Students celebrate Maine's bicentennial

By Fran Gonzalez | Mar 13, 2020
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez Fifth-grade Student Council officers at Searsport Elementary School, from left, Evan Cottrell, Willow Law, Cora Lockhart and Mikaylah Lambeth, attend their school's celebration of Maine's 200th anniversary.

Searsport — Searsport Elementary School was teeming with activity March 12 as students celebrated Maine's 200 years of statehood. Walls were lined with art displays of state animals, posters of historic sites in Waldo County and even a large cardboard moose made by the pre-K class adorned the lobby.

And to top it off, "Carrot cake for everyone — staff included!" said Marcia Williams, ed tech and program coordinator. The lunchroom echoed with the sound of students singing “Happy Birthday” and then one chosen student blew out the candles to the cheers of her classmates.

The Republican Journal spoke with four fifth-grade students on the Student Council Thursday about their role in the celebration activities and their thoughts on Maine's turning 200.

Evan Cottrel said the role of the council was to represent a “kids' perspective” and communicate to teachers how the school could improve, and how the Student Council could help to achieve those goals.

Talking about her favorite displays, Cora Lockhart said she enjoyed the wildlife posters about Maine’s animals, including moose, deer and lobster, as well as the state bird, the chickadee.

Willow Law said she enjoyed how every morning, along with the announcements, a Maine fun fact would be read. She said she did not realize how many famous people were from Maine, including Stephen King.

Mikaylah Lambeth said students had been very excited since learning of the celebration day in the school newsletter. Special games were planned, a demonstration on making butter and students could dress in period clothes if they liked. The family event took place after school Thursday

“They have done a lot of work,” Williams said. “Every grade, including the preschool, got involved.”

In keeping with learning about the state, Williams said, some upcoming events include a trip to the Penobscot Marine Museum for kindergarten through second-grade students; a trip to the Maine State Museum in Augusta is planned for the third through fifth grades, and the Maine State Archives will visit the school on a bicentennial tour at the end of April, bringing virtual reality headsets to provide viewers enhanced 360-degree views of places that have played an important role in the history of  Maine.

Williams said she really wanted to celebrate the year in honor of the state’s birthday and took on the role of coordinator in January. “It’s been great fun,” she said.

Principal Larry Clement said, “Marcia has done an incredible amount of work on this. I just followed her lead.”

Two second-grade students, Fiona and Mackenzie, worked on a large poster showing mountains and lighthouses of Maine along with “Moxie,” the official state soda. The large poster was hung in the lobby of the school next to the cardboard moose and an official state flag given to the school by State Sen. Erin Herbig, D-Waldo.

In a letter she sent with the flag, Herbig wrote, “We’ve accomplished a lot in 200 years — did you know toothpicks and earmuffs were invented in Maine? This flag is a symbol of our state. A reminder of why we love Maine. Let’s make sure the next two centuries are even better than the last two!”

Fiona, left, and Mackenzie, second-grade students at Searsport Elementary School, pose next to a poster they worked on for Maine's bicentennial celebration, shown here March 12. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Rachel, a Searsport Elementary School student, blows out the candles March 12, to commemorate Maine's bicentennial. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Artwork of animals associated with Maine lines the walls of Searsport Elementary School during its celebration Maine's bicentennial. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Rudolph, the cardboard moose constructed by students in the pre-K program, welcomes visitors to Searsport Elementary School March 12. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Carrot cake for all March 12, at the Searsport Elementary School in honor of Maine's bicentennial. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
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