Kids in Kitchen event teaches area kids dirt-to-dish cycle
The Junior League of Portland recently hosted 90 children from the Greater Portland area at its sixth annual Kids in the Kitchen events.
A group of volunteers, trained by the Junior League, educated children about the food lifecycle – from dirt to dish – as they planted seeds, discovered composting, learned about inexpensive and healthy food choices and prepared nutritious snacks.
Crusher, the Maine Red Claws mascot, appeared at one event, adding to the excitement of the 62 youngsters who participated in the festivities at the Boys and Girls Club of Riverton Park. The fun and learning continued at another outing as Junior League volunteers rolled up their sleeves for a second day of fitness and education with 28 enthusiastic participants at the Boys and Girls Club of Sagamore Village.
In 2009, the Junior League of Portland adopted hunger and food insecurity as its charitable focus.
This year’s Kids in the Kitchen events expanded on that issue by empowering local children to make healthy, budget-conscious choices through hands-on learning – from planting and composting to healthy choices and preparation.
The “Dirt to Dish” event theme allowed participants to experience the full food lifecycle as they planted their own lima bean seeds and dug into composting with a worm compost display.
Kids learned how to use healthy and inexpensive food items to make delicious snacks from simple recipes.
They also got moving with potato sack races and a dance station, and an abundance of healthy food choices for all.
Student’s cabbage wins him $1,000 scholarship
Margaret Chase Smith School grade 3 student Justin Kennedy is the Maine winner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioners’ 2013 Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program.
Kennedy received a $1,000 scholarship for growing a 19-pound cabbage as part of Bonnie Plants’ annual nationwide contest.
For more information on Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program go to: http://bonniecabbageprogram.com/about/.
For more information, go to: https://www.maine.gov/dacf
Summer outdoors group accepting applications
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is accepting applications, until April 15, for summer Youth Conservation Corps members who are interested in working outdoors there this summer. Young adults, ages 15 through 18, are encouraged to apply for a YCC position.
The crew will work with refuge staff on projects including trail maintenance, constructing and repairing facilities, control of invasive plant species and help protect endangered species such as piping plover.
The program will run from June 30 through Aug. 22.
Crew members will work 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, and will be paid Maine minimum wage.
Applications are available on the website at: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Rachel_Carson/what_we_do/ycc.html.
Applications can also be requested by calling the refuge office at 646-9226 or by stopping by the headquarters.
Two Wells seniors chosen to get citizenship award
Wells High School senior students Jasmine Loukola and Gabriel Kellett have been selected to receive the Western Maine Conference’s Citizenship Award for 2014.
Loukola’s community service includes hours of volunteer work with Relay for Life, Shootin’ for a Cure, and Little Dribblers. She has been a member of the WHS field hockey, lacrosse, basketball and indoor track teams. She also is a member of the National Honor Society and Equestrian Club and performs with the marching and concert bands and chorus. Loukola has received the Maine Society of Women Engineers Award and the Student of the Trimester Award and other academic awards.
Kellett has given many hours of volunteer work to Camp CARD New England, the WHS Greenhouse and school store and he has participated in Special Olympics each year since his freshman year.
Loukola and Kellett will be honored for their good citizenship Thursday by the Western Maine Conference at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.
Hardy Girls, Healthy Women honors five Maine students
Hardy Girls, Healthy Women honored five Maine girls last weekend during its seventh annual Girls Rock! Weekend and sixth annual Girls Rock! Awards ceremony that celebrates girls’ voices in art, music, literature and society.
Award winners included The Community Organizing Award to Nicole Maines, a junior at the Waynflete School and The Health Advocacy Award to Rachel Friedman, a junior at Walnut Hill School for the Arts.
Other honorees are: Ciara Boucher of Orrington, a cheerleader with Down syndrome who became the MVP of her squad; Sahro Hassan of Lewiston, who received the Entrepreneurship Award for starting her own fashion business dedicated to creating designs for Muslim women that are both fashionable and modest; and Mana Abdi of Lewiston, who received the Title IX Champion Award for respectfully challenging traditions in her community, leading the way for Somali girls in Maine to be involved with athletics.
To find out more about Hardy Girls programs and events, visit www.hghw.org or call 861-8131.
Applications being taken for memorial scholarship
The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for its annual Joseph B. Ezhaya Memorial Scholarship.
Eligible senior students, who are currently attending high school in the chamber’s membership region, are encouraged to apply by the April 25 deadline.
The $750 scholarship is awarded annually to a local high school senior who has shown commitment to citizenship and community service, who will be enrolled at an accredited New England college or university, and has maintained a GPA of 2.0 or better in high school and through the first semester of college.
Applications are available at www.midmainechamber.com.
Applicants are required to complete an essay on citizenship and community involvement as part of the application process.
For more details, call 873-3315 or go to www. midmainechamber.com.
Harrison Middle School among 15 grant finalists
Frank H. Harrison Middle School has been named as one of 15 national finalists for the Samsung Solve to Tomorrow Grant.
The environmental issue they focused on was the invasive European green crab, that is currently having a negative impact on Maine’s shellfish industry and coastal environments.
HMS will receive at least $35,000 worth of Samsung equipment for this accomplishment.
The school’s grade 7 math and science teacher, Mr. Cuthbert, and instructional technology integrator, Mr. Arsenault, will travel to Austin, Texas, with two students to present the work they have completed with a group of 14 seventh-graders to a panel of judges at the South by Southwest EDU Conference.
If HMS is selected as a national winner, the school will receive $140,000 worth of Samsung equipment, Adobe software and a grant from DirectTV.