The Franklin County Retired Educators Group annually funds a $300 grant to a teacher or group of teachers in Franklin County. It is a grant that rotates throughout the county, returning to each area every three years. Each year it is offered to staff in RSU 9, RSU 36, or the schools in RSU 58 and Rangeley, according to a news release from the group.

In the past, the grant has funded a variety of things, such as an afterschool art program, an ASL talent show with a speaker, a field trip to attend a performance by the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and helping a robotics team attend a state competition. This year the grant will fund an opportunity for the entire Pre-K through Grade 1 at Cushing School in RSU9 to attend the Northern Stars Planetarium in conjunction with their reading and science units. At the group’s May meeting the teachers and students will give a presentation of how the grant money was used.

While the joy of seeing the grant money used in such creative ways is wonderful, the group has just as much enjoyment raising the money needed. Each October the group holds an auction following their meeting. Everyone brings items: new, gently used or homemade. Often there is more than 100 items to bid on. The pickles, cookies and breads are popular. Before the meeting, and briefly afterwards, people bid, in writing, on the items. Often the bidding is spirited, but always friendly. Finally, the winning bids are read and the new owner gets to take each item home. Any items not receiving a written bid goes through a regular auction process until everything goes home. Last fall’s auction brought in almost $600, according to the release.

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