The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is seeking school employees and educators to host Virtual Communities for Maine teens as an important part of a new Maine DOE initiative, WAVES. The Virtual Communities will help deliver on the vision “every week every Maine teen safely engages socially with a community of peers,” be housed on the WAVES website and will be open to all Maine teens. The purpose of a WAVES Virtual Community is to provide an opportunity for teens across Maine to connect safely and socially around a shared affinity.
Virtual Community host applicants are encouraged to be creative and consider their own interests, teens’ interests, and their own experiences around how teens connect with adults and to each other when creating a virtual community. Examples of Virtual Communities below are only provided to support creative thinking, and not to hinder or restrict other ideas:
- Poetry Club
- Citizen Science group
- Knitting Circle (hosts may request materials to be sent to participants)
- Use any of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife resources to host a Scavenger Hunt or Sound Mapping community, for example.
- Theater group
- Environmental Activism community
- Yoga and Mindfulness
- Film Society
As a Virtual Community Host, you’ll be expected to host regular virtual meetings (at least monthly) outside of traditional school hours, support ongoing communication among the virtual community, and meet other expectations to protect the safety of all Virtual Community members. Please see the FAQ for prospective hosts for additional information.
We are committed to supporting our hosts and making sure our virtual communities are safe and inclusive. To this end, WAVES will provide a $150 stipend/month for Virtual Community hosts, provide access to a zoom account for virtual meetings, and be responsive to your Virtual Community’s needs and feedback.
If you’re interested in hosting a Virtual Community, please submit the Virtual Community Host application and you’ll hear back shortly so we may work collaboratively to start your virtual community and invite teens to join!
Please contact Project Director Sarah Woog (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions or feedback. Thank you for all you do for Maine youth!