Psych association receives advocacy award
At the recent national advocacy summit hosted by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Maine Psychological Association was presented with the State Advocacy Award for their leadership in advancing the profession of psychology, health equity, and human rights.
Maine Psychological Association president Jamie Pratt, PsyD, cites the passage of PSYPACT as critical advocacy legislation passed in 2021. “Maine is now one of 28 states that allow licensed psychologists to provide services via telehealth and temporary practice to patients in other compact states. This provides more access to psychological services and continuity of care when a patient travels or relocates,” he said.
The Maine Psychological Association (MePA) is a membership organization whose purpose is to advance psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting health and human welfare.

Bookstore reopens after two-year closure
Friends BookShop has reopened, following a two-year closure due to COVID-19.
Located on the lower level of South Portland Public Library, at 482 Broadway, the shop is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
All books on sale and proceeds help support many library programs.

Donate to create math scholarship fund
A fundraising effort is underway for an annual scholarship awardable to a Westbrook High School senior. The “Ralph D. Small Math Award,” established in 2021, benefits a senior who demonstrates outstanding achievement and interest in mathematics.
The award honors Small, who excelled at teaching math at WHS for 43 years and chaired the math department for 30 years. Small was the initiator and coach of the school’s Pi Cone math team and an early adopter of computers in the classroom.
A website,, has been established to support the fundraising effort. The site includes a video from WHS 2021 Class Night, testimonials, photos, donor info and a link for donations to Maine Community Foundation – which is the manager/custodian of the fund.
For more details, call Simon A. Snyder at (347) 695-5289 or email

Young artists awarded $500 scholarship
Wesserunsett Arts Council has announced the winners of its first annual Youth Scholarship: Amelia Cooper and Charlie Staples, both of Skowhegan Area Middle School, and Cailyn McKechnie of Skowhegan Area High School.
Following an application and nomination process, students submitted a cover letter advocating for their candidacy, followed by an interview with the Youth Scholarship Committee.
This year, members of the Youth Scholarship Committee were so impressed with the talents of the three applicants, they opted to divide the original $500, giving each student $170. However, after seeing a post about it on Facebook, an anonymous couple reached out and gave the council $1,000 so that the young artists could have $500 each.
Cooper, a sixth-grader and clarinet player at SAMS, was nominated for the award by music teacher Gail Kelly. Cooper said her grandmother is her musical inspiration and that music brings her peace on hard days. She plans to use the award money for private clarinet lessons.
McKechnie, a freshman at SAHS, was recommended by artist Iver Lofving and received the award after showing committee members outstanding drawings and paintings. She would like to use the award money to buy art supplies on her wish list.
Charlie Staples, an eighth-grader actor/singer at SAMS, has been doing theater since age 6. He was in the musical “Big Fish” at Lakewood Theater, makes recordings of public service announcements, and character voices for the Short Stories & Tall Tales program on WXNZ Radio. Staples would like to use the award money to pay for part of the tuition for Lakewood Theater’s Teen Tech & Tour program this summer.

Domestic violence nonprofit awarded grant
Finding Our Voices, the grassroots nonprofit organization marshaling survivor voices to break the silence of domestic abuse, has been awarded $10,000 by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation. The grant is earmarked for the Get Out Stay Out Fund that empowers women to get out and stay out of dangerous intimate partner situations, and get and keep their children safe as well.
This Finding Our Voices fund was seeded in 2021 by the Sunshine Lady Foundation and in less than a year has disbursed $40,000 to Maine domestic violence victims for items including first and last month’s rent, car repairs, storage unit fees, utility bills, work certification, gas, clothes and groceries.
“The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation values programs that support systems that work, and changes systems that don’t; nurtures new ways of thinking and working; and supports individuals and community empowerment,”  said Patrisha McLean, president and founder of Finding Our Voices.
“I can’t think of a better way to describe what we are doing, community by community all across Maine, and it is a true honor to now be supported by and aligned with this foundation in such a meaningful way.”
For more details, go to and

Foundation awards art gallery $15,000
The Maine Art Gallery has been awarded a grant from the Davis Family Foundation for restorative work on the 1807 “Old Academy Building” at 15 Warren St., that houses the nonprofit gallery.
This grant is one of several applications for funding restoration needs of the building, that has been named on the National Register of Historic Places. Because the building is owned by the town, a vote to allow enactment of a 20-year lease with the gallery, instead of the 5-year lease that had been renewed for the last 67 years, proved to be an important consideration by the Davis Foundation. Grantors of capital funds require the building be either owned by the grantee or that the grantee has a long-term lease in place.
The goal of the current project is to remediate water infiltration into the building’s basement, thereby greatly reducing humidity levels and dampness. This will preserve the structure and continue to provide a healthy space for both people and artwork within the building.
A perimeter drain, to direct water away from the building, will be installed, followed by masonry work to seal the foundation. Once all exterior work is completed, the gallery will install a commercial grade Energy Star dehumidifier.
The gallery is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement and preservation of the visual, fine and applied arts through exhibitions, lectures, demonstration and educational programs for children and adults since 1958. It will open for the season on May 7 and run six exhibits through October, as well as lectures, classes and opening receptions.
For more details, go to

Community college students recognized
Fourteen Maine community college students have been named to the 2022 All-Maine Academic Team in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and service.
The students receiving the award and a $500 scholarship from the MCCS Board of Trustees are: Miranda Kelly of Camden, Central Maine Community College at Auburn; Kenzie Langley and Emily Schmidt, both of Lewiston, Central Maine Community College; Victoria Glynn of Blue Hill, Eastern Maine Community College at Bangor; Ryan Pelkey of Millinocket and Rebecca Peters of Lincoln, Eastern Maine Community College; Rebecca Book of Caribou, Northern Maine Community College at Presque Isle; Deborah Jean-Francois of Bairdsville, New Brunswick, Northern Maine Community College; Andrea Atkinson of Portland, Southern Maine Community College at South Portland/Brunswick; Dominique Hopkins of Biddeford, Southern Maine Community College; Elizabeth Churchill of Robbinston, Washington County Community College at Calais; Courtney Kake at Baileyville and Billie Jo Warren of Franklin, Washington County Community College; and Heidi West of Eliot, York County Community College at Wells.
Andrea Atkinson (SMCC) and Rebecca Peters (EMCC) also were named Maine New Century Scholars for earning the highest scores in the state on their All-USA Academic Team applications.
Atkinson was named the 2022 Maine New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar and will receive a $2,250 scholarship. Peters is the 2022 Maine New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship.
Miranda Kelly was one of only 50 students nationwide name a Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and will receive a $1,500 scholarship.
The New Century Pathway Scholarship program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the American Association of Community Colleges, and Phi Theta Kappa. Only one New Century Transfer and Workforce Scholar is selected from each state.
The All-Maine Academic Team is a program of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year colleges. Students are nominated and selected for the team by their college.

Greenhouse recycling program opens today
University of Maine Cooperative Extension opens its Greenhouse Plastic Recycling (GPR) program Tuesday with drop-off sites available statewide through Nov. 21.
Plastic eligible for recycling is clear, low-density polyethylene #4 (LDPE No.4) used to cover greenhouses, high tunnels, hoop houses and other agricultural structures. The program will also accept white overwintering plastic bundled separately from clear plastic. UMaine Extension’s GPR program video explains the process in full.
This will be the third year for the recycling program. Its goal is to collect at least one-third of Maine’s annual waste greenhouse plastic, diverting that waste for use in new plastic products. To date, the program has collected almost 2,600 pounds of waste.
There is no program fee but registration is required. Register and find more information on the GPR program website. More information also is available by contacting Matt Wallhead at 581-2949 or email

Second woman ever given guide award
Maine Inland Fish and Wildlife honored Polly Mahoney with the L2022 Legendary Master Maine Guide Award on April 9.
Mahoney, one of only two women to ever receive the award, has worked as a registered Maine guide for over 30 years. She has helped hundreds of young people through her work and has been instrumental in assisting the Penobscot Nation (Maine) and Cree Nation (Canada) to develop their own guiding businesses.
The award was presented by MINFW Commissioner Judy Camuso, with Gov. Janet Mills in attendance. The ceremony was held at the annual meeting of the Maine Professional Guides’ Association.

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