Archive for September, 2019


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

September 30, 2019


We all know that Maine has had a bottle bill which includes paying a deposit on most bottles when purchased. When my sons were children one of their responsibilities was to count the bottles when the barrel was full and help return them to our local bottle redemption center. And, yes they’d get to keep the money.

Did you know that the Maine Returnable Beverage Container Law has been in place since 1978? It’s a real success story. Maine is one of only 10 states with a law in place. We all know that everyone doesn’t think this is as fun as my children did. We certainly see bottles on the sides of Maine roads periodically.

Collecting and returning bottles is one thing we can do to help out our community but, what about all the supplies and equipment when they outlive their usefulness? What happens to them? Below are some programs and ideas that I know are in place – I’m guessing that you know of others. Please email them to me at or share them at the bottom of this blog post so others can learn about them.

  • Crayola ColorCycle program – Crayola and schools across North America are banding together to help kids understand the importance of their role in protecting the environment. That’s why we launched Crayola ColorCycle. Through this initiative, students in K-12 schools across the continental United States and parts of Canada can collect and repurpose used Crayola markers. ColorCycle is also a great opportunity for teachers and their students to explore eco-friendly practices. Specially developed standards-based lesson plans are available to enrich instruction and promote lively class discussions. Its easy to create an account with Crayola and send your used markers to them for recycling. For more information CLICK HERE
  • Vietnam Veterans of America accept donations of used musical instruments and will arrange for pick up. For more information CLICK HERE
  • Ruth’s Reusable Resources – Located at 39 Blueberry Rd., Portland. Ruth has been at this for 25 years and if you’ve never been to the store I highly recommend it. Their mission is to ensure that all students, from pre-k through high school, have the basic supplies and creative tools for literacy, STEAM, and health education through the environmentally-conscious distribution of donated business supplies. For more information CLICK HERE.
  • The National Crayon Recycle Program – This “recycling” education, community service has made it possible to stop more than 120,000 pounds of unwanted crayons from going into landfills with the help from schools, organization educators and kids across this country. For more information CLICK HERE
  • MAMM (Maine Academy of Modern Music) will take used instruments off your hands. For more information email Jeff Shaw, Executive Director and Founder of MAMM at
  • The Crayon Initiative collects crayon and recycles them into new crayons and sends them to children hospitals across the country.
  • You can drop off used instruments that are in fairly good condition to MCMA (Midcoast Music Academy) in Rockland. They often use them with their students.
  • Recycle crayons yourself

Kodi Lee

September 29, 2019

For a second time

Kodi Lee got the golden buzzer the first time on America’s Got Talent. This 22 year old is an inspiration. A young man who is blind and autistic has found music. His mom says music saved his life. He went on and won overall for the 14th season.


Education Reimagined

September 28, 2019


Education Reimagined is all about transforming education. They’ve been carefully proceeding with their commitment that “learner-centered education be available to every child, regardless of background or circumstance.” Twenty eight educators came together to create Education Reimagined with diverse backgrounds who are committed to future of education.


SIMPLY PUT, the current system was designed in a different era and structured for a different society. Our economy, society, and polity are increasingly at risk from an educational system that does not consistently prepare all children to succeed as adults and is least effective for the children facing the greatest social and economic challenges. Conversely, the Internet revolution has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity for new approaches to learning. Our growing recognition of the importance of skills and dispositions is also sparking a shift toward expe- riential learning. In short, we see both an imperative for transformation and many promising avenues for re-envisioning the learning experience.

Recently Sweetland School in Hope was featured in online news for Education Reimagined. Sweetland School is a student-centered school inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach and by educators and artists such as John Dewey, Elliot Eisner, Lily Yeh, Paulo Freire, Howard Gardner, Alfie Kohn, Sir Ken Robinson. Sweetland School aims to remain open and flexible to change and the needs of the current times and community. Lindsay Pinchbeck is the founder and director and also teaches at Sweetland School. She has served on the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative leadership team.

Read about Sweetland on the Education Reimagined website.

Sweetland School



National News

September 27, 2019

Arts Action and Funding

The latest news from Americans for the Arts.

The Arts Action Fund launched the new podcast series “ArtsVote 2020 with BenFolds in order to generate a national discussion with 2020 presidential candidates and political leaders about the arts, arts education, and tax policies to advance nonprofit charities in America. The Arts Action Fund has specifically invited every Presidential Candidate to have a one-on-one, 30-minute conversation with Ben Folds about their personal background and views in the arts and arts education. Candidates are encouraged to share their previous policy efforts to transform communities and states through the arts, and their vision for advancing support for the arts and the charitable sector in the future.

Ben conducts the podcast series in person or by phone with candidates and other political leaders as they travel across the country on the campaign trail. These podcasts are conversations about public policy and the arts and are not endorsements for a candidate. All podcasts are posted online at along with additional resources like our 2020 arts policy platforms and candidate questionnaire. Subscribe to the podcast on the Anchor app or your favorite podcast app.

Funding information

Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities information is below including a link to more details.

The U.S. House of Representatives completed its appropriations process in July for fiscal year 2020. The House approved funding increases to every federal cultural agency and program and even included a first-time ever allocation of $5 million for arts therapy programs in the military’s budget. Specifically included in the bill is a $12.5 million increase for both the NEA and NEH, bringing their funding levels up to $167.5 million each. This funding level increase matches the ask we made to Congress on Arts Advocacy Day this past March.

With Congress now back in session after the August recess, the Senate has now begun its appropriations process. Unfortunately, the Senate Subcommittee on Interior made an inital allocation of only $157 million each to the NEA and NEH ($10.5 million less than the House-approved level.) As the bill moves through the full Senate, Arts Action Fund members can weigh in on this issue by contacting their Senators through our online Arts Action Center. It’s a quick and easy way to email your Senators with a customizable, pre-written message urging them to match the House allocated funding levels. Please visit


AFTA Advisory Councils

September 26, 2019

Looking for leaders

Americans for the Arts is looking for arts leaders across the country to serve on four of our Advisory Councils. These Advisory Councils are comprised of field leaders who help guide Americans for the Arts’ programs and services that will build essential capacities, spark necessary conversations, and forge deeper connections in the arts field. Nominate yourself or a colleague today! Deadline for nominations: October 4, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EST. You must be a member of AFTA to be nominated.

The Arts Education Advisory Council advises Americans for the Arts’ staff on trends in the field to create programs and services that will build a deeper connection to the field and the Arts Education Network. Council members are involved in:

  1. Participating in a council committee to work on projects such as:
    1. Selecting the Arts Education Leadership Award recipient planning the winter council meeting, and reviewing nominations for new council members, etc.
    2. Advising on communications strategies to reach broader audiences in the arts education, and related fields.
    3. Contribute to professional development offerings through ArtsU, publications, and the annual convention.
  2. Advising staff on large scale projects, such as:
    1. Creative Youth Development Toolkit
    2. STEAM initiatives
    3. The Arts Education Navigator
    4. Future publications
  3. Participating in Americans for the ARTSblog, including writing and responding to posts, participating in blog salons, etc.
  4. Participating and supporting network-specific programs such as National Arts in Education Week and more.

More information on the councils is located at THIS LINK

I presently serve on the Arts Education Council; don’t hesitate to contact me at if you have questions.


Grocery Store Opera

September 25, 2019

London Flash Mob

How wonderful is this?!! Please share with your students!


Maine Music Survey

September 24, 2019

Supporting the work of Maine music educators

Dorie Tripp, Maine Arts Leadership Initiative summer institute, August 2017

A message from Dorie Tripp – music educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader:

I am a PK-5 General Music Teacher for Maranacook Area Schools. A group of elementary Maine music educators, including myself, have been working on a project (initially facilitated by the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative – MALI). We are active Maine music teachers, from several Maine counties, who share a common interest in supporting our colleagues within our profession. Our goal is to collect information from other PK-5 General Music Teachers about what they do and what they need.
I am contacting you because we would love it if your could share our Professional Development Survey with your blog membership. If are a PK-5 General Music Teacher please complete this professional development survey (and share with other others who teach music at this level). In doing so, it will help us learn what our music teachers need/want for professional development and support. We’d greatly appreciate you completing the survey at this link

Elementary Music for ME Survey

And thank you for your time! If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact Dorie Tripp at
Elementary Music for Maine is a group of general music teachers, who are committed to furthering music education, and supporting our music colleagues. We hope that you will take just a few short minutes to fill out the survey, so we can learn more about what types of professional development you want/need.

Music Conference

September 23, 2019

Maine Music Educators Association

Denise Gagne

Sing, Dance and Play!!! Friday K-5

Super Fun Songs, Games & Activities Saturday PreK-Gr. 2

Friday & Saturday, September 27 & 28, 2019

 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Friday at Le Club Calumet – Augusta, ME

334 West River Road, Augusta, Maine

Saturday at Manchester Elementary School – Manchester, ME

17 School Street, Manchester, ME

1.5 CEUs from the University of Maine Orono (must attend both days)

$12. charge – info at workshop-Note: 1.5 CEUs = 1 Recert. Credit

Or receive a certificate for Contact Hours

For more information please contact Nancy Cash-Cobb at


Rock Stars in Our Community

September 22, 2019

MAMM presents award


On November 22nd, MAMM will present the third annual “Rock Stars In Our Communities” Awards at the 2019 CHORDS FOR KIDS Scholarship Gala in downtown Portland.

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2019 Maine Music Educator Award. Based on these applications, we will select a Maine music educator who exemplifies MAMM’s mission and values by providing Maine youth with the discipline,freedom, and guidance to appreciate the thrill of making contemporary music and instilling in them the power of self-expression. The awardee will also demonstrate a commitment to going
above and beyond to create opportunities for Maine youth to develop their creative expression while building important life skills.

Nominate your music teacher today by filling out and submitting the form below by September 30th, 2019.  We will be selecting awardees in September.  Nominees will be notified after we have made our decision.


Mona Lisa’s Bananas

September 21, 2019

What would Leonardo think?


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