Southern School Notebook: June 16

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 SHS student envisions ‘Whoopie Pie of the Future’

“What will the Whoopie Pie look like in 2117?” The Maine State Museum, Center Theatre, and Maine Whoopie Pie Festival asked students in grades 5 through 12 that question, and have announced the finalists in the first-ever Whoopie Pie of the Future student art contest.

Haley Nelson of Scarborough High School, was one of five finalists selected based on their submission’s creativity, originality, artistic skill, and clarity of their written description. Readers may vote on Nelson’s Whoopie Pie of The Future by visiting and clicking on the Whoopie Pie of the Future page. Visitors can vote once per day; online voting is open until midnight July 7. The public will also be invited to vote for their favorite piece in person at the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival in Dover-Foxcroft on June 24, and at a special exhibit at the Maine State Museum starting July 11. The contest winner will be announced at a Free Family Saturday at the Maine State Museum, slated for July 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We’re thrilled at the pieces that made it to the final round,” said Patrick Myers, the Executive Director of the Center Theatre and Organizer of the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, “We hope that people across the state, the country, and the world will vote for their favorite.”

Scarborough High School students among National Merit Scholars

Two Scarborough teens were among  3,200 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities. Officials of each sponsor college selected their winners from among the finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

Rachel O. Ferrante plans to study computer engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. The New York-based university provides technology-based educational programs and was founded in 1829.

Isaac Sparks-Willey is also studying computer engineering but will attend the University of Maine Orono, founded in 1865, and composed of five colleges through which more than 175 degree programs are offered. 

Project GRACE invests in school nutrition

At a recent school board meeting, Project GRACE awarded the Scarborough School Nutrition Program a $2,500 grant for milk and snacks, breakfasts and lunches, and second helpings for students whose families are struggling.

Almost 3,000 kids attend school in Scarborough; about 12 percent are in the free and reduced school meal program. Even so, some children need extra helpings to make up for not getting enough food at home. Other families aren’t eligible for subsidies but need help feeding their kids. 

“We’re picking up the lunch tab for our neighbors who want to provide healthy meals for their kids, but can’t because of setbacks like loss of work, illness, or other circumstances that make it difficult to make ends meet,” said Project GRACE’s Board President Bert Follansbee. “There is an abundance of good food available, and no child should have to go hungry.”

School Nutrition’s backpack program provides staples to struggling families so they can feed their kids during school breaks and long holiday weekends. School Nutrition Director Peter Esposito is working to add more fresh foods to the boxes, and Project GRACE contributes by supplying fresh fruit.