Through a partnership with Spirit Series, the Maine Department of Education is offering SpiritCorps, a three-week, project-based, narrative writing and self-discovery program designed for students from 7th to 10th grade. First-time participating schools receive 100% funding through January 1, 2024, thanks to a federal ARP grant. Openings for the fall remain available on a first-come, first-served basis!
The SpiritCorps experience–as students identify, craft, record on video and share with their classmates personal stories of Courage, Conscience or Compassion–is often profound, building self-efficacy and strengthening connection at a moment when mental health crises and alienation plague our youth.
Here are some examples of the power of the SpiritCorps experience:
- At Camden Hills Regional High School, Patti Forster & Her 10th Graders Find Self-Compassion with SpiritCorps
- Mt. Ararat 7th Gr. Summons Courage with SpiritCorps – “Reluctant writers truly believe they have something important to say.”
Powerful data collected last year by SpiritCorps shows strong academic and social-emotional gains, as do comments like these from students who have felt the influence of this program on their lives:
“I learned that my story is important and interesting… It helped me learn that other people are struggling with the same things I am and made me feel less alone.” – Bobby, 8th Grade, ME
“Doing SpiritCorps, I’ve learned what it actually means to be compassionate and courageous not just for myself, but for others as well.” – Sara, 10th Grade, ME
“This gave me the chance to really open up around my pain… It helped me let go, just a little, which means a lot to me. Thank you SpiritCorps!” – Randy, 8th Grade, ME
And partner teachers say this about the impact of SpiritCorps:
“I would absolutely recommend SpiritCorps to any educator. It was easy to use, fun and so well organized. It was great! It was so easy from an educator’s perspective to integrate this curriculum into my classroom…And it was a masterclass in self-reflection.” – Scott Arritt, Gr. 7 & 8 ELA, Durham Community School
“By providing an authentic audience and utilizing the peer feedback process, kids who do not consider themselves writers find that their voice has value and their stories are worth telling. And kids who love to write get expert advice on how to hone their craft. Time after time, our students produce their best writing of the year, hands down, during the SpiritCorps program.” – Sarah Abbott, Gr. 5-9 ELA, Noble Flex
“For those who engaged deeply in the process, writing stories about real compassion for themselves or others, this experience was truly a “gift to themselves”. I saw students forgiving a parent for hurting them and forgiving themselves for how they hurt themselves with their own thoughts. A truly powerful gift. A bonus to this experience is how it helped them see their classmates in a different light.” – Patti Forster, Gr. 10 ELA, Camden Hills Regional High School
To learn more, watch our brief video Introduction to SpiritCorps. For further information and/or to schedule an engagement at your school, email Dr. Christina O’Neal, Director of Program Partnerships for SpiritCorps, at firstname.lastname@example.org.