Telling Room students earn literacy awards

Leigh Ellis, a recent Windham High School graduate who has been involved with the Telling Room since seventh grade, won a youth literacy award from Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. File photo

Work by two Telling Room students received 2022 Maine Literacy Awards from Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.

Leigh Ellis won the Youth Competition in Poetry prize for “Squid Season.”

Linh Nguyen was named the winner of the Youth Competition in Nonfiction for “Our Shared Language.”

Other Telling Room finalists in the two youth categories were Alexa Barstow, Leaticia Hannah and Simona Ickia Ngaullo.

Based in Portland, the Telling Room is focused on young writers ages 6-18. More at

Scarborough schools tapped for media savviness

Scarborough Middle School, Wentworth School, Blue Point School, Eight Corners School and Pleasant Hill School have been recognized as Common Sense Schools.


Common Sense is a national nonprofit that helps children and families navigate media and technology. 

Scarborough schools have taken a whole-community approach to prepare students to think critically and use technology responsibly while preparing them for the dangers that exist online, such as plagiarism, loss of privacy and cyberbullying, according to a press release by Common Sense.

“Scarborough’s K-8 schools deserve high praise for giving students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large,” said Kelly Mendoza, vice president of education programs at Common Sense Education.


Ecomaine awarded more than $9,500 to seven recipients of its 2022 School Recycling Grants. The local schools’ and their winning projects were:

• Appletree School, Cape Elizabeth: raised beds and soil for compost utilization.
• Fiddlehead Center for the Arts, Scarborough: composting materials.
• Fiddlehead Center for the Arts and Sciences, Gray: composting materials.
• King Middle School, Portland: countertop dishwasher, sporks, flatware organizer and bus tubs to help replace the plastic-wrapped plastic utensils in their cafeteria.
• Lyseth Elementary School, Portland: composting materials
• Westbrook Middle School: classroom recycling infrastructure and a water bottle refill station.

The school recycling grants are designed to raise recycling and composting awareness in schools and communities and help implement more efficient recycling programs or add composting.

The Foundation for Portland Public Schools received a $30,000 award from the NoVo Foundation to support professional development and work between Portland Public Schools social studies teachers and clinical and behavior support staff to incorporate social and emotional learning practices into the curriculum.

Dollars for scholars

Sam Robinson, a recent graduate of Freeport High School, has been selected as the winner of the 2022 J. Arthur Stowell Scholarship Award in the amount of $5,000 from American Legion Post 83 in Freeport.