Archive for May, 2011

Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance supports Strout benefit for Wayfinder Schools

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Wayfinder Schools is thrilled that the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance (MWPA) is sponsoring a reading and reception with Pulitzer Prize winning and NY Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout on Sunday, June 5 at The Rockport Opera House. This event, a benefit for Wayfinder Schools, will be held from 4-6pm and will include a reading, wine and hors d’oeuvres, a question and answer session with the author, and a book signing.

Ms. Strout, author of Amy & Isabelle, Abide with Me and Olive Kitteridge, grew up in Portland and now divides her time between Maine and New York. On June 5, she will read from Olive Kitteridge, and will be introduced by fellow Maine writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo. Russo says of Strout, who is currently working on a new novel set in Maine and New York City, “In an age when there seems to be at least ten of everything, Elizabeth Strout is a singular writer. Her clear voice and unsparing vision set her apart, and this, ironically, makes us wish there were more like her.”

The MWPA is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to enrich the cultural life of Maine by supporting writers, publishers, and the literary arts. Founded in 1975, MWPA is the only organization in Maine devoted solely to advancing literature and the writing life and is the largest, per capita, writing organization in the entire United States.
Wayfinder Schools is grateful for the support of MWPA, and their commitment to working with educational and arts organizations throughout Maine. Other generous sponsors of this event include Charles and Julie Cawley, Richard and Mary Jane Schotte, Richard and Barbara Russo, Maine Magazine and Maine Home & Design. Additional support is provided by The Camden Public Library.

Tickets are $25 and are available at Wayfinder Schools and The Owl & Turtle Book Shop. For more information, call Wayfinder Schools at 236-3000, x110, or visit www.wayfinderschools.org. For more information about The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, visit www.mainewriters.org.


Student internships prepare Wayfinder Schools students for the future

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Wayfinder Schools’s Residential Class of 2010 is graduating on May 20, and preparing to head off to college and summer jobs.  One of those graduates is 19 year old Caleb Terry of Bradford, who said of his time at the school, “I didn’t know what to expect when I first came to the school in September. It’s different from public school because the focus is on you as an individual, and on social justice and diversity.  You learn different things, different relationships.  You learn more about yourself, and because of that you understand other cultures.  It’s a good program academically and sociologically.  All of the staff are nice and the whole community helps.  We try to give back.”

One of the ways students give back is through the school’s internship program, which matches students with part-time job placements at area businesses.  While the program benefits local businesses, it also helps students prepare for post-graduation employment.

Terry held three internships this year, working Monday mornings at the Camden Public Library, Tuesday mornings at local radio station WRFR, and Wednesday and Thursdays mornings at the Lincoln Street Arts Center.  Terry said all three internships have helped him build communication skills, learn workplace responsibility, build his resume and graduate with references that will help him in the future.

On a recent Monday morning, we caught up with Terry at the library, where he had just finished helping with a large mailing project for National Library Week.  According to library Deputy Director Jamie Ritter, Terry also helps library staff with everything from sweeping the front walk to cleaning computers, organizing book shelves and helping in the children’s room.  “We’ve really enjoyed Caleb’s help,” Ritter said.  The library has been involved with Wayfinder Schools’s internship program for two years now, and Ritter said, “The students we’ve had have been phenomenal.  It’s just been terrific.”

Terry spoke fondly of all three of his internships, including the opportunity to host his own weekly radio show at WRFR.  Terry said he plays primarily hip-hop, and that his favorite part of his hour long show is developing play lists. “And I get to be on the air.”

Terry hopes to pursue a liberal arts degree at Eastern Maine Community College, and is one of 24 students graduating from Wayfinder Schools this spring.


Camden Public Library supports Strout benefit for Wayfinder Schools

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Wayfinder Schools is thrilled that The Camden Public Library is supporting a reading and reception with Pulitzer Prize winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout on Sunday, June 5 at The Rockport Opera House.  This event, a benefit for Wayfinder Schools, will be held from 4-6pm and will include a reading, wine and hors d’oeuvres, a question and answer session with the author, and a book signing.

Ms. Strout, author of Amy & Isabelle, Abide with Me and Olive Kitteridge, grew up in Portland and now divides her time between Maine and New York.  On June 5, she will read from Olive Kitteridge, and will be introduced by fellow Maine writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo.  Russo says of Strout, who is currently working on a new novel set in Maine and New York City, “In an age when there seems to be at least ten of everything, Elizabeth Strout is a singular writer.  Her clear voice and unsparing vision set her apart, and this, ironically, makes us wish there were more like her.”

Wayfinder Schools has enjoyed a strong community partnership with The Camden Public Library over the years, and is delighted to have their support for this event. For the past two years, Wayfinder Schools students have served as part time interns at the library, which has also served as a key educational and community resource for the school.  Each student holds a library card, and because the library is within walking distance of the school, it has become an important part of daily life for Wayfinder Schools students.

Library Deputy Director Jamie Ritter said, “We have been extremely pleased with our partnership with Wayfinder Schools.  Having students intern at the library is great for us, and knowing that we’re helping to round-out the high school experience for some of Wayfinder Schools students is rewarding.”

Generous sponsors of this event include Charles and Julie Cawley, Richard and Mary Jane Schotte, Richard and Barbara Russo, Maine Magazine and Maine Home & Design.

Tickets are $25 and are available at Wayfinder Schools and The Owl & Turtle Book Shop.  For more information, call Wayfinder Schools at 236-3000, x110, or visit www.wayfinderschools.org.  For more information about The Camden Public Library, visit www.librarycamden.org.


Owl & Turtle Book Shop supports Strout benefit for Wayfinder Schools

Monday, May 16th, 2011

On Sunday, June 5, Wayfinder Schools will host a reading and reception with Pulitzer Prize winning and NY Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout, author of Amy & Isabelle, Abide with Me and Olive Kitteridge. Ms. Strout, who is working on a new novel set in Maine and New York City, will read from Olive Kitteridge.  She will be introduced by fellow Maine writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo.

This event will be held at The Rockport Opera House from 4-6 pm, and will include wine & hors d’oeuvres, a question and answer session with the author, and a book signing table hosted by The Owl and Turtle Book Shop.  The Owl and Turtle will share a portion of all book sale proceeds with Wayfinder Schools.

The Owl and Turtle has long supported Wayfinder Schools events, including past readings with Richard Russo, Dennis Lehane, Anita Shreve, Scott Turow, Linda Greenlaw, and Tess Gerritsen.  Wayfinder Schools is thrilled to have the support of The Owl and Turtle, and Board Chair Barbara Russo said, “This wonderful, small independent book shop is such a vital and vibrant part of our community.  They are everything a book shop should be, and we are pleased to partner with The Owl and Turtle in bringing Elizabeth Strout to Camden.”

This event is generously sponsored by Charles and Julie Cawley, Richard and Mary Jane Schotte, Richard and Barbara Russo, The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, Maine Magazine and Maine Home & Design, with additional support from the Camden Public Library.

Tickets are $25 and are available at Wayfinder Schools and The Owl & Turtle.  All proceeds raised will benefit the tuition assistance fund of Wayfinder Schools.  For more information, call Wayfinder Schools at 236-3000, x110.


Graduation May 20 and June 18!

Monday, May 16th, 2011

This year, Wayfinder Schools will celebrate the largest graduating class in its 38 year history, during three separate graduation ceremonies held in May and June.  On May 20, the Residential Class of 2010 will receive their diplomas at High Mountain Hall in Camden.  One June 11, Washington County Passages students will celebrate at The Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott, and on June 18, mid-coast region Passages students will celebrate at The John Street Methodist Church in Camden.

This year’s Residential Program graduation celebration will begin at 3:30 on Friday, May 20, with a potluck gathering at Wayfinder Schools.  The potluck will be followed by a 5:30 processional through downtown Camden.  At 6:00, students will arrive at High Mountain Hall for their graduation ceremony, and awarding of diplomas.  The mid-coast Passages graduation will be held from 2-4 at The John Street Methodist Church in Camden.  The granting of diplomas will be followed by a pot-luck reception at the church.


Elizabeth Strout at The Rockport Opera House June 5!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

On Sunday, June 5th Wayfinder Schools will host a reading and reception with Pulitzer Prize winning and NY Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout, author of Amy & Isabelle, Abide with Me and Olive Kitteridge. Ms. Strout, who is working on a new novel set in Maine and New York City, will read from Olive Kitteridge.  She will be introduced by fellow Maine writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo.

This event will be held at The Rockport Opera House from 4-6 pm, and will include wine & hors d’oeuvres.  Tickets are $25 and are available at Wayfinder Schools and The Owl & Turtle Book Shop.  All proceeds raised will benefit the tuition assistance fund of Wayfinder Schools.

Generous sponsors of this event include Charles and Julie Cawley, Richard and Mary Jane Schotte, Richard and Barbara Russo, The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, Maine Magazine and Maine Home & Design, with additional support from the Camden Public Library.

For more information, or to order tickets, call Wayfinder Schools at 236-3000, x110.


Growing a new campus

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Dear Friends,

This year, Wayfinder Schools is preparing to graduate its largest class in our 38 year history.  In May and June, we will graduate 24 students from our Passages and Residential programs. This success comes on the heels of two straight years of 100% graduation rates, as well as in ensuring students have developed post-graduation plans.  Last year, 96% of our students were offered employment immediately upon graduation, and 42% were accepted at their college of choice. 

As our programs continue to grow, we have also been exploring a new opportunity that will allow us to further expand our programs in southern regions of the state.  In December of 2010 we signed a Letter of Intent with Opportunity Farm for Boys and Girls, in New Gloucester, ME, to explore a merger of the two organizations.  Upon successful completion of the merger process, Wayfinder Schools will implement its nine-month Residential Program, and its Passages Program for teen parents, in New Gloucester, while continuing to operate both our Camden campus, and our satellite Passages Program in Washington County.

The State of Maine, like others, has a significant number of dropouts a year—students who have not found success in traditional school settings.  Conservative estimates place the national drop-out rate at over 20%; many believe rates in Maine, and elsewhere, are considerably higher.  Thus, we are extremely excited about the prospect of reaching more students than ever before, and helping them to reach their graduation goals.

Our focus on individualized, strengths based education; our focus on relational education and social justice, and our fully integrated curriculum and use of restorative justice practices- are keeping Wayfinder Schools on the cutting edge of alternative education and helping to increase high school graduation rates in Maine. 

Throughout this merger process, we have had the privilege working with an outstanding group of people who are invested in and committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for Maine youth.  We are slated to complete the merger this summer, and to begin operating our programs at Opportunity Farm this fall.  Our new entity, Wayfinder Schools, will continue to provide the excellent academic, life and parenting skills education that have made us so successful over the past 38 years.

We will continue to keep you informed of our growth, and of the merger process, through direct mail, press releases, and our web-site.  This is an exciting time for Wayfinder Schools, and we look forward to sharing our success with you. 

Warmly,

Dot

Dorothy Foote, Ph.D.