Read to ME Challenge Kicks Off This Week

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce that Commissioner Pender Makin will kick off the 8th annual Read to ME Challenge on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. You can watch a live stream of the event on the Maine DOE YouTube Channel.

The Read to ME Challenge is a month-long public awareness campaign held in February to promote childhood literacy in Maine. The challenge is an opportunity to promote children’s literacy growth by reading aloud to one or more children for at least 15 minutes. Part of the challenge is capturing the moment via a photo or video and then posting it on social media (with the hashtag #ReadtoME and tag the Maine DOE at @mdoenews on Twitter and @MaineDepartmentofEducation1 on Facebook! Keep watching the Maine DOE social media sites to see who has accepted the challenge of sharing the joy of reading with a child.

The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February, leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2023. Learn more about the Read to ME Challenge on the Maine DOE Website. If you have a school or community organization that plans on participating in this challenge, please let us know by signing up at this link.

Download a promotional flyer here (PDF).

For more information, contact Dee Saucier (, Inclusive Education Literacy Specialist for the Maine DOE Office of Special Services and Inclusive Education.

Maine Alternative Education Association Spring Conference to Be Held March 10 at Thomas

The 2023 Alternative Education Association (AEA) of Maine’s Spring Conference will take place at Thomas College on March 10th from 8:30-2:30. AEA will offer six contact hours for participants of this conference.

If interested, please take a moment to fill out the Choices for Conference Presentation form, which will help the AEA define the topics that will be presented at the conference.

If you are ready to register for the conference, please submit the Conference Registration Form – all individuals must fill out the form, even if multiple people are attending from one school district.  Step two of the registration process is to print out the AEA of Maine Conference Invoice and send it to Dawn Matthews with your payment. (address and conference information is on the form) If you have already paid your dues for the Association this year, you DO NOT need to do Step 2. If you are not sure, send Dawn an email at

For further information and questions about the conference reach out to Lenny Holmes Leonard Holmes at

The Mission of the Alternative Education Association of Maine is to provide support, guidance and direction to Maine Alternative Educators and the students they serve. The AEA’s purpose is to be an advocate and provide resources for all those in Maine who are involved in Alternative Education. Learn more about AEA here.


2023 Mitchell Scholarship Application Open

The 2023 Mitchell Scholarship online application is now open until April 1. You can find the application link, requirements, and a few additional college and scholarship resources on the Mitchell Institute’s web site.

New for the 2023 Mitchell Scholarship application season!

The Mitchell Institute is pleased to announce an expanded commitment to increasing college access for Maine students. In addition to the longstanding commitment of awarding at least one $10,000 scholarship annually to a graduating student from each of the 135 public high schools in Maine, the Institute will award 20 more scholarships across the state, bringing its annual total to $1.55M in support for the class of 2023 Mitchell Scholars. Visit this site more information: The 2023 Mitchell Scholarship Application is Now Open

In addition to the $10,000 scholarship that the Mitchell Institute will award to a graduating student from every public high school in the state, they provide numerous resources and programs for Mitchell Scholars:

  • Leadership and career development events
  • Access to a wide array of professional networks
  • Customized career advising and personal support through individual meetings with Mitchell Institute staff and community members
  • Fellowship Awards of up to $1,500 to support internships and personal/professional growth opportunities
  • Emergency financial assistance for unexpected financial challenges

Mitchell Scholarships are awarded to students planning to attend two- or four-year degree programs at colleges either in- or out-of-state. Candidates are evaluated based on the following criteria: academics, community impact, and financial need. Please encourage any graduating college-bound students from Maine’s public high schools to apply before the April 1 deadline.

For more information, contact the Mitchell Institute at or (207) 773-7700. Click here to subscribe an e-newsletter that offers a monthly roundup of news: The Mitchell Institute Update

WEBINAR: Functional Communication – More Than Just a New App!

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to present “Functional Communication: More than just a new app!”

Please join us on February 1st from 3:30-5:00 pm for a free virtual workshop presented by Fran Bodkin, MA CCC-SLP, in order to support all school personnel in understanding students with communication needs. Communication is vital to participating in society at all levels; school, home and community. Students who have difficulty expressing themselves and getting their needs met frequently experience frustration and may exhibit interfering behaviors in attempting to communicate what they need and want.

In this presentation you will learn:

  • How functional communication impacts students across settings
  • What is a functional communication evaluation and who can do one?
  • How to seek an evaluation or alternate supports
  • Different levels of assistive technology to support communication
  • How you can support students across settings
  • How to help students reach their full potential
  • How to leverage communication to support positive behaviors
  • How to have fun with communication!

1.5 contact hours will be offered to participants of this webinar.

Register here.

For more information contact Erin Frazier at