CDC Releases New Resources: Talking to Youth About the Risks of E-Cigarettes

The Office on Smoking and Health, CDC released a new feature for a new school year, aimed at helping people who work with youth to open a discussion about the risks of e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are now the most common type of tobacco product used by youth in the United States. More and more youth report trying and regularly using e-cigarettes. The rising numbers threaten decades of progress in controlling youth tobacco product use.

Nicotine in e-cigarettes can harm developing brains, and may make it more likely that young people will start using regular cigarettes. This feature gives important facts about the risks of e-cigarettes, plus tips for talking to young people and resources for both adults and youth.

Everyone—teachers, coaches, health care providers, and parents—has a part to play in educating youth about the risks of e-cigarettes.

Be sure to follow CDC Tobacco Free on Facebook and Twitter for social media posts to share with partners, friends, and family.

For more information and resources in Maine go to Prevention for ME.

Growth Celebrated and Knowledge Shared as MoMEntum Literacy Pilot Wraps Up

Kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers from across the state gathered this month for a final event that served as the culmination of two and a half years of work by 1500 students, 100 teachers, 9 schools, and 6 literacy coaches. Momentum, a K-3 literacy pilot program designed to improve the literacy achievement of students, came to a close with a professional learning event and an opportunity to reflect on the knowledge and growth experienced by its participants.

Deployed in January 2018, the MoMEntum pilot program provided 9 schools with iPad devices from Apple, Inc. and research-based curriculum resources along with targeted professional learning and coaching to help them improve not only the reading levels of their young students, but also to engage them in a meaningful integration of literacy across other content areas using technology. Additionally, and somewhat uniquely, the pilot also provided schools with the tools to measure how well students were responding to the new learning style.

Teachers received intensive professional learning on specific software applications that individualized student learning, and provided a platform to share student progress with their parents or guardians. Trained literacy coaches worked within each school along with locally grown professional learning communities (PLC) that met monthly (or more) to share practices, evaluate their work and progress, and seek ways to improve.

room of educators sitting at tables listening to speakerAt the closing event were an array of teacher-lead professional learning sessions about classroom management and curriculum practice. For example, Lindsey Davis, a 1st Grade Teacher from Leroy H. Smith School in RSU 22, lead a session about how to engage students in Close Reading lessons that utilize integrated and relevant content. Heather Gray and Danielle Afari, teachers from Dirigo Elementary School in RSU 56, lead an informative and entertaining session about ways to glean student progress based on data and assessment in the classroom.

Teachers and administrators also had the opportunity to work on sustainability plans to keep their work from the MoMEntum pilot going in their schools by establishing school level and individual goals to help continue their integrated literacy work.

Kathy Jacobs, a 1st grade teacher who is moving into a special education role at China Primary School, a participating school from the pilot, said that she has definitely, “seen growth in the students” during the pilot program and that no matter what happens now that the program has come to a close, she will apply some of the things she has learned into her teaching practices going forward.

Wonders & wows posterThere was also an opportunity for teachers and administrators to share their “Wonders & Wows” as a way to evaluate the work and progress and highlight areas for future collaborative work.

“I learned as much from the teachers as I hope they learned from me,” said Literacy Coach Heidi Goodwin, a Distinguished Educator on loan from MSAD 54 who worked directly with the Maine DOE on the pilot program. “They [teachers] were great thinking partners,” she reflected. There were 6 educators total that served as coaches for the program. Along with Heidi were, Kayanne Nadeau, on loan from MSAD 27; Liz Wakem, on loan from RSU 71; Lisa Sleight, a retired Maine educator; Li Gowell, a retired Maine educator; and Dee Saucier, a Maine DOE staff member.

“This was not just a great learning opportunity for the schools involved but for the Department as well,” said Lee Anne Larsen, Maine DOE Early Learning Team Coordinator who has been involved in the administration of the MoMEntum pilot from its inception.  Reflecting on the valuable lessons learned during the pilot, Lee Anne remarked that the most notable were about ways to effectively use technology in the classroom, and methods of meaningfully integrating literacy into other content areas. “It will definitely inform our future work at the Department,” she added.

While the full pilot program and everything that came along with it was only deployed in 9 schools initially, the professional learning resources are available, completely free, to all schools on the Maine DOE Website, along with help and support from Maine DOE staff members Lee Anne Larson and Dee Saucier who both helped administer the pilot program. For further information please reach out to them at and/or





MEDIA ADVISORY: Open House of NEW Maine Department of Education Culinary Classroom

What: Open House and Introduction to NEW Child Nutrition Culinary Classroom
When: Sept 10, 2019 1pm – 4pm
Where: 90 Blossom Lane, 1st floor Deering Building

We are excited to announce and to show off the Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition Team’s first culinary classroom for the School Lunch and Breakfast program, and invite members of the child nutrition/school communities and media outlets to an open house of our new kitchen.  The classroom replicates the kitchens found in our schools, with commercial ovens,  cook tops and other commercial equipment used in school meal preparation.  The modern classroom will have the ability to stream, record and host live audiences for demonstrations, and the Child Nutrition program will use resident chefs to provide additional training to local food service staff.  The kitchen will be able to rotate 30 cooks at time, with both hands-on experience and paperwork management.  Some examples of upcoming classes are: knife skills and maintenance, preparing summer squash, measuring techniques, using USDA foods effectively, and vegan options.  The kitchen will be the host of the annual school cook off contest as well. We are excited by the possibilities and grateful for the amazing space in which we can support our school nutrition programs as they provide healthy meals to Maine’s students.

More information, please contact Walter Beesley at

Maine DOE Summer Literacy Conference Provides Professional Learning on Small Group Strategies

Maine DOE’s Elementary Literacy Specialist Dee Saucier and School Turnaround Literacy Coach Darlene Bassett led a two-day summer professional learning event earlier this week in Augusta for Maine educators.

Conference Participants had the opportunity to learn how to implement the Assess-Decide-Guide framework in balanced literacylearn the elements of text complexity and how it impacts instructional decisions, understand the foundations of guided reading as a small group, learn the components and purposes for today’s guided reading, and learn how to take elements of the Assess-Decide-Guide framework and apply them to other forms of small group instruction.

The conference enabled educators to walk away with a plan of action to begin implementing small groups. 

The State of Maine Announces the Second Round of Competitive Funding Under the VW Environmental Mitigation Settlement Funds

Some public and private schools may have school buses eligible for Maine’s Volkswagen (VW) settlement allocation.  The U.S. District Court in Northern California approved a partial consent decree to settle allegations that VW had installed defective devices on 2.0 and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles sold or leased in the United States.  Maine’s VW settlement allocation totals just over $21 million dollars.  Individuals and entities that have an interest in applying for Maine VW Environmental Mitigation Settlement funds are encouraged to submit a completed application.

Key Points

  • Round 2 application open date is September 16, 2019.
  • Round 2 application close date is November 15, 2019.
  • Results are expected around January 2, 2020.
  • Vehicles being replaced must be in operation and planned to be in operation.  Vehicles not in service will not be considered.
  • Eligible school buses include 2009 engine model year or older and class 4 school buses.
  • Decision criteria are included in the application.
  • Applicants for funding must use the fillable application form available at:
  • Maine anticipates several application rounds for competitive Appendix D-2 qualifying actions.  Approximately $3 million is expected to be distributed to qualifying proponents during round 2; however, the State of Maine reserves the option to adjust the total distribution based on applications received.

Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) is the lead State agency for Maine’s VW settlement.  If you have any questions, please contact Maine Department of Transportation’s David Gardiner by email at , or visit Maine’s VW settlement website:  for more information.