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Great Meetings – Free Training on February 8th

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Government

Meetings are an essential element to community work.  Most action is made stronger through the engagement of more people, the shift to collective action, and collective action usually requires meetings.  There are some great resources to help those planning meetings make them better but nothing beats an in-person training session!

To that end, the League of Women Voters of Maine and Portland Public Library’s Choose Civility Initiative  are pleased to offer two FREE facilitation workshops.  Seating is limited, so save your space for one or both by registering here Feel free to share this information with others.

Saturday February 8th  at Portland Public Library Main Branch, Meeting Room # 5 

 9:30 – 11:30 :   Never Another Useless Meeting : Meeting Facilitator Training

This training is intended for those just beginning to convene meetings AND those with a lot of experience who would like to share support and gain new skills.  The focus will be broad enough to include core facilitation skills for all kinds of meetings – big and small, public or private.

11:30 – 12:30 :  Lunch break – on your own (brown bags welcome)

12:30 – 2:30 :  The Balancing Act of Candidate and Issue Forums : From Design to Day-Of Details

This session will focus on the range of issues to consider when convening a community forum to discuss election issues, including candidate forums and forums on particular ballot questions.

Both sessions will be conducted by Anne Schink,a consultant in volunteer management, training, and facilitation offering services to nonprofit organizations, public entities, and faith-based organizations. From 1995 to 2009 Anne was the Program/Training/Disability Officer at the Maine Commission for Community Service. In 2007 Anne received the CVA designation from the Council on Certification in Volunteer Administration.   Anne currently serves on the National Board of the League of Women Voters.

For more information, contact Kim Simmons, coordinator of Choose Civility Portland at simmons@portland.lib.me.us  or 207-871-1700 or Karla Wight at  karlanjoe@aol.com  or 207 210-6572


“Participation! It’s what all my work has been about.” – Pete Seeger

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Recommended Reads | Adults | Art & Culture

Pete Seeger has died at age 94.  His January 27th 2014 passing leaves a hole in the hearts of many but his legacy asks us to memorialize him by participating in our own communities and standing up for our common good with bravery, joy and music.

Learn more about Seeger by watching The Power of Song on DVD or reading a book by or about Seeger.    Or read the Smithsonian Folkways tribute to him, complete with links to music.

Watch Bruce Springstein and Pete Seeger sing This Land Is Your Land on the Lincoln Memorial steps during the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

If you’re so moved, consider checking out a PPL Ukulele (see Teens for more info) and plucking a few famous Seeger tunes (here’s a link to a tutorial for If I Had a Hammer on Ukulele).

Commemorate Pete Seeger by choosing to participate! FMI: www.peteseegermusic.com


MONTGOMERY’S VIEW – Flora & Ulysses

posted: , by Mary Peverada
tags: Montgomery's View | Recommended Reads | Kids & Families

floraFlora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo Candlewick Press, 2013

I happily read this book a bit ago – but like Montgomery chose to ruminate before posting. Now – this book was just awarded the Newbery Award – and Kate DiCamillo has been chosen the new National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature. It is time I spread the word a little further.

Flora is a lonely girl who is obsessed with comics – her mother calls her a “natural born cynic.” But Flora’s life changes dramatically when she resuscitates a squirrel who is nearly killed in an encounter with a Ulysses 2000X vacuum cleaner. She quickly discovers that the incident has given the squirrel powers (the squirrel lifts the vacuum over his head in one paw.) Flora is reminded of her favorite comic hero the Amazing Incandesto – and her imagination helps her leap to the conclusion that the squirrel will perform great and wonderful feats. Soon the squirrel’s new abilities become even clearer as he shows his skills at understanding Flora, typing and composing poetry. Flora opens her heart totally to Ulysses. However, the squirrel’s greatest enemy is none other than Flora’s romance writing, squirrel hating mother.

DiCamillo has written a story full of heart and humor – but the quirky cast of characters give the reader even more as the author explores loneliness, accepting differences, overcoming fears, abandonment – and love. The black and white illustrations capture the mood and the comic sequences sporadically placed “illuminate” the amazing adventures of Ulysses – and augment Flora’s obsession with comics. Flora soon learns she cannot remain a cynic – once she opens herself and her heart to her squirrel.

Grades 4-6

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