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Saturday/Sunday, April 14-15, 2012: Education and Positively Kind Week

Education for all

As a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in social work, I cannot help but think how the economic inequity in Maine and the proposed budget cuts are going to affect students and those who would like to continue their education.

Students are often struggling to survive, taking out extra loan money to cover their living expenses, with many students needing to rely on family and outside resources to meet their needs. Many students use programs such as fuel assistance, food stamps, discounted hospital care, MaineCare and community transportation services to meet their needs while pursuing their education.

Single parents and nontraditional students face a wide array of financial challenges. Low-income single parents surviving on TANF will no longer be afforded the chance to better their education, their lives and the lives of their children if they lose access to this crucial resource.

The decrease in funding, coupled with the increasing cost in education, flies in the face of the governor’s supposed commitment to education, sending the message that only the wealthy deserve to attend college.

Lauren Kowalczyk


Join ‘Positivity Nation’

In 2010, Xi Class of the Washington County Leadership Institute was asked: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” The query was to inspire thoughts in the most creative way possible.

Lanette Pottle, a participant from Robbinston, embraced the question. On the final day of class she gave her answer. She was launching an online community called Positivity Nation. Her vision was “to create a worldwide epidemic of positivity one small act at a time.”

Two short years later, Positivity Nation ( has over 4,000 international “citizens” in 100 countries and all 50 states. The website brings inspirational quotes, heartwarming stories and reports of positivity from all around the world. It’s a perfect time for this “epidemic” to circle the globe.

This week marks the nation’s first Positively Kind Week, when we all are encouraged to be intentionally kind in our homes, neighborhoods and schools — everywhere and anywhere possible. What a perfect way for each of us to engage in this positive process. As a recent quotation on the website by Desmond Tutu encourages, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

One person has inspired a movement. It has taken passion and dedication over power and dollars. Each of us can ask, “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?” Other wonderful answers and great projects are sure to result. Set aside fear. Imagine the possibilities. Take positive action. Bravo, Lanette!

Linda Cross Godfrey


Washington County Leadership Institute

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