[The Portland Press Herald] Briefs

KENNEBUNK Senior selected as MPA’s Principal Award recipient Kennebunk High School senior Chloe Matthews has been selected as the winner of the 2022-2023 Maine Principals Association Principal’s Award, given annually to a senior from each high school who displays excellence in academic achievement and citizenship. Kennebunk High School principal Jeremie Sirois said he immediately thought of Matthews as a recipient for the award, noting her kindness and compassion. “When she moves on to her next adventure, it will be a tremendous loss for Kennebunk High School,” said Sirois, who added, “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.” Matthews has achieved academic success throughout her career, having excelled in many baccalaureate, post-secondary, honors, and college-level classes. She is a two-sport athlete participating in swimming and lacrosse. Matthews also is a member of the National Art Honor Society, Peer Helpers, Yearbook, Girl Talk, and is an intern in the Athletic Department. Matthews plans to attend Union College in New York and major in marketing and visual arts, while also competing on the swim team. Matthews and other Maine high school recipients of this award will be honored at the Maine Principals’ Association banquet on April 1. Each recipient is eligible for one of several $1,000 scholarships.

SCARBOROUGH Library gets grant to improve access for English language learners Scarborough Public Library has received a $5,000 grant from the Maine Public Library Fund to improve library access for non-English speakers, specifically targeting new Mainers. The purpose of this grant is to encourage and support innovation in the creation and expansion of library services. The library’s goal is to remove barriers and enable new Mainers of all ages to use the library and its resources confidently and to connect them with much needed community and social services. Grant funds will also enable the library to embed ReciteMe accessibility software into its newsletters and website. ReciteME enables translations, editing fonts (including open-dyslexic), and reading aides such as the reading ruler and screen reader. The grant will be used to translate pamphlets highlighting library services, including important information about services offered, the print and digital collections, library programs, and instructions on obtaining a library card. The library is building a print collection intended for new Mainers that includes reference materials and books from the I’m Your Neighbor Welcoming Library, an all-ages collection designed to develop empathy, cultural competency, a sense of belonging, and is accessible to people of all ages and most English language abilities. The library offers a weekly English Language Learning class and is planning an Introduction to Library Services workshop. The ELL class is held in partnership with USM and Scarborough Adult Education. The Introduction to Library Services will be held with translators from Language Partners working alongside library staff and will introduce participants to the resources available to them, help them get library cards, and experience a tutorial on how to use the website and accessibility tools. For more details, call the library at 396-6279.

AUGUSTA Students honored for national choir appearances Sen. Stacy Brenner, D-Scarborough, recognized Scarborough High School students Livie Richard and Adriana Ramirez on Feb. 14 during their visit to the Maine State Capitol, where they sang the National Anthem on the Senate floor. Richard and Ramirez were two of nine Maine students selected to sing in the All-National Honor Ensemble Choir in Washington, D.C. in November last year. To recognize their achievement, Sen. Brenner invited them both to the State House to sing members of the Senate. Sen. Brenner also presented the pair with legislative sentiments to congratulate them on their accomplishments. “I’m very proud that these two talented students are up-and-coming performing artists from the great state of Maine,” Sen. Brenner said. “Such an accomplishment is a testament to their discipline, hard work, talent, and dedication. But, it is also a testament to their passion and love of music, which is inspiring to watch come to fruition.”

AUGUSTA $30,000 raised for veteran dental health Gov. Janet Mills recently accepted a $30,000 contribution for the Maine Veterans’ Dental Network, presented by the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation during a meeting at the State House. The initiative, a partnership between the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services and Northeast Delta Dental launched by Mills in 2021, provides comprehensive oral care to Maine veterans who could not otherwise afford to see a dentist. Fraternal Lodge No. 55 of Alfred, United Lodge No. 8 of Brunswick, Arundel Lodge No. 76 of Kennebunkport, and Triangle Lodge No. 1 of Portland, along with HM Payson & Co. and Franklin Savings Bank, contributed $15,000 to support the initiative, that was matched with a $15,000 donation by the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation. The contribution follows a recent $200,000 donation by Northeast Delta Dental to help sustain the MVDN and provide services to more veterans in need.

WESTBROOK Three schools earn cash from educational series The 6th annual WinterKids Winter Games wrapped up last week with 16 schools competing statewide to win cash prizes for their schools. The Winter Games is a 4-week series of challenges in outdoor physical activity, nutrition, family engagement and winter carnival. This year’s theme was “My Wild Winter.” All told, 10,000 kids in all 16 counties (and 13 other states) participated in the Winter Games between the competitive and play along tracks of the program, earning $30,000 in cash and prizes. The Leroy H. Smith School of Winterport in Waldo County won first place and $5,000. The Williams–Cone School of Topsham in Sagadahoc County placed second and a $3,000 prize. Rangeley Lakes Regional School in Franklin County won third place and $1,500. WinterKids provides resources for teachers and parents to get their kids outside and active with curriculum resources, toolkits, incentives, and more.

KITTERY Market seeks new vendors Kittery Community Market is accepting new vendor applications for the upcoming 2023 season. The schedule for 2023 will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday, from June 4 through Nov. 19, as well as for Mayfest on May 7. Openings are available for agricultural, prepared foods, and artisan crafters. Please visit KCM’s Become a Vendor page to read the list of rules and regulations prior to submitting an application. The KCM board of directors will meeting Tuesday to review new vendor submitted applications. For more details, email Michelle at [email protected]


WISCASSETT Middle schoolers take home writing achievements  Four Chewonki Middle School students were recognized for exceptional writing in regional writing contests. Two students won first and second place for their creative nonfiction submissions in the Patten Free Library’s 9th annual Writing Contest. Frances DeGeer won first place for her piece “Me” and Harper Nelson took second place for “Peaks Island Vignette.” Those winning submissions are now available for public viewing on the Patten Free Library website For the first time ever, the contest accepted creative nonfiction submissions and received more than 50 entries in each category. The judges included Patten Free Library staff, the PFL Teen Library Council and community members. Three grade 8 students also were recognized for exceptional writing skills in the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers: Scholastic Writing Competition, known as the “nation’s most prestigious recognition program for creative teens.” Student winners were Cadence Balbo Towle, who won the Silver Key in Personal Essay & Memoir for “A Series of Vignettes”; Francis DeGeer, who won a Silver Key in Personal Essay & Memoir for “A Series of Vignettes”; and Acadia Guliani won Honorable Mention in Poetry for the entry “Home.”

BRUNSWICK School selling custom tote bags, bracelets In order to raise funds for a graduation field trip and a class gift for the school, eighth graders at St. John’s Catholic School have partnered with Sea Bags to custom design a tote bag and wristlet emblazoned with the school’s motto “Anchored by Faith.” The tote bag is 14” x 14”, features a hemp rope handle, and is available in navy or hunter green and white. The 8″ by 5″ wristlet also is available in the aforementioned colors. Orders for the merchandise will be accepted through March 15, with items to be delivered by early May. To order or for more details, go to or call the school at 725-5507.

UNITY Agriculture scholarship now accepting applications Applications are now open for the 2023 Russell Libby Agricultural Scholar Awards. Each year, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) awards three $1,500 scholarships, one in each of the following categories: MOFGA Journeyperson program participant (past or present); A Maine high school senior planning to study sustainable or organic farming (with a preference for colleges in Maine); and for a teacher, school or education center looking to support an agricultural related project in Maine, such as a campus garden, classroom project or a guest lecturer. Awards are granted to honor the late Russell Libby, who led MOFGA for 17 years and dedicated his life to growing the organic food movement. The scholarships support the recipients in their pursuits of agriculture education and projects. Funds have been used for schooling, infrastructure that improves access to programs, new gardens and much more. Last year’s educator award recipient, Lindsey Schortz, used the funds toward building a composting system for the garden at the Belfast Community Outreach Program. Complete applications are due by March 31. For more details, go to

PORTLAND AARP Maine accepting grant applications AARP Maine is accepting applications for its 2023 AARP Community Challenge grant program, which is open to eligible organizations and governments to fund quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public spaces, transportation, housing, civic engagement, diversity and inclusion. Now in its seventh year, the program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, that supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places for all residents, especially those over age 50. Previous Community Challenge grants have helped grantees leverage their projects into additional funding support from private and public sector partners and overcome barriers and advancing change. The AARP Community Challenge is accepting applications across three different grant opportunities, two of which are new this year. All projects must be consistent with AARP’s mission to serve the needs of people 50 and older along with other eligibility criteria. AARP will prioritize proposals that are inclusive, address disparities, and directly engage volunteers over age 50. New this year, the program will provide capacity-building microgrants paired with additional resources, such as one-on-one coaching, webinars, cohort learning opportunities and more for improving walkability and starting or expanding a community garden. Also new this year, the Community Challenge will also offer demonstration grants. A portion will be focused on transportation improvements with funding support provided by Toyota Motor North America. Another portion of demonstration grants will focus on promoting greater awareness of the benefits of accessory dwelling units as a housing solution. AARP also will offer grants under a flagship opportunity to support projects that improve public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity and inclusion; digital connections; community health and economic empowerment; and new this year community resilience; and civic engagement. The application deadline is 5 p.m. March 15. All projects must be completed by Nov. 30. To submit an application and view past grantees, visit

Send questions/comments to the editors.

« Previous

Next »

filed under: