RANGELEY — Regional School Unit 78 directors this week were told that Rangeley Lakes Regional School students have sent their journals to friends and strangers around the world, who will add entries and return them.

It’s a project that middle school literacy teacher Robin George works on with sixth-graders. She compares the project to sending a message in a bottle or sending a rocket into space with a written payload.

“Young writers are inspired by models written by their peers,” George said told the school board Tuesday. The presentation was in answer to a request from Superintendent Susan Pratt for teachers to show the board examples of their work.

“The students come to understand the power of their words, and look forward to getting their journals back,” George said. “They’ve been returned from China, London, Afghanistan — even one from Burning Man in Nevada. The entries are everything from really silly to really serious.”

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved a fourth-grade day trip to Lac-Megantic, Quebec, next April to take part in maple sugar production.

Principal Charles Brown said the middle school’s trip this year would be to the University of Maine’s Tanglewood Camp in Lincolnville for a two days of leadership workshops.

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Brown said he went to the Farmington Fair with students from kindergarten through grade five. On Tuesday morning, Title I teacher Shirley Schrader produced the annual Peace Day celebration, complete with poems and songs — even the release of a dove at the end.

In February 2013, the school board accepted a grant from Franklin Savings Bank to pay for a scorers’ table to be installed in the gym. A design from a bank employee was approved, and the grant of $3,100 will cover the estimated cost of $2,894. The delay was partly caused by design discussions because the size of the gym required that the table be placed in the stands, visible to players and officials, but not to the public.

Virginia Nuttall of the Facilities Committee reported that the crew from Siemens has begun the school’s energy makeover with lighting replacement. The work is expected to take about a month to complete. Siemens has ordered air exchangers and pellet boilers for installation in the spring and is providing educational materials to explain its activities to the students.

Pratt read a letter from Debbie Frost announcing her resignation and retirement after 15 years as the principal’s secretary and school receptionist.


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