Maine Youth Charter brings critical student voices to state policymakers
AUGUSTA | Students from across Maine presented a revised Youth Charter to state officials on October 29. The teenagers, graduates of Seeds of Peace, outlined issues facing Maine youth their schools and communities, and suggests tools and measures to address them.
“Student leaders who are engaging these issues on a daily basis are bringing them to the attention of policymakers, who have the ability to fix them statewide,” said Director of Maine Seeds Programs Timothy P. Wilson.
The students—first generation Americans, multi-generational Mainers, and new immigrants—presented the Charter to the Maine Congressional Delegation and the Governor at the Capitol Building.
The new Charter focuses on education, diversity, media and technology, and address issues ranging from cultural diversity to standards-based education systems and English as a Second Language Programs.
More than 30 students from 12 public and private schools spent two months drafting the Charter, meeting regularly with each other and with experts in relevant fields.
This is the 10th anniversary of the original Maine Youth Charter, which addressed multiple aspects of education policy in the state and was presented to Governor Baldacci in October 2003.
Students from Casco Bay, Cheverus, Deering, Dexter, Edward Little, Lewiston, Catherine McCauley, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland, Waynflete, and Westbrook high schools wrote the document.
Seeds of Peace adapted its internationally-recognized conflict resolution and youth leadership program to focus on intercommunal tensions in Maine. Seeds begin their experience with a two-week session at our Camp in Otisfield, followed by year-round local programs that enable them to develop strong relationships built on mutual trust, and the skills needed to engage others in their schools and communities to promote religious and cultural understanding.