TLC Blog Entries:

Outer Islands TLC BLOG!

Wednesday
Dec232015

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True confessions of a TLC coordinator...

I just don't have the capacity to blog about ALL of the amazing, wonderful, flippin' AWESOME things we do in the TLC right as we do it! So that means I end up only blogging during holiday breaks or summer vacations and that isn't really fun for me or for you!

It is time to come clean with my blogging failure and confess that most likely, I will not be catching up anytime soon...

I know, I know, you are thinking, "But how, oh HOW, am I suppose to keep up with my favorite inter-island school collaborative!?" Well, you can follow us on FACEBOOK! Yep, that's right, we have our own TLC facebook group which is always FULL of photos and updates. Just search for "Outer Islands TLC" on Facebook and request to join our group. It is a closed group so I might message you asking what your interest in our group is, but as long as you are a real, wholesome human being you can follow all of our adventures on our page! It is much easier to keep up-to-date and everyone in the TLC can contribute with post and pictures.

Follow THIS link: TLC FACEBOOK GROUP! And join today!

Monday
Sep142015

TLC Summer Road Show!

While many folks were off on their summer vacations and adventures the TLC was hard at work promoting our program, fundraising for our up-and-coming field trips, and spreading the TLC spirit across each of the outer islands. We worked with parents, teachers, and students to host  a total of seven TLC events this summer on each of our participating islands! It was a LOT of work and a LOT of fun. Here are some of the highlights:

 

Our first event was on Cliff Island in July. We had lemonade and cookies made by the Cliff Island students and made bracelets after a presentation about the TLC program and why we are important! We sold t-shirts and bumper stickers and had a great time!

We flew our TLC show over to Matinicus where we did more bracelet making and presenting to a lot of new faces about the TLC program!

In August we headed to MDI for a three-day, back-to-back event extravaganza, starting with a Cake Walk on Great Cranberry Island.

We presenting to a whole lot of interested kiddos about the TLC and participated in an EPIC cake walk in which every-single participant won a prize! And then they all shared with each other. It was pretty sweet! 

We hopped over to Islesford the next day for ANOTHER cake walk with lots of new and happy faces. The baked goods at this event were out of this world! I was on a sugar AND TLC high all day long! It was intense.

Then it was on to Frenchboro for their annual Lobster Festival Celebration on island. The TLC set up shop at the school making hats with kids and giving a presentation to the TLC to a packed-house. Two students from Great Cranberry came all the way over to Frenchboro for the event! Talk about impressive TLC spirit!

Isle au Haut invited the TLC to help host their annual School Pie Auction! Let's just say that this island takes their pies VERY seriously! 

There were over 20 delicious pies and cakes made for the occasion and we raised over $3,000 for our field trips at this one event. WOW!

The last event of our road show was on Monhegan. We hosted an epic talent show to another packed-house. The energy in the room was TANGIBLE! 

There were LOTS of familiar faces at this event, including some very handsome and relatively famous TLC alumni. We had a rip-roaring time and celebrated all of the fun and love we find in the TLC everyday.

After seven events on seven islands in two months I am proud to say we raised nearly $6,000 for our up-and-coming field trips. Thank you to all who helped and participated to make our first ever TLC Summer Road Show a SMASHING success. Now, I need a nap. 

Thursday
Jun182015

End of Year (virtual) Celebration!

Another school year OVER... which means it was time to say goodbye to all our TLC pals! The student council organized a fantastic end of year celebration for the TLC to enjoy with one another via our video conference units.

Everyone adorned their TLC t-shirts and we started with a quick TLC trivia game to recap the highlights of our year together. 

We watched our TLC slide show together! It was so fun to look back at all the fantastic memories we created with one another this year. 

Then it was time for our "official" graduation/recognition ceremony! We called each of the TLC "classes" up (i.e. TLC pre-k class, and then the kindergarten class and so on!) and honored them with a hearty round-of-applause and lots of hoorays and whistles! The biggest cheers came when we called up our TLC 8th grade class up to be recognized! We are going to miss our 8th graders SO much. They have all be such valuable leaders to our TLC family! We know they are off to do great things! 

OF COURSE we ended with an epic dance party and virtual hugs and kisses and farewells!

It was one HECK of a year... and we owe you all, our supporters, a big ol' TLC THANK YOU for following all of our adventures! We will see you in September!

Tuesday
Jun022015

2015 Spring Field Trip - DAY 4!

Our last day.... BOO! It is always so bitter-sweet to come to our final day of the trip! I am always on such a high from being together for so long and then feel so sad that soon it will be time to head back to our separate islands. Can't someone PLEASE just make an island for all of the TLC to live on or at least buy us a big TLC yacht that we can visit one another on more!? Is that really too much to ask!?

Anywho, our last day started with a final morning meeting. We went around and shared the highlights of our trip. A lot of the kids talked about their favorite parts being the time at the State House or all the games of freeze tag but I think the most popular answer was, "I loved being with all my friends." I think we could go visit a landfill with the TLC and still have a good time, because we would all be together!

We headed together to one last program, this time at Old Fort Western located in Augusta.

The older students participated in program called "How We Know" which had them exploring historical documents and artifacts to interpret Maine history.

They got to participate in an archaeological "dig-in-miniature" in order to analyze artifact assemblages and use them in conjunction with other material objects to learn about relative dating! Pretty cool stuff!

The younger and middles participated in a program called "Daily Life in 18th Century" where they learned about food preparation...

and the importance of wood working and cutting!

They were WAY into the old-school wood cutting!

I am telling you, WAY into it!

They also got to weave and spin wool!

It was a fun morning at Old Fort Western but a sad time when it was over because it was time for everyone to pile into their separate cars and head back on their separate boats to their own islands. Breaks my heart every time, but I know that hard goodbyes means that a really great time had come before!

And so what do I take away from yet another EPIC field trip??? I take away ALL of our TLC LOVE.

This group of students, teachers, and parents has once again amazed, inspired, and energized me. The love and support of the TLC community is palpable and stronger than ever.  We are not five islands who just come together every now and then to go on a trip and then go our separate ways. We are ONE community that continuously works to support, love, and better each other.

I had parents give thanks to the TLC with tears in their eyes for the experiences and friendships their children benefited from this year. I watched teachers support each other as colleagues and friends as only island teachers could possibly do. And I saw tearful and sweet goodbyes filled with hugs and even little kisses from students who were going to miss their friends, new and old.

Thank you TLC. YOU are the HEART of this project. Thank you for another fantastic trip of memories and giggles and pride and learning. Thank you for your patience, engagement, positivity, teamwork, flexibility, kindness, openness, and love. Let's ride out the high of all the TLC love for as long as we can! Bring it back to your islands and spread it all around... I will do the same.

Tuesday
Jun022015

2015 Spring Field Trip - DAY 3: Evening FUN!

Everyone was pretty beat when we got back to camp after our day at the State House. We had planned on doing a big reflection activity and a makers club project all before dinner, but instead we just let everyone have a little free time together, and it was lovely.

There was some playing in the dirt.

And some drawing...

 

And some good time just relaxing together! It was so nice to be at a camp where we had the space and time to just be together as a group and really bond with one another. The TLC is really good at bonding... I would say we are EXPERT bonders!

Speaking of bonding experiences, we had a very special plan in store for our last evening together at camp. We had a big, huge, DELICIOUS spaghetti dinner before it was time for our "TLC Awards Ceremony!" I had this crazy idea that on the last night of our trip we should give out awards to each and every one of our TLC students to let them know how special they are in! The CRAZY part was that I thought that I was going to have time to make all of these awards... of course, I didn't! But that is when our AMAZING student council leaders come in! The three sweet girls who have led our student council for the year spent a good two houra creating hand-designed awards for each and every student in the TLC! The girls emceed the ceremony and passed out the awards, specifying why each student made the TLC special.

They made awards for "best laugh" and "best hugs" and "best jump-roper!" All of the awards were so sweet and personalized and the kids had the BIGGEST smiles on their faces when they went up to accept their awards!

They even gave awards out to whole families in the TLC... this teacher/student family from Cliff received the "fastest family award!"

It was another one of those moments I just couldn't help but BEAM with pride for these students and their kindness, love, and compassion for one another. The community that we have built for these kids is PRICELESS. Where else is a student who only had two other kids in her school going to get an award and huge round of applause from a group of 50 kids for having the "BEST Pigtails!?" 

Not only did our student council leaders recognize all of the TLC students, they said a little something special about all of the TLC teachers as well. MY GOODNESS, THEY ARE SO SWEET! When Miss Audrey was called up to be recognized by the group, she couldn't help but feed-off the positive energy in the room and bust out ALL of her best moves! 

 

The award ceremony ended with and impromptu, totally spontaneous group hug.Obviously the love in the room was palpable that evening! We just didn't want our time together to end... 

And thankfully it didn't have to end quite yet! We had one more celebration in store...  

CAMPFIRE AND SMORES NIGHT!

The youngers got to make their smores first and boy, were they excited!

What do you think is sweeter this face or that smore!?

AHHH! A smore MONSTER!

When it was the olders turn, they were just as excited to take selfies as they were to make smores. How CUTE are these kids!?

And how weird is that TLC coordinator!?

We sat around the fire until dusk... laughing and singing and loving each other. 

It was an epic day.