For the third year in a row, Bristol Consolidated School has benefited from the Kieve-Wavus Education Inc. Educators in Residence program.
The Educators in Residence program is an eight-week program that aims to bring Kieve’s Leadership School curriculum to area schools.
“Part of my position at Bristol Consolidated School is to use The Leadership School curriculum to help classrooms grow in troublesome areas,” Kelsea Trefethen, Bristol’s educator in residence, said.
According to Kieve-Wavus Education’s website, The Leadership School provides workshops for fourth- through seventh-graders that help encourage responsible decision-making, build and maintain healthy relationships, and broaden aspirations.
The Educators in Residence program is currently being held in 10 schools in Maine, including Nobleboro Central School, Boothbay Region Elementary School, and Bristol Consolidated School, according to Russell Williams, development and communications director of Kieve-Wavus Education.
For the first two years, the Educators in Residence program was fully funded by Kieve-Wavus Education.
According to Charlie Richardson, director of education at Kieve-Wavus Education, the program will be fully funded by a grant from the Horizon Foundation for the next three years.
Another goal of the Educators in Residence program is to provide positive role models for students, according to Trefethen.
“Kelsea is working with grades four through seven, mainly at math time,” BCS Principal Jennifer Ribeiro said. “She has partnered with our guidance counselor to do team-building and communication activities each week with classes across the whole school.”
Trefethen is a graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington with a bachelor’s degree in education and a concentration in mathematics.
“This is my first time in the work world, and I’m trying to figure out where I fit into it,” she said. “I wanted something that set me apart from my fellow graduates.”
Trefethen plans to stay with The Leadership School for at least two years.
“Working here helps me define what kind of educator I’m going to be,” she said.
Trefethen said she is looking into becoming a guidance counselor, partially due to her time with Kieve and Educators in Residence.
“Kelsea has a wonderful manner with adults and students alike,” Ribeiro said. “She will make a wonderful teacher or guidance counselor.”
During lunch and recess, Trefethen said she makes a point to interact with the students in a non-academic way.
“I play with the kids,” she said. “They’re trying to teach me foursquare.”
Trefethen has worked with each grade individually to figure out what the students need to work on.
“The fourth-graders are working on team-building,” Trefethen said. “They recognize team-building as important, but they’re still learning to connect it to their schoolwork.”
To strengthen the fourth-graders’ team-building skills, Trefethen led the students in an activity called Flip Tarp.
“Flip Tarp is a challenge where you have an entire team stand on a tarp that has been laid out flat, and the team has to work together to flip the tarp over without anyone stepping off of it,” Trefethen said.
The fourth-graders didn’t complete the challenge, but Trefethen is happy that they worked together.
The fifth-graders have been working on a project called Explore to Ecuador.
In the project, students record how many minutes they’ve been active in a day. If they reach 30 minutes, they cross off a landmark on a map.
“The goal is to make it to Ecuador and back,” Trefethen said.
The program encourages being healthy, active, and having a global awareness, according to Trefethen.
According to Trefethen, there’s a direct correlation between the age of the students and the level of comfort they have with her.
“The first day, the fourth-graders instantly took to me, and the seventh-graders are just now starting to open up.”
Trefethen started working in Bristol Jan. 5, and her last day in the program is March 20.
“The community as a whole in the school is great,” she said. “It’s so welcoming.”
Ribeiro is thankful for Trefethen’s time at the school.
“I wish she could stay longer than the eight weeks!” Ribeiro said.
After her eight weeks at Bristol Consolidated School, Trefethen will help with The Leadership School workshops and will help run Kieve days, where schools take part in team- and relationship-building activities run by Kieve-Wavus staff.
“Kieve days are held across the state,” she said.
Kieve-Wavus Education Inc. runs summer camps, workshops, and programs to promote values of kindness, respect for others, and environmental stewardship, according to its website.