Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

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Tuneful Talk Tuesdays

March 29, 2020

Opportunity for PK-6 elementary music teachers

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leaders Danielle Collins, Catherine Newell, Cynthia Keating, Will Stecher, Dorie Trip, and Kaitlin Young are collaborating to offer a round table for PK-6 elementary classroom music educators. These 6 elementary music educators are aware that teachers are in different places in this transition due to the pandemic of the Coronavirus. They are hopeful that by combining their powers that they can work to problem solve some of the challenges everyone is facing and celebrate the successes that are happening each day!
You’re invited to join them for Tuneful Talk Tuesday’s at Two! March 31, 2:00, Zoom – CLICK THIS LINK. If you have questions please contact Kaitlin Young at kyoung@sedomocha.org.
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What the World Needs Now

March 28, 2020

Berklee Music Students Send the World ‘Love Sweet Love’

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In Today’s News

March 26, 2020

Voice Actor from Houlton

William Dufris, voice actor for ‘Bob the Builder’ and Houlton native, dies at 62. Bangor Daily News article.

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Saying Thank You

March 26, 2020

Message from a Teacher

I am going to start capitalizing the word “Teacher” every time I write or type it. Why? Because I am so impressed by what I see happening because of teachers all over the world. PreK – grade 12 Teachers hopped into this crisis quickly, no hesitation, and are making things happen for learners.

Grades K-8 Music Teacher Kaitlin Young from Sedomocha Elementary and Middle Schools in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine is the 2018 Maine State Teacher of the Year and has been recognized for her accomplishments. I am so proud of Kaitlin and the work she does day to day and what she has done for Teachers everywhere. Her messages are clear and ‘spot on’. Recently Kaitlin wrote on her facebook page a message thanking the many unsung heroes in her school district and beyond who are going above and beyond to support children in multiple ways. With her permission I am re-printing her message since I am sure it is something many of us in education are thinking. Thank you Kaitlin for your leadership and commitment to education!

As we begin this new adventure in remote learning here at SeDoMoCha I wanted to post a photo to stand in solidarity with and express my gratitude for all of the incredible teachers within the SeDoMoCha community, across the state of Maine, and beyond.

And when I say “teachers” I mean all of the incredible people who are modeling what it means to be a member of a thoughtful and caring school community. These people are teaching some of the most profound life lessons to everyone around them throughout this challenging time.

Teachers: Administrators, Technology Integrators, School Resource Officers, Nurses, School Counselors, Maintenance Staff, Data Clerks, and Administrative Assistants who have developed and implemented thoughtful response plans all while calmly answering millions of questions from colleagues and the public. They have been putting in a great deal of work and time in behind the scenes. They are making tough decisions and modeling what it means to dig into the challenging work on behalf of our students and our communities.

Teachers: Bus drivers, Food Service Workers, Education Support Staff, Teachers, Families, and Community Members who have swiftly jumped into action to support our students. The outpouring of offers to help connect students and families to the resources they need has been humbling. “What do you need?” “How can I help?” “What if we try this?” And within moments of struggle when people share their frustration (perhaps in not the most kind of ways) I have heard words of empathy, “they must be really hurting or scared because this is challenging.” There has never been a moment when we have doubted the commitment to our kids. They are the faces that greet our families and help them to stay connected to our community. They are flexible, resilient, and empathetic to the needs of others and model what it means to be on the front lines.

And of course our students, our greatest teachers of all. Amidst the chaos, they continue to make us smile as they wave from the backseat of a car during packet pick up, send funny emails full of memes, or simply do or say something silly at home that was communicated through a parent email. As teachers, all of us who work with our students each day, we know that there are many lessons to learn from our resilient, creative, and compassionate students. They are the reason we do this in the first place.

Everyone is stepping out of their comfort zones to face this uncertainty with grace, kindness, and the need for human connection. (Though stay at least six feet away from each other, please!) We are willing to learn with and from each other as is evident from the plethora of resources that have popped up over the last two weeks. We are willing to make mistakes within our own new learning and continue to provide the best instruction we can. The creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration that happen every day in education have been on display throughout this adventure.

I can only speak about SeDoMoCha from the first-hand experience, but from what I have seen and heard from colleagues we are not unique in these efforts.

Over the last week, we have checked in on each other, laughed, cried, and experienced this challenge as a community. Please continue to take care of yourself. Please check in with your colleagues, students, neighbors, friends, and families. Remind yourself and others that we are doing the best we can as we all seek to find a new sense of “normal.” (Though as someone said to me yesterday, “Were we ever really normal?”)

I am proud and grateful to be a member of the SeDoMoCha Community and the broader community of teachers. Stay safe and keep singing

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MAC Arts Learning Grants

March 18, 2020

Put together an idea to apply for now 

You may know that the Maine Arts Commission provides a variety of grants for the arts. Among the funding is a grant specifically for arts education called Arts Learning. The deadline is March 26, 2020 and the maximum that you can apply for is $5,000. You are required to match the total requested by 50% which can be in cash or in kind. The cycle for this funding is July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

The Arts Learning Grant provides funding to support schools and organizations for PK-12 arts education programs. This can be done through school programs, community arts education programs, curriculum planning, professional learning for arts educators, teaching artists, and teachers of all content. Applicants are encouraged to use teaching artists from the Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must have an active Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to receive funding.  A school district or nonprofit organization is eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria:

  • Is an organization with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, is a public school district, or is a unit of municipal, county or tribal government in the state of Maine.
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

 NOTE: A school must apply through its school district. All paperwork must be conducted through the Superintendent’s offices. Communications and funds will go directly to the district to then be delivered to the applying school. The Maine Arts Commission will not contract directly with individual schools. 

Ineligible Expenses: Grant awards may not be re-granted nor used to cover the costs of brick-and-mortar projects, permanent or capital equipment, operating support or fundraising.

Application Materials 

Incomplete applications will not be eligible for review. A completed application in the Grants Management System (GMS) must contain:

Online – Fields within the Grants Portal that will need to be completed

  • Complete answers to all narrative prompts (Required)
  • Completed project budget (Required)

Uploads – Up to a total of 10 pieces of support materials uploaded through the Grants Portal

  • Resumes, bios, or curriculum vitae for all key personnel (Required): This should  include resumes for teaching artists as well
  • One to three letters of support (Required): Letters from individuals or representatives of organizations or schools who can speak to their anticipated benefit from the project 
  • Lesson plans (Required): Teaching plans or the units showing learning outcomes and assessment tools 
  • Most current completed Form 990 (Required for nonprofit organizations)
  • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter (Required for nonprofit organizations)
  • Artistic samples (Required): Images (up to five), audio or video materials (no more than 15 minutes in length), Prose samples (no more than 20 pages in length), poetry (no more than 5 poems), etc.
  • Collateral (Highly Recommended): Materials such as press reviews, articles, marketing materials, etc.

Vendor Code – An applicant must have a current Vendor Code to receive award funds

  • Your Vendor Code is a state assigned number that allows for payment processing. Please check your Maine Arts Commission User/Organization account to see if there is a number in the Vendor Code field. If the field is blank you will need to complete a Vendor Form with exactly the same name and contact information as used in the application. This must be provided to the agency prior to award notification and can be submitted through email, surface mail, or FAX. The form can be downloaded from the Grants Help page.

Application Questions

(To be completed in the GMS-grants management system) (All character counts include spaces)

  1. Describe your project idea in two to four sentences. (Max: 638 characters – about 100 words)
  2. How does your proposal align with the State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts or other relevant standards? (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  3. Describe any partnership(s) and/or collaborative planning (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  4. State the project objectives and plans for evaluating project success. If this is an ongoing program, share how you will demonstrate growth and expansion from previous iterations.  (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  5. List the professional teachers and teaching artists participating in the project. Please summarize their professional experience(s). If applicable, describe the any professional development opportunities these teachers will receive.  . (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)

Review Criteria

Arts Learning Grant applications are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  1. Quality of Project. (25%) 
  2. Alignment of project with State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts. (10%)
  3. Evidence of significant collaborative planning among teachers and other partners. (25%) 
  4. Description  of evaluation methodology with clear objectives and outcomes.  (20%)
  5. Assurance that the project will include certified, trained teaching artists and will provide professional development opportunities where appropriate.  (10%) 

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by panels of public members, selected for their expertise. All grant recommendations are presented to Maine Arts Commission members who approve the review process, making the grant official. The review process and delivery of funds may take up to six months. This means that grant funds may be used to reimburse costs which have been incurred for the project after the grant has been approved but prior to funds being disbursed.

Assistance

Agency staff are always here as a resource for you. We recommend contacting the correct staff person a minimum of two-weeks prior to submitting your application.

For specific questions about the Arts Learning program:
Please contact Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education, at vog.eniam@saksucsiP.ahtraM or 207-287-2750.
For general questions about the application or review process:
Please contact Kerstin Gilg, Director of Grants and Accessibility, at kerstin.gilg@maine.gov or 207/ 287-6719 .
For questions about award payments:
Please contact Darren Henry, Director of Operations, at Darren.Henry@maine.gov or 207/ 287-2726.

APPLY NOW

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Celebration

March 17, 2020

Maine Excellence in Arts Education

Last week at the State House students, teachers, parents and other community members came together to celebrate the art of children. There was music, dancing, poetry recitations, and much more. The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) Maine Excellence in Arts Education celebration is an opportunity to recognize students whose art work is on display throughout the State House complex.

Forty students were recognized for their accomplishments and presented a certificate by David Greenham, MAC Chair and Martha Piscuskas, MAC Director of Arts Education. Performances were provided by the Maine Arts Academy Chamber Singers from Sidney, Little Eagles Drumming Group from Pleasant Point, and the Indian Township School Dancers.

Artist Ethan from Sebago Elementary School with his art work and family

Ethan receiving his certificate

Student artists at the State House

Indian Township School dancers

Maine Arts Academy Chamber Singers

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Students Need You

March 16, 2020

Now more than ever

Whether your school/district is shut down or planning to or figuring out how to respond to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) your students need you more than ever. I know that some schools are doing online learning but that doesn’t work for many schools or students who do not have access to the technology needed.

Being able to reassure the youngest of children that you’re OK will help them know that they’re OK. Perhaps you can create short videos or audio clips (using QuickTime or Garage Band or another program or app) so they can see and/or hear your voice. Post them in a central spot where they can access them whenever they need their spirits lifted. I know you’re a bright spot on a normal day!

I’m sure that your creative spirits will provide you with the ideas and strength you need to find the necessary pathway to survive and strive through this challenge. I’m convinced that this situation requires ‘out of box’ thinking and will make us better teachers! Who better to use creativity than visual and performing arts teachers?

Navigating the challenge

I hope that you will support each other and one way to do that is to share the plethora of resources that you are using. I will be posting information on the Maine Arts Education facebook along with continuing to provide information on the blog. As usual, please send your stories for the blog so others can learn and be inspired by you and your work (and play).

Below are a few resources to support you in navigating this challenging situation. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help out by emailing me at meartsed@gmail.com

HELPFUL ARTICLES

TEACHING RESOURCES

GENERAL

PERFORMING ARTS

VISUAL ART

OPPORTUNITY TODAY

Jason Anderson, Maine Department of Education Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, is providing two zoom meetings for you to participate in to share ideas. Both meetings will be recorded and archived at a later day in case you can not participate in real time.

10:00 meeting, today, March 16 – CLICK HERE to join the meeting.

3:00 meeting, today, March 16 – CLICK HERE to join the meeting.

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