FALMOUTH

The Rotary Club of Falmouth donated over $600 to the Falmouth Food Pantry to help combat increased food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation supports purchasing food for the pantry’s twice-monthly food distribution outside Town Hall, and home delivery to vulnerable people.

Since the pandemic began, the need for food has increased by 40 percent, to about 1,100 family members, including delivery to about 135 families. The pantry serves the Falmouth community and Cumberland County residents. Donation funds came from the Rotary Foundation’s COVID-19 Disaster Response Grant.

For more details, email Anne Payson at [email protected]

CARRABASSETT VALLEY

The Carrabassett Valley Public Library will open, offering inside, limited visiting hours and computer use by appointment from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Those visits will be limited to 15 minutes per person.

Curbside lending is still being arranged by phone 237-3535 or email at [email protected] from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

To peruse an online catalog for availability of resources, go to carrabassettvalley.org/public-library. WiFi is on 24 hours a day for use with your own devices both inside and outside the library. The Facebook page is a great place to find current information or last minute announcements.

BRUNSWICK

A love of writing, imagination and commitment led a class of Grade 5 students from St. John’s Catholic School to publish a book.

Grade 5 teacher Tiffany Jones, said she turned to the Samantha Smith Challenge in hopes of making the school year more meaningful for her students. The program challenges students and teachers to learn about a social issue and come up with a way to educate and share the issue with the world.

“The social issue the students chose to research and share about is mental and physical disabilities,” said Jones. “We then wanted to find a way to convey acceptance and love to all of God’s children.”

The students chose to write a book. They developed characters, formulated a plot and drew illustrations, creating a fable using animals and their characteristics to deliver their message.

In the story, each animal finds a way to fit in while appreciating the differences in others.

“Once they got started, there was no stopping them,” said Jones. “So I needed to figure out how to get this published.”

Just Write Books, a publishing house in Topsham, quickly lent their support for the project. Nancy Randolph, a publishing consultant and writing coach, agreed to help the students pull it all together. But just as the project picked up speed, the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Jones was prepared to put the project on hold as students transitioned from classroom interaction to mandatory home classes via Zoom but students responded with a resounding “No!” The children wanted to finish the book despite the challenge.

The students worked to complete the work, utilizing Zoom and Google Docs, and Randolph helped them with editing, illustrating and collaboration.

In recent weeks, the book, “Life on the Farm,” was finally completed. It was a labor of love.

“These students have learned the lessons of resilience, perseverance and creativity under stressful situations,” said Jones. “Those lessons should serve them well in their future days.”

Life on the Farm will soon go to print and will be available for purchase in local book stores, at the school and online. The students even hope to hold a book signing in the parking lot when the books are ready later this summer.

BANGOR

Penobscot Theatre Company’s Dramatic Academy is accepting submissions for its Northern Writes Junior playwriting contest that is open to Maine youth ages 4-18. Winning entries will receive full productions via a weekend festival in the spring of 2021 as part of the academy’s 2020/2021 season. No experience is necessary to submit a play.

Interested youth are challenged to write and submit a short play, between 2 and 10 minutes by the Sept. 1, 2020 deadline. Approximately 15 scripts will be chosen to be professionally guided through revisions and will eventually receive full performances with scenery, lights, costumes and sound in March 2021.

Selected entries will receive a series of playwriting intensives this fall, conducted online by playwright Travis Baker. Rehearsals for the festival will begin in January and will end in a March weekend festival. Playwrights will not be required, but will be welcome, to attend rehearsals.

Submissions should include the playwright’s full name, age, school, town, phone number and the name and email address of a parent or guardian. Submissions and questions can be directed to Ben Layman, Director of Education at [email protected]

AUGUSTA

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap and the Maine State Archives recently launched the New Century Community Grant Program for the preservation of archival collections.

This grant program will provide resources for collecting institutions throughout Maine to care for and improve access to their archival collections. Funding for the program comes from the Maine State Cultural Affairs Council and the Maine State Archives.

The Archives will award grants of up to $1,500 to Maine government entities, nonprofit collection or preservation organizations and Maine State agencies charged with caring for historic collections.

Examples of eligible projects include: the purchase of archival storage materials; hiring an archivist to provide advice or create a finding aid for a large collection; digital imaging of a photograph or paper collection; or preserving important records on microfilm.

Prospective applicants can find more information and the grant application on the Maine State Archives website: https://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/organizations/grants.html

The application deadline is June 26, 2020. The Maine State Archives will announce the grant awards in mid-July.

For more details, call Kate McBrien, deputy secretary of state for archives, at 287-5790 or email [email protected]

POLAND SPRING

Poland Spring Preservation Society (PSPS) is opening the Maine State Building museum and the All Souls Chapel for its 44th season atop Ricker Hill at 37 Preservation Way.

The PSPS was created in 1976 after the Poland Spring House fire and continues its mission to restore and maintain the buildings, educate the public and provide entertainment to the community. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

For more information call 998-4141.

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