June 11th 2014
Casco Bay Field Day

Island students come together to celebrate literature, education and healthy food.

On June 11th students from islands across Casco Bay will board the ferry to gather on Chebeague Island for the 2nd annual Casco Bay Field Day. Ashley Bryan makes a rare public appearance at this event (taking two ferry rides himself) to read with 108 students from 4 islands. Bryan is a renowned childrenŐs author, 91 years old, who grew up in Harlem and the Bronx and is currently a long-time resident of Islesford (Little Cranberry Island) which lies off the coast of Mount Desert Island. He recently formed a literacy foundation on Islesford; The Ashley Bryan Center.

Other events include inauguration of the schoolŐs new outdoor wood-fired pizza oven (revolutionizing how we feed students and involve them in meals plot-to-plate), cooperative field games and ŇagÓtivities in the garden.

Ever wonder what itŐs like to live in a year-round island community? Casco Bay Field Day showcases some highlights including student engagement in gardening and healthy lifestyles, community support for the schools, and island communities connecting to support each other.

This event supported by the Island Institute, Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, Maine Community Foundation and AmeriCorps.

(more info on Ashley Bryan): Bryan has received two American Library Association career literary awards for his "significant and lasting contributions", the 2009 Wilder Medal and the 2012 King–Hamilton Award. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) biennially recognizes one writer or illustrator of children's books published in the U.S. The committee named Dancing Granny, Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum, and Beautiful Blackbird in particular and cited his "varied art forms".[3][5] The Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award from the Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) biennially recognizes one African-American writer or illustrator of children's or young-adult literature.[6][7] In 2005 the Atlanta literary festival was named for him[4] and he has also received the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion from the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival.

For his lifetime work as a children's illustrator, Bryan was U.S. nominee in 2006 for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest recognition for creators of children's books.[2]