Imagine being a math teacher, but only half of your class has access to calculators at home. Or imagine being an English teacher, but only a fraction of your students are able to take the book home. How would you adapt? This isn’t far from reality for many students in Maine who lack internet access at home. As part of Island Institute’s work supporting digital equity planning in Waldo county, my colleague Zuzy and I recently visited Belfast high school, to hear from students and teachers about the impact the digital divide on education.
I had my first day at Island Institute on a Monday, and by Wednesday I was boarding a train to Rhode Island to attend the Northeast Aquaculture Conference and Exposition (NACE). The Amtrak was buzzing with excited chatter between industry acquittances, old friends, and colleagues, excited to connect in person and not at a virtual conference.
We’re thrilled to share the exciting news: Island Institute has been named a nonprofit partner of 1% for the Planet, an honor made possible by a thoughtful nomination from our friends at Maine Beer Company.
Three days after back-to-back storms that pummeled Maine’s coast in January, Maine Seacoast Mission welcomed Island Institute to join them aboard the Sunbeam to get a firsthand look at storm damage, connect with island residents and businesses, and lend a hand with clean-up efforts.
On Wednesday, December 6th, The Town of Stonington kicked off the first of a three-part series called “Talk of the Towns,” at the Stonington Opera House. Island Institute is sponsoring the series. The first talk: “Sea Level Rise, Warming & Storming: Navigating for Climate Resilience in Fishing Communities” featured a panel with Island Institute’s Dr. Susie Arnold.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an award on October 17 to Island Institute for nearly $87,000 from its Rural Business Development Grant program. These funds will go towards supplementing the Tom Glenn Community Impact Fund’s revolving loan fund.
Kelp season seems to come all at once on the coast of Maine. In part due to the nature of the organism and its habitat, and in part due to the needs of kelp harvesters and processors, you can count on most farms being harvested within a couple of weeks in May and June.
Throughout our nearly 40-year history, the Island Institute has often played a role to help connect Maine’s island communities to other, similarly situated communities in the U.S. and beyond. By participating in networks, learning exchanges, and even research publications, we’ve seen the value in helping Mainers expand their networks and even build their confidence as leaders by providing an avenue for them to share the stories of their hard work.