University of Maine Farmington Hosts National Park Service Workshop on Passamaquoddy Teaching Kit
Contact: Meg Scheid, 207-454-3871
09/28On Saturday, October 20, education rangers from the National Park Service will present the second of three teacher workshops to introduce their award-winning teaching kit. Invited are students at UMF preparing to teach elementary school age children and area middle school teachers whose focus is Social Studies or Maine Studies. The kit, titled Passamaquoddy History and Culture: A Traveling Teaching Kit for Grades 5-8, won third place in the curriculum category of the National Association for Interpretation’s annual media award competition in 2006.
Meg Scheid, park ranger at Saint Croix Island International Historic Site in Calais, Maine, will facilitate the workshop. “We’re as equally excited about the workshops as we are with the kit,” Scheid said, “for two reasons. First, by providing workshop participants the opportunity to meet with and learn from Passamaquoddy elders, educators, or community members who either helped create and pilot the kit, or whose lives are featured among the many biographies included in the kit’s Teacher’s Guide, we continue the spirit of partnership and authenticity on which the trunk was conceived. Second, the kit helps teachers meet the requirements of LD 291, and instills in the minds and hearts of their students the rich history, language, and culture of the Passamaquoddy people who live and work in our communities today. Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot—all Wabanaki Tribes within Maine—provide an important link to vital history, language, and culture unique to this state.”
Scheid will introduce workshop participants to the kit’s hands-on teaching tools and engage them in related activities for the classroom. Participants will meet Dolly Apt, a member of the Passamaquoddy tribe who speaks the language, teaches it, and works toward preserving it. They will discover the history of the Passamaquoddy language and its importance in preserving the tribe’s culture, while testing their skill at learning and speaking Passamaquoddy words. Participants will also meet Joseph E. Charnley, a Portland middle school teacher who uses the Passamaquoddy Kit in his classroom, and is active in his school district presenting the workshop “Wabanaki Connections: an intro to LD291 and how to implement it in classrooms.” He also publishes the monthly “Wabanaki Connections” enewsletter. Participants will also garner a greater understanding of Saint Croix Island International Historic Site—Maine’s second National Park unit—and the significance of the relationship that developed between the French and Passamaquoddy in 1604.
The workshop will be held at the University of Maine Farmington, in Roberts Learning Center, on Saturday, October 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Space is limited. Registration begins immediately on a first-come first-served basis, and is being coordinated through Saint Croix Island International Historic Site at 207-454-3871, or by emailing Meg Scheid.Registration will be confirmed by email. Workshop details, including upcoming registration deadlines, are posted on Saint Croix Island International Historic Site’s website. Information about applications for scaled stipends/scholarships is also available on-line. The local coordinator at UMF is Associate Professor of Elementary Education, Dr. Rebecca Berger. Questions can be directed to Dr. Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.