Get Ready to Read! Celebrate the Read to ME Challenge During the Month of February

For the 7th year, the Maine Department of Education will collaborate with community organizations and schools to support the Read to ME Challenge, a month-long public awareness campaign held in February to promote the importance of literacy across the curriculum for all of Maine’s students, regardless of age.

This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, capture that moment via a photo or a video, and then post it on social media and challenge others to do the same. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ReadtoME and tag the Maine DOE at @mdoenews on Twitter, @MaineDepartmentofEducation1 on Facebook, and @mainedepted on Instagram! Capturing the power of reading and talking about any type of text with children and youth of any age promotes life-long habits essential for being a literate citizen.

The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February, leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2022. The Maine DOE will be kicking off the Read to ME Challenge this year on February 1st with the Commissioner doing a special reading – more information will be forthcoming via the Maine DOE Newsroom.

For more information, contact Dee Saucier, Elementary Literacy Specialist for the Maine DOE.

 

 

Foreign Language Association of Maine Accepting Nominations For ESOL Teacher of the Year and World Languages Teacher of the Year

The Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME) is now accepting nominations for two awards to celebrate excellence in language teaching – English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Teacher of the Year and World Languages Teacher of the Year!

Do you know a language teacher who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, innovation, passion, and a strong commitment to advocacy and equity? FLAME welcomes you to nominate them so they can be recognized by their peers and school communities.

Submit nominations by following the links below. Nominations will be accepted until February 11th:

The awards will be presented at the FLAME Conference, which is to be held virtually this year on March 11th and 12th.

If you have any questions, contact April Perkins, World Languages & ESOL/Bilingual Programs Specialist and FLAME Board Member, at april.perkins@maine.gov.

Computer Science Professional Development Grant Application

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce the opening of the second round of the Computer Science Professional Development Grant! 

Maine’s 130th legislature, through L.D. 127: Resolve, To Establish a Pilot Program To Provide Grants for Professional Development in Computer Science Instruction. Sponsored by Senator Pouliot, the bill created a pilot grant program to provide funding for high-quality, teacher-developed or teacher-led professional development for PK-12 computer science pedagogy and content. The first round of grants were awarded in the fall and now the spring window to apply is here! 

Priority will be given to applicants that: 

  • are located in one (or more) of the following counties where no awards were made in the first application round: Sagadahoc, York, Piscataquis, Aroostook, Somerset, Washington, Oxford, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Androscoggin, Franklin, and Kennebec. 
  • do not currently offer computer science learning opportunities; 
  • serve socioeconomically disadvantaged school districts; 
  • prioritize student populations traditionally underrepresented in computer science; 
  • demonstrate a commitment to pursuing high-quality educator professional development that emphasizes integration of computer science into other course work and curricula or establishes or expands access to courses that offer college credit and other certificates of value, or both; and 
  • collaborate or partner with other entities, including but not limited to other local education agencies, the business community, nonprofit organizations and private entities. 

The fall application window opens Friday, January 28th, 2022 and closes February 11th, 2022. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. All applicants will be notified of their application status within two weeks of the application deadline.  

There is no limit to the grant amount awarded per applicant; however, funds will be dispersed equitably across all applications based on county and throughout PK-12. 

Have questions? Want to learn more? We are hosting three informational sessions, January 31st, February 2nd, and February 8th. 

Interested in applying? Check out our website to register for an informational session, learn more about the grant, and submit an application.  

Need assistance applying? contact Emma-Marie Banks, Computer Science Specialist & Secondary Digital Learning Specialist emma-marie.banks@maine.gov. 

SOS to Spring – Social Emotional Intelligence Series for Maine’s Education Workforce

The Maine Department of Education’s Office of School and Student Supports invites ALL educators to SOS to Spring starting Feb. 3rd.  Our SOS (Supporting our Staff) Platform was first introduced in November 2021, and if educators have not had the opportunity to explore its modules, we’re here to spring you forward and to reignite your own Adult SEL (Social Emotional Learning) skills.  Educators are invited to chart their own course and to choose modules from the Adult, Social Emotional Intelligence site, OR our SEL Specialist Kellie Bailey has selected six high-leverage modules for interested participants.  Those selected modules are as follows:

  • Feb. 3rd – I Wasn’t Trained for This!
  • Feb. 17th – Up Against the Clock Adult Wellness
  • March 3rd – De-Stress for Success
  • March 17th – What is Compassion Fatigue, and Do I Have It?
  • April 7th – A Mental Balancing Act
  • April 28th – Choosing to Be Grateful and Optimistic: A Lesson in Mindfulness

SEL Specialist Kellie Bailey will lead the six-part series – focused on reflection of the assigned module and applying the learning.  Sessions will run from 4:00-4:45; HOWEVER, if you do not have time to watch the module ahead of time, log onto the zoom at 3:45pm for each session and watch it with our DOE team!

If educators choose to chart their own course, simply track your modules and send your documentation to us – kellie.bailey@maine.gov.  We’re all in this together – make the time to tend to YOU!

Registration link

Participants do need to register on the SOS page if educators are not already registered for SEL4ME (takes two seconds!): SOS/SEL4ME Registration

For more information contact Kellie D. Bailey, Maine DOE Social Emotional Behavioral Learning Specialist at Kellie.Bailey@maine.gov.

FORUM: Emotional Well-Being During a Pandemic

Sponsored by Maine Community Action Partnership (MeCAP), this is a forum, open to all and at no charge, to connect and explore coping strategies.

Panelists:

  • Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of Maine Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Eric Eisele, E-COVID Project Director, Office of Behavioral Health, Maine Department for Health and Human Services (DHHS)
  • Arabella Pares, Trauma Informed Certificate Coordinator, University of New England (UNE)
  • Abigail Young, Junior at Ellsworth High School

Thursday, January 27, 6:00pm – 7:15pm

Register here

For more information, contact MeCAP: https://mecap.org