A part of Lewiston Education Fund’s long term goals has been to launch a Signature Project that supports the mission of the organization and supports a key grade in the Lewiston School system. In the final days of school year in 2014 this goal was realized. With support from our endowment and additional support provided by L.L.Bean Inc. a once in a life experience for students was provided.
The project provided all 7th grade students at Lewiston Middle School with an experiential learning opportunity at the L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School in Freeport, Maine. The objective of this project was to prompt student discovery allowing them to make a connection between the place in which they live and the potential career opportunities available to them. This project was closely tied to the 7th grade Maine Studies, science and literacy curriculums. By helping students to connect an experiential understanding of the world to potential work opportunities, this project met the Lewiston Education Fund’s overarching goal to promote aspirations and provide an opportunity for students to explore the natural world, regardless of status.
The project served a total of 340 students, many of these students having limited opportunities to leave their local community and discover the world beyond Lewiston.
Students participated in outdoor activities including kayaking, fly fishing, archery, mini camps and stand-up paddle boarding. Prior to their visit, they worked with their social studies, science, and literacy teachers to explore multiple connections to careers and the natural environment.
During their visit to the L.L.Bean Discovery School, students gained an intimate understanding of recreational activities that connect Mainers to nature today. For many of our students, this trip was the first time they participated in any of these recreational activities. Following the trip, students met with their teachers to reflect upon their experience and to make connections between this experience and their own career goals.
This event has been annualized, the most recent taking place in June of 2015.
Special thanks goes to Christine Poulin the team leader in charge, Amie Parker our past President of LEF, L.L.Bean Inc for their financial support, the senior administrators at Lewiston Middle School and the staff at the Dingley Building.