Grant Success Stories

The Book Café

$2500 was awarded to Giselle Cyr of the Lewiston Middle School to implement her proposal entitled The Book Cafe. Targeted students, reading below grade level are invited to read in the new Book Cafe at Lewiston Middle School from 2:15 to 3:00 three days a week. A literacy teacher is available to help students select books and to lead book discussions.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Deena Mayo-Bruns, a reading interventionist at Longley School, came up with the idea for an interactive, baseball themed learning course while working with small reading groups. She was struck by how often baseball is referenced in early reading texts. She realized that American-born middle class children who grow up in a baseball culture, find the topic of the game a comfortable setting for reading as they are familiar with the vocabulary and generally interested in the sport. For immigrant children or children born into poverty, however, they know little about the game and find it a difficult and unfamiliar learning topic. With the help of a grant from Lewiston Education Fund, Deena was able to engineer and implement a program in which third grade teachers at Longley taught an entire unit centered on baseball. Students learned baseball vocabulary, the rules of the game, teamwork concepts and baseball history. The program culminated with a trip to a Seadogs game in Portland. The experience helped all students garner some context for the culture in which they live and helped them to learn in a fun and engaging setting.

LHS Holocaust Studies Course

In the fall of 2009, Lewiston High School began offering its semester long self-paced Holocaust Studies Program. The program is an independent course through which students work a facility coordinator to fulfill the program requirements which include reading at least 2,500 pages of Holocaust related books, viewing 10 hours of relevant films and writing reflective essays. The course culminates with the completion of a capstone essay addressing the question: “Why is it important that the remembrance, history and lessons of the Holocaust be passed to a new generation?” The student’s essays are then submitted as an entry into the Lawrence Spiegel Remembrance Scholarship. Jacqueline Littlefield, education outreach coordinator at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, helped to select the books and films for the course. Russ Caligiuri Jr. was the first LHS student to complete the course.