(On Hold) Free Training, Technical Assistance, Equipment and Materials as Part of Pilot for 3 Public Preschool Programs

The Maine Department of Education will be holding off on this opportunity while we sort out a few remaining logistics. We have taken this notice down for the time being to minimize confusion.

We hope to offer it again very soon. Thank you for your patience.

For more information, contact Nicole Madore at Nicole.madore@maine.gov

Seeking Schools to Participate in “Youth Mindfulness” Opportunity

The Maine DOE has teamed up with OmKids and Radiant Beginnings to offer a 2-hour, in-person training on a video-based mindfulness and stress relief curriculum to support students’ and teachers’ emotional health.  This opportunity is available to a small number of Maine schools that include PreK through grade 5 and are available to implement youth mindfulness during the spring of 2018-19 school year.  Youth mindfulness has been shown to improve attention stability, compassion, and emotional balance when practiced regularly.

In a southern Maine pilot, OmKids and Radiant Beginnings found that implementing program activities for as little as 5 minutes a day for 8 weeks led to:

  • Overall stress reduction (decreased for 94% of students)
  • Emotional distress reduction (decreased for 44% of students)
  • Fewer behavioral difficulties (decreased for 31% of students)
  • Fewer hyperactivity and concentration difficulties (decreased for 63% of students)
  • Fewer difficulties getting along with other children (decreased for 63% of students)

If your school is interested in an opportunity to bring youth mindfulness to your teachers and students, please complete this interest survey for the Maine DOE to review.  The survey will close on March 1.  You will be notified if your school has been chosen to implement youth mindfulness by March 8.

For more information, please contact Sarah Adkins, Student Assistance Coordinator, at sarah.adkins@maine.gov or 624-6685.

 

Professional Development Opportunity: Fostering Musical Early Childhood Classrooms

The Maine Department of Education invites educators to be part of its upcoming professional development opportunity, Fostering Musical Early Childhood Classrooms.

Early Childhood Specialist, Sue Reed, and Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Nate Menifield, are looking for teachers who want to energize their teaching and learning through focusing on music in the public preschool classroom.

Applicants must apply in teams of two: one public preschool teacher and one music teacher from the same district. The music teacher must currently teach at the elementary level.

Under the guidance of early childhood music experts, Catherine Newell and Danielle Collins, teams will work to build a collaborative partnership to ensure that preschool students receive a musical learning experience. Public preschool teachers will become familiar with research regarding why music is important in the preschool classroom; understand how it encompasses multiple early learning standards; and learn how to include music into their daily routines. Music teachers will learn developmentally appropriate pedagogical approaches to teaching music to our youngest learners. Teams will be expected to practice new pedagogy in between sessions and document their experiences. As a culmination of their work, participants will deliver a brief presentation to an audience of their choice.

Participating Teacher Responsibilities:

  • Attend three day-long, face-to-face professional development trainings. All trainings will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Educare, 56 Drummond Ave., Waterville, ME 04901. Dates for trainings are: March 15th, May 23rd, and May 24th.
  • Attend one online check-in support meeting between face-to-face meetings. These meetings will occur between individual teams and the trainers at a mutually convenient time.
  • Develop individual goals for music implementation in your classroom and collaboration with a music teacher.
  • Commit to incorporating music into the preschool schedule on a regular basis.
  • Develop a plan for communicating the importance of music to preschool families.
  • Present a brief presentation on the work to an audience of each team’s choice, and submit a copy of the presentation to the Department of Education.

Compensation:

Each team will receive up to $300 in music supplies (determined by individual need).

To Apply:

Interested parties should fill out and submit an application here by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 28th (only one application is required per team). Applications will be reviewed immediately, and those accepted for participation will be notified by the afternoon of Monday, March 4th.

Please forward all questions to Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Nate Menifield, at nathaniel.j.menifield@maine.gov.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE Kicks off February ‘Read to ME Challenge’ at Young School in Saco

Saco – Maine Department of Education Acting Commissioner A. Pender Makin along with students, educators, and administrators from Young School in Saco officially kicked off the Read to ME Challenge on Monday, February 4, 2019.

In its 4th year running, the Maine Department of Education launches the Read to ME Challenge as way to encourage communities throughout Maine to contribute to children’s literacy growth by reading aloud to one or more children for at least 15 minutes. Part of the challenge is to capture the moment via a photo or video and then post it on social media with the hashtag #ReadtoME and then challenge others to do the same.

At the kick-off event yesterday, Acting Commissioner Makin read Maine author Chris Van Dusen’s, Camping Spree with Mr. McGee to children in kindergarten through 2nd grade at Young School and then challenged the following groups of people to participate in the Read to ME Challenge:

  • All the big kids in the room
  • Maine Educators
  • Community Literacy Teams
  • School Administrators, School Board Members, and Volunteers
  • Maine Librarians
  • Maine Author, Chris Van Dusen
  • State Legislators
  • Local Legislators
  • U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King
  • Governor Janet Mills

See a live stream of the event on the Maine DOE’s Facebook Page.

Schools and organizations throughout the state have joined the challenge so that they too can encourage their community members to read to children and to be part of the collective voice expressing the vital importance that reading to children plays in the social and economic well-being of Maine. See a full list of community partners for the 2019 Read to ME Challenge.

The Read to ME Challenge runs through the month of February leading up Read Across America Day which takes place on March 2. Learn more about being a Read to ME Challenge Partner. For further information about the challenge, contact Danielle Saucier, Early Literacy Specialist, Maine Department of Education at danielle.m.saucier@maine.gov and (207) 624-6702.

 

MEDIA ADVISORY: Maine DOE to Kick-off Read to ME Challenge on February 4th at Young School in Saco

WHAT: To kick off the 4th annual Read to ME Challenge, Maine Department of Education’s Acting Commissioner A. Pender Makin will read to students at the Young School in Saco.  She will follow up her reading by issuing a challenge to others to participate in the 2019 Read to ME Challenge campaign. This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, and to capture that moment via a photo or a video and then post it on social media and challenge others to do the same. The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2019.

WHEN: Monday, February 4, 2019 at 9:00 am

WHERE:
Young School
75 Tasker St., Saco, Maine 04072
Media are asked to check in at the main office upon arrival to sign in, get a badge, and directions to the event.

WHO: Students in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade (ages 5 – 8 years old), their teachers, school and district administrators, and Acting Commissioner A. Pender Makin.

For more information please contact Maine Department of Education’s Director of Communications Rachel Paling at Rachel.paling@maine.gov or (207) 624-6747.