Over the past three years, SPIRIT SERIES has come to know and love Maine. Now Maine is returning the favor, and we have embarked on an ambitious five-year growth plan for the state, slated to serve 5,000 students annually in 45 partner schools by the 2021-22 academic year: Maine 5000.
The SERIES is especially relevant in Maine, where visionary state learning standards are prefaced with a set of “Guiding Principles” that could not be better aligned to our curriculum—teamwork, character, creativity, higher-order thinking, etc.—exactly the cognitive and non-cognitive 21st Century skills we teach. In Maine, as across the nation, educators are hard-pressed to find effective ways to promote these vital skills. So it is no surprise that the SERIES has caught the attention of superintendents, principals, curriculum directors and teachers here.
Since our initial residencies in the state three years ago, under the leadership of New England Executive Director and longtime Maine resident, Kent Pierce, the SERIES has served more than 2,000 students in 20 residencies at 13 partner schools. Another 1,250 participants are projected to meet the SPRIT SERIES challenge statewide this school year. We see Maine as a perfect proving ground for national expansion—here we can provide a learning adventure to thousands of students and share exciting new methods with educators across the state to create a vibrant 21st Century culture of learning in their classrooms.