Issue No. 56
January 2015
The MSCN Newsletter

"Charles R. Knight New Years Card"
Welcome to Your January Newsletter!

Happy New Year! The theme for this month's newsletter is local collaborations around the state of Maine. Sunrise Senior College is supporting local schools through a partnership with the Machias Teen Trendsetters. This year's Camden Conference theme is "Russia Resurgent" and they are calling upon the contributions of Coastal Senior College instructor Louis Sell, a former US Foreign Service officer with extensive insights into US-Soviet relations. Midcoast Senior College is delivering an excellent series of talks at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick for their "Winter Wisdom  2015" lecture series. Lewiston-Auburn Senior College took part in "Wreaths Across America Day" in December. Last but not least, Sunrise Senior College is offering "Game Days" to the general public. To find out more about all of these activities read on!

Anne Cardale

Program Coordinator

Maine Senior College Network    


Luck and Timing at Coastal Senior College & the Camden Conference
What do Coastal Senior College (CSC) and the Camden Conference have in common? Both have existed for years, have educational missions, and some members of each organization participate in the other's offerings. Now, beginning in February, there is a new connection between CSC and the Camden Conference. 

The CSC curriculum subcommittee concluded that it would be beneficial if CSC could connect somehow with the Camden Conference. For those who may be unfamiliar with the latter, it is "a nonprofit, non-partisan, educational organization whose mission is to foster informed discourse on world affairs through year-round community events, public and student engagement, and an annual weekend conference." The annual weekend conference is conducted during the third weekend in February.

Louis Sell, Coastal Senior College Instructor and former US Foreign Service Officer 

In a perfect union of luck and timing, this year's conference theme is "Russia Resurgent." For CSC, the luck is having Louis Sell, a former US Foreign Service officer - as a new instructor. The timing is in the fact that he spent most of his career dealing with US-Soviet relations, including living in Moscow from 1991-1994 as well as at other times. 

The conference information states: "The February Conference will be organized around three main themes. First, we will consider the historic, economic and political factors that have shaped how Russians conceive of themselves and their place in the world. Then we will examine how Russia is viewed by other countries of Europe and Asia. Finally, we will get in-depth perspectives from both Washington and Moscow on the diplomatic and geo-strategic challenges in U.S.- Russian relations.

One need only glance at Sell's course description for "The Soviet Collapse" to see how seamlessly his course dovetails with the conference themes. He was encouraged to offer the class by the Conference committee, of which he is a member. Not so coincidentally, he is currently finishing a book on the Soviet collapse to be published by Duke University Press. He is hoping the participants in his CSC course will provide stimulating and personal reactions to the material covered by the book. His emphasis will not only be on what happened and why but on just what it was like to be an individual caught up in the events of that time. 

The 28th Annual Camden Conference, "Russia Resurgent," is presented live from the Camden Opera House, and will be live-streamed by satellite to the Strand Theatre in Rockland, and the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast. 

Submitted by - Kay Liss & Article by - Emily MacKenzie. Coastal Senior College

Sunrise Senior College Supports Family Literacy Program


The Teen Trendsetters Program website

 Machias Memorial High School and Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School were selected to jointly implement the Teen Trendsetters program, a program of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy


The schools are one of 22 pairs of schools in Maine being funded by the Barbara Bush Foundation. In an exciting venture to give back to our community, volunteers from Sunrise Senior College are providing administrative support for the program.. The SSC Board has also committed to hosting a party for the mentors and their mentees at the end of the school year. The Machias Teen Trendsetters program is the first in the state to partner with a Senior College, resulting in a truly multi-generational project and one which offers SSC members an opportunity to support community schools. This unique partnership began as one outcome of SSC being represented on the AOS 96 Family Literacy Team. 


Teen Trendsetters is a hands-on reading mentoring program that is expanding across the United States. The program offers first, second, and third grade students an exciting opportunity to take part in a program that supports children as they read through the sciences. Participation results in improved reading skills, an interest in science, higher reading scores, and confident learning. High school teens are the true champions of this volunteer program, spending one-on-one time each week reading with their young mentees and bonding over books. 


Each participating elementary school student is being paired with a teen from the high school who has been trained as a reading mentor. These ambitious teens have committed to meet every week during the school year for a fun mentoring session at Rose Gaffney. The elementary child and the teen mentor will work with a series of educational, entertaining books and resources to improve reading skills and promote an interest in science. All elementary students who participate receive 17 books over the school year to add to their home library, providing an opportunity to share their reading experience with their families. The young readers are also connected to an internet library, allowing them to access additional reading materials at any time. 


Twenty high school students volunteered to become reading mentors. They have all been trained as reading mentors and are meeting weekly with the elementary students. The program is overseen by Cindy Thompson, MMHS librarian and Teen Trendsetter Program Advisor, with assistance from Renee Look, first grade teacher and the Teen Trendsetter Program Advisor for Rose M. Gaffney. Mrs. Thompson recently commented that she would not have been able to launch the program without the help of the SSC volunteers. For more information on the TeenTrendsetters program, please visit


Submitted by - Jackie Lowe, Sunrise Senior College
Wreaths across America

The Outdoor Adventure Club at USM's Lewiston Auburn Senior College, led by co-chairs Patricia Vampatella and Cindy Boyd, participated in National Wreaths Across America Day on December 13. They were among 100 volunteers laying wreaths on Veterans' graves at the Togus National Cemetery. The wreaths are provided by the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington in Washington County and it is now in its 23rd year of providing wreaths for veteran servicemen and servicewomen's headstones.
The Outdoor Adventure Club:
Front, Irene Marshall; L to R, Anna Boyce, Joyce Berg, Charlotte and Les Bosworth, Cindy Boyd, Patricia Vampatella, Susan Matthews, David Marshall, Sandie Crossley, Elaine McDonald.
(Photo by Rachel Morin)

Following the graveside distribution of the wreaths, the group gathered for the noontime Ceremony honoring the fallen Veterans held simultaneously across the country and synchronized with the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Representatives from all branches of the U.S. Services laid a commemorative wreath at the base of the flagpole. A Three Gun Salute was fired followed by a bugle playing "Taps" concluded the ceremony. L-A Senior College members were honored to participate in Wreaths Across America and found tit both moving and gratifying to be part of the nationwide event. It was their first time, but it will not be their last time.


Submitted by - Rachel Morin, Lewiston-Auburn Senior College
Repurposed Books at SAGE

Pam Crawford's "Repurposed Books " classes  ran at SAGE, University of Maine in Presque Isle last October. Billed as "an opportunity to de-clutter one's living space of unwanted books," 10 students explored the unlimited artful uses of recycled hardcover books! Students repurposed book spines, pages, covers, and whole books. 
The photo above shows Penny Kern cutting niches into her  book, getting ready to set in five small matchboxes that will eventually serve as hidden drawers in the altered book.

Submitted by - Pam Crawford, SAGE at UMaine Presque Isle


Midcoast Senior College Presents 
"Winter Wisdom 2015" Lecture Series
 at Curtis Memorial Library

Midcoast Senior College commences its "Winter Wisdom 2015" lecture series in early January. The program is held on consecutive Wednesdays at 12:15 (noon) at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick. 

These programs are free and open to the public. Download the Winter Wisdom 2015 pdf for more information. 

January 7th. John Tercyak, Music in Our Memory 
Presenter: John Tercyak.

January 14th. Semmelweiss, A Prophet without Honor 
Presenter: Dr. Richard S. Neiman.

January 21st. Experiences of a Former Employee at NASA Space Program 
Presenter: Ed Polewarczyk .

January 28th. Stealing Night Café 
Presenter: Dr. Robert C. Williams

February 4th. The Mindfulness Revolution 
Presenter: Ann Kimmage.

February 11th. Ten Mysteries of Talking Walls 

February 18th. Longfellow Days - Parlor Games, Photographs, Panoramas, and Tableaux 
Presenter: Libby Bischof.

Submitted by - Bianca Chambers, Midcoast Senior College


Sunrise Senior College Hopes To Beat The Winter Blues 

Sunrise Senior College(SSC) is continuing its tradition of offering one day "classes" during the winter months.  This winter, members of the Sunrise Senior College will beat the winter blues by using brain power to have fun!  

During the break between the fall and spring programs SSC  will host four Saturdays of Game Days.  Two Saturdays will be devoted to playing  Scrabble with old and new friends.  "Team Up for Trivia" will be offered on two other Saturdays.

The Sunrise Senior College Special Programs Committee are predicting that folks who like to remember words and facts they probably forgot (or never knew in the first place!) will want to come to both the  Scrabble and "Team up for Trivia" days. 

These "Winter Warm-Ups" activities are free and open to the public. SSC offers many free special events during the year to encourage community members to join SSC. 

The Game Days and other special events are a great opportunity for non-
members to meet SSC members and hear directly from them what else goes on at Sunrise Senior College.


Submitted by - Jackie LoweSunrise Senior College.
Gold LEAFers Get Physical for the Lengthening Days

As the days begin to lengthen, one might think that couch potatoes might be sprouting and springing up all around. But not so with Gold LEAF members who signed up for two very different types of movement classes in December. 


The first was a Creative Movement class that involved physical exercise of a gentle type, accompanied with reflection and some "journal writing" types of activities. The surprisingly large class received the instruction joyfully, and in some cases were said to have broken the sound barrier with their laughter. They were so enamored with this very unusual type of movement class that the office is scrambling to find more suitable venues and times for it to continue into the spring. 


Then in the second week of December, members signed up, again in large numbers, for the "Pickleball: A New Experience" gathering at the local community center gymnasium. Pickleball has been scheduled for three times each week at the center, but this was an opportunity to introduce the game, its history and rules to a new set of learners. Hand-outs explained where the game began originally and how it is played, along with some of its special terms and rules like "Stay out of the Kitchen!" A few folks just planned to root for the various teams of two, or just observe. However, most made their way onto the courts and are now newly proclaimed enthusiasts, with a long season of indoor pickleball to look forward to in the months ahead. Kudos to Gold LEAF members who are coming out to these fitness classes just showing that seniors, even in winter, can avoid the couch potato syndrome! 


Submitted by - Eileen Kreutz, Gold LEAF Institute
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photo Photo Credit
"Charles R. Knight New Years's Card" by Charles R. Knight . Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

The Maine Senior College Network is a program of the  
In This Issue
Luck and Timing
Sunrise Supports Family Literacy Program
Lewiston-Auburn & Wreaths across America
Repurposed Books at SAGE
"Winter Wisdom 2015"
Sunrise Beats The Winter Blues
Gold LEAFers Get Physical
Don't forget to go to the Maine Senior College Network website to find out what is happening around the state!

Maine Senior College Network

Acadia Senior College

Augusta Senior College
Coastal Senior College

Downeast Senior College

Gold LEAF Institute

South Coast Senior College

Midcoast Senior College

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Penobscot Valley Senior College


Senior College at Belfast

St. John Valley Senior College

Sunrise Senior College 
Western Mountains Senior College

York County Senior College
MSCN Promotional Videos

Maine Senior Guide is a comprehensive web resource about all things senior that provides "one stop shopping" for Maine's seniors at the link below: 

Contact Information
Maine Senior College Network 
P.O. Box 9300 
Portland, Maine 04104-9300 
(207) 228-4128
(207) 780-4317 (fax)

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