Northern School Notebook: Feb. 24

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What’s Happening in District 51?

CUMBERLAND and NORTH YARMOUTH – It was a busy December and January for MSAD 51. Notable events of the last two months centered around culture, community and assisting those in need.

Over the past few months, there were two major events aimed at helping others. One was a food drive at the Mabel I. Wilson School and Greely Middle School, to support the Cumberland Food Pantry. Students collected hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food items and cash donations totalling $350.

The other major event held was for the charity “Hats for Haiti,” which raises money by allowing students and staff to wear hats to school in exchange for a one dollar donation. Proceeds raised were donated directly to the Red Cross Haiti relief efforts. Greely Middle School raised $1,900 and North Yarmouth Memorial School also participated.

Cultural enrichment was fulfilled through various ways. At the Drowne Road School, Calef Brown, a poet and illustrator from Maine, visited the school in an effort to engage and excite students for the annual kindergarten through fifth grade Poetry Jam that will take place on March 24. 

At the Greely Middle School, eighth grade social studies teacher Steve Hill and his students are working with the Maine Community Heritage Project. Students are learning about historical artifacts and how to catalog them for a Web site.

Starting this year, seventh grade students will have the opportunity to spend three days and two nights on Cow Island in Casco Bay in June to learn about making responsible choices, problem solving, communicating effectively, building a sense of community, and increasing self-confidence. The program is run through the youth development organization, Rippleffect.

At the Drowne Road School, the students celebrated National No Name-Calling Week by creating posters, participating in classroom activities, and listening to stories about accepting all types of people. Greely High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance assisted with activities.

Compiled by Peter Bailinson, a junior at Greely High School who lives in Cumberland.