Mid-Coast School Notebook: March 16

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

Bath fueling kids’ love of reading

Read Across America Day had a local impact March 2, when a community collaboration was launched to encourage kids to read en route to school.
Bath Elementary PTA, Regional School Unit 1, and the Patten Free Library have teamed up to offer Book on the Bus, an initiative prompted in part by a similar program in Topsham call Bus Book Bags. 
Eight specially designed bus seat covers with book pockets were installed on the first bus March 1, and books labeled with “Books on the Bus” logo stickers were placed in the seats for kids to enjoy during their commute.

“Our mission is to provide kids with convenient access to books while also helping to improve bus behavior,” said Sheryl Ritchie, head of the Bath Elementary PTA Literacy Committee, in a prepared release.

According to Ritchie, for many children the bus can be stressful, boring, and even a little scary. “Providing kids with a focused activity can help them with anxiety while fostering a love of reading and building relationships with other kids,” she said. In addition, Ritchie added, similar programs show students who are engaged in a meaningful activity on the bus are more likely to sit still and stay focused, allowing drivers to focus on the safe transportation of students.

The books will primarily target kids ages 5-9. As books find a new home with students or become too worn, they will be restocked. To that end, donations of age-appropriate, clean, mold-free, sturdy books from smoke-free environments can be brought to the Patten Free Library Children’s Room. 

For more information or if you would like to make a book donation, please contact Sheryl Ritchie, Literacy Committee Chair for the Bath Elementary PTA, shanson712@yahoo.com or Carol McFadden, Head of Children’s Services, Patten Free Library, 443-5141, ext. 17 ccmcfadden@patten.lib.me.us.

The program will start with one bus, and as the group continues to grow and raise funds, they will expand to more buses.

“Our mission is to have books on every bus in the RSU 1 district,” said Ritchie.

Local student Maine National Geo Bee semifinalist 

“The easternmost part on the Horn of Africa is located in which country?”

Jack Nussbaum had to answer that or a similar question correctly to earn a place as one of the semifinalists who will compete in the Maine State National Geographic State Bee who is eligible to compete in the 2018 Maine State National Geographic State Bee. The contest will be held at University of Maine at Farmington on April 6, 2018.

Nussbaum, is the son of Michael and Sara Nussbaum and a seventh-grader at Brunswick Junior High School

This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 30th year. School Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students to compete in the State Bees.

To celebrate the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, the cash prize for the top three students in each state has doubled. Each state champion will receive $200, the National Geographic Visual Atlas of the World, and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Geographic Bee Championship May 20-23.

National Geographic will stream the final round of the championship starting May 24 at www.natgeobee.org.

As for the question of which country is on the easternmost portion of the Horn of Africa? Those who answer “Somalia” would be correct.