Wednesday, November 15, 2017

FLOW 2017 Reception

Tuesday, November 14th, we held the fourth annual FLOW reception at the Patten Free Library. Over 100 people were in attendance, filling the room with conversation, laughter and stories. We changed the venue from Bath City Hall to the library this year because student artwork was a featured product. We wanted a space where the art could be displayed prominently with good lighting and easy viewing access. The Community Room on the second floor of the Patten Free Library was perfect!

I helped Jackie Johnson, BMS' art teacher, hang the show the day before, grouping paintings to emulate the different times of day: dawn, day, dusk and night. The space was transformed into a professional-level gallery.

In addition to the artwork, students wrote poetry, persuasive essays, personal narratives, and memoirs inspired by their experience on FLOW. Our partnership with KELT was also celebrated. Two students shared pieces of writing describing how building bridges on the local trail system acquainted them with our local green spaces, and encouraged them to get outside more. One student described bringing her family out on the Whiskeag Trail on a sunny afternoon to look at the bridges she had helped build. It was their first time out there, and they were amazed at the beauty right in their backyard. 

As I wrapped up the evening, I had the distinct feeling that FLOW has matured a bit since its inception. What began as an exciting prototype has developed into a rite of passage that is woven into the fabric of our community. And by community I mean schools, families, businesses, organizations, charitable trusts and citizens. FLOW is a team effort in the truest sense of the word. 

We are very fortunate to have The Chewonki Foundation on our team.  Their vision, expertise and generosity make FLOW possible. We are also grateful to partners offering financial assistance: The George Davenport Trust, First Federal Savings and Loan, Bath Savings Institution, and the Sewall Family Foundation. 

This year's 7th graders are already excited about next fall's FLOW trip. Between now and then, we will be busy planning to make sure their experience is the best it can be.