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Who Are They? Oxford Hills Region Part 6

April 5, 2018

Learning Opportunities for Our Kids (LOOK) Program

This blog post is the last one in a series on the Oxford Hills region. The series aims to bring awareness to the Maine Arts Ed blog readers about the many visual and performing arts venues and educational opportunities in the Oxford Hills. The Oxford Hills Region of Maine is a perfect setting for the arts as it is centrally located where the rolling foothills of the White Mountains and beautiful lakes regions intersect. Located 45 miles north of Portland, 35 miles east of New Hampshire, and 20 miles west of Lewiston-Auburn, the region hosts multiple year-round opportunities for learners of all ages and a thriving arts community. The Oxford Hills School District (SAD17) is Maine’s largest school district in geographic area, with nine community schools, a regional middle school, a comprehensive high school and the Streaked Mountain School, an alternative school for high school students. The Oxford Hills include the towns of Buckfield, Harrison, Hartford, Hebron, Mechanic Falls, Norway, Otisfield, Oxford, Paris, Poland, Sumner, Waterford and West Paris. A great big THANKS to Diana Arcadipone for writing this series of posts.

Learning Opportunities for Our Kids (LOOK) is a joint community-schools (SAD#17) effort that provides quality, affordable learning enrichment opportunities for children. “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to realize that they love to learn, and explore and discover new subject areas” says Cyndy Tinsley, general administrator. The LOOK program started in 1991 when Alice Gruba, owner of a South Paris toy store, approached Mark Otterson and ask him to offer courses in town so she didn’t have to drive her kids to Portland for summer enrichment opportunities.

The LOOK summer program delivers a fun and safe learning environment. Classes take place the last two full weeks of July at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. The focus is for children ages 4-7 (small fry) and ages 7- 15. Two sessions of week-long courses are scheduled each summer and each student can sign up for one or two classes per week. Free breakfast and lunch meals are also available for kids and teens in the OHCHS cafeteria through the Summer Food Program. This way, students can eat before and after their class and parents can enjoy the convenience of this program.

Some examples of courses are Lego Technics, Game Design, Fun Food Recipes from around the World, Greek Mythology, Animals all Around, Lines and Shapes, Dots in Art, Japan Journey, Embroidery, Washi Paper Craft, Wrap it Up Baskets, Paint, Paint, Paint and many more! The program serves as many as 175 students in 45 classes. Class size is generally 8 – 12 students, depending on teacher requests. With so many classes running, as you can imagine, teachers need volunteers to help out. High School students can earn their community service credit hours needed for graduation by volunteering. Parents and community members volunteer as well.

For teachers, its a great chance to teach children who are eager, attentive, relaxed and excited. Young teachers, or those wishing to test out a single lesson or a career choice, are welcome to propose an idea for Summer 2018. Educators of all disciplines, sometimes former volunteers, are hired from the local community and have an opportunity to have a short block of experimental time, or a chance to teach something that they have been researching. The LOOK program is always looking for proposals for interesting workshops in a variety of subjects. Teachers can request a proposal form or learn more by contacting Cyndy Tinsley at 890-4968 or the SAD 17 office at 743-8972.

Students pay $35 per class per week including materials. Scholarships from the Mark Otterson Scholarship Fund are available to lower the course fee. There are no restrictions other than financial need, for scholarships, however requests should be made by June 26. LOOK Brochures and registration forms are available for distribution in early June. Look for one in your child’s papers, or pick one up at a local library and several other locations around the Oxford Hills.

2018 Sessions: July 16 – 20 and July 23 – 27

LEARN MORE

Check out LOOK on FACEBOOK

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