbus Blue Jackets Resource Center located at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

For more information about It's My Heart Columbus and ways to get involved, visit Columbus@itsmyheart.org.


Enhance your memory with music
Memory and how to finely tune ones' memory is a subject that seldom becomes uninteresting. Our fascination with verbal and visual retention begins when we are newborns and desire our mother's attention. We learn to recognize the difference between her voice and touch versus that of someone else.

As toddlers, we remember to watch for behavioral cues and events that could change our level of satisfaction. In preschool, we observe and learn that by memorizing more complicated sequences, one day we will be able to do what our parents are doing.

Music lessons have a profound effect on memory. Studies show that children who take music lessons have a more developed verbal memory than children who do not. Music lessons prepare students for life in other ways too. Self-motivation, discipline and follow-through are skills that all of us must develop.

Does this information give you reason to begin or continue your musical journey? Piano Lessons in Your Home would be happy to get you started. For more information, call (614) 847-1212, or log on to www.pianolessonsinyourhome.com.


New program focuses on physical fitness, leadership and teamwork
The local Boy Scout Council (Simon Kenton Council) is partnering with the Columbus Blue Jackets for its 2009 fall membership drive. Columbus Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger will serve as the Blue Jackets' official spokesperson for the Boy Scouts Skate into Scouting campaign.

"Each day, every member of our team strives to be physically fit, have a strong sense of character, and be a good leader. The Boy Scouts of America is focused on providing this foundation to young people and preparing them to score goals in whatever arena they end up playing. I invite your family to join the Simon Kenton Council and the Columbus Blue Jackets and Skate into Scouting by learning more about your local pack or troop," Umberger said.

New Scouts who join this fall will get free pre-season Columbus Blue Jackets games, free Chiller Ice Rink skate nights and a cool new Skate into Scouting patch. All Scouts also will be invited to a Scout Night with the Columbus Blue Jackets mid-season.

"Our kids are dealing with so many pressures on a daily basis," said Scout Executive/CEO Ron Green. "It's time for our families to turn to an organization that has been making a difference in the lives of so many youth for almost 100 years. The Boy Scouts provide our kids an outlet for physical fitness, leadership and teamwork, and that is why a partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets is such a natural fit."

Scouting professionals and volunteers will be in local schools throughout the fall to talk about Scouting and will hold open houses in every community. Be on the lookout for a flyer in your son's backpack, log onto www.scouting.org, or call (800) 433-4051 for details. The Scouting program is for boys 7-18 years old (or boys entering the first grade).

Skate into Scouting is proudly sponsored by the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, Columbus Blue Jackets and Chiller Ice Rinks.