The Maine Support Network is home to the Journeys for Women Initiative. The Network, which will be hosting its 15th annual Winter Retreat for educators at the Samoset Resort on January 29-31, 2005, has a long history of providing quality learning opportunities that celebrate, support and connect members of learning communities including teachers, school administrators, educational paraprofessionals, students and parents. Since 1986 the Network has provided technical assistance, support and professional development activities serving educators from all grade levels and areas of specialty across the state of Maine. These activities are designed to retain special education teachers and to assure that all Maine students achieve to high standards.
Two years ago one of our members took a journey. Corda Ladd Kinzie, from Oakland and Camden, states that “for many years I dreamed about taking a cross country journey. When I first conceived the trip I was a working mother and wife raising three boys; however, my parenting job was not finished and I needed to stay and be a mom. It took me eight years before I saved enough money and the time was right to realize my dream. I planned, saved and finally took a year off from work. Driving out of the driveway on my own in 2001 was the hardest thing I had ever done. Without the support of my family and friends I would never have taken this life changing journey.” Ms. Kinzie spent a year traveling the country in her VW Eurovan Camper nicknamed “Winnie.”
As a result of Corda’s journey, the Journeys for Women Initiative was started. She has donated “Winnie” to the Maine Support Network, and a volunteer board of friends and allies has been formed to raise money and oversee operations in order to make Journeys for Women a reality for other Maine women in need of such an adventure, but for whom circumstances and finances make it impossible. The board has designed an application process and hopes that at least one woman will have the opportunity to ‘journey with ‘Winnie’’ before the year is out.
“Winnie” will be on display during the Maine Support Network’s Winter Retreat in January at the Samoset Resort. If you know of a woman who would benefit from a “Winnie Journey” or are interested in learning more about the group’s vision and mission, or the application process, or if you are interested in making a tax deductible contribution to the Journeys for Women Initiative travel fund, please contact the Maine Support Network at (207) 685-3171.
SYNTIRO PO Box 340 South Gardner, ME 04359 (207) 685-3171