The School of Roots was established in 2010 and is managed three days a week by students in grades 6-8 from R.S.U. #13's Alternative Education Program. Children are selected to participate in the Alternative Education Program by teaching staff, school principals, guidance staff and parents. All have been identified by the school district as at-risk of falling too far behind academically and socially to complete their education. Herring Gut Learning Center works collaboratively with the Alternative Education Program whose teachers participate in classes with their students.
The program is a unique collaboration between public schools, marine industries, businesses and a non-profit that strengthens community bonds. Its goals are to provide hands-on learning that meets state curriculum standards; encourage responsibility, teamwork and mutual respect; create a sense of self-worth and raise aspirations; and instruct students in business management and responsible stewardship of the environment.
Academic concepts are taught in relation to the development, marketing and sale of a product fish and vegetables which are sold weekly to grocers, restaurants and community members. The tilapia market was expanded in 2011 to include packaged filets, processed by the local fishermen's co-operative, Port Clyde Fresh Catch. Sales are expected to exceed $5,000 this year.
School of Roots Produce can be found locally at:
Harborside Market and Gardens in Tenants Harbor
Port Clyde General Store
Tenants Harbor General Store