100 Years Ago: 1924

A meeting of the Mechanic Falls Chamber of Commerce will be held in Perkin’s Hall on Monday evening at 7:30 and will be attended by members and their friends.

The program will include a moving picture furnished by the Great Northern Paper Company and it will tell the story of spruce and the slides will show how paper is made from the tree. The entire process of the making will be shown and following that picture scenes of the Penobscot River and Mount Katahdin will be shown of the latter being the only pictures of the mountain ever taken in the winter.

50 Years Ago: 1974

Tragedy and Comedy combine effectively to make “Balcony Scene.” a prize winning production which has survived about 30 years of productions. The Auburn Maine School of Commerce’s new Drama Club is presenting the one-act play in the student lounge Monday night. The cast includes Pam Kirchmaier, Cape Elizabeth; Diane Paradis and Marily Lemieux, Sanford; Robert Carroll, Poland; John Stass, Lisbon Falls; Pat Ervin, Auburn faculty adviser and performer; Charles Magno, Auburn; and Kathy Whittemore, Rumford.

25 Years Ago: 1999


Androscoggin Head Start has expanded its program with a $60,000 federal grant to help parents working their way off welfare.

One Auburn child-care provider calls the new program essential to working poor families who otherwise would not be able to afford day-care services for their youngsters. ‘It’s just unbelievable how much good child care is needed,” said Linda Fisher, one of the five day-care providers who signed up for the new program, called Home-Start.

A year in development, the program pays for child care for 13 3-to 5-year-olds either in their own home or in licensed day-care centers, according to Sharon Philbrook Bergeron, grant and budget specialist for Androscoggin Head Start. The grant allows Head Start to pay providers $85 a week for each of the children enrolled in the new program.

Head Start provided months of training for the five providers and offers continuing support to make sure poor kids get a square chance at a good start now and when they enter school.

The grant is especially important in a county where child poverty is 13 percent higher than the state average and where there are 1,000 more poor children than in neighboring Franklin and Oxford counties combined, Philbrook Bergeron said.

“We spent a whole year developing this program because we wanted to make sure it was done correctly,” she said. “It took a long time and we knew it would; we planned it that way.”


The program, which Philbrook Bergeron thinks will grow, offers poor families many benefits:

More flexible hours for day care than what the Head Start program can offer;
Low Cost, quality child care that allows siblings to stay together during the day;
Continuing support from nurses, speech therapists, nutrition experts and disability specialists;
Ongoing training and support for providers, plus materials, supplies and equipment needed to meet children’s needs.

“Quality of care–that’s where we shine, ” Philbrook Bergeron said of the Head Start program, which has operated from Lewiston for more than 30 years.

She said most of the child-care providers in the Twin Cities meet many of Head Start’s strict standards for care, but often they don’t document their efforts. Both Head Start and Home-Start are crucial in helping parents move from welfare to work.

The material used in Looking Back is produced exactly as it originally appeared although misspellings and errors may be corrected.

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