Tuesday, May 23, 2017

It's important to talk to your children about Netflix's 13 Reason's Why

A letter from Nicole Manganelli at Opportunity Alliance

Dear Adult Allies, Educators, and Parents, 

Many of you may be hearing discussions among the young people in your lives about a popular new Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. The show, which has received a great deal of media coverage and is produced by Selena Gomez, features a graphic rape scene as well as a vivid portrayal of the main character Hannah’s suicide.
Unfortunately, the show is already showing signs of contributing to a culture of self-harm where parents and educators are ill-equipped to appropriately discuss mental health issues or sexual assault with youth. According to a Washington Post article, "A Florida schools superintendent told parents in a letter that his district has seen a rapid rise in at-risk behavior at elementary and middle schools — including
self-harming and suicide threats..." When asked about their behavior, students specifically cited the show as a reason for self-harm.

Given the nature of streaming services, it's fair to assume many young people, even those in elementary and middle school, have seen the show. We took a moment to ask Sheila Nelson, the Program Manager for Maine's Adolescent Health and Injury Prevention Program, for ideas about how to safely and responsibly guide the discussions happening about the show. 

At the Maine Youth Action Network, we believe in open dialogue with young people about the issues that affect their lives. We also know that in the case of suicide and self-harm, there are some critical points to include in these dialogues—and some important best practices to use when addressing dangerous myths or receiving disclosures. We've included a few of Sheila's tips below, as well as contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
For more information, you can also visit this helpful guideline created by the National Association of School Psychologists.
Thank you for all you do to support the young people in your life to grow and thrive.
Nicole Manganelli

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Free money for books at University College at Rumford Center!

Community Investing in Students attending University College @ Rumford

James Bradley <james.bradley@maine.edu>

[Rumford, Maine] Students accessing their college courses through the University College Center in Rumford now have some extra added financial support. Students at the Rumford Center can now get some extra help purchasing books - just by taking advantage of tutoring support services available at the Center or online. Thanks to the “Tutoring Pays Off!” Program, students who access tutoring support two distinct times are rewarded with a $50 book voucher, up to twice per semester. And students will tell you, book costs are a major expense each year, so that voucher comes in handy. The Tutoring Pays Off program hopes to motivate students to
seek the valuable support services they need to be successful in their course work through their local University College Center.

“I look at this as a real win-win for our students,” said Lisa MacDonald Cooper, Director of University College @ Rumford. “Even better, I think it demonstrates how communities can invest in themselves. By supporting students staying in our community and taking college courses, lowering a cost barrier, and encouraging active success strategies, we are encouraging the persistence needed to complete a degree. These are our community members, our neighbors we’re helping. I believe that comes back to us in the end.”

Another recently added scholarship source comes from a wider-based community effort. Cooper is a working member of a non-profit development group called Maine West, a partnership of local and regional organizations dedicated to addressing systemic rural challenges and enhancing community well-being in Western Maine. Thanks to her work with that group, the Western Maine Scholarship Fund was established at the University of Maine at Augusta in 2016 with a gift from the Betterment Fund and Maine West.

The resulting Western Maine Scholarship is now available to UMA students attending the University College Centers in Rumford or in South Paris who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours (sophomore standing). Two $1,250 scholarships will be awarded each Fall and Spring semester the fund is available. According to Cooper, director of both Centers in Rumford and South Paris, she worked to establish this Scholarship, “because it was regionally focused. The Maine West group is an interesting blend of community partners developing ideas through increased collaboration across the economic, education,
health, and conservation sectors. The focus on cross-sector collaboration is a great approach to addressing many of the issues facing Western Maine. We see those issues play out in the stories of our students. The Scholarship is a way of encouraging those students to stay with it, despite some of the challenges they face, and to be rewarded for their hard work.”

If you know a student taking courses through our local University College Center, pass the word along. That too will prove to a student that their community is behind their success. Students can contact the Center in Rumford at 207.364.7882 for more information.


University College has a system-wide mission to provide centralized services to students and faculty engaged in online and distance programs offered by the campuses of the University of Maine System. University College operates Centers at Brunswick, East Millinocket, Ellsworth, Houlton, South Paris, Rockland, Rumford, and Saco which allows students access to over 100 certificate and degree programs from the University of Maine System. Students access the resources of campuses while studying online, at their local Center, or pursuing a mix of online and traditional classroom instruction while staying close to home.

"Online, Affordable &
in your Community."
Jim Bradley, M.Ed
Assistant Director
University College Rumford/Mexico
60 Lowell Street, 3rd Floor

Rumford, ME 04276
Schedule with me: jamesbradley.youcanbook.me

Monday, April 4, 2016

Earn College credits while a student at MVHS and have the tuition waived!

A number of colleges are offering a chance for high school juniors and seniors to earn college credits at a substantially reduced rate.  Often these classes will earn high school credit as well.  You just pay for books and fees.*

Some of these classes are taught right here at Mountain Valley High School.  For instance Central Maine Community College will offer Intermediate Algebra here on Tuesday afternoons from 3-5:55 and Introduction to Psychology on Wednesday afternoons from 3-5:55.  University of Maine at Fort Kent will offer English Composition I and II throughout the year as part of the curriculum at Mountain Valley High School.  You may also take online classes from the University of Maine at Augusta and Husson College.

If you would like more information including application requirements, follow the links below or you may contact me at Mountain Valley High School.

University of Maine at Fort Kent

University of Maine at Augusta

Central Maine Community College

Husson College

*Some financial assistance with course fees may be available based on income guidelines.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Camp Dragonfly; A day long grief camp for children, teens & their families.

The loss of a loved one can be incredibly difficulty.  Having the chance to share your feelings with others can help ease these feeling and feel less alone.  Attached is the flyer for Camp Dragonfly.  This is a free camp, open to your entire family. 

If your family is grieving or know someone that is, please contact Amy Dulac at (207) 795-9468 or pass this information along to any families that might benefit from attending.  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Homeless students in the Mountain Valley Region

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education

Homeless students that reside in the Mountain Valley Region of RSU #10 are protected by law to help minimize educational disruptions. The law is the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Under McKinney-Vento, homeless students are guaranteed the right to a free, appropriate, public education. When students become homeless, they can remain enrolled in the schools they have been attending, although they might no longer meet residency requirements. McKinney-Vento also guarantees homeless students the right to enroll in a public school even if they lack the typically required documents and immunizations. In addition, homeless students are guaranteed the transportation they need to attend school.

According to McKinney-Vento, "homeless" can be defined as an individual who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth:
  • Sharing housing due to loss of housing or economic hardship
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate housing
  • Living in emergency or transitional housing
  • Abandoned in hospitals
  • Awaiting foster care
  • Having a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, regular sleeping accommodations
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory students meeting the descriptions above
For more information, please visit http://www.maine.gov/doe/homeless/index.html

If you have any questions or need information about homeless students in the Mountain Valley Region, please contact me at Mountain Valley High School.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Importance of a Quality Education

Ever wonder how important your level of education will make in your earning power?  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012 the median income for a young adult depends greatly on their level of education.  Here are the facts:
  • Less than high school - $22,900
  • High School diploma - $30,000 (31% more than no high school diploma)
  • Bachelor's degree - $46,900 (56% more than just a diploma)
  • Master's degree or higher - $59,600 (27% more than a bachelor's)
*Between 1995 and 2012, this  pattern of higher earnings associated with higher levels of educational attainment also held across sex and racial/ethnic subgroups (White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian). Source: http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=77
You don't need to have a Master's degree in order to have a comfortable life.  Student's have options on furthering their education that may fit their interests and learning styles, including community colleges and trade schools.  However, the goal of having a high school diploma, combined with some form of post secondary education, will greatly enhance your earning power.