University of Maine News
Educators and parents avow that Reading Recovery — an early intervention, short-term, one-on-one prevention initiative for first-graders having difficulty reading and writing — opens doors to learning and creates opportunities for children.
The thousands of children who enjoy reading and are reading well are proof.
Brian Doore, assistant research professor in the University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development, figured out a way to strengthen the life-changing initiative by analyzing Reading Recovery data within a comprehensive intervention model.
Doore and his wife, Stacy, a UMaine doctoral student in spatial engineering and a research associate at the Center for Research and Evaluation at UMaine, designed the prototype for Comprehensive Intervention Model for Maine (CIMME) — a Web-based data collection entry system for educators.
Teachers plug in a student’s data, including instructional hours, number of absences, books read, average text level gain, average writing vocabulary gain, as well as notes and comments. With CIMME, teachers are able to make up-to-the-second instructional decisions to best help the student.
The system displays children’s learning trajectories in various forms, including line charts and motion graphs.
Kit Cuddy was lead programmer on the CIMME project and Quansheng Song supervised. Cuddy, Song and CRE director Craig Mason refined and added functionality to the system so it could be offered to schools throughout Maine and in nine other states, Doore says.
Often times, says Doore, educators utilize summative assessments — think midterms and finals. These tests seek to determine whether students learned — past tense — the material.
This data collection system provides a formative assessment — in real time. “We’re focused on what they are learning,” Doore says.
Because the graphs show the child’s reading knowledge at that moment, educators can determine what instructional strategy will be most beneficial at that moment in time.
“The right question (for teachers) is, ‘What does the child need to learn and what do I need to teach next?’” Doore says.
For Doore, a former special education and regular education teacher, the objective is “for all children to make progress and be successful.”
Because teachers, teacher leaders and administrators in different locations can simultaneously view the information on their computers, they can collectively brainstorm about how best to proceed.
The data provides a detailed picture of individual literacy interventions and that becomes the catalyst for coaching conversations around how to accelerate students’ learning.
Teachers can follow a student’s long-term progression in one school system and, if a student moves, Doore says educators in the new school can immediately access the data so there’s no gap in services for the youth.
“It’s an empowering model instead of a deficit model,” says Mary Rosser, director of the University Training Center for Reading Recovery at UMaine.
“Rather than contemplating what we could have, should have and would have done, it’s an opportunity to look at where we are we now and what can we do, in the moment, to accelerate learning.”
In order to increase access to the system, Doore and Rosser have teamed up with partners from across the country to submit multiple federal grants.
Additional funding, says Doore, would allow CIMME to be available to more students and teachers across the country and support improved outcomes and accelerated learning for children through educators’ increased ability to engage in systematic, data-based, instructional decision-making.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
The Portland Press Herald reported Patricia Marshall, professor and interim associate vice president for academic affairs at Worcester State University, told Congress on Wednesday what it was like growing up in poverty in rural Maine and how federal educational programs for low-income students are necessary. Marshall participated in Upward Bound and Talent Search at the University of Maine while she was in high school. Worcester State University also carried a report.
The Bangor Daily News, WLBZ (Channel 2) and WABI (Channel 5) were among news organizations to report on the renovation progress at the University of Maine Field House. UMaine Athletic Director Steve Abbott told the BDN the field house is expected to be completed on Oct. 15.
An online training program created by the University of Maine Center for Tourism Research and Outreach, the Maine Woods Consortium and the Maine Office of Tourism was mentioned in the Bangor Daily News Women@Work column, “Serve it up: Making the most of customer service.” Welcome ME Online Quality Service Training is professionally developed service industry education that is free and available to everyone in Maine.
Len Kaye, director of the University of Maine’s Center on Aging, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) about a new report by the state economist that says Maine’s death rate is higher than its birth rate. Kaye said people are now living longer and does not think the report means the state is in a downfall.
Beth Wiemann, chairwoman of the Music Division in the University of Maine’s School of Performing Arts, was interviewed by the Portland Press Herald about the upcoming Portland Chamber Music Festival. The festival will include the world premiere of Wiemann’s new piece for string quartet, “Minor Blasts, Some Flurries,” at 8 p.m. May 23 at the Space Gallery.
Sarah Smiley, a columnist, author and military wife who received a master of arts in mass communication from the University of Maine and has taught courses at the university as part of the adjunct faculty, recently wrote and released the book “Dinner with the Smileys.” Smiley is set to appear this month on Katie Couric’s ABC talk show “Katie.” Parade magazine, MPBN, and the Bangor Daily News were among several news organizations to carry a report about Smiley and her book. USA Today also reviewed the book.
University of Maine artists Noreen and Phillip Silver, also known as the Silver Duo, were mentioned in the Maine Edge article “Highlands Classical Trio embarks on spring tour.” The Silvers listened to the trio perform and offered advice before the group from Dover-Foxcroft and Dexter began their tour.
The Bangor Daily News reported volunteers of the Boardwalk Campaign, a fundraising effort to replace the existing wood boardwalk with composite material, aim to raise $250,000 by July 1 to replace the first 105 sections of the trail in late summer and early fall. The University of Maine jointly manages the Orono Bog Boardwalk with the Orono Land Trust and the city of Bangor.
The latest edition of The Weekly contained an article on the recreational use of the University of Maine bike paths in the spring. The edition also included an article about therapy dogs visiting Fogler Library to ease stress during finals week.
The Village Soup previewed this weekend’s Festival of Art, an annual exhibition at the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast. Alan Magee of Cushing, the featured guest speaker, will give an illustrated talk and question-and-answer session Saturday.
Libraries and information is the theme of the latest issue of “Maine Policy Review,” a joint publication of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation, now available at DigitalCommons@UMaine. Among the articles is “Are Libraries Necessary? Are Libraries Obsolete,” by Linda Silka and Joyce Rumery. Rumery also wrote about institutional repositories, and served as a guest editor for the special issue. Ann Acheson is the “Maine Policy Review” editor.
The second annual UMaine Business Challenge for student entrepreneurs recently awarded thousands of dollars in cash and consulting services to a University of Southern Maine student and three UMaine finalists.
Tom Myers, a USM mechanical engineering student from Gray, Maine, won the grand prize of $5,000, as well as the $4,000 technology prize and consulting services donated by sponsors to promote his business, ABC Firewood.
Spencer Wood, a UMaine communications and human development double major from Salisbury, N.H., won the second-place prize of $1,000, as well as patent and law consulting for his business, Body Guard Fitness.
The other finalists, Henry Bonneau, a UMaine civil engineering major from Skowhegan who owns Bonneau & Son Excavation, and Matthew Hodgkin, a UMaine animal science major from Colebrook, Conn., who co-owns LobsteRX, won consulting time with sponsors and judges.
The UMaine Business Challenge (UBC) was started by 2010 UMaine graduates Owen McCarthy, James Morin, Matt Ciampa and Sangam Lama to support and promote new businesses started by UMaine students and to improve Maine’s economy. This year, the team was joined by marketing representative Hannah Hudson, also a 2010 UMaine graduate.
“We started UBC because we are passionate about UMaine and the state,” McCarthy says. “We saw this as an opportunity to pay it forward. It is our goal to see UBC alumni leading the state in economic growth and development while giving back to the university in their time, talent and treasure.”
The competition is sponsored by Maine Technology Institute, Blackstone Accelerates Growth, University Credit Union, UMaine Class of 1944, UMaine Class of 1980, UMaine Class of 2010, Maine Business School, University of Southern Maine, Opticliff ESQ, The Swanson Group LLC, Maine News Simply and WLOB Radio.
The four finalists were chosen after rounds of competition including an intent to participate stage, questionnaire and executive summary. The finalists were then asked to submit complete business plans to a panel of judges including James Page, University of Maine System chancellor; Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation; Jason Harkins, Maine Business School professor; John F. Burns, fund manager for Small Enterprise Growth, Maine’s Venture Capital Fund; Meredith Strang Burgess, president and CEO of Burgess Advertising & Marketing; Gregory Cavanaugh, program manager for external programs at University of Southern Maine; and Marc Brunelle and Brent Larlee, UMaine alumni and entrepreneurs.
The finalists share the same goal of promoting businesses in Maine.
Tom Myers, ABC Firewood
The idea for Myers’ startup business began when he came across a YouTube video of a commercially produced firewood processor.
“I was analyzing the production process and got thinking about all the inefficiencies in the design,” Myers says. “I thought about how I would do things differently and the idea grew from there.”
Myers, who will graduate in 2015, says he wants his business to be a leading provider in high-quality, affordable firewood in southern Maine.
“Through the use of innovative, custom-designed processing equipment we will be able to keep production rates and quality high while keeping costs down to a minimum,” Myers says. “We are also aiming to completely change the way firewood is sold.”
Myers says there is currently no quantifiable number as to how much heat a delivery of wood produces. ABC Firewood plans to use a new method for quantifying the heat output of a wood delivery to ensure clients are getting the most for their money and to help weed out dishonest suppliers.
Winning first place in the challenge as well as the technology prize through MTI and Blackstone will allow Myers to begin operations immediately through startup funds, establishing contacts and strengthening business skills.
“By winning, my business plan was suddenly backed and supported by many different people all vowing for its viability,” Myers says. “It gave me the confidence and knowledge necessary to get the ball rolling and start my own business. I think this is a huge obstacle to overcome for any entrepreneur, but an even larger one for a young entrepreneur.”
Spencer Wood, Body Guard Fitness
Wood, who graduated in May and plans to return to UMaine to get his master’s degree in human development, got the idea for his business while playing for the UMaine football team.
“I needed something to keep my body in peak physical condition that I could take on the road and use in the residence halls when I was living on campus,” Wood says.
He describes his business as “the first of its kind.”
“This revolutionary product in full-body fitness and mobility will transform the fitness industry and bodies alike,” Wood says. “It is a unique combination of push-up grip and resistance-band technologies that come together to provide a comprehensive and demanding full-body workout.”
Wood’s goal is for the Body Guard to become a household name and a familiar product in the fitness world. He wants his product to be known for giving users confidence.
Since the challenge, Wood has worked with some of the judges and the Foster Center and is confident the money and counseling he won will greatly affect his business.
“If my product is patentable, which it looks it is, the sky will be the limit,” Wood says.
Henry Bonneau, Bonneau & Son Excavation
Bonneau started his excavation business in May 2012 with a 4-yard dump truck, skid steer and backhoe to complete lawn and residential drainage work. By the end of the summer, he was able to purchase a bulldozer that allowed him to also clear land, put in driveways, dig septic systems and complete large-scale landscaping.
Bonneau says his advertising strategy and eagerness to find work helped him have a successful first year and allowed him to purchase a full-sized 18-yard dump truck.
Last summer’s jobs included septic systems and house lots, as well as larger projects such as working on a $350,000 residential reconstruction project and a land rehabilitation and repair project for Central Maine Power.
Bonneau, who plans to graduate in 2015, wants his company to grow and differentiate itself from other Maine contractors.
“I aspire to emphasize green and ‘low-impact’ construction while incorporating today’s most innovative construction methods and materials,” Bonneau says, adding he already has plans to construct a bioretention cell, or natural soil filter, and look into innovative materials such as tire-derived aggregates.
Bonneau believes the consulting services he won and connections he made from the UMaine Business Challenge will benefit his company.
“I suggest any and all entrepreneurs who are aware of this competition and are anxious to get their business off the ground [or in my case, develop it further] should take full advantage of this opportunity,” Bonneau says.
Matthew Hodgkin, LobsteRX
Hodgkin, who expects to graduate in May 2015, decided to start a business with his partners, Lobster Institute Executive Director Robert Bayer, Lobster Institute Associate Director Cathy Billings, and Stewart Hardison, a business partner from outside the UMaine community, after the four had a conversation about lobster industry waste.
“Our business is taking the lobster processing by-products and trying to find uses for them,” Hodgkin says. “So far we have had success in that we have come across certain antiviral and antineoplastic properties.”
Hodgkin and his partners aim to create products from lobster-processing industry waste. Their goal is to get more money to lobstermen and improve Maine’s economy.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.381.3747
The Bangor Daily News, WLBZ (Channel 2) and WVII (Channel 7) were among news organizations to report on the UMaine appearance of Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn. Strathairn participated in a reading of the Sophocles play “Ajax” as part of the Outside the Wire theater program’s “Theater of War.” The reading took place during Maine Center on Aging’s Clinical Geriatrics Colloquium at the University of Maine on Monday.
The Bangor Daily News previewed a free summit Friday in Augusta by the University of Maine Humanities Initiative. Justin Wolff, director of the initiative, told the BDN the goal of the summit is to bring scholars, political leaders and the public together to speak about the benefits of arts and humanities in the state.
David Fuller, agriculture and nontimber forest products professional and fiddlehead expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald about fiddlehead characteristics and this year’s harvest. A video of Fuller and the plants is also featured with the article.
A University of Maine study and Cooperative Extension specialists were cited in the Mainebiz article “Potato farmers innovate to find new markets.” The 2010 study found Maine’s potato industry could be well suited to grow stock for the bioplastic industry. John Jemison, water quality and soil specialist and Jim Dwyer, crops specialist with UMaine Extension, were also interviewed about the state’s potato industry.
The newest entry in the Bangor Daily News blog “Education: Future Imperfect,” by UMaine Professor of History Howard Segal is online.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) were among several news organizations to cover the University of Maine’s 211th commencement. 1,665 students graduated Saturday and more than 12,000 people attended the ceremonies.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network cited a recent study by University of Maine economist Todd Gabe on the Maine film and photography industry. Gabe’s study shows steady growth in the area.