Closing a school in a rural area affects more than just students

6 years ago

As Maine’s population has grown older, the number of school-aged children has declined, forcing some communities to close schools that have been social anchors for years. One recent school closure may serve to reflect the challenges faced by Maine’s rural communities.

It was a bittersweet day last month at the Pittston Consolidated School, south of Gardiner. The elementary students here were joined by about 40 kids from nearby Teresa C. Hamlin Elementary in Randolph, only a few miles away. They had come to take part in a carnival event, competing in relay races and squirting water guns.

It’s the first time that students from Hamlin and Pittston have come together like this, but it won’t be the last. In March, the local school board voted to close Hamlin and send students to Pittston next fall.

As the day begins, some of the Hamlin students are shy, but the hope is that this event will gradually help these students adjust as they transition to their new school next fall.

To read the rest of “Closing a school in a rural area affects more than just students,” an article by contributing Maine Public staff writer Robbie Feinberg, please follow this link to the BDN online.