Our Programs: 2015-2016 Partnerships

Maranacook Community High School and Lewiston High School

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

Maranacook 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. These ninth grade students will work together for all four years of high school as they explore their own identities and tackle racism as it exists in 2016. They will participate in conversations and activities that develop understanding and equity. Their work will culminate in a special project in their senior year that will allow them to share their knowledge and understanding of each other with a wider audience to promote a more equitable world.

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

This 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 which inhibit their development as students and community members. This exchange will focus on identity, culture, being an ally, and understanding Native and non-Native communities and their shared histories along the Penobscot River. Students will visit each other’s schools as they move towards understanding and grow as individuals and community ambassadors.

MDI High School and Bronx Academy of Letters

Students from Mount Desert Island High School and the Bronx Academy of Letters are in the first year of an anticipated 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. This year, youth from the Bronx will travel to MDI and be hosted by their partners in Maine as they confront stereotypes and differences. This exchange will generally focus on identity, race, urban vs. rural environments, and a connection with local law enforcement to create dialogue and perspective surrounding the recent events and media involving racial discrimination and use of force. Participants will confront these issues and learn new perspectives on stereotypes and experiences they have had with law enforcement.