Harpswell Coastal Academy celebrated the re-opening of its school library with an all-school read of the Maine Student Book Award winner “Refugee” on April 17 and with discussions at Patten Free Library in Bath.

HCA has been revitalizing its library collection this year with the support of a $30,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, as well as an almost $20,000 contribution from an anonymous donor. The funds have gone exclusively to book and shelving purchases; HCA is still looking for funding to update the library’s furnishings.

“Literacy is at the heart of what it means to be well-educated,” said Principal Scott Barksdale. “At HCA we are now not just able to engage our students in great literacy instruction, but also to open the world to them through this great library collection.”

The book reflects HCA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. By honoring all backgrounds (including gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation, and immigration status), the school strives to build equitable opportunity and respect for others.

“We all want to have open-minded kids,” said Jama Mohamed, director of Family Services and Youth Programs at MEIRS. “Within 10 minutes today, we had all become like one family.”

Freeport students draw on the arts to help right whales

Eight Freeport students won awards in the 2019 Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge sponsored by Boston-based Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs and Conservation Law Foundation: Teagan Davenport, Freeport Middle School, Silver Award in Film; Eliza Goodwin, Waynflete, Bronze Award in Art; Brielle Hodgkin, Freeport Middle School, Honorable Mention in Art; Luci Bourgeois, Freeport Middle School, Notable Award in Art; Alexis Goff, Freeport Middle School, Notable Award in Art; Genevieve Phelps, Freeport Middle School, Notable Award in Art; Ian Smith, Freeport Middle School, Notable Award in Art; YiLin Wang, Freeport Middle School, Notable Award in Art.

The silver and bronze winners each received cash scholarships of $250; Honorable Mention received a $25 gift card to Blick Art Materials.

The Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge invited K-12 students from the New England and Gulf of Maine regions in the U.S. and Canada to use their creative voices to highlight the critically endangered North Atlantic right whales and the need for conservation of marine ecosystems and resources. More than 130 participants created visual art, poetry, and short films that celebrated the iconic right whales and drove action for their protection. Their submissions emphasized the beauty of the animals and called attention to the many threats they face, including ship strikes, entanglements and pollution.

Brunswick tally takes second in CLYNK challenge

Brunswick High School came in second place in the eighth annual CLYNK for Schools Recycling Challenge, which took place January-March, when CLYNK welcomed schools in Maine and New York to recycle and raise funds by collecting redeemable bottles and cans.

For every dollar raised in the Challenge period, schools received a 50 cent match from Hannaford Supermarkets, plus the opportunity to compete for other cash prizes provided by CLYNK.

Brunswick students raised just over $3,180 with a match, earning the school a $1,000 prize.

This year was the largest challenge yet, with 256 schools from all over Maine and New York participating to recycle enough cans and bottles to raise a grand total of $42,617.86. Hannaford Supermarkets donated $21,309.35 in matching funds.

BHS announces Top 10 for Class of 2019

Brunswick High School announced the Class of 2019 Top 10 students, in order: Daniel Lyons, Logan Gillis, Benjamin Baumgarte, Alexandra Morse, Erin Coughlin, Lea Scrapchansky, Eliza Rudalevige, Nicholas DaRosa, Christopher Tucker and Cameron Daly.

Woodside Elementary School in Topsham was one of several organizations that received $500 donations from Hannaford Co. during the supermarket chain’s grand reopening in Topsham earlier this month.