MEDIA RELEASE: Governor Mills Proclaims April 2021 as National Poetry Month

Governor Janet T. Mills has proclaimed April 2021 National Poetry Month in the State of Maine, marking the importance of poetry in education and the everyday lives of our citizens.

“National Poetry Month brings us together as readers and writers, whether at home, in classrooms, bookstores, or libraries throughout our nation,” said Governor Janet T. Mills as part of the official proclamation. “Poetry illuminates hope in our darkest hours, gives voice to our struggles, brings inspiration to our triumphs, and is a gift of expression that transcends our personal experience to unite us in words.”

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) joins Governor Mills and our partners throughout the state this month by promoting and participating in activities that support schools in using poetry as a tool and a topic for instruction.

“Poetry is often taught as a stand-alone unit of study, yet the power of poetry is in its versatility by virtue of form and precision, and could be included in every unit of study all year long,” said Morgan Dunton, Maine DOE English Language Arts Specialist. “Regular engagement with poems, long or short, contemporary or historical, provides an opportunity to better understand complex texts.”

With a theme of “Normalize Poetry in Your Classroom” the Maine DOE has collaborated on poetry themed events and opportunities in April including:

How We Do It: Inspiring Students to Write and Publish 
The Telling Room hosted a conversation with educators about their experience supporting and encouraging educators to write stories and poems. They discussed their recent collection of youth poems called, “A New Land” and share resources you can use in your classroom.  Download the collection here. Learn more and access their educator toolkit.

Spend an evening with Maine Poet Gary Lawless 
Hosted by the Maine Council of English Language Arts. Lawless is a poet who has authored 21 collections of poems. He is also the co-owner of Gulf of Maine Books, a book editor, and publisher. Thursday, April 8th, 7pm: Click here to register.

Normalize Poetry: Teach Poetry in Every Unit 
Many of us teach a poetry unit each year, but that is just not enough. Poetry is a fabulous tool for teaching the fine art of language use in every instructional unit. Maine DOE ELA Specialist Morgan Dunton will demonstrate methods of teaching grammar, usage, mechanics, and appreciation of the poetic form to enhance reading, speaking, and writing skills. Thursday, April 15th, 3:30 pm. Click here to register.

In concluding the official proclamation, Governor Mills writes, “I urge all Maine citizens to celebrate the creativity of poets and the indelible marks their words leave upon the pages of our shared humanity by reading and writing poetry.”

Find additional information, events, and resources to celebrate and appreciate the beauty of poetry all month on the Maine DOE Website. For further questions about poetry in curriculum or the Department’s efforts for poetry month, please contact Maine DOE English Language Arts (ELA) Specialist Morgan Dunton at morgan.dunton@maine.gov.

Bangor High School Students Record Themselves Reading Aloud for Elementary School Remote Learners

Bangor High School Student Council members recorded a selection of the 2020-2021 nominee picture books for the annual Chickadee Awards. This project was completed for Bangor elementary children learning remotely so that they might hear and enjoy the read aloud books from home.

Learn more about the project and see the recorded readings here

Thank you to the Bangor High School students for sharing the love of reading with younger students!

Information for this article was provided by the Bangor School Department as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea, email it to Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

 

Read to ME Challenge Student Video Reading, “The Bridge Home”

To help kick off the Read to Me Challenge this month, the Maine DOE is posting videos of Maine students reading a book of their choosing each day in the first week of February. Some of the first set of videos are brought to you from members of the Maine DOE Student Cabinet along with other students from across Maine.

Today we are sharing a video created by Leela Hidier, a Cumberland County representative on the Maine DOE Student Cabinet. She is reading The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman.

Reading aloud to children is one of the most cost effective and highly beneficial methods of building children’s literate abilities. The simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement. Reading aloud exposes children to the world around them, helps them see reading as an enjoyable and valuable activity and often strengthens bonds with trusted adults.

The remaining student video readings will be released in the Maine DOE Newsroom an on the official Maine DOE Facebook and Twitter pages each day this week.

The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February, leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2021. Learn more about the Read to ME Challenge on the Maine DOE Website, which includes a heat map of participants and an opportunity to submit your Read to ME story for the heat map!

If you would like to request the videos be sent to you directly, please complete this form. If you would like to submit a video or for more information, contact Dee Saucier, Elementary Literacy Specialist for the Maine DOE.

Read to ME Challenge Student Video Reading, “Henry and the Yeti”

To help kick off the Read to Me Challenge this month, the Maine DOE is posting videos of Maine students reading a book of their choosing each day in the first week of February. Some of the first set of videos are brought to you from members of the Maine DOE Student Cabinet along with other students from across Maine.

Today we are sharing a video created by Graham Stoughton, a Knox County Representative on the Maine DOE Student Cabinet. He is reading, “Henry and the Yeti” by Russell Ayto.

Reading aloud to children is one of the most cost effective and highly beneficial methods of building children’s literate abilities. The simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement. Reading aloud exposes children to the world around them, helps them see reading as an enjoyable and valuable activity and often strengthens bonds with trusted adults.

The remaining student video readings will be released in the Maine DOE Newsroom an on the official Maine DOE Facebook and Twitter pages each day this week.

The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February, leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2021. Learn more about the Read to ME Challenge on the Maine DOE Website, which includes a heat map of participants and an opportunity to submit your Read to ME story for the heat map!

If you would like to request the videos be sent to you directly, please complete this form. If you would like to submit a video or for more information, contact Dee Saucier, Elementary Literacy Specialist for the Maine DOE.

Read to ME Challenge Student Video Reading, “A Piglet Named Mercy”

To help kick off the Read to Me Challenge this month, the Maine DOE is posting videos of Maine students reading a book of their choosing each day in the first week of February. Some of the first set of videos are brought to you from members of the Maine DOE Student Cabinet along with other students from across Maine.

Today we are sharing a video created by Sophie Eleanor Yates-Paul, a Lincoln County representative on the Maine DOE Student Cabinet. She is reading, “A Piglet Named Mercy” by Kate DiCamillo.

Reading aloud to children is one of the most cost effective and highly beneficial methods of building children’s literate abilities. The simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement. Reading aloud exposes children to the world around them, helps them see reading as an enjoyable and valuable activity and often strengthens bonds with trusted adults.

The remaining student video readings will be released in the Maine DOE Newsroom an on the official Maine DOE Facebook and Twitter pages each day this week.

The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February, leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2021. Learn more about the Read to ME Challenge on the Maine DOE Website, which includes a heat map of participants and an opportunity to submit your Read to ME story for the heat map!

If you would like to request the videos be sent to you directly, please complete this form. If you would like to submit a video or for more information, contact Dee Saucier, Elementary Literacy Specialist for the Maine DOE.