Gabe Gregoire

Gabe Gregoire

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Participate in a 'community conversation'

Feeling concern for children and families who may have trouble buying groceries, or may live in unstable situations, or find other stressors at home, is commonplace among citizens of a first-world country like ours. But imagine living in a place where the sound of gunfire and the fear of kidnapping or persecution were familiar to your children, so much so that you made an arduous journey to bring them to a safer, but entirely unfamiliar, country. Among many other concerns, you’d be worried about how well they did in their new schools.

That’s what the second annual "A Community Conversation," hosted by the Center for Grieving Children’s Intercultural Advisory Council and made possible by support from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, is about. It will be held in the Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library (5 Monument Way) on Wednesday, June 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Mayor Ethan Strimling will welcome participants to a discussion about educational challenges and opportunities for new Mainers, especially children and teens, who have experienced loss, grief, violence and family changes in their original homelands. Emphasis will be placed on the ways and means for community members to support these families’ well-being and success.

Speakers, including members of the Advisory Council, representatives from Portland Public Schools, parents, and students, will bring their unique perspectives to the discussion. The conversation will focus on education (specifically success in school for children and teens), family, emotional and social support, and the role of schools and communities.

"When families have experienced a loss of culture, language and community, adults are under tremendous pressure, and the children and teenagers often feel misunderstood and isolated," said Anne Heros, Center for Grieving Children executive director. "The Center's Intercultural Program, in partnership with Portland Public Schools, helps support those students in expressing their feelings of loss and change while reconnecting to community supporting their school success. We are pleased to be able to bring more people into an intercultural conversation about how we together create acceptance and healing in our community."

Preregistration is strongly encouraged. If you would like to attend, please email Sue Calhoun at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, language spoken, and number of guests.

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or navigate to http://www.cgcmaine.org/events/communityconversation/ | Portland Public Library: 207.871.1700

  • Published in Kids

A note to animal lovers

It’s no secret that there are many, many animals in this country, including in Maine, that would be faithful, loving family companions if only they had a home. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, over 30 percent of shelter dogs end up being euthanized, and over 40 percent of cats in shelters face the same fate, totalling a loss of 2.7 million animals each and every year.

We can only fight this one adoption at a time. Think of your family dog growing up, or a favorite cat that only you really understood.

Every animal has the potential to be that special to someone, and if you have the space in your heart and your home, that someone could be you all over again, with these adoption events coming up:

 

Sponsored by Lucky Pup Rescue | Saturday, June 11 | 11:00am-2:00pm | Gorham Growl | 2 Main St., Gorham | 207.839.4795 | Sunday, June 12 | 11:00am-2:00pm | The Whole Dog Market SoPo | 429 Preble St., Unit 2, South Portland | 207.747.4284

 

Sponsored by the Animal Welfare Society | Saturday, June 18 | noon-2:00pm | Petco | 220 Maine Mall Rd, South Portland | 207.772.9119 | Saturday, July 2 | noon-2:00pm | PetSmart | 700 Gallery Ave., Scarborough | 207.289.2738

  • Published in Pets

Getting kids involved with food prep

We all want our kids to grow up to be capable, self-sufficient adults. That means, of course, leading by example when it comes to demonstrating life skills, but a little direct teaching never hurts either. This week, in the arena of food preparation, the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine (142 Free St.) is offering two chances for children to be introduced to the things they will need to know to support themselves later on.

The first, ‘Cooking Class: Strawberry Shortcake,’ will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, and again at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 16. Kids will get the chance to investigate the chemical reactions involved in baking. They will also dissect strawberries, learning about each part of the fruit. The most fun? Beating up a batch of homemade whipped cream! It goes without saying that the result of these experiments will be the seasonal treat to end all treats, strawberry shortcake.

For members, admission to this class is $5. For guests, the cost is $7 plus museum admission.

The second cooking class is a Butter Making Workshop, offered on Wednesday, June 15 at 10:15 a.m. After learning the origins of this ubiquitous food, from dairy farm to creamery to supermarket to the fridge, kids will have the opportunity to make their own butter, and will produce a small jar to bring home. Be sure to tell them how delicious it is on your toast the following morning! Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Admission to the workshop is $5 for museum members, and $6 plus admission for guests.

Registration for both events is encouraged, and may be accomplished by calling 207.828.1234 x231 or stopping by the front desk.

  • Published in Kids

Is your kid a star?

If your retirement plan is for your child to grow up to be the next Brad Pitt or Julia Roberts, the place to get them started outside of Hollywood is the Main Stage Theatre Meet and Greet at the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine (142 Free St.) on Friday, June 3 at 5 p.m.

This is the chance for kids with a flair for the dramatic to become familiar with how it feels to be onstage, play theatre games, and unleash that energy that calls a certain few to perform for an audience. They will be able to meet the directors of the Museum's theatre program, and best of all, learn all there is to know about the summer drama series, "Written in the Stars," including information about how to audition for the upcoming kids’ production of Icarus and Daedalus.

The auditions themselves will take place the following day, Saturday, June 4, same location, starting at 10:30 a.m. Beginners and experienced actors aged 8 to 17 are welcome. And there's no need to have anything memorized. Roles will begin to be assigned based on how youngsters perform during games and movement exercises. The most important? Pretending to fly. You can bet Brad Pitt did plenty of that at a young age. And there's no fun like theatre fun, so be sure to make it!

Meet and Greet free with $2/person admission | Production of Icarus and Daedalus runs July 21 to Aug. 5 | Information: email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Published in Kids

Puppy party at Aubuchon

They're cute. They're furry. Their only skill is showing unconditional love. They're puppies, and they're up for adoption at the Animal Refuge League's puppy party at Aubuchon Hardware (832 Stevens Ave) on Saturday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event is meant to be enjoyed by the entire family, including the kids and the four-legged friends that might need a younger dog to help keep them lively.

Hot dogs and other snacks will be available, as well as a bounce house to keep the children entertained while you fill out the adoption paperwork for your newest companion. And even if that's not in the cards, donations will be gratefully accepted to support the ARLGP’s mission to keep animals healthy and happy and connect them with loving families. It's a win-win. So come out and enjoy the day!


The ARLGP may be reached at 207.854.9771. Aubuchon's phone is 207.871.0383.

  • Published in Pets

Working 'Side by Side' brings innovation to young people

Those readers who picked up this issue on press day have a chance to support an important Portland children’s program by attending the Side-x-Side Exhibit Reception at the Portland Public Library (5 Monument Square) on Thursday, May 26 at 4:30 p.m.

Side-x-Side is a local nonprofit that works in partnership with University of Southern Maine and other Portland institutions, currently partially funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant. Working to bring creativity, innovation and critical thinking into the classroom through the arts, Side-x-Side has fostered two major projects in local schools this year, resulting in the following two exhibits:

“Bird Books,” the first of the two, made amateur ornithologists out of first-graders at East End Community School. Side-x-Side teaching artists Leah Cross and Sarah Herboldsheimer assigned a specific bird to each student to research, write about and draw pictures of, with the culmination being hand-made books detailing the birds’ habitat, diet, life cycle and adaptations. These beautiful books are a must-see.

The second project, “Mapping Our Portland,” involved third-graders from Reiche and East End Community Schools. These young cartographers developed map-making skills including scale, perspective, and symbology, under the tutelage of Leah Cross, and Milly Brown of MollyMaps. Students made maps of the places they knew and put them together into their own personal atlases. But that wasn’t all. One map from each atlas was brought to life with watercolors, and these paintings were combined to form one map-mural of the city of Portland for each classroom. It is these murals that you will see at the reception.

Cross said, “The most important thing about the Side-x-Side is getting the kids more art. Most only have about 40 minutes in art class. The [fact that] Side-x-Side projects are tied directly into the curriculum not only gets [students] more time learning about all sorts of different art techniques and mediums, but it also shows them that it doesn't have to be a separate activity in all different aspects of what they're learning. My favorite thing about the mapping project was the level of excitement the kids had every time we were there to work with them, and seeing different parts of the projects come together, and how amazing the final results were after all of their hard work!”

 

  • Published in Kids

A special day at the Seashore Trolley Museum

Dog owners, mark your calendars for Seashore Trolley Dog Day, at the Seashore Trolley Museum (195 Log Cabin Rd, Kennebunkport), on Saturday, June 4.

The Dog Day is an all-day event, happening rain or shine, and is a great chance to mix and mingle and play with other canines and their companions, amidst the living history of the museum.

Some of the goings-on that will be featured:

  • • Blessing of the dogs, by Pastor Jan Hryniewicz of the Union Church in Biddeford.

• Adoptable dogs and puppies, from both the Animal Welfare Society and Lucky Pup Rescue.

• Book sale and signing of “Gooch’s Pooches: The Dogs of Kennebunk Beach,” with photographer Robert Dennis and editor Annette Hall Quezada.

• Demonstrations from The Capable Canine.

• Information from area veterinary practices.

• Hot dog lunch specials at the Museum Store.

• Trolley rides and museum exhibits, with dogs welcome.

Sally Bates, the executive director of the museum, said, “Seashore Trolley Museum understands that our dogs are family members, and that’s why we are dog-friendly. Dogs bring so much joy, love, and entertainment to our lives that it’s fitting to have a day that focuses on them and gives them a chance to hang out together in this amazing place!”

Seashore Trolley Museum may be reached at 207.967.2712.

  • Published in Pets

Every Dog Has Its Day

They say that every dog has its day. That will certainly be true when the Portland Sea Dogs play the Hartford Yard Goats at Hadlock Field at 1 p.m. on Sunday the 29th. That’s because, before the game starts, the “Dog of the Day” from Kennebunk’s Animal Welfare Society will be brought onto the baseball diamond and introduced to the crowd, in hopes that one of the people or families in attendance will be inspired to adopt the lucky (and now sort of famous) canine.

“Dog of the Day” takes place at every Sunday Sea Dogs home game. On the Sunday in question, it’s also “Kids Run the Bases” day. So if your child has been working hard to convince you to bring a dog into your family, you could make a very memorable day of it. Running the bases on a professional field, AND having the best dog-adoption story to tell for years to come? You’d be a hero. And you don’t have to leave Hadlock to fill out the paperwork. If it’s a good fit, the Animal Welfare Society will facilitate the whole thing right there. Put the 29th in your calendar!

 

AWS says they’ll give details of that day’s dog as they become available. Keep checking back at www.animalwelfaresociety.org (click on News & Events, AWS Events, and you’ll see it).

  • Published in Pets

Call for Volunteers

This summer, A Company of Girls (a local organization that enhances the lives of girls, with after-school programs in the culinary, visual and performing arts) is expanding their weekly summertime visual-arts outreach program, ‘Art in the Parks.’ The program will now serve three local communities: Kennedy Park, Riverton Park, and Sagamore Village. These neighborhoods are served by the Portland Housing Authority and have some of the highest poverty rates in the city of Portland. The only problem is, there’s a lot to be done, and volunteers are needed!

 

Last year, Art in the Parks turned boring summer afternoons into days of inspiration and creativity for hundreds of children, both boys and girls. Around 200 kids participated. Some of their art was displayed in Portland City Hall to reward their efforts. The visual arts were connected with literacy, by aligning projects with popular children’s books. For example, Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ propagated fantastic monster puppets, and ‘Elmer and the Rainbow’ by David McKee brought about patchwork elephants and, of course, such rainbows as to compete with the ones in the sky. Girls from A Company of Girls’ school-year program were given the chance to volunteer alongside adults, and together the volunteers logged 168 hours of work for Art in the Parks. With your help, even more can be done this summer.


Volunteers will assist with set-up, greet participants and manage sign-in, help supervise activities, and help with cleanup. Arts experience is welcome but not required. Adults who are interested in finding out more about can email Jen Roe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Published in Kids

A chance to support a place for kids

Do you ever have those moments where you feel like you should do more, like for the environment, or maybe the less fortunate, or wait a minute, I know, the kids! Well, now’s your chance. Attend the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine Auction 2016: Every Child is an Artist, at The Portland Company (58 Fore St.), on Friday, May 13 from 6 to 10 p.m.

In keeping with the theme "Every Child is an Artist," children’s art will be featured among the items up for auction. But don’t worry, you’ll still see all the coveted live and silent auction items that have been the hallmark of past years’ events. This year’s honorary chairs are Maine children’s author Chris Van Dusen and his wife Lori. Chris, a nationally recognized writer and illustrator, wrote Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, which inspired the Museum’s outdoor adventure exhibit, and The Circus Ship, which was adapted for the stage by the Museum’s own Reba Short and produced there last month.

Tickets to the auction are $50 per person or $450 for a block of 10. You can purchase them online at https://secure.kitetails.org/forms/auction/

Don’t miss the mix-and-mingle, the hors d’oeuvres, desserts and cash bar, the general fun and frolic, and of course, the silent and live auctions, with proceeds going to support the Museum’s exhibits, programming, productions, and scholarships for needy families. Get ready to bid!

The Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine may be reached at 207.828.1234.

  • Published in Kids
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