LEWISTON — This fall, college students across Lewiston-Auburn received booklets called “The College Connection: A Student Guide to Lewiston-Auburn, Maine.”

The guides were created by the Four-College Student Leadership Group at the Downtown Education Collaborative, and list various places to eat, hike and shop in the Twin Cities.

The student group formed over the winter and picked this as their first project. The group, made up of students from Andover College, Bates College, Central Maine Community College and the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College, met weekly to decide on the content for their guide, compile lists of businesses and double-check addresses and phone numbers.

“I enjoyed making the guide,” said Terry Bastarache, a student at Andover College. “It was fun meeting the students from the other schools and working with them.”

The College Connection guides are designed to let students know what is going on in their communities and give them the information they need to venture off campus and explore restaurants, shops and events.

“This is a great idea,” said Kim Wettlaufer, owner of the local Subway sandwich restaurants. “I would love to have more students in my shops and in the other stores downtown.”

The project is an example of the mission of the Downtown Education Collaborative, which was formed in 2008 as a partnership between the four colleges, Empower Lewiston, Lewiston Adult Education and the Lewiston Public Library. Members meet to brainstorm community projects and pool resources to make them happen. Other projects include computer labs for adults and a homework help program, both held at the library, as well as a summer writing camp and a community food assessment.

The College Connection guides are being printed by different departments on each campus. To see the guide online, visit www.declewiston.org/guide.html.

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