Archive for the ‘YAHOO’ Category

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Lights, Camera, Action

January 16, 2020

Nokomis Regional High School

Parent energy and initiative often bring teaching artists to schools to conduct workshops that supplement and support school arts programs. When invitations to those workshops extend to the community as well an interesting community/school arts link is created. And when the number of workshops reaches a grand scale and the invitation outreach is statewide, something truly newsworthy is going on.

Such a statewide program has been in place for the past three years at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, where Gretchen Gehrke, a Nokomis parent, who was inspired by a program at MIT and by the good work of Nokomis theater teacher Lisa Neal, initiated “Nokomis – Lights, Camera, Action!” (LCA) in partnership with the school’s theater program.

Below is the history and description of  “Nokomis Light’s Camera Action!” in Gretchen’s words, as well as Gretchen’s invitation to artists and students, and all those who want to be part of LCA in its fourth year, to join them in Newport on Tuesday, February 18th. Read on!   (There is a scheduled snow day makeup on Thursday 2/20 if necessary.)

Nokomis Lights Camera Action Grades K-12, 2020

Nokomis High School is located in rural Maine. Nearly 70% of RSU #19 students qualify for free lunch and yet our school system offers so much to our students.

 

Lisa Neal is the drama teacher for the high school. She is an exemplary and gifted teacher. She also runs a very successful drama club and show chorus. She is an inclusive leader. Her program changes lives. Here is a recent quote from an email I received from the parent of a now graduated student. “Lisa is an entity all unto herself… We were blessed with so many really good/great teachers for our daughter but Lisa takes that above and beyond. I saw how she changed lives for our young people. Literally! I do not know how she does it all.  She is a teacher, a mentor, a confidant, sub parent for many and a friend and it doesn’t stop at school or graduation. I see them coming back to her again and again. Our daughter’s class was her first in High School…. And that group of young people have gone on far beyond what they probably would have had it not been for her guidance along the way. Her classes are so much more than just the subject matter. Amazing!”

So, how in a rural and poor location do we support a teacher and program such as that directed by Mrs. Neal?

A recent Nokomis Drama Club production of Bye Bye Birdie involved nearly 25% of the Nokomis student body. Lisa does this with little or no budget. As I am, by nature, a facilitator, I saw a possible opportunity to help Lisa provide continued learning adventures for Nokomis students, as well as additional youth from Maine. Our children have been very fortunate to participate in the MIT Splash Program and in Young Americans. Based on those models the Nokomis Drama Club has begun offering a one-day Splash-like program, “Nokomis – Lights, Camera, Action!” (LCA), focused on dramatic arts during February break. We charge $25 per K-3 student and $50 for students grades 4-12. This fee includes a T-shirt costume and two meals. We allow for ample financial aid. We ask instructors from near and far away to donate an hour or two of their time and expertise to offer workshop classes like MIT Splash focused on the arts. There are classes during the day preparing songs for an evening performance such as Young Americans do in their program. The goal of this learning adventure and fund-raising effort is a combination of daytime drama workshop followed by an evening performance. We offer more than 50 workshops which support Artists, Actors, Authors, Chefs, and Athletes. One need not be interested in drama to enjoy a great learning adventure. As our local taxpayers, parents and school districts are struggling to such extent, it is critical for our program to seek support resources from outside our own RSU.

As with Splash at MIT, classes can reflect instructor’s passions. We offer a small free parent workshop as they do at MIT/Splash. We also offer art, knitting and yoga classes to parents.

We seek students and instructors from across the State of Maine and beyond. We hope that schools and communities support our novel program. Join us! Please do not exactly copy us rather share our day.

Join us, Tuesday, February 18th, 7:30am-8:00pm (K-3 until 12:30pm) at Nokomis Regional High School, located in Newport, Maine for the 4th Annual, Lights, Camera & Action program. This year we host the event at a brand-new Nokomis High/Middle School, 291 Williams Road, Newport, Maine (just across the road from the old school.)

Actors, Artists, Authors, Athletes, Chefs and Musicians, share a full day of workshops, rehearsals, and performance.

Students K-12 are welcomed and taught by qualified and enthusiastic instructors on a wide variety of fun topics. 2019 included over 50 workshop choices.

Following workshops, Grades K-3 concludes with a noontime performance and Grades 4-12 concludes with a 6:30pm performance “Final Act” which demonstrates some of the day’s accomplishments.

Learn More and Register @ www.nokomislightscameraction.com or Facebook Lights, Camera, Action.

What people have said:

“Thank you very much. We cannot believe that a program of this caliber exists in Central, Maine.”  – Parent from Brownfield, Maine

“It was such a full day with so many choices. My daughter can’t wait until next year.” – Parent from Pittsfield, Maine

“I learn skills that can help me with my everyday life with building things and every day communication working as a team.” – Maine Central Institute Student

Lisa Neal, drama teacher at Nokomis Regional High School, said the topics help to make learning. “They’re here having fun but what they really don’t know is that they are here learning. They are problem solving and they are thinking on their feet,” said Neal.

Nokomis Lights, Camera, Action involves participants from across the state of Maine as well as Massachusetts into New Brunswick, Canada. LCA welcome students from school district across Maine and New England.

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Holiday

December 22, 2019

Vacation – say no more!

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Congrats Jerry Barry!

December 16, 2019

50 directors who make a difference

Jerry Barry, who has been teaching music for 30 years, from Falmouth High School has been selected as one of ’50 Directors Who Make a Difference’ by the School Band and Orchestra Magazine (SBO).

Each year hundreds of music teachers are nominated by students, colleagues, musical instrument retailers, parents, administrators and friends. Nominations came from all states this year and educators were nominated because someone recognizes their hard work and dedication.

Each director is asked to share their proudest teaching moments, how they hope to make a difference in students’ lives, and most important lessons they try to teach their students.

JERRY’S STORY

What is your proudest moment as an educator?

There is not one single “ah-ha” moment, but what I am most proud of is that students in the Falmouth Music Program feel respected and valued as musicians and that their efforts in the performing arts matter, both within our school and the larger community. The music program is important in the town of Falmouth and it enjoys broad support from parents, teachers, and administrators. Students have a place and a space to excel as performers. The success of the K-12 music department is due to an engaging, active, purposeful collaboration of the district’s performing arts teachers supporting the education of our great students who are highly motivated and eager to learn.

How do you hope to make a difference in your students’ lives?

I hope to engage the students in a way that is enjoyable, meaningful, and encouraging to them and their effort to learn. I make a consistent effort to connect individually with the young person trying to play well on their instruments, now and in the future. They want to succeed. I strive to learn about them and their interests beyond band. Most often a bit of humor in class works really well. When there is a fun atmosphere, it promotes a positive student/teacher relationship, and then the teacher can more easily help the students connect to the content – performing music!

 

What’s the most important lesson that you try to teach your students?

Personal improvement is what matters most. No matter who you are or what you are doing, people should always strive to do their best …to be a bit better tomorrow. Start with where you are, dig in, persevere, and keep moving forward. Swimmers and runners try to be just a little bit faster each time they go out. Not everyone wins, but the goal is “personal best”. There is an opportunity for everyone to provide their own unique contribution to their ensemble.

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Real STEAM

November 4, 2019

OK – Go upside down and inside out

OK Go Sandbox is an online resource for educators that uses the Grammy Award-winning band OK Go’s music videos as starting points for students to explore various STEAM concepts. OK Go Sandbox will be presenting at the National Art Education conference in Minneapolis, March 26-28, 2020. Registration is available.

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MAMLE

October 22, 2019

Arts teachers shine

Kris Bisson,Kaitlin Young, Argy Nestor,Catherine Ring

Last Thursday and Friday I attended the Maine Association for Middle Level (MAMLE) Conference at Point Lookout. I have fond memories of returning to the site in Northport – so many amazing learning opportunities for arts educators have taken place there for many years. The MAMLE conference has always been a place where middle level arts educators are welcomed and the conference goers are appreciative of what is offered. This years theme was Filling Our Cups: Teaching in Challenging Times.

Kris Bisson

Kris Bisson, Music Educator at Marshwood Middle School in Berwick and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader presented a session called Integrating your community in the classroom: service learning project models. Kris is the perfect person to present on the topic since she’s had her students engaged in multiple projects in her students community. Her well known Bridging Adolescence: A River Flows Through Us project that she collaborated with teaching artist Brian Evans-Jones on, made a huge impact on her students and community members. I was thrilled when her students shared this project at the State House December 2018 at an arts education celebration.

Kaitlin Young

Kaitlin Young, 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year, Music Educator at Sedomocha Elementary and Middle Schools, and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader provided a key note that had participants engaged. The title was What We Can Do When We Are Brave Together. Kaitlin’s presentation was inspirational and very realistic. It provided thought provoking ideas which participants could take with them and put immediately in place. Thank you Kaitlin for filling up all of our cups!

If you’re a middle level educator consider participating in the conference next year which will be held in Portland. Check the MAMLE site for information.

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In Today’s News

October 11, 2019

2020 Maine Teacher of the Year

Heather Whitaker enters the gymnasium at Gorham Middle School where the student body and faculty cheered for her!

In a ceremony at the Gorham Middle School Heather Whitaker was named the 2020 Maine Teacher of the Year. Heather works closely with  Visual Art educator and Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Teacher Leader Amy Cousins.

Heather’s nomination included:

“Whitaker is an advocate for and experienced in using restorative practices and experimental learning,” the release said. “She believes in the power of relationships and that learning should be meaningful to students.”

In an articulate and heartfelt speech it was clear that Heather is completely devoted to her students and the success of each and every one of them. She will be an amazing representative in 2020 for all of Maine’s teachers!

READ a bit about Heather and her teaching in the Portland Press Herald.

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Congrats Krisanne Baker

October 8, 2019

International award for innovative integration of ocean ed and creative arts

(Waldoboro, Maine) – Krisanne Baker, an art teacher at Medomak Valley High School, has won an Educator Innovation Award for effectively and creatively teaching students about ocean conservation issues and empowering them to be stewards of our blue planet. Baker received a $750 cash prize.

An eighteen foot Humpback Whale designed and directed by Catherine Johnson. Students are creating a 70′ ocean awareness mural that wraps around a student courtyard at Medomak Valley High School under Krisanne Baker’s Gulf of Maine: Dare to Care curriculum. Photo: Krisanne Baker

The Educator Innovation Award was presented by Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs (Bow Seat), a Massachusetts-based nonprofit whose mission is to activate students through the arts, science, and advocacy to become the next wave of ocean leaders. Bow Seat’s flagship educational program—the global Ocean Awareness Contest—invites youth to learn about and explore the connections between human activities and the health of our ocean through visual art, writing, music, and film. Since 2012, more than 12,000 students from 106 countries and all 50 U.S. states have participated in the Ocean Awareness Contest. Bow Seat has awarded almost $300,000 in scholarships to help advance teens’ creative talents and passion for the ocean, as well as to educators who use the program as a tool to teach students about ocean conservation issues, apply classroom learning to real-world problems, and build students’ research and communication skills.

Aubrianna Nash and Kylee Miller work on their section of the 70′ mural.
Photo: Krisanne Baker

Knowing that our lives depend on the health of the ocean, Baker began a conversation about climate change in her art classrooms and found that no other teachers were addressing the subject. Baker developed the “Gulf of Maine: Dare to Care” curriculum to teach students how to use art to make a difference, specifically in ocean advocacy. When she offered her Studio Arts class the choice to work on Bow Seat’s Contest for an entire quarter and then submit their work to the competition, the students voted unanimously to do so. Krisanne’s Foundations of Arts and Creative Design classes learned  how to make accurate scientific illustrations of endangered Gulf of Maine marine animals, then created slumped recycled glass renditions of their creatures, which collectively will be a part of a display traveling from the town hall to local libraries to elementary schools beginning in 2020. The Foundations of Arts class now has a year-long focus on the Gulf of Maine.

“Bow Seat is committed to empowering ocean-conscious creators and changemakers who are using the power of creativity and imagination to bring people together to care for our shared planet,” said Linda Cabot, founder and president of Bow Seat. “We are thrilled to have educators like Krisanne as a member of our global community, and we respect the incredible work she does to ignite her students’ curiosity, encourage their creativity, and open their eyes to their own power to affect change.”

Some examples of slumped and fused glass endangered ocean creatures from Baker’s Foundations of Arts and Creative Design classes at MVHS. Photo: Krisanne Baker

“Using art to educate people, especially young people, gives me hope for this planet,” said Baker. “As an ecoartist, my personal practice uses art as a means to make change. However, five years ago, I decided to do the same as an art educator.  I teach about climate change through art because when I asked my students who was talking with them about it, no one was. It’s a tough subject and in my mind, the largest looming local and global problem our young people face. In my 25 years of teaching, never before have I had students so impassioned, empowered, and empathetic.”

Art advocacy for North Atlantic Right Whale silkscreened t-shirt; Gulf of Maine: Endangered Ocean Species silkscreen unit.

Visit bowseat.org for more information about Bow Seat’s programs, educational resources, and global collection of student artwork. The 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest, “Transforming Crisis: Climate Hope,” is open now through June 15, 2020, to students ages 11-18 worldwide.

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