Students bound for Michigan in problem-solving contest

Fresh off a win at the “Odyssey of the Mind” state championships, Holy Cross School fourth- and fifth-graders are preparing to head to Michigan for a shot at the “Odyssey of the Mind” 2017 World Finals, May 24-27 at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Hundreds of teams from around the world will offer creative solutions to original problems, with teams advancing through the bracket to earn the championship.

The international educational program focuses on problem- solving. Students apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. Odyssey teams, made up of five to seven students, apply 21st century skills, intellectual curiosity and assessment techniques to solve problems.

More than 70 Maine schools offer the program.

The next problem for the team to solve is fundraising for the Michigan trip. The students have organized a bottle drive, a student movie night and a luncheon to help pay for part of their trip to the world finals. Now, they are selling $25 gift cards to Broadway Gardens in South Portland. To order gift cards, contact Carol Foster at 653-2906 or [email protected], or visit the team’s GoFundMe page,


Donation of $10,000 goes to high school sound system

The board of directors of the John C. Duranceau Scholarship Fund recently presented a $10,000 check to Biddeford High School to be used for the installation of a new sound system in Tiger Gymnasium.

The scholarship fund was established in memory of the late John C. Duranceau, who graduated from Biddeford High in 1980. The funds were raised through an annual memorial golf tournament that provides scholarships for Biddeford High and Thornton Academy graduates pursuing college.

Duranceau’s family received a tour of the newly renovated high school, which included a plaque hung in his honor near the gymnasium.


Historical society receives grant for touchscreen map

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Old Berwick Historical Society to support the creation of a touchscreen map that will enable Counting House Museum visitors to slide between past and present views of the seacoast landscape.

The touchscreen project has also received funding from the South Berwick Strawberry Festival Committee and the William W. Treat Foundation.

The touchscreen map technology will engage the public with the early history of the Piscataqua region in new ways and will be a central feature of the upcoming “Forgotten Frontier” exhibit.

Users can move between the historic map and a modern map overlay, where they will find familiar features identified, including state borders, towns, roads and geographic elements.

Visitors will discover historic characters and pivotal events associated with sites in the Berwicks, Eliot and Kittery, as well as Portsmouth, Dover and towns around Great Bay in New Hampshire. They can choose from an array of items to explore, including objects used in daily life in the 1600s and documents written by people who shaped our region.

Adapted for use online by educators and students, the map will be included in a teacher resource website generated for a summer 2018 teacher training workshop.

The interactive map will also be featured in a regional mobile tour app being developed for release in 2018.


Bank puts $10,000 toward therapeutic riding center

Norway Savings Bank recently presented a $10,000 check to the Riding to the Top Therapeutic Riding Center of Windham to benefit Maine children and adults with disabilities.

The donation is part of the bank’s 15-year $135,000 commitment to the Windham-based therapy center, which helps people with disabilities through the healing power of horses.

Equine-assisted activities and therapies at the riding center help to improve the physical, social and mental well-being of up to 100 clients each week. It is funded primarily by community donations with volunteer support.

For more details, go to or call 892-2813.


Grant proposals accepted for preserving historic sites

The Maine Community Foundation seeks grant proposals for its Belvedere Historic Preservation Fund.

Grant awards of up to $15,000 are available for the preservation and reuse of historic buildings that serve as civic, cultural, or economic hubs for communities. All proposed projects must be for historic buildings listed or in the process of being listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The deadline for grant applications is June 15. The application is available at