Media Release: Maine DOE Releases Thank You Video to Educators with the Help of Special Friends

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) released a Back to School Thank You video just in time for the many teacher in-service days that are taking place all over the state this week, prior to Maine schools welcoming students back into the classroom for the 2019-2020 school year.

View the video: Video can be viewed here or at https://www.maine.gov/doe/thankyou, where you can also find an MP4 available for download, in addition to a closed-captioned version of the video.

The video opens with a message from Maine DOE Commissioner Pender Makin, accompanied by a slide show of images taken in Maine schools all over the state.  Commissioner Makin’s message is followed by a montage of thank you messages from Maine students, Maine’s congressional delegation including Senator Susan Collins, Senator Angus King, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, and Congressman Jared Golden, along with Governor Janet Mills, comedian Tim Sample, author Stephen King, Red Claws Mascot Crusher, Olympian Joan Benoit-Samuelson and Maine DOE staff, all saying thank you to all the dedicated professionals who work in, and on behalf of, Maine schools. We hope all of Maine will take a moment to thank our school employees, and remind them how valued and appreciated they are, as they embark on yet another year of positively impacting the lives of Maine students.

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

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Open House of NEW Maine Department of Education Culinary Classroom

What: Open House and Introduction to NEW Child Nutrition Culinary Classroom
When: Sept 10, 2019 1pm – 4pm
Where: 90 Blossom Lane, 1st floor Deering Building

We are excited to announce and to show off the Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition Team’s first culinary classroom for the School Lunch and Breakfast program, and invite members of the child nutrition/school communities and media outlets to an open house of our new kitchen.  The classroom replicates the kitchens found in our schools, with commercial ovens,  cook tops and other commercial equipment used in school meal preparation.  The modern classroom will have the ability to stream, record and host live audiences for demonstrations, and the Child Nutrition program will use resident chefs to provide additional training to local food service staff.  The kitchen will be able to rotate 30 cooks at time, with both hands-on experience and paperwork management.  Some examples of upcoming classes are: knife skills and maintenance, preparing summer squash, measuring techniques, using USDA foods effectively, and vegan options.  The kitchen will be the host of the annual school cook off contest as well. We are excited by the possibilities and grateful for the amazing space in which we can support our school nutrition programs as they provide healthy meals to Maine’s students.

More information, please contact Walter Beesley at walter.beesley@maine.gov

MEDIA ADVISORY: Education Leaders Convening at UMF for 2nd Annual Teach to Lead Conference

What:

The 2nd annual Powered by Maine Teach to Lead® conference is taking place as a chance for educators and school administrators to network with other leaders throughout the state and to provide participants with the unique opportunity to collaborate with fellow teachers and school administrators on an action plan to accomplish common goals and solve identified issues for the coming school year.

Teach to Lead® is a collaborative statewide effort that unites educators, policy-makers, and the greater community around the common vision that every Maine student will benefit from the purposeful involvement of teacher leaders who collaborate in guiding the continuous improvement of schools and the teaching profession.

Teacher leadership systems can also help state, district, and school leaders capitalize on the talents and insights of teachers currently working in local schools. Over time, infusing teacher leadership roles and opportunities throughout educational systems may help to develop, recruit, and retain a greater and even more effective educator workforce.

Who:

Teacher leaders, principals, superintendents, and other school administrators from around the state, educators from Maine’s Teacher of the Year program, and representatives from Maine Principals Association (MPA), Maine Education Association (MEA), University of Maine at Farmington, and the Maine Department of Education, including Deputy Commissioner Daniel Chuhta.

When:

Friday, August 16th
8:30am to 3:30pm – Remarks from Maine DOE Deputy Commissioner Dan Chuhta will take place just before the lunch break.

Where:

University of Maine at Farmington, North Dining Hall

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

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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