The Maine Department of Education (DOE) today awarded $2.5 million in Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures (RREV) funding to support education innovation in twelve school administrative units (SAUs) across the Maine. These funds will be used to support educational research and design projects focusing on alternative education strategies, interdisciplinary/experiential learning, environmental stewardship, Wabanaki culture and heritage, outdoor education and internship opportunities, as well as supporting unique approaches to distance learning.
Winners of this third round of RREV funding include Lee Academy, Brunswick, RSU 21 at Kennebunk, Maine Indian Education, RSU 1 at Bath, Brewer, RSU 71 at Belfast, MSAD 6 – Bonny Eagle, RSU 25 at Bucksport, Falmouth, RSU 20 in Searsport and Kittery. The first round of RREV investments was made last fall, a second round in March, and total RREV investments are now approaching $6 million.
“REV investments help fuel educational research and design as well as the innovation and creativity of Maine educators,” Education Commissioner Pender Makin said. “We are excited to invest in these educator-led efforts to deepen student engagement through interdisciplinary learning, expanding learning beyond the traditional classroom to include the outdoors and stewardship of environment, explore Wabanaki culture and heritage, expand alternative education strategies, and allow students to explore career paths that fuel their passions.
The Maine DOE received $16.9 million in Rethink K-12 Education Models funding from the U.S. Department of Education. As one of 11 states to receive funding, Maine created RREV to support the work of visionary educators to develop innovative pilot programs around remote and outside of the classroom learning, including professional development and pilot design courses. Courses in innovative design processes are available free of charge at several Maine public and private universities for Maine educators who wish to attend. In addition to innovative pilot development courses, the Department also offers asynchronous webinars on innovative principles that are available to all educators in self-paced, self-paced modules.
“RREV has not only helped us reinvent the way we deliver education, but also the way we envision changing education as a whole,” said Renita Ward-Downer, director of education at Brewer. .
“Maine Indian Education’s RREV pilot project will allow us to create a connected and immersive, community-based middle school experience that allows students to always prioritize their Wabanaki knowledge,” said Beth Clifford, program coordinator at studies for Maine Indian Education. “We look forward to developing place-based and project-based educational experiences that connect learning and communities to increase student engagement and academic outcomes, promote partnerships and collaboration, and deepen our understanding of the world that surrounds us. The history, culture and life of the Wabanakis will be at the heart of the programming.
For more information on how to get involved in RREV and to learn more about the pilots, visithttps://www.maine.gov/doe/rrev. Consult the map of all RREV beneficiaries.