Student Nutrition Continues Beyond School Year with Summer Food Service Program

AUGUSTA — With the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Maine public schools have long offered a nutritious breakfast and lunch meal program to thousands of children in Maine during the school year. With summer right around the corner, it’s time to think about keeping children healthy while school is out. The Summer Food Service Program, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, operates at hundreds of sites across Maine to ensure children get the nutrition they need when school is out.

“The National School Lunch Program is an important lifeline to our students for whom schools are a needed and consistent source for food. The Summer Food Service Program extends the access to food for children who might otherwise find themselves food insecure during the summer months.” Said Maine Department of Education Commissioner Pender Makin.

“We recognize that healthy bodies and healthy minds are needed for learning, and we are committed to assisting schools and communities as they address the needs of the whole child.”

The Summer Food Service Program may be offered statewide in areas or at sites where more than 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced meal benefits under the National School Lunch Program, or where census track data supports the need. Eligible sponsoring organizations include schools, nonprofit residential summer camps, government agencies, and tax-exempt organizations, including faith-based organizations.

In 2018, 123 sponsors participated in the program, serving meals at 450 sites throughout the state. In 2019, these numbers are expected to grow. Sponsors operate open sites in all 16 counties in Maine; anyone 18 and under may come to eat at no cost. To find nearby Summer Meal sites, please visit USDA’s Summer Meal Site Finder website at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks, text “Summer Meals” to 97779 or call Maine 211.

Information is available mid-June.

For more information about the Maine DOE’s Summer Food Service Program, contact adriane.ackroyd@maine.gov, call 624-6726 or visit https://www.maine.gov/doe/schools/nutrition/programs/sfsp.

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In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the Agency ere they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, heard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
The Maine Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, religion, ancestry or national origin.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0051. Maine is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

MEDIA RELEASE: 1200+ Students Attend Annual MLTI Student Conference at UMaine Hosted by Maine DOE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kelli Deveaux (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov

Orono – More than 1200 middle and high school students from schools across Maine gathered today at the University of Maine at Orono for the Maine Department of Education’s Annual Maine Learning Through Technology Initiative (MLTI) Student Conference. The event is held each year to engage students in technology related learning.

The opening of the event featured Abby Sanborn from Sacopee Valley Middle School, in addition to student-led sessions where participants can learn a skill from their peers, and then create something using technology to take back to their schools. This year, in a special surprise for students, mascots from Maine’s public universities were on hand as part of a fun technology challenge and to highlight how a young learner can “apply yourself,” through the university system’s youth development and early college programs.

“Maine’s public universities provide a tremendous and growing number of youth development opportunities on our campuses, at our 4-H camps, and in partnership with local schools,” said Dr. Carol Kim, Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the University of Maine System.  “This year 3,500 Maine high school students earned low and no cost college credit through our early college programs and we will provide enrichment and learning programs for 20,000 Maine youth through our 4-H camps and community programs.”

In a fun and interactive story line, UMaine’s mascot, Bananas, got himself trapped in a virtual world, and needed help!  His friends Augustus, Chompers, Benny, Hootie, Champ- the mascots from University of Maine Augusta, University of Maine Farmington, University of Maine Fort Kent, University of Maine Presque Isle, and University of Southern Maine, respectively- arrived on the scene, but needed the students to assist. Divided into teams, the students all worked collaboratively to solve puzzles and gather keys in order to free Bananas.

In addition to a great experience and new learning, 10 students left with $1,000 scholarships, should they choose to attend University of Maine in the future, and each campus raffled off their own swag bags. Educate Maine got into the mix when 5 more students got cool electronics, and all left with their eyes on future opportunities in Maine.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: 1200+ Students to Attend Annual MLTI Student Conference at UMaine on 5/23; Special Guest Appearances

Orono – More than 1200 middle and high school students from schools across Maine will gather at the University of Maine at Orono on Thursday, May 23rd for the Maine Department of Education’s Annual Maine Learning Through Technology Initiative (MLTI) Student Conference.

WHAT: The Maine Learning Through Technology Initiative (MLTI) Student Conference is a student conference hosted by the Maine DOE annually to engage students in learning related to technology.

WHO: 1200+ students and educators from schools all over Maine, a featured student speaker from Sacopee Valley Middle School, and representatives and volunteers from the Maine DOE and beyond. This year, the conference will also feature mascots from several of the University of Maine System schools (shhhh, it’s a secret!) who are partnering with the Maine DOE to bring an exciting and fun experience to the students.

Please note that there are some students who have asked not to be photographed or filmed – they will be wearing a dark blue name tag. Students who can be filmed will have a light blue name tag on. 

WHERE: University of Maine at Orono, various locations throughout campus – mostly close to the Collins Center (campus map). Here is a parking pass that must be displayed on the dashboard of vehicles parked on campus..

WHEN:

  • Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019
  • Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

ABBREVIATED SCHEDULE:

  • 8:45am: Opening event with student speaker
  • 9:40am: Student-led sessions where participants can learn a skill from their peers and then create something to take back to their schools
  • 11:55am: Lunch (mascots present).
  • 1:10pm: More student led-sessions (mascots present).
  • 2:10pm: The UBER Session – all students will gather in the Collins Center for a session that is largely kept secret until the day of the event (mascots present).

Get the full schedule here.

The Maine Department of Education and the University of Maine System invite the media to attend this exciting and fun event. For further information, please contact Kelli Deveaux, Maine DOE Director of Communications at kelli.deveaux@maine.gov or (207) 624-6747.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Reminder – Maine DOE to Announce Maine County Teachers of the Year May 9, 2019

What:
15 Maine teachers will be announced and honored as part of the Maine Department of Education’s annual Maine County Teachers of the Year awards. The teachers were nominated by a member of their community, underwent a rigorous application process, and were chosen by a panel of teachers, principals and business community members.

Maine county teachers of the year serve as ambassadors for teachers, students, and quality education state-wide. The Maine County Teachers of the Year are available to make presentations to local and regional organizations. Through the summer, they will continue to participate in an intensive State Teacher of the Year selection process.

Who:
15 Maine teachers, representing 15 of 16 counties* Maine Department of Education Commissioner, Pender Makin; Executive Director of Educate Maine, Ed Cervone; State Board of Education, Wilson Hess; and 2019 Teacher of the Year, Joseph Hennessey.
*Lincoln County did not have a nominee who both met the criteria and engaged in the application process.

Where:
Hall of Flags, Maine State Capitol

When:
Thursday, May 9, 2018 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm

For more information contact Maine DOE Director of Communications, Kelli Deveaux at (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Maine DOE to Announce Maine County Teachers of the Year May 9, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kelli Deveaux (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov

MEDIA ADVISORY: 2019 Maine County Teachers of the Year to be Announced May 9th

What:
15 Maine teachers will be announced and honored as part of the Maine Department of Education’s annual Maine County Teachers of the Year awards. The teachers were nominated by a member of their community, underwent a rigorous application process, and were chosen by a panel of teachers, principals and business community members.

Maine county teachers of the year serve as ambassadors for teachers, students, and quality education state-wide. The Maine County Teachers of the Year are available to make presentations to local and regional organizations. Through the summer, they will continue to participate in an intensive State Teacher of the Year selection process.

Who:
15 Maine teachers, representing 15 of 16 counties* Maine Department of Education Commissioner, Pender Makin; Executive Director of Educate Maine, Ed Cervone; State Board of Education, Wilson Hess; and 2019 Teacher of the Year, Joseph Hennessey.
*Lincoln County did not have a nominee who both met the criteria and engaged in the application process.

Where:
Hall of Flags, Maine State Capitol

When:
Thursday, May 9, 2018 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm

For more information contact Maine DOE Director of Communications, Kelli Deveaux at (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov.