December 11, 2017
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Comments for: A place to fit in, and learn: Carleton Project serves potential high school dropouts

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  • Anonymous

    The entitlement that I see from today’s youth is astounding. They believe that they DESERVE the best of everything: the best Iphone, the best clothes from Aeropostale, the right to go to school when they want, and the right to not actually have to work for a living and still get a roof over their heads from parents, or the city or state. I find it entirely disgusting.
    As a youth i knew that my job was to make it through school and at the very least get a High School Diploma. I was told from an early stage in life that this is how i would get a decent job. I went to school with clothes from K-Mart, Epsteins and Wally World. My single mom worked her butt off to give us food on the table and even after remarrying, they both worked their butts off to allow us the Nike Legends that the school REQUIRED us have just to play basketball. I respected and appreciated that my parents often went without because they wanted me to have as much as possible.
    This program is just more nonsense from the Politically correct crowd that also states that drugs are a disease and these people just need help, and thier criminal activity isnt really them, they can be helped and honestly…I am just plain SICK TO DEATH of seeing it everywhere. Grow up, make the right choices and stop thinking that the world revolves around YOU!!!! Life isnt all that hard or that bad to live. Why dont you take a trip to Zimbabwe and see how those kids live life. Why dont you go work in a sweat shop for 19 cents an hour so that you can wear those Sean Coombs pants that you guilted your mother into paying 100bucks for.
    Go to school, LEARN something, expecially to read, write, and SPELL.
    Plan to go to college when you are done High School or GET A JOB!!!!! and stop leaching off your parents….They gave 18 years to support and groom you and they need a dang BREAK!!!!….
    And above all else…say THANK YOU…and maybe even I Love you Mom and DAD,, cause lord knows they need to hear it once in a while..

    • Anonymous

      Gee that sounds like something my parents said about my generation 50 years ago.

    • Anonymous

      You spelled especially wrong.

    • Anonymous

      Yet it was ok for your mom to “work her butt off” for your $100 sneakers?

      Did the school require that you play sports?

      Why didn’t you go work your butt off for the sneakers?

    • I really wish your name was Jane because Dan Akroyd’s famous line from Saturday Night Live is so fitting here. Your arrogance is on a level not seen since Kobe’s trial in Colorado. First off addiction IS a disease, a lot of people a lot smarter than you can look at a brain scan and see biological change in the brain of an addict. Much like cancer changes the biology of whatever organ it attacks. Not to mention the numerous studies that show genetic links to addiction. Secondly, your parents provided you entitlement for your $100 sneakers, and your teachers provided you entitlement by passing you because you were a basketball player. You had great parents by the sounds of it. Your parents worked to buy you overpriced sneakers, but many of these kids parents are too busy drinking and drugging to even recognize they have kids. How about instead of judging kids you know nothing about, you talk to one, and watch as they flinch when you say something a certain way because it reminds them of the way an abusive parent says it. Or watch as one of these kids who are bright and creative begin to open up a little and a genuine smile appears for the first time in years. Are some just lazy bums? More than likely, but no where near all of them are. These kids have largely been ignored throughout grade school, and are now finally getting some positive attention. When they graduate from the Carleton Project will they be ready for Harvard? No, but then again neither were you. The strategy here is to get these kids more engaged in education and more willing to work on getting into college.

      • Anonymous

        Listen folks, i have been through all of this. One of my sons didnt graduate from High School and eventually got his GED, the other went to a school much like this and sailed through his senior year getting tons of extra credits to be able to graduate while getting mostly “F’s” throughout his first three years. The program has its benefits. What upsets me is that many of these kids today just throw their hands up and give up and this is where they end up. Meanwhile, many kids, yes even the ones with drugged out mothers and fathers, work their tails off to finish High School, deal with daily bullying because they dont have the “finer” things in life like a cell phone, and still become something. Why? Because somewhere, they found the heart and desire to do it. Why doesnt anyone ever talk about them? As for your being upset about the addiction thing, I full well know a great deal about addiction. One of my sons faces that battle every day but even he would tell you that his disease is SELF inflicted. He made a poor choice and now has to deal with the repercussions of that choice. I am very proud that he continues to battle daily, but more needs to be learned from these programs before they become commonplace. The percentage of success would have to be far better than it is before you will get me to believe they are working. Unfortunately, more often than not, they provide these kids a place to hang out, use the internet and find new ways to get into trouble with other like minded kids…and yes…I HAVE SEEN IT.

    • Henderson bobby

      I usually agree with your post. If you have not lived it you can not understand it . Some kids learn in ways education dose not teach in the mainstream . Some people think in words pictures . You were lucky to have parents that were supportive. I did not do well in education till my later years of high school . I was one of the lucky ones who caught up . I figured out it was a game and played it well . Funny being tested with an IQ in the 70s in first grade . My senior class rank ended up in the top 10 of my class . The educational system is designed for people who are more heavily left brained thinkers . I some ways I am not very smart . in other ways I can not understand who dumb educated people can be.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like a fun program.
    It might take some of the drudgery and tediousness out

    of the normal schoolday.
    Some kids do better at getting smarter if they lounge around in sweats with their feet up.
    Maybe its time every school catered to these types of learners.

  • Jim LaPierre

    Absolutely brilliant! I applaud the vision and I’d like to buy Chris Betts lunch to celebrate his willingness to connect. Well done!

    • Anonymous

      Why is it brilliant to enable these entitled, lazy children to believe that their actions are okay? There is no workplace that would accept the attitude that work just isn’t working for them today, so they are just going to sit at their desk, put their feet up, and take a nap for a while and maybe get to work a little bit in the afternoon if they feel up to it. And sorry, to be a productive member of our society you go to school, get an education, then get a job. Its just the way it works, and allowing these children to lay around and maybe get a poem written today is not a way to teach them how life will be once they are out this playtime that they call school.

      • Henderson bobby

        Sorry some things are hard to understand if you have not lived it. Education has it bias towards certain kind of learners . If A child who has an auditory procession problem Mostly favor thier right brain functions instead of thier left the will often times be labeled as slow or lazy in school. In my younger years of school I was held back special ed . My parents were told I was “borderline” do not expect much out of him. Because some people learn in different way then traditional education teaches does not mean they are dumb or lazy. In my trade i never got a college education . I would say it is a good thing i did not because between 60 and 70% of people with a 2 year degree fail thier State license exam on the first try . Odds are if I had gone to college being a “slow learner” I would not have passed on my first try. Education trains kids to remember facts and reading comprehension an area I am weak in . Education does not teach kids how to think something I am a but better at. You would never be able to understand this if you have not lived it . Same way I can never understand how someone can have a 4.0 in calculus and not know what 11 times 13 is .

  • Anonymous

    Wonder if they will get to lounge around with their feet up in the REAL world….

  • Anonymous

    These are entitled, lazy brats coming from families who also probably have the same mentality of being better than everyone else. Here are future burger flippers who screw up simple orders because reading a list just wasn’t really working for them, or they will get to college, major in some amazing degree like art history which will take them 8-10 years to obtain because they needed to have a few years to discover themselves, and then cry to the media when they graduate because they cannot afford their 300,000 college loan payments and cannot find a job because nobody wants to hire a lazy, entitled, art history major with no motivation to do anything.

    Go to school like everyone else does. Most of us did not like high school, many probably had arguments with our parents with the same line that it just wasn’t really working for us, but thankfully most parents also have the brain power to tell them no, you are going to school whether you like it or not–and if we refused we lost privileges like going out, access to the car, tv, phone…whatever it was that we enjoyed outside of school. These are lazy, entitled brats need a swift kick in the butt (metaphorically) and a reality check of what the real world is like.

    • Guest

      What a rant. Times change, it’s not the same as it was when I was a kid way back when.

      • Anonymous

        You are right, times have changed. Now more than ever, if you want a good job you not only need a solid education but a strong work ethic. We are in a time when there is a lot of unemployment, and there is an insane amount of competition for even lower paying jobs. Now take someone who has studied hard in school to get good grades, worked through college to keep their payments low, and compare that resume to someone who has basically floated through life, making an effort at anything only because they felt like it. Who would you hire?

        • Guest

          I refuse to take such a dim view of the future and of the people in it. It’s not constructive.
          These kids need the chance to succeed. If they aren’t given the encouragement and tools to succeed they don’t have a chance.

        • Anonymous

          Well according to Nate and others who have been through the program, people are hiring the majority of the students in Carleton Project already! :)

          • Anonymous

            So if these new workers decide after working 2 of the 8 hours, that they are having a bad day and want to leave their job, how long will they be working? What about the 3 students that road to their high school and instead of waiting for their bus ride to the Carlton Project, decided to go into the woods on school property and smoke. After the bus left they walked down town. Would you hire these 3? Could you show figures of this employment, and how long was they were employed? Better yet show me the average hours that each student spends in school at the Lincoln project. The tax payers have paid for these students education already. Why should we continue paying?

          • Anonymous

            My goodness! You may want to take a lesson from the students because I read your post twice and still can’t understand some sentences. I did gather that you made a whole bunch of assumptions about ALL the students based on a few skipping class. I hope that maybe you do find out how many hours most of the students work and then enjoy a nice long afternoon with your foot in your mouth.

          • Anonymous

            You want me to write using only 2 or 3 letter words so you can understand. They can also come and go when they want, you can hire them. They had a chance for a free education and they blew it. I have seen this group go through school and am not making assumptions. It is a fact.

    • Hey bud, how about you come down to the Carleton project and actually learn what its about. Its not because “we had no where else to go” its because we are different and needed a place that would work the way we work. We are all hard working students. We are more ready for college then most regular students. Everyone here gets along, because we are all here for the same reason. Public school systems didn’t work for us because we are DIFFERENT, we are here to get our education, and we do get it, we do our best and work as hard as we can. In public schools kids goof off and don’t do their work in class and end up passing at the end of the year depending on who they are. If we goof off and don’t do anything during the day, we realize that we didn’t do anything, and we feel bad for not doing something we should be doing. but you have to take into consideration that kids have their off days and just cant consintrate. And if you really want to call us Lazy, bud you need to come down and see what we do, most of us also have jobs outside of school, we have kids that work on farms, work in shops, and local places. So you need to re-think your opinion on us, and maybe you should come down and check out what we actually do.

      • Anonymous

        Keep up the good work Nate! Don’t mind the people who comment out of ignorance. There are far more people out there who are supportive of Carelton Project and programs like it.

      • Anonymous

        Okay, so maybe I am wrong. I congratulate you for taking the steps to educating yourself in an alternative way. If the reason you cannot stand high school though is because its not fun, or the peer pressure is too much, the pace isn’t what you require, or you just need a day to lay around and do nothing–how are you going to succeed in college which is back to the structured environment of learning with no lounging around in couches, feet up on the desk, or learning at whatever pace you feel like for the day? I wouldn’t want to discourage you from going to college, if you are capable of passing the GED and get good SAT scores, then you are probably more capable than most high school graduates as far as retaining information–but how will you come from such an unstructured environment and go back into one that requires you to go back to a style of learning you supposedly cannot stand?

  • Anonymous

    This is fantastic to see a successful program for the students that do not fit in the traditional educational system. I applaud the educators in this RSU for forward thinking. High school diplomas make these young people more employable. I wish people would figure out that alternative and vocational education are NOT bad they just meet a different need. Say what you will about Job Corps but there are some very successful graduates and they help young people the tradition education system failed.

  • Dale Jordan Jr.

    Thanks Jim, I share your enthusiasm and insight toward this program. Not
    all of the kids attending the Carleton Project are problem children,
    however they may be children with problems. Those are my son’s MA sweats
    and stockinged feet in the initial picture. Sometimes learning
    disabilities need to be addressed and his are now. I’ve seen a young man
    go from wanting to run and hide, to now wanting to run with an idea and
    make more of himself. He also attends Northern Penobscot Tech Region
    lll vocational school for automotives and is doing very excellent. I
    could have beaten my son over the head and “made” him continue school,
    instead he and me found a way so that he would “want” to go to school. I
    feel bad for those that feel the drudgery of school was so horrible,
    because I fell in love with school. I wanted my son to have that same
    excitement. If people feel that these children are just getting off and
    putting their feet up, that’s too bad. I can say that it’s nice to see a
    light come back into my son’s eyes. I’m very proud that he found again
    the desire to learn and a craving to be better than he didn’t imagine
    before. The old stilted ideals of do as I do, or fail do not apply any
    more. In the real world we make our own way by finding what works for us
    as we go along. This isn’t always taught in our school systems, however
    in the Carleton Project that is exactly what is taught. They are taught
    to succeed on their own merits, and shown how to use their strengths in
    how they learn. They are also taught how to recognize their weaknesses
    and how to shore them up, not skirt around them. I’m very proud of this
    private school, and extraordinarily proud of my son for wanting to
    attend. In his view, the other option was to not attend at all and then
    hmmmmmm I guess he’d be on the streets and living off those who think
    they do all for everyone else. He is doing for himself, and that makes
    me one happy Dad.

    • Anonymous

      That’s wonderful! So nice to hear from people who have experience with Carelton Project instead of those who judge so quickly. It’s an amazing school that actually produces some of the hardest working young people out there. Great work!

  • Guest

    First of all, I am formerly a student attending the Carlton Project. I moved to Maine almost 2 years ago from Rochester, NY and wasn’t it a shocker. I started attending MA almost instantly, and from the beginning, I didn’t like it. I was disappointed that the school didn’t offer as many courses as my old high school but I understand that some areas aren’t as lucky as others. Still, the things I learned in my classes, I had already learned and the subjects just weren’t exciting anymore. Some of my teachers may have had a fun goofy side, and cracked a joke here and there, but it wasn’t enticing enough for me. They didn’t open doors to conversations on other topics which in Carlton we discuss the future and our plans as well as the present and Chris gives us positive feedback to help us want to further ourselves in this world. Yeah you might say, that’s what guidance counselors are for, but I myself having been counseled can tell you, all the ones I’ve spoken to (thinking it would help) has just led me to believe they’re all the same. They want to pull out of you the problems that might be causing you to fall and they nod their head a certain way, but deep down (at least I) was never satisfied, and I left feeling the same as I did when I walked in. It’s different with Chris because he’s worked with problematic teens, or kids who just don’t have the self-esteem to make something of themselves, so he understands our view and he really helps bring out our own special traits and gifts that we should be proud of. MA did nothing for me. There’s gossip and drama in every high school, but to me, it seemed to be the only thing that these students revolve around. I would sit at lunch with one other friend, and be happy because I didn’t have to hear this and that, when I myself was already struggling with personal inconveniences. If I had stayed in New York, I know I would have been able to go through with high school not because there was no alternative choice, there was, just not called Carlton Project, but because I was surrounded by real non- judgemental people who I felt comfortable with and were there for me when I needed support and I had made bonds with teachers who truly tried their best attempts to lead me on a successful path as well as get to know me as a person. The move was totally random and I was apathetic when I arrived to my new home. I had no drive, but I still knew what I needed to get by, and a diploma was the main thing, but attending MA just put me in a bitterly sour mood and I was ready to jump on anyone because the whole clan of students repulsed me. Also nothing was interesting enough to get me to be motivated. I’m not saying it’s a bad school, I’m sure the kids who have lived here all their lives and have already made close friendships enjoy it, but I certainly did not. Carlton Project for me was a way to bring myself back. I was able to bring out my talents without feeling worried I would be judged. It’s self-independent and for some that may not work but that’s why those kids aren’t in this program. Chris pushes us, but in the end it’s up to us to actually do what we need to to be successful and we totally understand that. Some days may be rougher than others, but we always get something done whether it’s math/science/social studies which have full access to internet so we can expand our knowledge and do our own research. And we aren’t bounded to a certain style of writing when we express ourselves in English. We also have Jesse who is the PE part of our program so that we can also get our exercise in. Not only that, but if we have an idea of a self-based project we’d like to do and share, there’s no limits. This excites students because not only are we getting the basic knowledge, but we also get to look into matters that at MA we couldn’t have done because it wasn’t part of “criteria”. Like now, I am working on a World Religion piece and at MA your subjected to take what the teacher finds to be more important. Nowadays, teens are bored with school because they don’t find it engaging enough or because they’re being bullied and would rather stay home to avoid conflicts. And because the economy is so bad, college graduates are having a hard time finding jobs, and kids are becoming more materialistic so they are also beginning to think “Hey what’s the point in a diploma if it probably won’t even help me? I don’t enjoy school anyway so I think I’ll just go do what I want and have fun 24/7 because it’s actually something I enjoy.” We don’t have that mentality in Carlton Project because we truly feel connected with each other, we feel like we don’t have to put on a face and disguise who we truly are, and because we aren’t limited to JUST education, but also life, our actions, our consequences, and ideas “growing in the garden of our mind.” I fully support this Program and I think people who have a negative view towards us should stop feeling bias because we’re supposedly getting it easier. We’re not. If we look at it as easier or getting a free pass, we’re not going anywhere and we fully understand this. And that’s why we’ll happily prove all these ignorant thinking people wrong once we reach our goals.

  • coco

    First of all, I am formerly a student attending the Carlton Project. I moved to Maine almost 2 years ago from Rochester, NY and wasn’t it a shocker. I started attending MA almost instantly, and from the beginning, I didn’t like it. I was disappointed that the school didn’t offer as many courses as my old high school but I understand that some areas aren’t as lucky as others. Still, the things I learned in my classes, I had already learned and the subjects just weren’t exciting anymore. Some of my teachers may have had a fun goofy side, and cracked a joke here and there, but it wasn’t enticing enough for me. They didn’t open doors to conversations on other topics which in Carlton we discuss the future and our plans as well as the present and Chris gives us positive feedback to help us want to further ourselves in this world. Yeah you might say, that’s what guidance counselors are for, but I myself having been counseled can tell you, all the ones I’ve spoken to (thinking it would help) has just led me to believe they’re all the same. They want to pull out of you the problems that might be causing you to fall and they nod their head a certain way, but deep down (at least I) was never satisfied, and I left feeling the same as I did when I walked in. It’s different with Chris because he’s worked with problematic teens, or kids who just don’t have the self-esteem to make something of themselves, so he understands our view and he really helps bring out our own special traits and gifts that we should be proud of. MA did nothing for me. There’s gossip and drama in every high school, but to me, it seemed to be the only thing that these students revolve around. I would sit at lunch with one other friend, and be happy because I didn’t have to hear this and that, when I myself was already struggling with personal inconveniences. If I had stayed in New York, I know I would have been able to go through with high school not because there was no alternative choice, there was, just not called Carlton Project, but because I was surrounded by real non- judgemental people who I felt comfortable with and were there for me when I needed support and I had made bonds with teachers who truly tried their best attempts to lead me on a successful path as well as get to know me as a person. The move was totally random and I was apathetic when I arrived to my new home. I had no drive, but I still knew what I needed to get by, and a diploma was the main thing, but attending MA just put me in a bitterly sour mood and I was ready to jump on anyone because the whole clan of students repulsed me. Also nothing was interesting enough to get me to be motivated. I’m not saying it’s a bad school, I’m sure the kids who have lived here all their lives and have already made close friendships enjoy it, but I certainly did not. Carlton Project for me was a way to bring myself back. I was able to bring out my talents without feeling worried I would be judged. It’s self-independent and for some that may not work but that’s why those kids aren’t in this program. Chris pushes us, but in the end it’s up to us to actually do what we need to to be successful and we totally understand that. Some days may be rougher than others, but we always get something done whether it’s math/science/social studies which have full access to internet so we can expand our knowledge and do our own research. And we aren’t bounded to a certain style of writing when we express ourselves in English. We also have Jesse who is the PE part of our program so that we can also get our exercise in. Not only that, but if we have an idea of a self-based project we’d like to do and share, there’s no limits. This excites students because not only are we getting the basic knowledge, but we also get to look into matters that at MA we couldn’t have done because it wasn’t part of “criteria”. Like now, I am working on a World Religion piece and at MA your subjected to take what the teacher finds to be more important. Nowadays, teens are bored with school because they don’t find it engaging enough or because they’re being bullied and would rather stay home to avoid conflicts. And because the economy is so bad, college graduates are having a hard time finding jobs, and kids are becoming more materialistic so they are also beginning to think “Hey what’s the point in a diploma if it probably won’t even help me? I don’t enjoy school anyway so I think I’ll just go do what I want and have fun 24/7 because it’s actually something I enjoy.” We don’t have that mentality in Carlton Project because we truly feel connected with each other, we feel like we don’t have to put on a face and disguise who we truly are, and because we aren’t limited to JUST education, but also life, our actions, our consequences, and ideas “growing in the garden of our mind.” I fully support this Program and I think people who have a negative view towards us should stop feeling bias because we’re supposedly getting it easier. We’re not. If we look at it as easier or getting a free pass, we’re not going anywhere and we fully understand this. And that’s why we’ll happily prove all these ignorant thinking people wrong once we reach our goals.

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