November and december in review
Hello all, and Happy New Year! We’ve been busy at Front Street in this second half of fall.
We are incredibly grateful for the donation of books we received from the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Portland. The donated supplies and books they gave to us almost doubled our store! If you have an old bookshelf lying around, or if you would be interested in buying a bookshelf for the study center, please speak to Martha or I, or email us at email@example.com.
Almost all of our time in November was spent meeting and learning about the other PHA sites and study center coordinators – Benny and Martha and the other staff shuffled around to a different site each day.
Right before Thanksgiving break, an anonymous wood crafter delivered two beautiful hand-made desks to two Front Street student residents—Divine and Atak—as a “thank you” for their work this past year in writing and receiving a grant to improve the neighborhood’s playground. Teachers and other administrators from Lyman Moore, our property manager, and most of the neighborhood’s students and children came out to witness the unveiling of the desks.
The students were also covered in the Portland Press Herald, where they were voted as two of the “Ten Mainers to be Thankful For” in 2015. The full article can be read here.
On December 11th, the study center took a group of students to spend an evening at the Portland Museum of Art. They created their own works of art—drawing their own takes on the Mona Lisa and creating individual “machines to dispel sadness”—and went on a tour of the current exhibits with Martha. Special thanks to the PMA for letting Front Street students stop by!
To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, all of the PHA study centers have decided to make a short movie showcasing the incredible talent and community being supported and built at the study center sites. In December we spent much of our after-school time poetry writing about our identities (“Where I am From”) and chose a few students to film reading their pieces. That movie will be open for all to view after it is unveiled at the NAACP Martin Luther King day dinner on Monday, January 18th. If you’d like to attend, or to find out more information on the event, please let us know!
Other highlights of the past two months:
If you are an adult looking to learn English, please stop by and talk to Benny. We meet with adults informally most days before 3pm and would love to work with you!
As always, if you are new or unfamiliar with Front Street services, please come on in during our open hours or send us an email.
Front Street Study Center Staff
The Front Street Study Center reopened in 2013 after a decade closed and was welcomed with students of all ages seeking a positive place to do homework, be artistic, and hang out. Front Street is our smallest family housing complex on outer Washington Ave just north of Back Cove.