FARMINGTON – A night of folk music to benefit the Farmington Children’s School, a new Montessori-inspired alternative school, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Old South Congregational Church, Main Street.

The concert will feature the music of Ruth Hill, a familiar name in the local folk music scene, who will play songs and ballads on her guitar and banjo. Hill has appeared at numerous venues in Farmington, including UMF’s Latte Landing, Nordica Auditorium, and the GI Coffee Houses sponsored by the Western Maine Peace Action Workshop.

“She is one of Maine’s best voices,” said Julianna Acheson, UMF anthropology professor and executive director of the Farmington Children’s School. “Ruth Hill is the sort of person that when people hear her sing and play, they say, Who is that person, where did she come from and how come I’ve never heard her before’.”

The event will help raise scholarship money for the school, creating tuition assistance for children in need. Suggested donation is $5 for students, children and seniors and $10 to $20 for all others. The evening will include coffee, tea and baked goods in a coffee house-style setting with small tables, chairs and candlelight.

The Farmington Children’s School opened its doors to six students in the fall. Teacher Margaret Johnston, who holds a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Maine and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, creative dance and photography from Goucher College, has created a learning environment for her small class, but is excited to bring in more students, for whom she can provide individualized attention, and help with hands-on learning methods.

Acheson said that while full tuition comes to a little more than $20 a day, parents in Franklin County still feel themselves financially strapped.

“We need money for scholarships. There is a lot of interest in the school but there are people who are hesitant to come forth because of finances,” said Acheson, who stresses that the school is a nonprofit enterprise. “The goal will never be to make money,” she said. “This is not a school for the elite. This is a school that we hope will serve all kinds of kids with diverse needs.”

Parents interested in the school can attend open houses from 10 a.m. to noon every Wednesday.

For more information about the benefit concert, call Acheson at 645-9773. Those who would like to contribute to the school scholarship fund but cannot attend the concert can send contributions to the Farmington Children’s School, P.O. Box 985, Farmington, ME 04938.

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