A friend who moved to Maine sent me this lovely post about the first day of school at the two-room Ashley Bryan school, where children from two neighboring islands join to form a tiny school. It is an exciting day for everyone, children, parents, and community members. Even Ashley Bryan, Maine artist, was there to greet the children.

“It has become a tradition for parents and townspeople to gather in the schoolyard as students arrive for their first day at the two room Ashley Bryan School. Everyone is there to wish them well, to see who the new students are, and to feel good about our special island school and its community support.

“The crew from Great Cranberry arrives by boat and begins the short walk up from the dock. There are 6 students from Great Cranberry and one teacher and one aide who travel by boat every morning. This morning there were also all of the teachers for Art, Music, Phys. Ed and French. The principal was there too. It made for a solid group of educational energy surrounding the school. The inter island students were all happy to reconnect after a busy summer. All around the school yard parents of students, and other community members want to celebrate what a unique school we have.”

There are 16 students in grades K-8, representing every grade but 7. The pictures evoke a foggy island day.

“Teachers Lauren and Audrey asked people to exuberantly make suggestions of goals for the year and then Ashley Bryan read them out and worried that the students will have to work too hard to learn all of these things! I don’t know if you can zoom in on the list, but the suggestions are things like: Laughter, building, discovery, adventure, wonder, fun, awesomeness, cooperation and friendship.”

The children gathered for a group photograph. Then everyone gathered for a community photograph.

Think of it. Somewhere in our great nation, there are remote communities like this where no one worries about VAM and all the other nonsense now raining down on teachers and children. Arne won’t be closing Ashley Bryan. Nice goals for the year.