Media Release: Maine DOE Provides Schools with Additional $2 Million to Expand Summer Learning and Enrichment

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) provided an additional $2 million to 17 school units to expand engaging and meaningful summer learning programs across the state for nearly 1,000 students. The programs focus on helping students recover from the impacts of the pandemic through additional math and literacy instruction, tutoring, hands-on outdoor learning experiences, and family engagement activities. Students have access to meals and get to spend the summer building skills and knowledge and engaging in fun activities with their classmates.  

“These are meaningful summer learning programs that provide students with the academic support they need to recover from the pandemic while also allowing them to explore the outdoor world around them, be creative, engage in project-based learning, build social skills and connections, and have reliable meals,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin. 

The summer learning opportunities are paid for using federal emergency relief funding and are in addition to the $2.1 million granted to 63 school administrative units (SAUs) to support summer enrichment programming through the Title I Summer Reallocation Grant. 

Expanded Summer Learning and Enrichment Programs 

East Millinocket School Department
East Millinocket School Department’s extended school year program provides students with high-quality tutoring and intensive reading instruction to support learning growth. Students also participate in immersive outdoor learning opportunities at Baxter State Park and other area destinations.   

East Range II CSD 
East Range II School’s summer day program provides students with learning opportunities that will engage them physically, mentally, and creatively. Programming focuses on instruction as well as providing access to mental health, occupational therapy, and speech therapy services that many students do not have access to over the summer. Students also have access to breakfast, snacks, and lunch during the summer program and monthly access to the school’s food pantry program. 

Students also attend Down East Lakes children’s program once a week to provide hands on experience with natural science and will visit Twin Ponds Nature and Discovery Center to learn about aquatic and land species in their area and in Maine. Student use drawings and writings to document their experiences. Families will come together at a nearby lake for a final family engagement day.  

Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences Charter School 
Fiddlehead offers students six weeks of camp activities to continue their learning in literacy and math through hands-on, minds-on enrichment activities. Camp activities include art, theater, musical theater, 3D art, young inventors, paper arts, and clay sculpting. All camps end with a showcase for families and there is extended reading time built into all camp schedules to strengthen literacy skills.  

Hancock Public Schools 
Hancock Grammar School offers students a four-week summer program for literacy using evidence-backed practices. Students will also participate in math programming each day.  

Hope Public Schools 
Hope Public Schools offers students summer programming focused on academic enrichment and the opportunity to grow socially and emotionally. The program provides students an immersive learning opportunity in the school garden, where students measure, predict, write, experiment, and read in the garden. Parents and community members join by reading to children in the garden and distributing food to families.  

Madawaska Elementary School’s extended educational opportunities provide students with additional targeted learning experiences and instruction, exposure to project-based learning and real-world application, critical thinking skills, and social emotional benefits that emerge from confident learners. The program also includes student visits to the Acadian Village to explore history and language, Four Seasons Outdoor Center to explore natural science concepts and apply math concepts to real life examples, and the University of Maine Fort Kent junior learner’s programs and activities. Families also have access to family math night, early learners open house and information night, reading night in the library, and other family and community events.  

Maine Connections Academy 
Maine Connections Academy’s summer program focuses on students who are credit deficient and lack the class completion needed to graduate on time. The program focuses on re-engaging these students and providing supplemental targeted intensive instruction to complete courses required for promotion/graduation. A parent or adult is designated as each student’s Learning Coach and responsible for documenting attendance for the students throughout the summer school period and coordinators work closely with parents and guardians throughout the summer program to ensure parent engagement. 

Otis Public Schools 
Otis Public School’s four-week summer program provides focused literacy and math interventions to students who are furthest from meeting benchmarks. Student also participate in team-building challenges, STEAM opportunities, and physical activities that engage and motivate students in experiential learning. Students take part in experiential learning opportunities at Lamoine State Park and Bangor Children’s Museum. 

Portland Public Schools 
Portland Public Schools offers students a daily summer program focused on students in need of reading and math recovery instruction. The program also prioritizes students who are experiencing homelessness. Reading and math instruction is combined with hands-on enrichment activities and STEAM instruction.  

MSAD 11 (Gardiner) 
In partnership with The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley in Gardiner, MSAD 11 provides students with academic and enrichment programming to support learning recovery and meet the social and emotional needs of students. Students most in need of academic support, students from low-income households, and students who could greatly benefit from extra social interaction and extra-curricular activity during the summer months are prioritized for the six themed weeks of programming. Summer programming features engaging, hands-on activities that promote learning, have real-world applications, and build on students’ sense of exploration, engagement, and belonging. MSAD 11’s summer program provides academic support in math and reading, project-based learning, health and wellness programs, STEM projects including include visits from Chewonki, a robot coding class, and a field trip to The Maine Wildlife Park, visual and performing arts programs, multicultural education, youth leadership and service learning, and parent engagement throughout, including STEM night, Olympian Week, and the Gardiner Public Library Summer Reading Program. On Tuesdays, parents can come with a bag and take a variety of foods home for free that were all donated by Hannaford and the local food bank.   

RSU 14 (Windham) 
RSU 14’s summer program supports students who need additional early literacy and math instruction. Students attend this summer programing 4 days a week for 4 hours a day and get the support they need to he will program prepare students to smoothly transition to the next grade level by strength knowledge of early literacy and numeracy concepts. Staff also engage with families by providing materials and instructions to support their child at home, including make and take activities for parents in both math and literacy and a parent afternoon tea.  

MSAD 15 (Gray) 
The Patriot Arts and Learning Summer Institute uses an arts and STEM integrated approach to address COVID learning gaps in literacy and numeracy in grades K-4. Students in the program receive daily instruction in literacy, numeracy, arts, and STEM. Students are also be provided breakfast, lunch, and outdoor movement time daily. The Patriot Arts and Learning Institute utilizes a “push-in” field trip model to bring unique and fun opportunities to students aligned with learning. Push-in field trips focus on arts and STEM integration including traveling planetarium, Portland Stage, Portland Ballet, animal rescue outreach, and team building activities. MSAD 15 has also partnered with the local recreation departments to provide before and after care for students in the Patriot Arts and Learning Summer Institute. 

MSAD 17 (Oxford Hills) 
RSU 17’s “Camp Achieves” focuses on engage students in learning through fun, active, hands-on math and science lessons and projects. Additionally, language and literacy will be incorporated into the daily activities. Students will hear from and interact with local beekeepers, farmers, and wildlife specialists and engaging in experiential learning at a community garden and Roberts Farm. Tier II interventions will be provided in both literacy and math. At the close of the program, an ‘open house’ will be held for the purpose of students’ sharing projects with their parents.  

RSU 34 (Old Town) 
RSU 34 offers students and families a variety of summer programming to meet their individual needs, including in-person learning opportunities for students in a four-week model, one-on-one and small group high-dosage tutoring for students spanning the entire summer, an engaging virtual asynchronous option for students to engage in weekly learning objectives with on-call support, and ongoing programming for students delivered through school libraries and school garden. 

MSAD 70 (Hodgdon) 
RSU 70’s summer school focuses on helping students fill learning gaps caused by the pandemic and maintain current learning as well as gain proficiency in student specific learning identified. The summer school also provides exploratory experiences to apply learning in engaging ways through field trips and real-life experiences that encourage reading, science, and math. 

RSU 82/MSAD 12 (Forest Hills/Jackman) 
RSU 82/MSAD 12’s summer learning and enrichment program focuses on the academic and wellbeing needs of students and family engagement through academic instruction and projects, family literacy night, family math night, and a showcase event allowing students to present their summer portfolios to their families.   

Veazie Public Schools 
Veazie Public Schools provides students with targeted instruction over the summer in areas where they may have fallen behind due to the pandemic. Programs include small group instruction, one-on-one support, and targeted interventions to help students catch up on missed content and develop the skills they need to ensure future success. School library services are available to students all summer and families have access to at least two free family movie nights at the school. By actively engaging families in the summer school program, the school hopes to promote a sense of community, support student learning, and foster a positive learning environment for all students.