Our Programs: 2017-2018 Partnerships

Maranacook Community High School and Lewiston High School

Lewiston HS - Maranacook Community HS studentsMaranacook Community High School is a small, nearly all-white high school in central Maine. Lewiston High School, a large urban high school, has a very diverse student body, many of whom are recent immigrants to the United States. Although these schools are less than 30 miles apart, they are located in very different worlds. OBS is facilitating a reciprocal exchange between a cohort of students in each school. Beginning as ninth graders in 2015, these students have been working to explore their own identities and tackle fear and prejudice. They are participating in conversations and activities that develop understanding and build bonds which transcend social divisions. Their work will culminate in projects this year and next to share their knowledge and understanding of each other with a wider audience to promote a more equitable world.

Writings and Photos from the Maranacook-Lewiston Partnership, 2015-16

Indian Island School, Orono Middle School, and Leonard Middle School

orono-OT-indian island-fall2017This new partnership started in 2015-2016. It brings together middle school-aged youth from three different communities who, despite all living along and being connected by the Penobscot River, harbor stereotypes and misperceptions about each other. This exchange initially focused on identity, culture, being an ally, and understanding Native and non-Native communities and their shared histories along the Penobscot River.  In 2016-17, students worked together to educate themselves and other students about climate change and its effects on us and our planet.  During the 2017-18 school year, this partnership will be working on what they can do to address unnecessary violence.

MDI High School and Bronx Academy of Letters

Students from Mount Desert Island High School and the Bronx Academy of Letters are in the third year of a four-year collaboration. After the previous strong partnership between these two schools reached its final year in 2015, the groups decided to begin with a new cohort of students for another four-year relationship. During the first year, youth from the Bronx traveled to MDI and were hosted by their partners in Maine as they confronted stereotypes and differences. Last year the MDI students traveled to the Bronx and were hosted by their Bronx Academy of Letters partners as they worked on what it means to be an engaged citizen and become a social justice activist. This year Bronx students will again travel to MDI High School as both groups gain a better understanding of systemic racism and how to address it.