Raising Readers donates children’s books to libraries

Raising Readers, a statewide health and literacy program, recently celebrated its 15th anniversary by donating new children’s book collections to 120 small and rural Maine libraries.

Over the past few weeks, the program has delivered 1,450 new board and picture books to libraries in partnership with the Maine State Library.

“Many small and rural libraries have been getting by in recent years with minimal resources for new books, especially children’s books,” said Cassandra Grantham, Raising Readers director. “This donation recognizes the important role of those institutions in communities and enhances our shared goal of bringing books into the homes of Maine children.”

Raising Readers provides free books to Maine children, ages 5 and younger, through partnerships with hospitals, medical practices and healthcare providers. Since 2000, the program has distributed more than 2.25 million books.

For more details, go to raisingreaders.org.

U.S. Cellular gives $2,500 to 4-H for STEM learning

U.S. Cellular donated $2,500 to the Cumberland County 4-H Club for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming.

This donation is part of U.S. Cellular’s $1.25 million national commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the National 4-H Council.

The Cumberland County 4-H Club serves more than 390 youths in the Portland area.


Tedford receives $42,500 to fight homelessness

Tedford Housing, a nonprofit agency working to find lasting solutions to end homelessness, was recently awarded grants totaling $42,500 from the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation and the John T. Gorman Foundation.

The funds will help to provide case management services throughout Tedford’s programs and to support mental health services at the adult emergency shelter.

For more details, call 729-1161 or visit tedfordhousing.org.


Forklift donation will let pantry feed more people

Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution recently partnered with Volk Packaging, the Biddeford-Saco Rotary Club, the Biddeford-Saco Chamber of Commerce, Godbout Plumbing & Heating and Ray’s Truck Service to equip the Biddeford Food Pantry warehouse with a forklift valued between $8,500 and $10,000.

Pantry manager Don Bisson said the equipment will provide a significant cost savings and the ability to utilize its new pallet units. Bisson said the organization will now have extra space to warehouse food, and will be able to purchase more at a lower rate.

“We will be able to feed more people at a reduced cost,” said Bisson. “It is simply a blessing.”


Students help to harvest local food for school lunches

Farm to School Week in the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District recently provided students with learning opportunities about nutrition and agriculture.

Hundreds of pounds of locally grown food was harvested directly by students or purchased by the district from local farms as part of the program.

Since 2009, grade 4 and 7 student volunteers and staff members have helped harvest crops grown for the district at Spiller Farm in Wells.

The produce is then used in school lunches at the district’s three cafeterias.

Students commended after high scores on national test

Wells High School seniors Tamar Cimenian, Anna Libby, Elise McCormack-Kuhman and Seamus McDonough have received letters of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program for their performances on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

All four commended students scored in the top 2.2 percent of 1.5 million entrants from 22,000 high schools nationally.

Another WHS senior, Kate Macolini, also was listed as a semifinalist in the program.

Wells teacher takes part in National Gallery seminar

Chris Milliken, a teacher at Wells Junior High School, was one of 51 participants in the National Gallery of Art Teacher Institute on Art of the Renaissance in Washington, D.C.

The recent six-day seminar brought together teachers of art, English, history, math and related subjects from 25 states.

Through lectures, gallery talks and hands-on activities, participants analyzed Renaissance artworks and focused on interdisciplinary teaching strategies.


College students from Maine win Chet Jordan scholarships

The Chet Jordan Leadership Award Fund of the Maine Community Foundation has awarded scholarships to the following Maine students: Adrienne Damicis of Scarborough, who is attending Case Western Reserve University; Clarice Diebold of Cape Elizabeth, at University of King’s College; Melissa McKenney of Fort Fairfield, attending Husson University; and Abbey Mitchell of Falmouth, at Gordon College.

The award of up to $10,000 is given to students achieving their goals despite hardship, adversity or disability. Recipients demonstrate leadership, independent thinking, initiative and hard work in their communities and schools.

Applications for the 2016 Chet Jordan Leadership Award will be available online in January at mainecf.org.


St. Clair Preserve now owned by coastal land trust

The Nature Conservancy has transferred ownership of the St. Clair Preserve to the Coastal Mountains Land Trust.

The 305-acre preserve includes the shoreline on both the northeastern and southwestern sides of Knight Pond with significant wetlands, a cedar bog and spruce forests, as well as land extending up to the midslope of nearby Ducktrap Mountain.

The preserve sits in a large area of undeveloped land adjacent to Camden Hills State Park, the Ducktrap Wildlife Preserve and a number of conservation easements held by the land trust. It provides habitat for Atlantic white cedar, a formerly common species in the northeastern United States.

Other threatened species include the New England bluet, a damselfly listed as a species of greatest concern in Maine’s Wildlife Action Plan.

An open house is planned for 10 a.m. Oct. 22 at the preserve. For more details, call Kathy Young at 236-7091.


Maine AMVETS offers memberships for free

Maine AMVETS invites all military veterans to apply for free membership in the organization from Nov. 8 to 14.

The offer applies to all who have served in the U.S. armed forces, including the National Guard or Reserves.

For more details, call Jerry DeWitt at 783-4663 ext. 228, 576-0376 or email [email protected]


Marden’s stores support kids with muscle disease

Fourteen Marden’s locations in Maine helped to raise more than $50,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association through the MDA Summer Camp mobile program held during August.

The stores creatively displayed the purchased mobiles on their ceilings and walls, visually declaring support for children affected by muscle disease.

The funds raised will benefit MDA research for treatments, cures and life-enhancing programs, including at the MDA Clinic at Maine Medical Center in Portland and Eastern Maine Medical in Bangor.