News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, August 30, 2018
Literacy program kept summer learning going

Bridging the literacy gap

A summer literacy program was recently held at Penobscot Community School, where teachers and volunteers worked with students to keep learning going during the summer months. Anna Wind, right, talks to students from Penobscot Community School about blueberry planting during a recent field trip to Blue Zee Farm. At left is farm owner Mark Scarano.

Photo courtesy of Jay Corbin

by Monique Labbe

Penobscot Community School recently wrapped up a summer literacy program, which ran more than two weeks to help engage students in continued learning to bridge the gap between the previous school year and the next.

The program was presented in a “camp-like atmosphere,” according to principal Jay Corbin, and was themed around art and gardening. “It was a blast for students who participated,” said Corbin. “Students learned about the two topics through reading, writing, crafts and other fun activities.”

The program is run by special education teacher Susan Varnum and is geared toward students in kindergarten to sixth grade. Volunteers and older students helped out as well, according to Corbin.

Since one of the themes for this year’s program was gardening, participants teamed up with the garden club for a field trip to Blue Zee Farm in Blue Hill (and Penosbcot), where they were given a tour by owner “Farmer Mark” Scarano. Scarano showed the students how the equipment works and sent every student home with a fresh picked tomato and blueberries.

For the arts portion of the program, students created paintings that were shown during an art show on the final day of camp.

Students now have some time left of summer vacation, as the first day of school is Tuesday, September 4.