Portland School Notebook

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Portland schools reduce waste

Students in the Portland schools recently demonstrated how they are recycling and composting cafeteria waste in a new program launched throughout the district. The program will reduce cafeteria trash by 50 percent to 80 percent, eventually save $50,000 on trash hauling, and students learn about sustainability. All Portland schools will be separating recycled items and food waste from cafeteria trash by September.

Students visit Appalachia

Juniors at Portland’s Casco Bay High School presented multimedia projects about building homes in West Virginia at Salt Gallery on June 11.  The projects detailed the “junior journey,” where students volunteered with nonprofit Habitat for Humanity while bonding as a class.  They spent the week volunteering and interviewing families who already live in homes built by Habitat for Humanity.  They used those stories to create the multimedia projects.

Reiche students plant orchard

Reiche Community School students and volunteers planted an apple orchard as part of an ongoing initiative to bring more nature to the urban school landscape.  The orchard is part of an outdoor learning environment for students.

The Portland’s arborist, Jeff Tarling, provided assistance. Three apple trees were donated by Waite Macklin, known as “Pastor Chuck,” and his wife, Christine Macklin. The couple are parents of former Reiche students.

Charlotte Maloney, a landscape architect who has overseen the design work on Reiche’s school grounds, helped plan the orchard.  David Buchanan, a Reiche neighbor and proprietor of Origins Fruit, made suggestions regarding apple trees.

Students helped plant seven semi-dwarf seedling trees on the Brackett Street side of the school, outside the kindergarten doors.  Varieties include northern spy, esopus spitzenburg and honey crisp.

Girl Scout earns award

Girl Scouts of Maine recently announced that Emily Gibson of Portland has earned the Gold Award for her “Play It Forward” community service project. She received the award at a ceremony held at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout may earn and represents her personal journey of leadership, career explorations, self-improvement, and service. To earn the award, a girl must spend a minimum of 80 hours planning and carrying out her project.

Gibson focused on creating awareness of the growing rise in childhood and teenage obesity. 

“I established a table tennis club at Cheverus High School to get kids moving,” Gibson said.  “More than 200 students ended up participating in the club and, as a result, they became more active and improved their overall health; all while making new friends and learning a new sport.”

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