Maine Student Writing Contest: Share About a Teacher

Maine’s County and State Teacher of the Year Association (MCSTOYA) in partnership with the Maine Council for English Language Arts (MCELA) Association have announced their second annual student writing contest. The prompt is “share about a teacher who made a positive difference in your day, week, year, or life.”

To learn more about the writing prompts and rules for this contest, visit at MCELA’s website. The contest closes on December 22, 2023.

Download a flyer that you can print out.

For more information or questions, reach out to Maine County and State Teachers of the Year Association Board Member Heather Webster, and/or Maine Council for English Language Arts President
Patti Forster,

The Telling Room’s Statewide Writing Context is Now Open

The Telling Room’s annual creative Writing Contest invites youth from all over Maine, ages 6 – 18, to show off their writing. This statewide contest runs from mid-October through November each year. A panel of professional writers and youth selects one grand prize winner, a winner from each of Maine’s 16 counties, and submissions are considered for publication in The Telling Room’s annual anthology. Click on the link below for more information about how to submit.


  • The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $250 award, will be published in our spring anthology, and may be published in other publications and media.
  • One County Winner will be selected from each of Maine’s 16 counties. Each County Winner will receive a $50 award, will be published in our spring anthology, and may be published in other publications and media.

Submissions close on November 30, 2022.

For more information and to make a submission visit The Telling Room website.


Two MLTI Student Conference Events Planned for 2024 – Registration Open and T-Shirt Design Contests Begins! 

The Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) Learning Through Technology Team is excited to open the registration and t-shift design contest for the 21stannual MLTI Student Conference events! 

Two separate events are being organized this year, each with a distinctive look and approach. We will be organizing another in-person event this year as well as a virtual event again this year, but we are shaking things up. And, for the first time ever, we are hosting two separate t-shirt design contests! See below for more information about these exciting updates. 

MLTI WinterMLTI Virtual Student Conference, March 7th, 2024 

The Learning Through Technology Team is shaking things up with our MLTI Virtual Student Conference this year! We are excited to announce the MLTI Winter Classic, our fifth Virtual Student Conference. This event will be hosted in March this year to provide a unique and innovative opportunity that is better tailored to school schedules and allows for more flexibility than ever before. Join us in a game-based day of fun! Register now to ensure your team can participate in the MLTI “Winter Classic”! 

This event is open to all school districts in the MLTI program. Registration is free and all materials will be provided. Register prior to January 8th to ensure that your team/classroom receives their materials and MLTI t-shirts before the big day! 

Click here for more information and to register for the MLTI Virtual Student Conference. 

MLTI SpringMLTI In-Person Student Conference, May 23rd, 2024 

Join us again this year for a day of learning through technology at the University of Maine in Orono. We are excited to invite you to “Camp MLTI” the 2024 MLTI In-Person Student Conference in May. This event brings together over a thousand students and educators from all across the state for a day of engaging sessions and activities at Maine’s largest university.  

This event is open to all educators and students, grade 5-10 school districts in the MLTI program. Registration is free and all materials will be provided. Register prior to March 29th, to ensure that your team/classroom receives their materials and MLTI t-shirts before the big day! 

Click here for more information and to register for the MLTI In-Person Student Conference (PDF). 

MLTI Student Conference T-Shirt Design Contests! 

For the first time ever, we are hosting two separate t-shirt design contests! This contest is open to all students in MLTI school districts, grades 5-10. Design the t-shirt that students around the state will wear during the MLTI Student Conferences! The winners will be recognized during the event they were selected for. Submissions for the Virtual Student Conference are due December 15th, and submissions for the In-Person Student Conference are due no later than February 1st. Winners will be announced within two weeks of submission. 

Click here for more information, including the submission guidelines and link to submit. 

For questions about the MLTI Student Conferences, please contact the MLTI Project Manager, Bethany Billinger, 

Semester of Service $1,500 Grants to Support Youth Action

Maine youth have shown they want to take action on things that matter in their community. That is why Volunteer Maine, the state service commission, is offering $1,500 mini-grants to support youth-led projects through its Semester of Service grant program. Applications are due on or before November 2, 2023.

Youth groups in schools, faith communities, service organizations, and nonprofits are eligible to apply and participate. The Semester of Service begins on Martin Luther King Day of Service in January 2024 and ends with National Youth Service Day in April 2024. Proposals that tackle issues related to climate, mental or physical health, and housing are encouraged.“Youth-led” means individuals 17 or younger take the lead in all aspects of the initiative (research, decision-making, design, implementation). Advisors over 18 years old are resources and process facilitators. Youth-leadership is critical because it develops young people’s knowledge, skills and confidence to be catalysts for positive change within their communities.Participating youth groups are asked to learn what Dr. King meant by the “Beloved Community” and reflect on what their actions can contribute to making it a reality in their locale. “The Beloved Community” is a term first coined in the early 20th Century by the philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce, b1855 – d1916. For Dr. King, the Beloved Community was not an altruistic goal but rather a realistic, achievable goal. It could be attained by people working together to end poverty, hunger, homelessness, racism, prejudice, violence, bullying, and other conditions that divide or weaken a community.

Proposals for youth-led projects will be accepted from organizations with youth programs or youth constituents, 17 years old or younger, that are Maine public or private nonprofits, state/county/local units of government, higher ed institutions, faith-based organizations, Indigenous communities, and local schools.

Regardless of the type of youth group, the legal applicant must have an employer identification number (EIN) or taxpayer identification number (TIN) and, if selected, accept responsibility for signing the grant agreement, accounting for grant funds, and submitting a report on the outcomes of the project. Awards will not be made to individuals.

Application instructions and additional information can be found here.

For more information contact Maryalice Crofton, Executive Director of Volunteer Maine at (207) 624-7792 or

About Volunteer Maine
Volunteer Maine, the Maine Commission for Community Service, builds capacity and sustainability in Maine’s volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing volunteer managers and service-learning practitioners, raising awareness of the scope and the impact of the volunteer sector, and encouraging an ethic of service.

Maine DOE Opens 2023/2024 Student Cabinet Application


The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is opening applications for the 2023/2024 Student Cabinet, a group of students that meet regularly with the Maine DOE and each other to discuss educational opportunities, improvements, and policy.

Facilitated by student representatives from the Maine State Board of Education, the purpose of the Student Cabinet is to provide a forum for Maine students’ voices to be heard. This is the fourth year the Maine DOE has appointed students to a Student Cabinet with the goal of integrating student voices into decision-making on education issues that impact their journey through Maine’s education system.

In past years students have helped in identifying mental health needs at school, raised issues of racial equity, and helped brainstorm ways to individualize learning. Last year, the Student Cabinet presented their mental health concerns and ideas to Maine’s Legislative Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs.

The Maine DOE is especially interested in having perspectives from students with diverse experiences, interests, cultures, and backgrounds represented on the Student Cabinet. It is important that the student cabinet include members from all geographical locations across Maine, and who are able to represent and advocate for underrepresented groups of students throughout Maine.

There are 12-24 seats that are open for students in grades 4 – 12 and the first year of college. The newly appointed members will serve for a term of two years starting this November. All 16 counties in Maine will be represented on the Student Cabinet.

Selected cabinet members will be expected to attend scheduled meetings, prepare for each meeting as needed, work in a collaborative manner with one another and with Department staff as needed, and express views and opinions openly, constructively, and respectfully.

Scheduled meetings:
There will be two in-person, all-day meetings scheduled in Augusta in December 2023 and Spring 2024, accompanied by monthly virtual meetings held on the fourth Thursday of the month from December 2023 through the spring of 2024 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm via Zoom. For in-person meetings, travel reimbursement will be provided and travel arrangements can also be made for students if needed.

Instructions for applying:
Students interested in serving on the Maine DOE Student Cabinet will need to submit the electronic application by November 15, 2023Applications can be submitted electronically here.

For more information contact Rachel Paling, Communications & Outreach Manager, Maine Department of Education at