Students participate in ‘Hour of Code’ computer program

Wells-Ogunquit Community School District students wrapped up classes before Christmas break by participating in an “Hour of Code” program designed to educate them about computer science.

Held in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week, the sessions offered students in kindergarten through the 12th grade an opportunity to try processing computer coding for one hour using activities for learners of all levels.

Wells educators Marty Cryer, Beth Goodwin, Kerry Georgitis, Cheryl Oakes and Andre Mercier directed computer labs for elementary, junior and high schools during the weeklong intensive. Using Java Script and a guided step-by-step process, students worked with a split screen, coding on one side and viewing the resulting reinforcing animation on the other.

Educators said the coding process involves the use of critical thinking, high order thinking, math, reading, science and problem-solving skills.


Savings bank organizes shaving supply donations

Gorham Savings Bank helped ‘raze’ awareness of one of the least donated and most needed items this holiday season by encouraging employees to bring shaving supplies to the company’s holiday party.

Bank employees filled over four bags with their contributions of men’s and women’s disposable razors for those in need. The bank also purchased more than 100 pairs of warm winter gloves for Preble Street.


Training sessions set for living well workshop series

Spectrum Generations is sponsoring a free four-day leader training for individuals interested in helping to facilitate the “Living Well for Better Health Chronic Disease Self-Management” workshop series.

People with varied chronic health problems will attend the series to talk about improvements in symptom management, communication, exercise, general health, fatigue, disability and social/role activities limitations.

The workshops will be led by pairs of leaders, who also have chronic health conditions or take care of someone with a chronic condition.

Training will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 17, 18, 24 and 25 at the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville. Spectrum Generations will provide ongoing support and class materials to trained leaders.

For details, call Jennifer Fortin at 620-1657 or email [email protected]


Hannaford donates to school snowshoe program

Hannaford Supermarkets and the American Heart Association recently partnered to help keep kids healthy and active during the Maine winter when they discovered a school with a plan but no means to implement it.

Carl J. Lamb Elementary School physical education teacher Kay Wilkins proposed an after-school snowshoe program for kindergarten through grade 3 students, but she lacked the finances to purchase the necessary equipment.

Hannaford Supermarkets stepped in with a donation to buy enough equipment so that all students could participate in the proposed program.

Meredith McNeil, of the AHA, said, “We applaud Hannaford and the Carl J. Lamb School for supporting healthy habits starting at a young age.”

To learn more or to get involved, call the AHA Maine at 289-2394 or visit heart.org/maine.


Kiwanis Club honors teachers for school garden club work

The Scarborough Kiwanis Club recently presented its Hero of the Quarter Award to three teachers at the Wentworth Intermediate School.

Honored were Catherine Hewitt, Janeen Chin and Karin Kelly.

Wentworth principal Kelli Crosby praised the teachers for being longtime champions of the Wentworth School Garden Club.

“Recently, they faced the monumental task of dismantling the school garden on the site of the old Wentworth School, saving the plants and reusable materials, and reassembling a garden on a truly blank canvas at the new Wentworth School,” said Crosby. “The result of their passion, hard work and dedication to the school garden has surpassed every expectation.”

The teachers juggled a busy transition period to help plan and create the new school garden that serves as an outdoor classroom.


Students walk to donation site with backpacks of food

A group of 32 kindergarten students recently walked from St. Brigid Catholic School on Stevens Avenue to Wayside Food Programs on Walton Street with backpacks filled with food.

The half-mile journey, on a rainy morning, did not deter the children from making the walk.

The children took their donations to a wall of boxes, each labeled for different food items, and carefully placed their donations inside the appropriate box.

“That was my favorite part!” said kindergartner Addie O’Brien. “Sorting the food so people get help.”

Don Morrison, the operations manager at Wayside, gave students, teachers and parent chaperones a tour of the facility.

The students’ service project will continue with a trip to visit the residents of Park Danforth. Children recently made and sent Christmas cards to residents.

McAuley High project gets donations for Tanzania

The Catherine McAuley High School community is following up on a mission trip to Tanzania last April by heading a service project to fill a 40-foot container with goods to send to the East African country.

Since September, students have collected vitamins, medical supplies, furniture, toys, linens, clothing and other goods to share with the people of Tanzania.

The McAuley community continues its partnership with St. Lucia’s Orphanage and the Sunflower International School in Arusha, Tanzania. To date, $3,800 has been raised to give 50 Tanzanian girls the opportunity to receive schooling.

Clark Insurance donates to food banks around region

Clark Insurance will donate $25,000 to community food pantries and regional food banks.

Clark Insurance, an employee-owned independent insurance agency, supports more than 100 charitable, civic and industry organizations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Maine recipients of the funding are Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, Freeport Community Services Food Pantry, Friends of Community Action Food Pantry, Falmouth Food Pantry, Old Orchard Beach Community Food Pantry, Saco Community Meals Program, Scarborough Food Pantry, South Portland Food Cupboard, Preble Street Resource Center, Westbrook Food Pantry, Windham Food Pantry, Yarmouth Food Pantry and the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Also receiving funding were the New Hampshire Food Bank, New Horizons for NH Food Pantry, Karen Angela Carter Food Pantry and Goffstown Network Food Pantry, all of New Hampshire, and Merrimack Valley Food Bank and Open Pantry of Greater Lowell, both of Massachusetts.


VFW post celebrates its 50th anniversary

Bath’s Pitman-Morrison Post 7738 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a ceremony hosted by the auxiliary.

The state commander presented a citation from the national commander to the post.

This year, the post donated more than $27,500 to local charities and veterans in need, while contributing thousands of hours in volunteer service. It was recognized nationally in July at the national convention of the VFW for outstanding community service and the construction of the Mid Coast Veterans Memorial on Bath’s south end boat launch in the fall.


Library, museum announce holiday festival winners

The Dyer Library and Saco Museum announced the winners of its Home for the Holidays 11th Annual Festival of Trees display.

Top four winners for the People’s Choice top tree designs were “God Bless America,” decorated by Justin Chenette; “Under the Sea,” decorated by Denise Blanchard; “Lites of Glass,” decorated by Theresa Ruel; and “Country Christmas,” decorated by Sandy Riley.

Chenette and Blanchard placed first and second for their tree decorations in the Students’ Choice Awards. “Blue Blue Christmas,” decorated by Chris Cameron, took third place honors, and Riley placed fourth.

In the student art contest, Guinevere Robbins, a fourth-grader at C.K. Burns Elementary School, won the grand prize, with Lilli Metcalf, a fourth-grader at Dayton Consolidated, receiving honorable mention

First-place winners in the art contest were: kindergarten – SriPrisha Pillai, Fairfield School; grade 1 – Liam Fisher, Fairfield School; grade 2 – Brianna Gonyaw, Jameson School; grade 3 – Bella Robinson, C.K. Burns School; grade 4 – Jackson Farwell, C.K. Burns School; and grade 5 – Kayleigh Keely, Biddeford Intermediate School.

Maine Water donates to 19 food pantries across state

Maine Water recently donated more than $11,000 to 19 food pantries across the state in recognition of the critical work those organizations do to support citizens in need.

From Biddeford and Saco to Camden, Millinocket, Skowhegan and many other towns, the funds were distributed just before Thanksgiving weekend.

Maine Water serves 32,000 customers, or a population of 100,000, in more than 20 communities in Maine.

For more information, visit www.MaineWater.com.


Rotary commitment to vets extended to Augusta VA

The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club, which has emphasized assistance to Maine’s homeless veterans for several years, has extended its commitment in cooperation with Maine Veterans Affairs in Augusta.

The club will again work with the VA in 2016 to assist with some of the unmet needs.

Many of Maine’s homeless veterans have difficulty getting to medical appointments, job interviews and other obligations. And many, who may be transitioning to their own or to VA housing, need beds and other essential household items.

This Rotary year, Rotarians will assist the VA in providing transportation passes, gasoline gift cards, Hannaford food gift cards, bedding sets, kitchen utensils and household items. The club will also assist the VA with its annual VA2K awareness and fundraising event in the spring of 2016 in Portland.

For more details, call Susan Whittington at 623-8411, Ext. 4344 or email [email protected] or the Rotary Club’s homeless veterans chair Dan Davidson at [email protected] or 767-4682.


Rotary honors several members for contributions

The Rotary Club of Saco Bay recently honored several of its members with a Paul Harris Fellow recognition for their contributions of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

The Foundation is dedicated to fighting disease, supporting family and education, promoting peace, providing clean water and growing local economies through grants and donations.

The new Paul Harris Fellows are Pamela Gallo, Joanne Landry, Bradley Paul and Jack McAdam.

Recognized as Multiple Paul Harris Fellows, for donations in excess of $1,000, were Kitty Chadburne, Jim Cartier, Uwe Kirchner and Dan Colby.

District Gov. Sheila Rollins also recognized Jeff Salton and Kirchner as new members of the Paul Harris Society for their contribution of $1,000 each year to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus or approved Global Grant.


Grants to Green awards given to seven groups

The Maine Community Foundation’s Grants to Green program that helps state nonprofits increase the energy efficiency of historic downtown buildings, recently awarded more than $177,000 to seven organizations.

The awards support energy efficiency projects including lighting improvements, weatherization and new heating systems. Grantees are 317 Main Community Music in Yarmouth, Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, St. Elizabeth Child Development Center in Portland, Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath, Eastport Arts, Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland and Unity Barn Raisers.

For more details, go to www.grantstogreenmaine.org or call (877) 700-6800.


Center for Grieving Children seeking group facilitators

The Center for Grieving Children is looking for volunteer facilitators to help with a peer-support group to be offered in February at the North Parish Congregational United Church of Christ, 893 Main St.

Facilitators will be asked to make a weekly commitment to work with children, teens and their adult family members. All facilitators must complete a background check and go through an intense 35-hour training before being placed in a support group. Training runs from Jan. 26 through Feb. 6.

Facilitators are needed for Bereavement Peer Support groups that meet on Wednesday evenings in Sanford.

Interested participants should call Janice Zurlo at 775-5216 or email [email protected]