About The Maine Journey

(Original Table of Contents from The Maine Journey Field Trip Guide, 1980, p.2.)



The Maine Journey is a program which allowed Special Education and seventh grade students in MSAD #38, Etna and Dixmont, and MSAD #23, Carmel and Levant, to travel throughout the State of Maine experiencing first hand the many facets of their state. The students traveled for a twenty day duration during the summer months. This provided for a flexible schedule, allowing the students the opportunity to visit areas that would be impossible to visit during the regular school year.

During the students’ summer vacation a period of one week was devoted to the planning of The Maine Journey. Students and staff members were involved in scheduling the trips, selecting routes for travel, estimating departure and returning times, and developing materials to be used during the actual traveling. As part of their regular language arts program students had previously written letters to possible visitation sites requesting information concerning that particular site.

From July 7 to August 8 travel to all parts of the State of Maine took place. Students experienced first hand environmental features, historical sites, government, industry and leisure time opportunities found within the State of Maine. Career opportunities were also emphasized. In total, The Maine Journey traveled over 4100 miles in twenty days. An average of 58 students traveled each day with a total of 76 different students participating.

A staff of three group leaders, three assistant group leaders, two bus drivers, a project director, a project assistant director, and a CETA assistant [Teacher Assistant] accompanied the students on their twenty day journey. Two seventy-two passenger school buses were used as rolling classrooms. Students were encouraged to use road maps of the State of Maine as they traveled. Staff members instructed students on various aspects of Maine as the buses traveled along the roadways.

Students rated each trip using an A to F grading scale. A numerical value of 4 was given to an A rating while a value of 0 was given to an F grade. The students as well as staff members were also asked to make written comments on the evaluation sheet. Students were given a pretest before the travel began and a posttest upon completion. The 50 item multiple choice test dealt with the areas selected during the planning week for visitation. The average gain in number of correct answers to the test was significant in overall knowledge of the parts of Maine visited.

Student participants in the Maine Journey were responsible for their own expenses during the program. Expenses were primarily admission fees, lunches, and souvenirs; costing each student approximately $25.00 for twenty trips.

However, no student was denied participation due to lack of funds.

At the conclusion of the program students, parents and staff were asked to evaluate the overall objectives of the program. Students rated the overall program an A. The parent evaluation was very positive with a majority favoring the continuation of the program with local funds. Staff evaluation was in terms of written statements commenting on strengths and weaknesses and making suggestions for future summer travel.

A foundation has now been laid upon which participants may study Maine in the regular classroom setting in the first semester of their eighth grade year. The Maine Journey will continue with various trips to places of interest within the immediate geographical area of MSAD’s #38 and 23.

The following information on each of the individual trips is provided with the hope that it can be used by others in formulating educational experiences for students in their charge. Slide-tape programs produced by the participants will be available in February, 1982.

(Excerpt from The Maine Journey Field Trip Guide, 1980, p.3-4.)

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