Bangor High School Civil Rights Team Creates Calendars to help Celebrate Diverse History and Culture 

Bangor High School’s Civil Rights Team has been hard at work this year, collecting materials to help their community celebrate African American History Month, Women’s History Month, and beyond. They recently created several calendars of content, including picture book read aloud stories to help elevate and celebrate diverse stories and cultures.  

To put the calendars together, the group researched other calendars featuring content relating to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and content that would align to the mission of the Civil Rights Team Project 

“When it came to the ‘Celebrating Black Stories’ calendar, we looked specifically for videos featuring the author or illustrator doing the read aloud as a way of preserving authenticity,” said Stephanie Hendrix, English Teacher and the Civil Rights Team Advisor at Bangor High School. “We also looked at a number of different book lists for recommendations, and we paid close attention to the Coretta Scott King award winners.” 

The information was collected from various sources in the hopes of creating resources that are user friendly for teachers and students in their school community, to help them think and talk about issues related to race and skin color, national origin and ancestry, disability, and gender. 

Here are a few of the February and March calendars but the group has calendars for the other months as well: 

PDF versions of the calendars and other relevant activates to help celebrate:

“The students on my team and I understand how important it is that everyone feels safe and welcome in our school community, and one way we can help people feel not only included, but also celebrated, is by finding opportunities for them to be seen – whether through the stories we read and bring into the classroom, the poems we share that speak to the human experience, or the calendar events that help us understand that our normal may not be everyone else’s normal,” said Hendrix. “Ultimately, we don’t know what we don’t know, and the research that the Civil Rights Team has been doing to collect and curate these materials has helped us all learn more about just how diverse our school community is and just how important it is to see and celebrate everyone’s complex humanity.” 

To learn more about starting a Civil Rights Team in a Maine school, visit the Maine Attorney General’s website or reach out to Project Director Brandon Baldwin at brandon.baldwin@maine.gov or sign up for their newsletter To get copies of the other calendars, reach out to Stephanie Hendrix at shendrix@bangorschools.net.

Sign up for Civil Rights Team Project Newsletter

Administered by the Office of the Maine Attorney General, the mission of the Civil Rights Team Project is to increase the safety of elementary, middle level, and high school students by reducing bias-motivated behaviors and harassment in our schools.

The Civil Rights Team Project recently revamped their newsletter to broaden their reach to Maine schools and community across Maine.

See the latest Issue: Winter 2021-2022 Issue of The Torch

To sign up to receive the newsletter email:

Kathryn Caulfield, Project Assistant, kathryn.caulfield@maine.gov

Or

Brandon Baldwin, Project Director, brandon.baldwin@maine.gov

For more information about the Civil Rights Team Project, visit their website.

 

Webinar Regarding Education and Afghan Newcomers: Keeping the Promise

The U.S. Department’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) in collaboration with the Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) invites you to a webinar that will provide information about ORR’s process for placing and supporting Afghan refugees in the context of the U.S. educational system.

The webinar will also feature representatives from the Office for Civil Rights, (OCR) and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). The panelists will discuss how to coordinate resources to provide wrap-around services and offer information about Federal support that will be explained in a forthcoming Dear Colleague Letter.

All state and local education personnel including superintendents, Title III Directors, teachers, and others who are involved in the work of welcoming our Afghan newcomers are invited to join on January 24, 2022, for an engaging and informative session.

Date: January 24, 2022,

Time: 4:00 pm Eastern Time

Register Here

Professional Development Series with Liz Kleinrock, nationally-recognized author with Teaching Tolerance on Anti-racist and Anti-bias Education.

Are you interested in learning about anti-racist and anti-bias education? If so, register for this no-cost training with Liz Kleinrock, the anti-racist and anti-bias educator who won the 2018 Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Equity. She will share her expertise about having difficult conversations in the classroom about race and ethnicity. Don’t miss this three-part professional development series, to how “Education is Everywhere” (2019 Ted Talk).

Sponsored by the Maine County and State Teachers of the Year Association, this series is offered at no cost.

When:

  • Session 1: February 8, 2022, 7-8:15 pm
  • Session 2: March 15, 2022, 7-8:15 pm
  • Session 3: April 5th, 2022, 7-8 pm.

Where: Zoom (a link will be sent to registrants prior to sessions).

To receive four contact hours, please commit to all three sessions.

Register here

School Civil Rights Teams Across Maine Celebrate Inclusion and Belonging on Annual ‘Day of Welcome’

Civil rights teams across Maine were invited to participate in the Civil Rights Team Project’s annual “Day of Welcome” held on November 5, 2021. The event was a chance for students to celebrate and promote the idea that their school community is for everyone.

The Day of Welcome is coordinated by the Civil Rights Team Project in the Maine Office of the Attorney General. The Project, now in its 26th year, is a school-based preventative program that aims to increase the safety of students by reducing bias-motivated behaviors and harassment in schools. There are currently 207 participating schools with student-led civil rights teams.

The Day of Welcome has been celebrated for the past three years and invites civil rights teams to create an inclusively welcoming sign, banner, or display stating: We welcome everyone. All races and skin colors, all national origins and ancestries, all religions, all disabilities, all genders (identity and expression), and all sexual orientations. Students were challenged to create the display using imagination, innovation, creativity, and teamwork.

“For 25 years, the Civil Rights Team Project has been working with school communities to foster an environment of inclusion and respect based on their or their loved ones’ identities,” said Attorney General Aaron M. Frey. “I celebrate their work and congratulate them and every Civil Rights Team in the state for making their school communities a better place, and I applaud their work on this year’s Day of Welcome.”

Participating teams also organized welcoming activities for the event, displaying and promoting their signs and inviting others to connect, participate, and celebrate their school community’s commitment to inclusivity and belonging.

Here are a few things students from the MSAD 60 Civil Rights Team had to say about the Day of Welcome and the work of school Civil Rights Teams:

“For some people, small gestures can make them feel more comfortable.” — Ella

“It’s important to show that we care, so that those who don’t usually feel welcome feel welcome.” — Griffin

“A Civil Rights Team is important to shed light on what is happening in school.” — Caelum

“People know that other people support them. We’re bringing together people who have gone through the same things.” — Ariana

Check out the creativity and passion in these Day of Welcome signs created by Maine students:

“All of us, working together, can make a powerful statement and enlist school and statewide support for our work,” said Brandon Baldwin, Director of the Civil Rights Team Project in a message to civil rights teams about the Day of Welcome.

Thank you to Maine News Media Outlets who reported on the Day of Welcome activities:

A HUGE thank you to all the Maine schools who are currently participating in the Civil Rights Team Project:

Alton Elementary School Madison Elementary School
Amanda C. Rowe Elementary School Madison Junior High School
Ames Elementary School Manchester School
Auburn Middle School Maranacook Community High School
Bangor High School Maranacook Middle School
Bath Middle School Margaret Chase Smith School
Belfast Area High School Marshwood Great Works School
Biddeford High School Marshwood High School
Biddeford Intermediate School Marshwood Middle School
Biddeford Middle School Mast Landing School
Bloomfield Elementary School Mattanawcook Academy
Bonny Eagle High School Memorial Middle School
Bonny Eagle Middle School Messalonskee Middle School
Bowdoinham Community School Middle School of the Kennebunks
Brewer High School Minot Consolidated School
Bristol Consolidated School Molly Ockett Middle School
Brooklin School Morse High School
Brooksville Elementary School Mount Desert Island High School
Brownville Elementary School Mount View Elementary School
Bruce M. Whittier Middle School Mount View High School
Brunswick High School Mountain Valley High School
Brunswick Jr. High School Mountain Valley Middle School
Buckfield Jr.-Sr. High School Mt. Ararat High School
Bucksport Middle School Mt. Ararat Middle School
Buxton Center Elementary School Mt. Blue High School
Camden Hills Regional High School Mt. Blue Middle School
Cape Elizabeth Middle School Narragansett Elementary School
Captain Albert W. Stevens School Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School
Caravel Middle School Noble High School
Central High School Noble Middle School
Central School Nokomis Regional High School
Cheverus High School Oak Hill High School
China Middle School Oak Hill Middle School
Coastal Ridge Elementary School Oceanside High School
Congin Elementary School Old Orchard Beach High School
Conners Emerson School Old Town Elementary School
Cony Middle/High School Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School
Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School Palermo Consolidated School
Deer Isle-Stonington High School Park Avenue School
Deering High School Penquis Valley Middle School
Dirigo High School Philip W. Sugg Middle School
Dora L. Small Elementary School Piscataquis Community Secondary School
Durham Community School Poland Regional High School
East Auburn Community School Pond Cove Elementary
East End Community School Portland High School
Eastport Elementary School Pownal Elementary School
Eliot Elementary School Presque Isle High School
Elm Street Elementary School Presumpscot Elementary School
Etna Dixmont School (ES) Raymond A. Geiger Elementary School
Falmouth Elementary School Reeds Brook Middle School
Falmouth High School Richmond High School
Falmouth Middle School Richmond Middle School
Farwell Elementary School Robert V. Connors Elementary School
Foxcroft Academy Robert W. Traip Academy
Frank H. Harrison Middle School Sacopee Valley High School
Frank I. Brown Elementary School Sacopee Valley Middle School
Freeport High School Samuel L. Wagner Middle School
Freeport Middle School Sanford High School
Gardiner Area High School Sanford Middle School
Gardiner Regional Middle School Scarborough Middle School
George B. Weatherbee School Searsport District High School
Gerald E. Talbot School Searsport District Middle School
Glenburn School Searsport Elementary School
Gorham High School Sedgwick Elementary School
Gorham Middle School SeDoMoCha Middle School
Gray-New Gloucester High School Shapleigh School
Gray-New Gloucester Middle School Shead High School
Great Falls Elementary School Sherwood Heights Elementary School
Greely High School Skowhegan Area High School
Greely Middle School (4-5) Skowhegan Area Middle School
Greely Middle School (6-8) South Bristol Elementary School
Hall-Dale High School Spruce Mountain High School
Hall-Dale Middle School St. George School
Hampden Academy Stevens Brook Elementary School
Harpswell Coastal Academy, Division 1 Sumner Memorial High School
Harrison Lyseth Elementary School T.W. Kelly Dirigo Middle School
Helena Dyer Elementary School Telstar High School
Hermon High School Thomas J. McMahon Elementary School
Hodgdon Middle/High School Thornton Academy
Holbrook Middle School Thornton Academy Middle School
Holden Elementary School Troy Howard Middle School
Hope Elementary School Valley Rivers Middle School/FKCHS
Horace Mitchell Primary School Veazie Community School
Houlton Middle/High School Village Elementary School
Howard C. Reiche Community School Walton School
James F. Doughty School Warsaw Middle School
John Bapst Memorial High School Washburn District High School
Jordan-Small Middle School Washburn Elementary School
Kennebunk High School Washington Academy
Kennebunkport Consolidated School Wells High School
Kermit S. Nickerson School Westbrook High School
Kingfield Elementary School Westbrook Middle School
Lake Region High School William S. Cohen School
Lake Region Middle School Windham High School
Lawrence High School Windham Middle School
Lebanon Elementary School Winslow High School
Lee Academy Winslow Junior High School
Leonard Middle School Winthrop High School
Leroy H. Smith School Winthrop Middle School
Lewiston Middle School Wiscasset Middle School
Lisbon Community School Woodland Jr.-Sr. High School
Loranger Memorial School Yarmouth High School
Madawaska Elementary School York High School
Madison Area Memorial High School

Any school in Maine with students in grades 3-12 can start a civil rights team with free resources, structure, and support through the Maine Office of the Attorney General. For more information visit their website or contact Brandon Baldwin, Director of the
Civil Rights Team Project at Brandon.Baldwin@maine.gov.