OHills Reads – A Community Reads Initiative Targeting the Opiod Addiction

OHills Reads is a community-led group in collaboration with Healthy Oxford Hills and MSAD 17 that aspires to build a stronger, healthier, and more empathetic community by uniting schools, businesses, local organizations, and families with a community-wide reading and discussion of a common book. This month, in an effort to raise awareness and reduce stigma around substance use and misuse, the community read will be The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner.

According to the educator’s guide, written by Melissa Guerrette, a teacher in MSAD 17 and partner in this project, “This story is both honest and heart-felt, weaving themes of wishes, fierce love for family and acceptance of circumstances beyond our control from a younger siblings perspective. With respectful, age appropriate writing, Kate Messner has given middle grade readers a lens into the realistic ache and struggle of Charlie Brennan and her family, who—like too many families in our country —are facing the tragedy of a loved one with opioid addiction. ”

Plans are underway to bring educational programs to intermediate classrooms in MSAD #17, and to host community events including panel presentations, book discussions, an event with Kate Messner, the author, and a fishing derby. The events will take place throughout the month of January and early February. If you are interested in learning more about or participating in the OHills Reads events, please check the Facebook Page (OHills Reads), or contact Emily Eastman (emilye@healthyoxfordhills.org), Melissa Guerrette (m.guerrette@msad17.org ) or Heather Manchester (h.manchester@msad17.org).