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St. Croix 1604: Out of the Box and Into the Classroom

March 5, 2004


The Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and the Maine Acadian Heritage Council are hosting a St. Croix 1604 teacher training workshop during the month of March.

The sessions, an exciting professional development event, entitled "St. Croix Island 1604 Interpretative Trunk Teacher Workshop" are open to St. John Valley teachers from grades five through nine. Pre-registration is required.

In 1604 -- before Jamestown, before Quebec City, and before Plymouth -- French settlers came to St. Croix Island to start a colony. Now an International Historic Site in the U.S. National Park System, the St. Croix Settlement is celebrating its 400th Anniversary.

To honor this event, the National Park Service has created interpretative trunks. Through a grant from the Maine Community Foundation, each of the Valley's four school districts will be receiving one of these trunks, and a fifth trunk will be available at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

"The St. Croix 1604 trunk is designed to help teachers in grades five through nine learn about and teach the significance of St. Croix Island," said Lisa Ornstein, Acadian Archives director.

The kit is written in French and English, and is filled with educational activities, props, videos, books, tapes, and authentic reproductions. Although primarily intended for social studies, activities can be carried over to language arts, arts and crafts, drama and other subjects.

In order to minimize travel time for teachers, the St. Croix teacher training workshop is being offered twice at two different locations in the Valley. The first session will be held at Madawaska High School on Tuesday, March 23rd and the second at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Wednesday, March 24. Both workshops run from 12-3:30 p.m. and include a light lunch.

Acadia National Park Ranger, Meg Scheid will lead teachers in an interactive introduction to the history and significance of St. Croix Island and do a hands-on session on how to make best use of the Teacher's Trunk for St. Croix Island.

"The Acadian Archives is delighted to help make possible this event, which directly addresses our commitment to community outreach and the celebration of regional history," said Ornstein.

Valley teachers, grades 5-9, who register by March 12th are eligible for a free lunch and their schools will receive a stipend to offset costs for hiring 1/2-day substitute teachers. The costs for lunches and stipends are being covered by the Maine Acadian Heritage Council's Educational Resource Development Committee, which Ornstein chairs as representative for the University of Maine System.

A small number of places may be available to community members wishing to attend one of the workshop sessions. The fee for community registrants is $5.00. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Don Eno, UMFK's academic outreach coordinator at 834-7835.