- January 23, 2020
Anyone who has collaborated with others on a project knows that it usually takes a lot more time than simply going it alone does. And if the collaboration involves multiple schools and nonprofit organizations, you're going to need a healthy dose of patience, persistence, and probably some money. This is one of the many reasons why the staying power of the Kelp4Kids after-school program on Peaks Island, run by high school students from Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, is so remarkable. Now in its third year, Kelp4Kids was started by Baxter alum Emma Christman and allows students’ creativity to flourish, while still educating themselves in hands-on, self-motivated ways.
- December 20, 2019
I love my job. I especially love the 60% of my time that is allocated to supporting and coordinating the Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative, or TLC, as we affectionately call it. Monhegan, Matinicus, Frenchboro, the Cranberry Isles, Isle au Haut, Cliff Island, and Massachusetts’ Cuttyhunk are all home to small island schools. This year, the Cranberries have the largest student population of the TLC, with nine students in their K-8 school. A network of one- and two-room schoolhouses in Maine and Massachusetts, the TLC connects teachers and students, both virtually and in person.
- December 19, 2019
An often-quoted phrase when it comes to life is, “It’s all about the journey.” I would like to share a journey I’ve taken over the last year with 28 Mainers looking to start their own aquaculture business. I’m fortunate enough to be at the intersection of aquaculture and business in Maine, managing the Aquaculture Business Development Program for the Island Institute. This key piece of work revolves around helping fisherman diversify their income by starting a business in aquaculture that allows them to continue working on the water.
- December 9, 2019
'What do you want to be when you grow up?' is a question kids hear a lot and answering it can get harder as the school years tick by. This is the time of year when it becomes very real as high school seniors and young adults grapple with decisions about what they want to do next in their lives and how to pay for it. Many will go right on to a traditional four-year college, but increasingly, while some will take a gap year before college, others will seek technical training and head into the workforce with a credential of value. Learn about our new Compass Workforce Grant, and how it can support island students and young adults in pursuing workforce development and professional development skills.
- November 25, 2019
Owen Casas, town administrator for South Thomaston, is dealing with a problem with no clear, historical guidance for a solution. The problem is sea level rise. Island Road in South Thomaston is a critical route to the working waterfront, used daily by 115 lobster workers and 150 residents. As the seas continue to rise, Island Road is starting to flood during high tide and the problem is only getting worse. The solution is community-based climate action, and the Island Institute is guiding the way.
- November 21, 2019
Are you a Maine island student interested in going to a camp or educational program? Do you want to travel, meet new people, and experience something new? If so, the Geiger Scholarship for students may be for you! Not a student? Please share with island students you know! Middle school, high school, and post secondary students are eligible to apply, and annual deadlines are November 30 and February 28.
- November 18, 2019
When I attend the Island Teachers’ Conference, I most look forward to the opportunity to connect with educators and administrators from up and down the coast. This year, with ample time between sessions and during meals to chat, I enjoyed conversing with teachers from Vinalhaven, Isle au Haut, Islesboro, and even some participating mainland schools. However, the highlight of the conference for me was the keynote address by Pender Makin, commissioner of the Maine Department of Education.
- November 13, 2019
Teaching in island schools is so unlike teaching in larger mainland districts. That’s why the Island Institute’s Island Teachers Conference is so valuable—it offers a unique opportunity for island teachers to access relevant professional development and network with other island teachers. An impressive hallmark of this conference is the way in which its organizers are so responsive to feedback. There is a real eagerness on the part of the Island Institute to meet the changing needs of island teachers, and each year they tweak the conference in both large and small ways to provide the most meaningful and worthwhile event.
- October 11, 2019
Overall, I’ve found midcoast Maine’s custom wood workers: furniture makers, wood turners, spoon and oyster platter carvers, etc., to be quite singular people. For me however, Christina Vincent stood out even before I met her in person. As the proud daughter of a projects man, from concrete footings to framework to cabinetry, I came-of-age around the rebuilding of the house my sister and I grew up in. Thus, coming across Christina’s work, it was like stumbling upon my staunch childhood persona come to adulthood. I’d never recognized that sentiment in myself before; however, seeing Christina’s beautifully designed and executed pieces, the expert woodwork of a woman, made me want to do a little touchdown dance.