Saturday, December 29, 2007


YES magazine has an online newsletter that provides dozens of resources for teachers and parents interested in Teaching Peace. It is a wonderful and hopeful resource as we enter a New Year.

Martin Luther King Weekend Events

There are several activities happening around Portland to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in January. I'm wondering if others might like to go to the Sunday night concert together? This list comes from the NAACP MLK page and you can get details about all the events there. NAACP Portland Branch Martin Luther King, Jr., Observance 2008 Building on a Legacy: The Construction of Social and Economic Justice Interfaith Dialogue Wed., Jan. 16, 7:00 p.m. USM Glickman Library, 7th floor, Portland Reconsidering Martin Luther King, Jr: A public conference on his role and legacy Organized in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council Sat., Jan. 19, 9:00 a.m. USM Hannaford Hall, Portland 23rd Annual Music & Gospel Concert Sun., Jan. 20, 6:00 p.m. Merrill Auditorium, Portland 27th Annual Breakfast Celebration Mon., Jan. 21, 8:00 a.m. Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland Eyes on the Prize Screenings and Discussions Mon., Jan. 21, various times starting at 11:30 a.m. Maine Historical Society, Portland Bowdoin offers a wonderful children's event, at 10:00am @ the Bowdoin Library.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Concert Update

Dear Friends, Thank you to all who came to the solstice celebration. It was disappointing that our concert didn't happen. I spoke to Matt this morning and it turned out to be a simple mistake about the date. We both offer sincere apologies and hope that no one was too inconvenienced. I did tell him that the community was remarkable in coming together and having fun and enjoying the beautiful afternoon -- I so appreciate creating rituals and celebrations with you all! Perhaps we could try again for an Earth Day concert and I hope others might have some energy to plan some winter or spring fun events for the community -- even when it doesn't turn out quite as planned, it feels good to come together! Wishing everyone a peaceful solstice! Kim

Thursday, December 20, 2007

KaleidoArts Vacation Workshop

On Friday morning December 28 from 10 to noon Kaleidoscope will be offering another *Vacation Creations* workshop for ages 6 and up. Add some magic to your school vacation and join us for a happy-ever-after morning creating Thumbelina flowers, miniature palaces, frog prince pillows and other reminders of favorite fairy stories! Let us know if you can come! $15 per person email us! (or call 773-2255) Carolyn Heasly and Phyllis Wilkins Kaleidoscope Arts and Crafts 790 Stevens Avenue Portland 04103

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Painting Competition

If young artists get bored this break, Roots & Shoots also sent word of this contest : International Children's Painting Competition ENTRY DEADLINE: January 15, 2008 Children from across the nation are encouraged to submit a painting to the International Children's Painting Competition. This year's theme is climate change. Started in 1991 and run by the , the Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, Bayer and Nikon Corporation, this competition draws entries from over 100 countries!

Peace Ornament

We made lovely origami peace dove ornaments for the Hat Sale... a different set of instructions was just sent from Roots & Shoots, using empty plastic bottles.

A Place in The Choir

I am loving the wonderful songs that our kids are learning. The latest is called A Place in the Choir and it is delightful. Also, don't forget to start practicing Earth Worm Dance in preparation for the solstice concert.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Webkinz & Advertising

From Campaign for Commerical Free Childhood:, the most visited virtual world for children in the United States, has quietly begun targeting its users with outside advertising. The site is already commercial - in order to subscribe, children must buy a Webkinz toy that comes with a special code. But apparently using the site to sell millions of Webkinz stuffed animals wasn't enough for Ganz (the makers of Webkinz) and now they're selling their young users to advertisers. To make matters worse, Ganz didn't bother to inform parents, many of whom purchase Webkinz toys for their children expecting that the website will be free of outside advertising and links. By opening the site to advertisers, Ganz is choosing to maximize profits at the expense of parents' trust and children's wellbeing. Tell Webkinz: No More Advertisements The "Parents Area" of does not mention that the site now includes advertising. Webkinz is currently marketing the film Alvin and the Chipmunks. In addition to banner ads, the site is encouraging young users to actively engage with the movie by purchasing specially designed chipmunk costumes and food for their virtual pets. Bee Movie - a film that partnered with McDonald's, General Mills and Brachs, and has dozens of licensed products - was promoted in a similar way. As children spend more and more time on the web, they are increasingly targeted by Internet marketing. Webkinz' decision to take outside ads is reminiscent of Neopets, another popular online destination for children which went from being ad-free to including product placement on their site for McDonald's and other brands as well as launching their own line of cereal. CCFC is launching a media campaign (including a story in today's New York Times) to inform parents about advertising on Webkinz and to convince Ganz to end it. But we need your help. Please take a moment to tell Ganz: Stop Advertising on Webkinz.

Healthy Toy Site

(From MomsRising) Dear member, Sadly, one of the big stories this holiday season has been an epidemic of "toxic toys" -- exposing children to everything from lead to the date rape drug GHB. We've been horrified, not only at what this says about our national priorities, but also as moms we're left asking: "What toys are safe to buy for my own kids??" That's why we're thrilled to tell you about a new text-for-info service we've just set up. Our friends at HealthyToys.org1 tested over 1250 toys for common chemicals and have made the results searchable online. Because the time you really want to know which toys contain dangerous chemicals is when you're shopping, we've partnered with them to make their database searchable via your mobile phone. Here's how it works: Text healthytoys [toy name] to 41411 And we'll reply instantly with whether the toy tested "high" "med" or "low" for potentially dangerous toxins. Try it! Text "Healthytoys Elmo flashlight" to 41411. You'll get a reply right back to your phone with the test results for the Elmo flashlight by Sesame Street. Neat, eh? Take it with you shopping and tell your friends! Then sign this petition to tell Congress, "We demand safe, lead-free toys for children. Congress must strengthen the agencies responsible for protecting kids from toxic products and remove the bureaucrats who are standing in the way." We should be able to buy our kids toys off the shelf without having to wonder whether they're filled with dangerous chemicals. Glad we're in this together, -- Kristin, Joan, Katie, Donna, Roz, Mary and the whole Team [1] is a project of the Ecology Center in partnership with the Washington Toxics Coalition and: California • Center for Environmental Health • Connecticut - Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut • Maine - Environmental Health Strategy Center • Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine • Massachusetts - Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow • Michigan - Michigan Network for Children's Environmental Health • Minnesota - Healthy Legacy • New York - JustGreen Partnership • Oregon - Oregon Environmental Council • Washington - Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition • National - Center for Health, Environment and Justice P.S. SMS text wiz? Try a more complex search: Text "healthytoys [high/med/low] [toy name]" to 41411 -- to limit your search results to only those toys with a high, med, or low toxins rating -- e.g. "healthytoys low slinky" will only return the Slinky that got a "low toxins" test rating by Text "healthytoys [retailer]" to 41411 -- to search for toys sold by a particular retailer -- e.g. "healthytoys low costco" will return the toys sold at Costco that got a "low toxins" test rating by Text "healthytoys [search term]" to 41411 -- to search for toys with that term in their name, description, brand, or retailer. In other words, you can search not only for a toy name but also for Costco, or Leap Frog, or bracelet, or fuzzy, or rattle, or Spider-man, or Disney -- and any toys with those words anywhere in their listing will be returned. Too many results? Try typing the name of the toy just as it is printed on the packaging -- e.g. "healthytoys Disney Royal Shoes Set".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Listening Room Event -

When we were teenagers we swore we’d never forget what it’s like to be one. We swore that when we were parents we’d do it differently. But can we ever hope to remember the painful social struggles, the hopeless crushes, or even the simple frustration of not being able to drive ourselves around? Can we truly recall how hard it is to grow up? In the latest installment of a “Listening Room” series, local radio producer Josh Gleason (NPR, This American Life, Weekend America) presents an evening of radio stories made by teenagers, including some from WMPG’s own Blunt Youth Radio – stories about young people dealing with everything from the ordinary to the extraordinary, unrequited love to Tourette’s Syndrome. Featuring live music by Tempera and members of Over a Cardboard Sea. A moderated discussion with Blunt Youth Radio program director Claire Holman and Blunt producer Libby Donovan will follow the show. Tuesday, December 18th at SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. 7:00pm, $5, free for members, all ages. Presented In partnership with the Public Radio Exchange. Gibson Fay-LeBlanc Executive Director The Telling Room 225 Commercial Street, Suite 201 Portland, ME 04101 (207) 321-2780

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jim Weiss CDs

You can buy Jim Weiss storytelling CDs for $15 ($4.00 benefits the Friends School) through December 19th. You can purchase them in the office or special order a certain title if you'd like something different. (we only had 2 at the Hat Sale, but have since found the boxes with many, many more!)

Children's Books about Social Class

I have been thinking a lot about the ways that class shapes our experiences, how to deal with the consumption-drive of the holiday season, how we reconcile our fundraising needs with the need for diversity among us, and how it all feels to kids. This article seems really insightful and interesting for our community - I'd love to talk about it if anyone else is interested... Kim (I've provided more info and resources on my own blog, too, if you want it :-) Joan Arrowsmith, Lillian Polite and Elizabeth Saenger, all faculty members at an independent school in NY, have written an practical and provocative article about helping schools and children address class in an overt way. The article contains references for children's books and tips for creating equitable spaces at school and in homes.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Celebrate Dec @ Peace Action Maine

OPENING OF "CELEBRATIONS: A GROUP HOLIDAY ART SHOW" Friday, December 7th, 5-8pm Celebrations is a multimedia group art show bringing together diverse cultural, personal, and religious celebrations at the Meg Perry Center. From Chanukah to Christmas to Solstice to Kwanzaa to Hajj, cultures throughout the world celebrate holidays at this time of year. Celebrations brings together these cultural traditions in a group art show that will display art and documentation of celebrations in the diverse in the diverse cultures here in Portland. At the opening, locally made products and fair trade goods and other independent holiday gifts will be available for sale. This exhibit will be up at the Meg Perry Center throughout the month of December.

Phone Number Privacy

I am not a particularly paranoid person, but this e-mail from Partners in Ending Hunger seems worth sharing.. You may know this already, but just in case you do not: Google has implemented a new feature which enables you to type a telephone number into the search bar and hit enter and you will be given the person's name and address. If you then hit Map, you will get a map to the person's house. It's a nationwide reverse telephone book. If a child gives out his/her phone number, someone can now look it up to find out where he/she lives. The safety issues are obvious, and alarming. Note that you can have your phone number removed or blocked. In order to test whether your phone number is mapped, go to Google, Type your phone number in the search bar (i.e. 555-555-1212) and hit enter. If you want to BLOCK Google from divulging your private information, simply click on your telephone number and then click on the Removal Form. Removal takes 48-hours. "

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

AdVerb Productions - Friday night

One More Time to SAY IT LOUD! About Say It Loud! Say It Loud Season Finale~ This Friday, Dec. 7th @ 7pm One Longfellow Square Say It Loud!, Add Verb's artist development program for teenage girls, promotes personal and social change through writing and performance. Say It Loud! uses the power of hip-hop and spoken word to provide a safe and supportive environment for girls to speak up, express their ideas and opinions and say it like it is. Say It Loud Season Finale THIS FRIDAY! Say It Loud! Ensemble finishes their eventful fall season with their finale performance THIS FRIDAY. Come over to One Longfellow Square after your first friday ART WALK and be part of the celebration! Opening acts include local hip-hop artist SayLove and singer/songwriter Hanifa Washington! Past Say It Loud! participants will also be making an appearance. Please join us to support and celebrate Say It Loud's inspiring work this fall: Say It Loud Season Finale~ This Friday, Dec. 7th @ 7pm One Longfellow Square See you there!! Say It Loud! is supported by the Maine Community Fund's Community Building Grant, the Center for Cultural Exchange, and the National Recreation Foundation. Add Verb Productions Add Verb Productions | PO Box 3853 | Portland | ME | 04101

Monday, November 26, 2007

Simple Gifts

The community sang this song after morning meeting today -- it was so lovely and perfect for this season, I was compelled to find out more. A few renditions are on the YouTube sidebar. Simple Gifts (A bit of a detailed history and analysis can be found at the American Music Preservation site) Lyrics and music by Elder Joseph Brackett at the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine, 1848. Aaron Copeland included it in his Appalachian Spring symphony in 1955. Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free, 'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 'Twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gain'd To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd, To turn, turn will be out delight 'Till by turning, turning we come round right. "

Friday, November 9, 2007

Community Building @ FSP - -use comments to share your thoughts and new ideas!

PLease Send to the Parents... The Fun & Games (AKA community building) meeting notes 1) We believe that the community is diverse, interesting, and full of fun possibilities. We hope all community members will feel free to create spontaneous suggestion and invitations for various activities and outings. We'd love to see the parents group have some money available to support these projects. Many smaller chances to come together feels like the most sustainable model for creating an ongoing sense of community. 2) We feel like we need to choose simple and easy-to-execute ideas for now, perhaps building toward a few larger annual events. We'd like to put forward the idea of a holiday sing-a-long on the last day of school before the December break as a first event -- we are wondering about inviting Hans back to lead it. 3) We'd love to find a way to have a chunk of the parents meetings allow for more socializing, and dialogue, perhaps through a more traditional Quaker Meeting approach or through other shared activities or ice breakers. We suggest opening the next Parents Meeting with the Queries on Giving that the kids are thinking about. 4) Here's the list of brainstormed ideas, in total -- feedback, more ideas, etc. would be great - (I'll also post it on the blog) ... After School Activities * more arts & crafts * Ski Club -- shared transportation * Soccer Game was great model for community building -- more of those kinds of events * Community Service projects -- island clean up (weekly, monthly, quarterly?) -- adopt a school internationally -- Roots & Shoots * Choir * Sing-Alongs (Holidays?) * Peace Pals Club Evening Activities * talent show * art show (kids) * parent education -- reading groups, speaker series, conversation series, etc. * Games Night (at homes, at schools, as fundraiser or not) * Adults only party * Matt Loosgian Concert (see also in-service days) Bigger Annual Event Ideas * Ferry ride around the island (guided) * Common Ground Fair Retreat (would need this to be built into the schools calendar - go to Friday of CGF and stay in Friends Camp cabins) * Camping together * Winter Carnival * Spring Thing (need to debrief) * Children's Book Festival organized by Kirstin Cappy in June In-Service Day Ideas * community skiing -- shared transportation and participation on a weekly basis and/or a community trip on the March in-service day * Invite an artist in for an enrichement program * Matt Loosigian concert : He has his own website, and does his own parties and concerts completely separate from Music Together. His tagline is: "Teaching peace, compassion and environmental justice through silliness and song." He played at Common Ground this year. -- maybe for Earth Day? Other * Work on physical space together -- some parents have talent and expertise in the physical space and could help lead a beautification process inside and out * Strategies for welcoming new famllies -- concern that the pot-lucks aren't safe for kids (the hallway) and kids get bored with adult talk * Tidy up the lounge in the back (old entrance) as a family lounge Some of these ideas could be up and running with the ummph of one person, other ideas are fairly resource intense and would need more buy-in and resources. Again, please encourage kids to put ideas in the suggestion box and please share any of your best experiences from other schools / best ideas -- it is fun to capture the big list and then we can all be inspired to take action...

Healthy Toys for Our Kids

Are you angry that manufacturers of children's products use lead, vinyl, chemical flame retardants, and thousands of other hazardous chemicals linked to learning disabilities, cancer and other health problems? Are you worried that over 20 million toys have been recalled just in the past few months? Do you think our government should require testing of chemicals and products BEFORE they enter our homes and our bodies? You're not alone. Mainers like you are working to protect our families from unnecessary, hazardous chemicals in the products we use every day. But they need your help. On December 1st, we'll provide a one-day crash course in the Portland area that will prepare you to be part of our campaign, educate your friends and neighbors, and help make a difference. We'll cover: * major chemical threats to children's health; * the newest resources on safer products; * demystifying the chemical alphabet soup; * and how to help your family, friends, and neighbors take action. The workshop will last from approximately 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM and will be held in Portland or nearby. We'll also provide resource materials for you to take home and lunch. Please let us know if you are interested so we can plan ahead.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Raising Readers @ Children's Museum

I thought this might be of interest to folks... Raising Reader Family Literacy Night 5 – 7:30 pm Join Raising Readers as they celebrate giving over ONE MILLION books to Maine children at their doctor visits! At the Family Literacy Night, children will meet some of the children's book authors and illustrators whose books have been a part of the Raising Reader program like Toni Buzzeo, Scott Nash and Chris Van Dusen. Families can also listen to stories read aloud by their favorite authors and do fun, book- related activities. Families can also read together in the multicultural Raising Readers Book Nook, which is sponsored by The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

Mothers Acting Up Against the War - 10/27

Mothers Acting Up, in Maine, is hosting a halloween party in conjunction with the October 27 National Mobilization to End the War in Iraq. . Who: Greater Portland Mothers Acting Up- - that means YOU!! What: Family Halloween Gathering in concert with October 27 National Mobilization to End the Iraq War *child friendly! For ALL kinds of families* When: Saturday October 27, 2007, 1-3 PM Where: Hill House, 92 Congress St. near Portland Observatory in the Munjoy Hills Neighborhood (Maine MAU's event will be held near other peace events of the day so that families can participate with the greater community at large and invite friends to see what MAU is all about!) WHY: Let us take this opportunity to get to know one another better, celebrate peace, trick or treat for UNICEF and talk about our vision for our area's Mothers Acting Up (MAU) community. Costumes encouraged! There'll be treats, no tricks!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sexualization of Childhood conference

CCFC's 6th Summit Consuming Kids: The Sexualization of Children and Other Commercial Calamities April 3-5, 2008 Wheelock College Boston , MA Registration is now available for CCFC's 6th summit: Consuming Kids: The Sexualization of Children and Other Commercial Calamities on April 3-5, 2008 in Boston! Featuring an all-star lineup of presenters, CCFC's 2008 Consuming Kids summit promises to be our best ever. On Thursday, April 3rd, the summit will kick off with the presentation of the 3rd Fred Rogers Integrity Award to Morgan Spurlock, director and star of the acclaimed film, SuperSize Me. Friday and Saturday will feature presentations and workshops on the impact of commercialization on children - and what we can do to stop it. We expect this year's summit will sell out early so register now and take advantage of early bird rates. Confirmed speakers include: Michael Brody, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Nancy Carlsson-Paige, author, Taking Back Childhood - Gail Dines, co-author, Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality - Julie Gale, Kids Free 2 B Kids - Allen Kanner, co-editor, Psychology and Consumer Culture - Tim Kasser, author, The High Price of Materialism - Joe Kelly, author, Dads and Daughters - Jean Kilbourne, author, Can't Buy My Love - Diane Levin, author, Remote Control Childhood - Susan Linn, author, Consuming Kids - Alex Molnar, author, School Commercialism: From Democratic Ideal to Market Commodity - Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, co-author Come On, People - Michele Simon, the Marin Institute; author, Appetite for Profit - Juliet Schor, author, Born to Buy - Susan Gregory Thomas, author Buy, Buy, Baby - Ana Lucia Villela, Instituto Alana - and many, many more! Register now Scholarships available Can't make the summit? Help someone else attend by supporting CCFC's summit scholarship fund.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween Tips from Roots and Shoots

We (FSP) are members of Roots and Shoots, although we have not formally created a group, it is something for us to keep considering. Either way, some of the info, like this, is pretty inspiring: EVERY APE COUNTS The Somerville Roots and Shoots group invites everyone to join in the second year of our Halloween project, "Every Ape Counts". We will be dressing up as endangered primates and trick-or-treating for donations to help them! It worked really well last year and now we hope to step it up to a much larger scale. Pick a primate that is in danger from habitat destruction, the bush meat trade, etc. -and this includes almost all of them - and get going! You will need: A handout on the primate and the danger it is in, along with a little speech you can give. Printouts on the organization and project that the funds will be given to. A Costume! Share tips on costume design, on bringing out your inner ape, and nominate worthy projects benefiting particular primates by posting on the Every Ape Counts topic on the Campaigns forum on the R&S bulletin board. You may need a quick, free registration to get on the bulletin board. Also feel free to contact our group directly, with email to See you out there! Dan Hull Celebrate Green Halloween! Suggestions for a greener Halloween: Instead of buying a costume, design your own, creating a costume from fabric, ribbon and other odds and ends that you find around your house. Purchase your pumpkins (organic, if possible) from local farms or farmer's markets. Instead of carving pumpkins, paint or decorate them. After Halloween, use the innards to make pumpkin soup. Leave the seeds in your birdfeeder as a special treat for blue jays and nuthatches. Instead of buying luminaria, recycle some old tins cans. Create patterns of holes in the cans by using hammer and nails. Buy some petroleum free candles at your local green grocer and voila, spooky lighting! Giving away organic candy is a great idea. But, if you choose to give away conventional Halloween treats, learn about the palm oil crisis. Find out which big name brand candies contain sustainably produced palm oil so that you can make informed choices. Check out these websites for more creative suggestions: Green Living Green Halloween Stop Global Warming And, if you go out trick-or-treating, don't forget to bring your reusable canvas bag Be safe and have fun, Christine Ellersick

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Middle School Invent a Toy Challenge

Sally Rides Science has some great links and programs, including an emphasis on helping retain girls science interests. They are offering a special invent-a-toy contest for 5th through 8th graders that might be of interest to some FSP kids and their friends or families...

Media, Masculinity and the "Boy Crisis" @ Children's Museum of Maine

The Children's Museum of Maine is offering a free lecture: Media, Masculinity and the Boy Crisis Thursday, November 1 from 7:00-8:30pm Using a variety of examples from contemporary music, film, and television, Mark Tappan leads this workshop exploring the messages boys receive from the media about what it means to be a "real boy." The workshop provides insights into the relationship between "mediated messages" and boys' experiences in society and discusses strategies for encouraging boys to become critical consumers of contemporary media. A Colby College professor, Tappan received graduate degrees from the Ohio State University and Harvard University. The lecture is free but space is limited. To make a reservation, email: or call: 828-1234, x 228.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dec 1 Hat Sale

CALLING ALL CRAFTERS, BAKERS, AND NICE-THING MAKERS!! It’s time to get ready for the 3d Annual Hats Off for Friends School of Portland Bazaar! This year the Bazaar will be on Dec. 1 from 10:00-2:00. It will be located at the Friends School in Carter Hall, with a fabulous display of handmade hats, mittens, and scarves, as well as other handcrafts (such as jewelry, pottery, cards, decorations), a bake sale, and a book fair. We would love to have lots of participation in donations for the sale, including from our great kids, wonderful relatives, and good friends. As in the past, we will also be donating items to Preble St. Resource Center, and there will be a specific section for particularly sturdy and warm garments for folks to purchase to donate. I will be coordinating the handcrafts, Jill Sawyer has volunteered to coordinate the bake sale, and Kim Simmons is coordinating the book fair (through Curious City and Books, Etc.). If you are able to contribute to either the handrafts or the bake sale, please contact me or Jill. Please let me know if you aren’t feeling terribly crafty, but would be willing to volunteer to work on the day of the sale. We could also use help with publicity. For more information or to contribute, contact me at or call 772-2537; for baked goods, contact Jill at . Thanks for your continued support of both FSP and Preble St.! Lise Wagner

Children's Book Sale

The Main branch of the Portland Public Library is holding a children's book sale next Saturday (October 27)


Katie says we should go to the 2pm Swimmy production!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rick Charette - Nov 2nd

Rick Charette in Concert Songs for Children Friday Nov. 2 at 7:00pm As a singer and songwriter, Rick Charette has been capturing the hearts and spirits of young and old alike with his delightful and inspiring children's songs. His performances blend original contemporary pop music and lyrics with imaginative activities that generate all kinds of audience participation. Join us for this fundraising event(for Fiddlehead)¦.. Friday November. 2 at 7:00pm Scarborough High School Auditorium Tickets prices: $6 adult / $7 at door $4 child / $5 at door $20 family / $25 at the door For more information or for reserving tickets by phone call our office at 883-5720 or order tickets online at Fiddlehead Center for the Arts ~ Scarborough would like to thank our generous sponsors in support of what promises to be a wonderful performance...THANK YOU!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fun and Games!

FUN AND GAMES On of the charges of the FSP parents group is to organize community building activities and other fun stuff. I'm hopeful someone has the ummph to be clerk, and maybe it will get sorted at the next big meeting. But, I also thought this might be a good place to collect ideas -- it is easy to use the comments button to leave your thoughts - you don't need a special id at all.


I'm embarrassed to admit that the Sleep article comes from New York magazine, not the New York Times.. but I still thought it was rather fascinating and I'm curious how others read the science, as well as how others get enough sleep?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Workshops at the Telling Room

The Telling Room is a Portland Non-Profit that connects kids with writing and professional writers. They've opened a new writing center and are offering fabulous looking workshops - including two by former FSP teacher Kathleen Meil!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Offering from Kaleidescope

Join us for our annual Halloween Harvest workshop! Saturday October 13 10 am to noon. Ages 6 through adult $15 per person It's the season of the pumpkin of course, and we will make spooky wreathes to welcome (or frighten...) your trick-or-treaters, as well as ghoulish gourds and ghastly pumpkins, jack o'lantern eggs, vintage style Halloween postcards, and more, including edible witch hats. email for more information or to sign up (or call 773-2255) Carolyn Heasly and Phyllis Wilkins Kaleidoscope Arts and Crafts School 790 Stevens Avenue Portland, Maine 04103 Upcoming workshops include: Spice up your life (for women) Friday November 2 7-9 pm The Giving Season Saturday November 10 10 am to noon (ages 6 - adult) Vacation Creations: Once Upon a Time Friday December 28 10 am to noon Crafts with a fairy tale theme for children ages 6 and up

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Children's Theater Re-Opens

-- This would be a great community event, as well: CTM Announces the opening of ODD AT SEA: A Pirate Odyssey Performances Run from Oct. 6 - Oct. 14 Portland, ME Sep 21, 2007 The Children's Theatre of Maine opens ODD AT SEA: A PIRATE ODYSSEY beginning October 6, and running through October 14. This will be CTM's first production in its collaboration with the Children's Museum of Maine. Performances will be at the museum's home at 142 Free Street in Portland. Written by Christina Klein, and directed by CTM Artistic Director Reba Short, ODD AT SEA tells the story of Captain Odd and his band of buccaneers on a quest for treasure. During their journey, they meet the familiar characters from Homer's Odyssey: a Cyclops, a hurricane, Sirens, a sea monster, and a mermaid, who all prove to be more helpful to the pirates than they were with tragic Greek heroes! ODD AT SEA is appropriate for all ages - particularly age 4 through Middle School. Performances are scheduled to be in the museum's Dress Up Theatre, but if weather permits, daytime shows will occur on the life-sized pirate ship behind the museum. The performance schedule is: Saturday, October 6, 10am, 1pm & 3pm , Sunday October 7, 12pm, 2pm , Friday, October 12, 7pm , Saturday, October 13, 10am, 1pm & 3pm, and Sunday October 14. 12pm, 2pm. Tickets are $5 and reservations can be made by calling Children's Theatre of Maine at 878-2774.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Field Trip In-Service Day?

I'm wondering if others would be interested in a field trip on October 5th - our first in-service day. I'm thinking a pumpkin / hay ride at Wolfs Neck Farm, a trip to Pineland Farms, something like that... Those parents available could come and we could help out those in need of some childcare. The cost would be about $3 - 5 per person. It would be great to collect thoughts before the Sept. 19th meeting so that we can make an informed decision!

Born to Read- Peaceable Stories Seminar starting Sept 19

There are still spaces available for the peaceable stories program in South Portland starting Wednesday, September 19. The seminar will have a Peaceable Stories theme, so the twelve children's books that participants receive include titles like The Story of Ferdinand and When Sophie Gets Angry...Really, Really Angry. Our wonderful facilitators, Vicky Smith and Janet Lyons, will lend their wit, energy, and insight to the discussions. The seminar works out to 15 hours, and 1.5 CEUs are available. There is a registration form available here: (feel free to call if you have trouble accessing the form - and please ignore the deadline). Thank you so much! Brita Brita Kate Zitin Born to Read Program Officer Maine Humanities Council 674 Brighton Avenue Portland, Maine 04102 phone / 207.773.5051 fax / 207.773.2416

Friday, September 7, 2007


Ah, a new school year! Use this space to share concerns, appreciations, musings, etc.

Thoughts about parking

Share your suggestions for addressing /improving the parking situation!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Roots & Shoots - July 9th

Roots and Shoots New England is sponsoring an art contest -- they are asking youth to submit artwork that display a vision for peace in the world. The artwork will eventually be sent to Iraq as part of the Well Wishes and Blessings project. We invite you to come make art with us on the picnic tables at Maine Audubon. Please bring any art supplies that you are able to share. We'll make sure to have plenty, too. Also, bring a picnic lunch if you'd like! I will send out a rain location if the weather looks bad. Also, let's plan ahead for a water-project on July 31st ... Kim

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Welcome Events and Other School Traditions

What kinds of events would you like to see at the Friends School? What traditions or events did you love at past schools / camps? (Are there events you'd love to never experience again?) What kinds of events help you feel most included and help to "break the ice"? What works best for kids?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Roots and Shoots

Roots and Shoots is a program developed by Jane Goodall to engage kids with nature, age appropriate service/activism and community. We thought that it might provide a nice infrastructure for mutli-age FSP gatherings this summer and if kids like it they could continue as a club next year. Our first meeting will be at Baxter Woods (meeting at the large sign on Stevens Ave) on Friday June 15th at 10:00 am (weather permitting ~ bring a picnic lunch if you'd like) ... please feel free to share your schedule with me if you have particular days/times that work well and we'll vary our meeting schedule! We will introduce ourselves, read a story, and do an insect scavenger hunt. Use comments to suggest outdoor places to meet, to volunteer to lead an activity and to share scheduling info!

Friday, June 1, 2007

June 21st Parents Meeting?

Lise suggested that we begin our fall planning on June 21st -- perhaps people could use the comments to RSVP so we know if we have a critical mass?

Beyond Bully Prevention

eyond Bully Prevention: Strategies That Work There's a lot more to creating and sustaining safe schools than many current bully-prevention programs let on. Join us November 5, 2007 in Portland, Maine for a cutting-edge conference: Beyond Bully Prevention: Strategies that Work. Designed for teachers, school counselors, school social workers, administrators, and all adults who work with youth; this conference tackles issues underpinning school-based bullying and harassment. Many of the issues we will address with you are insufficiently addressed in popular bully-prevention approaches. Workshop topics will include girlfighting/ building girl allies, relationships between stereotypical masculinity, violence and boys' academic success, bias-based harassment of GLBTQ youth, the effects of sexist and racist media messages, the impact of poverty and social class on students' school experiences, and the misuse of technology and cyber-bullying. Registrations available in September, and for more information please send an email to View Our Save The Date Note, and forward it to your friends!

Appreciation & Lunch

Dear FSP Parents and Board Friends: The end of the year is upon us. I marvel at how much has happened in a single school year - - and I look forward to celebrating on June 4th. The teachers and staff have worked tirelessly this year to meet the challenges of a brand new school while maintaining loving relationships with our children. On June 7th we will thank them for their efforts by providing lunch / treats for the last two in-service days. We are asking for contributions of baked goods, salads, beverages, fresh flowers, or anything else you can think of... Since refrigeration is a problem, I propose that families in the Pre-School and primary classroom bring food on June 7th and families with children in the Upper Elementary and board members bring food on June 8th. You can bring non-perishables on June 6th if you need to. (Sign up through the comments if you'd like!) Families and board members may also participate by contributing comments of appreciation. Next week there will be a "Praise Jar" in the office. If you wish to write a special message of appreciation to a specific person, classroom or the whole teaching staff you and/or your child may do so. Please put the message in the praise jar (or e-mail it to me or Jessica) and they will be read out loud to all the teachers during the special luncheon gatherings. Thank you for helping to show our gratitude to the teachers and staff who made this year possible for our children! Kim Simmons (Grace's mother)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Favorite Books

Lea suggested a blog-book group discussion -- (although I'd also LOVE an in-person book group too)... Use the comments to share recommendations and insights from your favorite books!

Boys to Men Conference

Boys to Men is a wonderful group that advocates a feminist approach to raising boys and thinking about the stress that conventional masculinity puts on boys. They are offering their annual conference on May 25th -- registration closes on May 17th. The workshops look interesting and useful to all parents and teachers, I think...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Closing Rituals

The school year is coming to a close and we're seeking ways to celebrate and mark the transitions... one wonderful idea is to have a tree planting ceremony -- each classroom might also want to do something special. Share ideas, rituals that have worked well in other places, and your thoughts and feelings about the end of the year...

Amazing Auction

The Auction was amazing -- the donations really reflected the incredible talent, creativity and generosity of our community. Thank you to everyone who made it happen!!! Share your "best buys" here -- and someone give us the grand total!!!

Monday, April 2, 2007

NEW AUCTION BLOG! Image of donated vacation getaway to Nova Scotia

The First Annual Silent Auction Brunch - A morning on Mackworth is coming up in just a few weeks. To help spread the word I just created an Friends Auction blog. Send Darlene photos if you have a jpg of an item you are donating. Below is a photo of a vacation getaway in Nova Scotia.

Kathleen's class parents successful meeting

The Parents of the K-1-2 classroom, recently had a very nice and productive meeting to discuss the successes of the year thus far as well as to brainstorm and find ways to continue keeping the channels of communication open and flowing for all, without overwhelming the staff. It has been an busy year for all those involved in making this first year one to remember at Friends School. The teachers, administrators, staff, board members and all the parents who have helped in various capacities deserve a hand for all that has been accomplished. I won't go into detail of all that was discussed at the meeting, but among some highlights were the growing numbers of students and postively changing face of the classrooms, the possible addition of an outdoor classroom, the upcomming survey for parents to fill out (stay tuned), the auction, the upcoming Spring Science piece as we come into Spring, the new classroom structure and I am sure I am forgetting more...Among most of the parents present, affirmations were shared that the community here at Friends is enjoyed at many levels, watching the kids in their very comfortable selves working out their problems diplomatically to finding like minded parents to share our ideas with. And it goes without saying that we have all benefitted from the gift of this island as the location we found Friends at. Peace, Sydney's mom

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines and Other Holidays (by Kim Simmons ~ Grace's mother)

Jeanne encouraged me to post here -- I love the idea of creating a community space for us to share our ideas and have conversations that might be hard to complete during the morning drop-off. We also both understand the limits of this kind of venue and are very interested in other ways of communicating - study circles, regular parent meetings, pizza nights, etc. Still, we hope others will give this a try since we are so curious about what others are thinking. Valentine's Day feels like a tricky holiday. On the one hand, I love my family and want to share that sentiment. I really want Grace and Kate to learn how to express their feelings and to take the time to intentionally appreciate their friends. On the other hand, it is hard not to feel like Valentine's Day is yet another opportunity for commercial culture to create a set of unreasonable expectations -- candy, presents, special dinners, flowers, cards -- that breed disappointment, over spending, and inauthentic expressions of sentiment. I cannot begin to express my gratitude that the Friends School did not spill over with Power Ranger Valentines and obligatory candy exchanges. Maybe next year we could use the holiday as a springboard for a discussion about injustice or service ( but the tension between participating in and resisting popular culture will remain. I would love to learn more about other families’ traditions as well as great ways that other schools have responded to these holiday dilemmas.

The Arts

Many of us share an interest in the arts. I hope we can share information about great events happening around town -- for example, the Theater Project in Brunswick offers this : CHARLOTTE’S WEB - Production Class April 6 & 7 Friday at 7:30 pm Saturday at 11:00 am & 2:00 pm Suggested $6 And the Portland Ballet is putting on Peter and the Wolf after the FSP Auction - (PSB's Peter and the Wolf – April 28 at 2pm) And Dan Zanes is coming to the Portsmouth Music Hall on May 5th. What else do you know about?

Summer Camps- added to by Sydney's mom

How funny to be thinking about summer camp during the winter's only big snow storm. Still, sign-ups have begun. I thought we could use this space to share ideas about camps - select "comment" to add your thoughts, reviews, and insider info! -- Kim Some emails have been flying around about different camps so I thought I would add a link list to sidebar on the lower right of camp links. As well people can still email or comment here.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A new beginning

Here we are almost 100 days into the school year, and just now some of us are learning what our school is really about. During the a recent parent meeting (see more about that in the post below), it was discussed that a place for us to share our ideas would be very useful. The obvious and more widely used format of a newsletter may be preferred by some but I thought as I have dabbled in this "art of blogging" a bit, we could test the waters anyway. I anticipate this could become a useful tool, for those who just want to have a spontaneous picnic on "Friends Beach" (as I call the north facing beach on the island that looks beautifully upon the Falmouth harbor) or a Friday afternoon adventure to Falmouth Ice arena. Or perhaps you'd like to share useful dates of upcoming parent meetings or a notice of Curious City's famous "lunchbox" series. More simply a parent could write a paragraph after seeing a student play performed and post a picture for the parents that couldn't make it, or another could share a pleasant surprise as they overheard the discussion after the play by the very impressed lower classroom as I did. So here is the place to share photos, recipes, links to fun or informative websites and calls for help in our community. So welcome to all and everyone. I will try to arrange a tutorial for anyone who wants to learn how to add to this stay tuned.

Still looking for Parental Involvement

Although this is not the official minutes from the parent meeting on Thursday night, this is to remind parents that there is plenty to do, and if at all possible please try to make the next meeting in March. It was voiced by some of us, including myself, that we are perhaps a little reluctant to sign up for a committee, fearful for how many hours that can involve. As Lise, the chair of the meeting, pointed out we are fortunate to have email as an available tool, lessening the number of meetings needed. Although that was comforting, it was also said that many perhaps would prefer to help with certain tasks from time to time, rather than a full year commitment. I think it is important that this is said so that those of you who were not there also know that your involvement, however small is important to the growth and healthy development of the school. So in a nutshell (and this is my take and is perhaps not exact), it was established that there needs to be without a doubt a Fundraising Committee, comprising of individuals who can problem solve and create strategies that are manageable on a year to year basis, this committee could then rotate the actual parents perhaps on a half year basis. Under this committee would fall a team of assisting parents forming a temporary as that event nears and tasks need to be shared and divided among us. As well there needs to be an Auction Committee. This of course would form and dissolve over the course of a few months surrounding the actual event. An Enrollment Committee is also important to do the same for ways to keep getting the word out to new and potentially interested families. It was also identified that in terms of School Community a newsletter, or perhaps this blog (?) could serve as a useful tool to help parents communicate, this if for committee related concerns and seeking of help as well as simply a resource for parents to share useful thoughts, tips, concerns and ideas. And there is also need for liaisons in each classroom parental group to help connect willing volunteers with certain skills with committees seeking help. Lastly as a plea on behalf of Merritt who is overseeing the Auction for this year, there is a need for help on on levels, please make sure you see the list of jobs and to sign up for a way you can offer your help. And don't forget to ask your entrepreneurial friends to donate to this wonderful school.