DIXFIELD — Educators from the Pennacook Learning Center in Rumford told Regional School Unit 10 directors Monday night that the Junior Maine Guide program is helping students become successful.

“The goals of the Junior Maine Guide program are to address high-risk youth, to increase aspirations, to improve their grades, their behavior in school, and their behavior in the program, RSU 10 Special Education Director Clarissa Fish said.

“It’s really to put them on a successful trajectory when they might not have had that option,” she said.

This is the second year of the pilot program for middle school students. It’s funded with a federal grant from Gear Up, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.

Michelle Young, an educational technician at the Pennacook Learning Center and a registered Maine Guide, showed slides of the skills students are taught. They include map and compass reading, outdoor survival, hiking and fishing.

“A goal for this program is to be a Junior Maine Guide,” she said.


Anthony Mazza, a fellow educational technician, said students were taught how to make shelters, as well as fly-fishing and fly-tying.

Student Colby Frost said that before he got into the program he was always watching TV, but now he is always outside and likes to go for hikes, and he wants to teach his brothers and sisters how to fish.

“It’s refreshing to see something where kids are taught skills for being outdoors,” said Christina Beaucage, a mother of two students in the program.

Also at the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Pam Doyen, Fish and Meroby Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Jessica Sirois presented the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support program included in the elementary, middle school and high school grades.

It teaches students “what to do, not how to do it,” Sirois said.

Students are awarded prizes, such as lunch with the principal, for good behavior.


Officials reminded voters the districtwide budget meeting and vote at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, in the auditorium at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.


RSU 10 logo.

Students of the Maine Junior Guide program include, left to right, Bryan Beaucage, Arthur Dion, Colby Frost, and Jacon Beaucage Jr. Pennacook Learning Center Guide’s leader Educational Technician Anthony Mazza is speaking. PLC educational technician and Registered Maine Guide Michelle Young is to the right of the speaker, facing away from the camera.

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