Elementary schoolers write poems about personal traits

Wells Elementary School third- and fourth-grade students recently took to the stage at Wells High School Performing Arts Center to celebrate poetry and the best of themselves.

The students were asked to compose original poems that highlighted recognizable characteristics of themselves, such as their smile, hair, nose or glasses.

The audience of about 80 was a mixture of residents from Avita of Wells assisted living facility, parents, school staff and Becky Murphy’s AP English class at Wells High School. The masters of ceremony were Kendall Maxon and Eli Potter, who cleverly mixed in poetry and humor with their introductions.

The idea for the poetry project was from school intern Emily Lewia, who said the project was inspired by the book “The Best Part of Me” by Wendy Ewald.

The poems were read with an accompanying overhead slide show, featuring supersized photos of the features that the students were reading about.


High school students earn awards at poetry festival

Students from Edward Little, Waynflete and Greely high schools recently earned top honors for their poetry at the 10th annual Merriconeag Poetry Festival.

Edward Little High School senior Barrak Abdraba, a native of Iraq, earned the top prize for his poem titled “A Message,” which contained Arabic phrases as well as English, describing an immigrant family’s heartbreaking separation.

Waynflete junior Riley Mayes placed second for her poem “Across the Street.” Third place went to Colby Santana, a sophomore at Greely High School, for her poem “She and I.”

The prize-winners were among 20 poets, selected by judges and award-winning Maine poets Lee Sharkey and Linda Aldrich, to read their work at the festival attended by more than 120 poetry lovers.

The other finalists included: from Falmouth High School, Althea Finch-Brand, Ayden Henson, Elizabeth Seeker and Jacob Seeker; from Edward Little High School, Nasro Adow; from Maine Coast Waldorf School, Cassandra Albano, Finn Dierks-Brown, Emma Goldberg-Courtney, Wilson Haims, Isabel Konstantino, Fiona Libby and Ava Teegarden; from Deering High School, Arlo Farr-Weinfeld; from Chop Point School, Ellie Pitot; from Cape Elizabeth High School, Raina Sparks; from Gorham High School, Samuella Spurr; and from North Yarmouth Academy, Cameron Woods.


Garden club will offer help for those wishing to donate

Gardening enthusiasts are invited to donate plants from their overcrowded gardens for the Scarborough Garden Club’s upcoming plant sale, set for June 3 at the historic Hunnewell House, near Old Country and Black Point roads.

This year, club members will offer assistance to those who wish to donate plants but find it difficult to thin out their gardens. These individuals should call Donna Forest at 831-5127 to arrange for a club member to come to their home by May 20.


Bank puts $10,000 toward LifeFlight swim fundraiser

Camden National Bank has donated $10,000 to LifeFlight of Maine’s annual summer fundraiser, Islesboro Crossing for LifeFlight. The open-water swim across Penobscot Bay raises funds to support LifeFlight’s vision of providing critical care and medical transport to every person and every community across Maine.

LifeFlight operates three helicopters and an airplane that cover the entire state of Maine, bringing specialized equipment and critical-care nurses and paramedics to emergency scenes and small, rural hospitals from Fort Kent to Kittery.

Based in Bangor at Eastern Maine Medical Center/Bangor International Airport, Lewiston at Central Maine Medical Center, and Sanford at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport, LifeFlight’s aircraft and crew have cared for more than 22,000 patients since operations began in 1998.


Youths share their goals with Olympian Julia Clukey

Olympian Julia Clukey recently visited with about 400 Freeport Middle School students to share her “Live Inspired” presentation, telling her personal story while encouraging students to find their passion, create a plan and go after their dreams.

Clukey presented the Julia Clukey Courage Award to student Matt O’Shea, 14, of Pownal. O’Shea was selected by school administrators because of his community involvement and volunteering, his passion for his studies and bravery in his dream of becoming a pilot.

At the end of the 20-minute presentation, Clukey took questions and signed autographs.


Cancer society recognizes volunteer work of 5 Mainers

The American Cancer Society has recognized five Maine residents with its Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award for their selflessness in giving of their time to help those battling cancer.

Maine’s 2017 recipients are John Bishop of Caribou, Karen Girvan of Kenduskeag, Gail Raymond of Scarborough, Andrea Sparrow of Pittston and Mart Lapin of Orono.

Bishop is a former Relay For Life of Aroostook event leader and currently a team captain – as well as a sponsorship lead and an ACS Cancer Action Network lead. He has served the organization for eight years.

Girvan has been involved in Relay For Life of Penobscot for more than 10 years. A cancer survivor along with her husband, Girvan is a captain of the Curious for a Cure team, which was the highest fundraiser for 2016.

Raymond is a breast cancer survivor involved in Relay For Life, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and ACS Cancer Action Network.

Sparrow is the Road to Recovery Coordinator and a driver in Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Lapin is a Cancer Resource and Advocacy volunteer who has worked with the organization for about 15 years.


Ten game wardens finish law enforcement training

The Maine Warden Service recently graduated 10 new game wardens at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. The new wardens completed a 12-week advanced academy, following an 18-week basic law enforcement training program, required of all full-time Maine police officers. The training prepares the wardens by utilizing classroom, field and scenario training.

Aspects of game warden work include search and rescue, recreational vehicle crash investigation and water survival.

The graduates are: Lauren Roddy of Belgrade, to serve in the Jackman District; Kayle Hamilton of Buxton, Clayton Lake District; Kyle Franklin of Durham, Estcourt Station District; Kale Oleary of Fort Kent, Masardis District; Taylor Valente of Gray-New Gloucester, Rockwood District; Harry Wiegman of Leeds, Rangeley District; John Carter of Orrington, Blue Hill District; Megan Miller of Pittsfield, Mars Hill District; Camden Akins of Winslow, Chamberlain Lake District; and Nick Raymond of Winslow, Fort Kent District.