Underground Railroad studied

Wells Elementary School grade 4 students completed a five-week study on the ‘Underground Railroad” with an open house event to share what they’d learned with parents and guests.

Sixty-eight pupils participated in the course of study to learn about the historic network of routes and safe houses that helped bring African slaves from bondage to “free” states and Canada prior to and during the Civil War.

During the open house, students staged a pretend television game show in the spirit of the old “To Tell the Truth” program, that asked guest panelists to question three contestants to discover the identity of the real Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist and “conductor” on the Underground Railroad.

There also was a student-created play about children of slave parents pondering their fate following the sale of their mother. There were numerous wall displays, including diary entries written by students from the viewpoint of being a slave.

Two students created a miniature safe house complete with furnishings.


Scholarships to be presented

The Maine Marine Association is accepting applications for its premiere education scholarships benefiting high school seniors from the Casco Bay islands who plan to continue their education.

Two $500 scholarships will be presented to graduating senior students this June.

Students who wish to apply are asked to submit a 500-word essay describing themselves and their plans for post-high school education. Two letters of recommendation from non-family members also are required.

Application essays should be emailed to [email protected] no later than May 1.

For more details, go to www.mainemarineassociation.com or call Capt. Gene Willard at 807-6753.


Energy Extravaganza goes on

Ten of Maine island and coastal schools are participating in the Island Institute’s Spring Energy Extravaganza, an energy-education program running through May 9.

Teams representing Camden Hills Regional High School, Washington Academy, Jonesport-Beals High School, Searsport District Middle School, Islesboro Central School, North Haven Community School, Deer Isle-Stonington High School, Pemetic Middle School, Vinalhaven School and Elm Street School in East Machias are working with their individual school’s facility manager, students and staff to reduce energy use throughout their respective school for a chance to win $2,000 in eBucks to be redeemed to make efficiency upgrades at the schools.

Some schools have already used their past winnings to purchase LED exit signs, task lights, outlet timers and to implement other energy efficiency projects.

The competition will wrap up with an announcement of the results and a celebration at the Energy Fair in Belfast on May 10.

Energy for ME is a multi-year energy education project funded through a competitive grant from the National Science Foundation.

The goal is to increase students’ awareness of and interest in science, technology, engineering and math fields of study and careers.

For more details, go to www.islandinstitute.org/energyforme or call Brooks Winner at 594-9209 Ext.148.

Students study Turkey

Cornerspring Montessori School students recently capped a 10-week cultural curriculum study to explore the country of Turkey.

Each year, the students select a country to study, including its various traditions.

For this study, students colored the Turkish flag and maps and explored various introductory activities.

They also learned about the history, geography, government, language, arts and music, architecture and landmarks of Turkey and read books, heard folk tales and learned traditional Turkish songs.

This year’s study culminated in a day-long “Children’s Celebration,” a traditional holiday at this time of year in Turkey.

The children paraded around the school grounds wearing traditional bell bracelets and then were treated to a great buffet of traditional Turkish foods, prepared by the parents and staff.

Two of the classes performed skits based on Turkish folk tales they had read.


Academy wins third place

Berwick Academy is the third place winner of the 2013 Follett Challenge, a nationally recognized program that rewards schools for their work in applying technology, content, and creativity in ways that engage students, foster literacy and promote critical thinking through their library programs.

Berwick Academy also received $35,000 of funding for use in the school’s library programming.

For the challenge, the school submitted an entry detailing the Berwick Innovation Center, a supplemental program run through the Jackson Library, that is designed to help meet the creative and intellectual needs of students through mentor-supported areas of study that hold a strong interest or curiosity for students.

For more details, go to www.berwickacademy.org.


RSU 21 in healthcare project

Regional School Union 21 of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel has been selected to participate in an American Academy of Pediatrics project aimed at improving healthcare services provided to their students.

The district was selected based on a grant prepared by Doris Kain, nurse at Sea Road School, in conjunction with her colleagues.

The five-year project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention School Health Branch.

Known as TEAMS (Training, Education, Assistance, Mentorship and Support), the AAP provides training, resources and technical assistance to school districts interested in strengthening policies, practices, and infrastructure related to school health services.

A three-member team has been formed, comprised of Donald Burgess, MD, FAAP, physician partner; Karen Markellos, RN, community health partner; and Doris Kain, RN, who will serve as the district health partner.

After some initial training, a needs assessment will be completed and an action plan written.

Project offerings include online and in-person training, resources, a mentorship program and technical assistance.

Areas of focus may include revising school health services polices and protocols, strengthening referrals, linkages and care coordination with community providers, or increasing alignment with national and state school health guidelines.

For more details, call Assistant Superintendent Sara Zito at 985-1100.


Library awarded grants

The Orr’s Island Library has received three grants to aid in the completion of its nearly five-years-long building and renovation project.

The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation awarded $25,000 to the library, with the Davis Family Foundation awarding $5,000 and the Alfred M. Senter Fund donating $3,000 toward the project.

Originally built as a cottage in 1905, the library has changed little over the years.

A new reading room and storage facility have been added.

The building has been brought up to ADA standards and features a wheelchair lift.

A new heating system has been installed and the historic original reading room has been restored to its 1905 charm.

The library has recently expanded its hours to 1 to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.


Several win at poetry festival

Five area high schools boasted multiple winners among the 20 finalists chosen for this year’s Sixth Annual Merriconeag Poetry festival. Catherine McAuley High School, Falmouth High School, Merriconeag Waldorf High School, Glickman Academy and Morse High School all provided at least two finalists, whose works were selected from a submission pool of entries representing 14 high schools.

Those finalists will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Merriconeag Waldorf School in Freeport.

The event is open to the public and will feature the student poets reading their prize-winning work.

Student honorees are: Elise Bickford, Emma Sapat and Jonah Zuckerman, all of Falmouth High School; Megan Ellis, Delaney Regan, Sierra Stalker and Ayla Tartre, all of Catherine McAuley High School; Ylva Hopf and Pearl Wilson, both of Morse High School; Alex Smith and Zak Pacillo, both of Glickman Academy; Zoe Chace-Donahue, Jack Pierce, Carlin Tindall, Lily Tupper and Teagan Wu, all of Merriconeag Waldorf High School; Ben Evans of Chop Point School; Wyatt Lichtenger of The Hyde School; Aaron Lockman of Thornton Academy; and Seth Queeny of Cape Elizabeth High School.

To learn more, go to www.merriconeag.org or call the school at 865-3900.


Vocalists win medals

Megan Ward, of Bangor, has won a gold medal and the title of Maine Games National Anthem Vocalist for 2013 following her performance at the recently held Maine Games Seventh Annual National Anthem Audition at the Kora Shrine Temple

Contestants Emily Ouellette, of Fryburg, and 10-year-old Kirstin Hahn, of Wales, placed second and third, respectively, for their performances, as well as silver and bronze medals.

The title affords Ward, 15, and a Bangor High School sophomore, the opportunity to further her singing aspirations with upcoming performances, including June 1 at a Portland Seadogs baseball game at Hadlock Field and on July 20 at the 2013 Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic in Biddeford. Other performances will be scheduled throughout the year.


Food service director honored

Mike Sabo, Southern Maine Medical Center director of hospitality services, was named 2013 Food Service Director of the Year at the Eighth Annual Good to Best Conference, held in San Diego, Calif, recently.

This annual meeting of healthcare food service directors, operators, executive chefs and industry leaders is run by the Good to Best Association and DM&A, the largest, most diverse, full service, healthcare foodservice consulting firm in North America.

Top honors are presented annually to a hospital food service director who best exemplifies outstanding catalytic leadership, has a creative and effective management style, implemented notable departmental improvements and paves the path to success for his or her team.

Sabo, a chef, manages hospitality services for both SMMC and Goodall Hospital in Sanford.

Sabo received SMMC’s prestigious Employee of the Year award in 2012.

He is a member of the Association for Healthcare Foodservice and has contributed to industry trade publications.

Sabo also is chair of MaineHealth’s food service directors group, which is committed to healthier hospitals.

Foundation awards SMMC

For the third consecutive year, the AVX Kyocera Foundation has provided SMMC with a $10,000 donation for equipment purchase.

The foundation awards grants in support of projects that have an impact on the local communities where its corporate sponsor, AVX Corporation, has operating facilities.

In the past, AVX donations have been used to support state-of-the-art telemetry bed technology for monitoring cardiac patients and a sophisticated defibrillator for the SMMC emergency department.

Free Clinic awarded grants

The Biddeford Free Clinic has been awarded three one-year grants from United Way of York County totaling $23,000 to support its various programs to provide free services including for medical care, non-narcotic prescription medications and dental care for people living in poverty and without health insurance.

Founded in 1993 to serve uninsured adults and children, the clinic’s mission is to provide accessible and free outpatient general medical care and non-narcotic medication to adults and children who have no medical insurance and cannot afford private medical care.

For more details, call Joan Gordon at 282-1138.



History center scholarships

Washburn-Norlands Living History Center is accepting applications for its Ethel “Billie” Gammon History Education Scholarship Fund of $1,000 to be presented to one graduating Maine high school senior this spring.

The award will be presented to students who are planning to pursue a field related to Norland’s mission to preserve history, but could also include American studies, education, museum studies and sustainable agriculture.

Applications must be completed and submitted along with an essay of between 300 to 500 words detailing how their experiences living history at the Norlands relates to and/or has impacted their interests and their life plans.

A committee will review the applications for completeness, quality of writing, and for clear demonstration of how visiting the Norlands has inspired the applicant.

The recipient will be notified in early June. Applications are due by May 15 and are available online at www.norlands.org or by emailing [email protected]


Action Team leaders honored

The Major League Baseball Players Trust, which represents all Major League Baseball players, recently honored 32 volunteer student captains and their adult leaders from York High School, Thornton Academy and Poland Regional High School.

The Action Teams are a service learning program in which Major League Baseball players and student leaders work together to inspire and train the next generation of volunteers.

The student members supported various fundraising and awareness-building efforts in Maine during the past year.

The Action Team leaders were recognized during a trip to Fenway Park to see a Red Sox game.

Costs for the trip and the program are paid for by a grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust and a donation from Moody’s Collision Centers.

The Players Trust also provided three $2,000 scholarships to Meaghan Hamel, Karen Jacques and Katelyn Pierson of Thornton Academy to support their continued education.

For more information about Volunteers of America, visit www.VolunteersofAmerica.org.


Health Center given grant

Leavitt’s Mill Free Health Center has been awarded a one-year grant totaling $5,000 from the United Way of York County.

The investment will be used for enhancement of patient wellness and prevention services through increased access to resources and chronic disease management.

Through the mobilization of resources, expertise and funds support programs focused on education. For more details, call 929-6455 or go to www.leavittsmill.org.


Archer Thomas bee winner

Bonney Eagle Middle School grade 8 student Archer Thomas took top honors at the 2013 Maine state-level Geographic Bee held recently at the University of Maine Farmington.

Thomas won $100 and the “Complete National Geographic on DVD.”

He will represent Maine in the national finals of the Bee at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 20-22.

Up to 100 Grade 4 to 8 students representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Atlantic and Pacific territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools will participate.

First prize in the national competition is a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. Second- and third-place finishers receive $15,000 and $10,000 college scholarships.

The national winner will also travel, along with one parent or guardian, all expenses paid, to the Galapagos Islands.

National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the final round of the 2013 National Geographic Bee, moderated by “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, on at 7 p.m. May 23.

For more details, go to www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee.

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