Great Mini-Grant Programs

A Place for You: A Book about Our City

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Jenn Carter, 21st Century Program Director
Lewiston Middle School
Lewiston, Maine

How does an old New England city look to its newest inhabitants? Middle-school students in the 21st Century Program decided to find out. The city is home to families from many countries, and the school population includes Somalis, Eritreans and Kenyans as well as native Down Easters. So, for a summer bookmaking project, a group of students created a picture book about the sights, sounds and foods of their city.

Armed with art supplies and disposable cameras, 18 students explored and wrote about the natural surroundings, local history, multicultural food and school. Most poignant are personal statements about their neighborhoods and why these children feel at home there. Copies of the 20-page book they produced are meant to be donated to local elementary schools to help orient young newcomers to this diverse community. Best of all, the author bios reveal that in the next generation, Lewiston has plenty to be proud of.