Ecology Bridge

Homeschool Enrichment Program

About

The Ecology Bridge Program's mission is to extend Waldo County's homeschooled students' learning experiences through place- and ecology-based courses, centered in the unique interests and needs of this student community, preparing them for lives of learning.

Teachers

Ellie Sloane-Barton

Ellie teaches Spanish and is an Educational Technician at the Ecology Learning Center. She also teaches woodworking for the Bridge homeschool program. She completed her Bachelor's degree at Reed College in linguistics and is pursuing a Master's degree in Leadership for Sustainability with a focus on education through the University of Vermont. Ellie has a background in outdoor education, farming and music, and learned Spanish through her various travels and time living in Puerto Rico. She is dedicated to social and environmental justice, and teaching/learning that promotes community-building and connection to our larger-than-human ecosystems.

Katharine Gaillard

Katharine is the Community Education Coordinator with the Ecology Learning Center. This role entails coordinating the Bridge Program and facilitating meaningful relationships between the Ecology Learning Center and the wider Waldo County communities. She studied Politics at Bates College, while starting the school’s first student-run farm. Katharine is also a board member of Land in Common, a community land trust here in Maine that seeks to build a network of land parcels working towards land justice and transformative engagements with our surroundings and communities. Katharine is thrilled to pursue her own subsistence food cultivation alongside community engagement here in Unity: reach out if you have ideas for community needs and/or projects!

Neshamah Stearns

Neshamah teaches Place Based Ecology for the Bridge program at the Ecological Learning Center. This is a course geared to connecting students with their surrounding natural environment and community of Unity, Waldo County, and the state of Maine. Neshamah earned a dual Bachelor’s degree at Unity College in Adventure Based Environmental Education and Adventure Therapy. She also currently works as a Youth and Family Counselor at Sweetser in Belfast. In the past Neshamah has worked in positions facilitating Outdoor Education/Leadership experiences for youth. Her passions include helping others foster a connection to the natural world, mindfulness and meditation practices, leading fully immersive outdoor experiences, and continuing on a path of learning and gaining new perspectives.

Martin (Marty) Maines

Marty is a licenced teacher with fourteen years of experience. He is endorsed in science, but has also taught English, math, rock climbing and outdoor skills, college agriculture, sociology, and sustainability. Martin homeschooled his own children, who are now ages seven and ten. His lifetime achievements include co-owning an organic farm, building his own house, sailing a twenty-three foot boat to Alaska. He has also run the 100 mile wilderness and hiked from Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. He believes that the best way to learn is through play and experience. Students will engage with their environment to create an awareness of place and purpose. Martin cultivates a supportive and caring learning atmosphere where students gain the confidence to take flight.

Madrona Wienges

Madrona Wienges CPM lives in Rockport Maine with her family. Madrona has supported families through birth and the childbearing cycle for over twenty years. She apprenticed as a holistic doula with traditional midwife Whappio in Athens, Georgia, and has been certified by DONA International. After many years of supporting & learning from families in both hospital and home environments, she committed to the vocation of home birth midwifery and continued her training at Birthwise Midwifery School, a MEAC accredited program in Western Maine. She opened Rose & Oak Midwifery in 2020 to share her passion for individualized holistic midwifery care. Madrona strives to provide inclusive, sensitive, holistic, evidence based care. She holds the Certified Professional Midwife credential, certified by The North American Registry of Midwives, and licensed by the State of Maine. She teaches prenatal yoga and reproductive health, body autonomy, and cycle awareness to teens. Some of her interests include yoga, meditation, knitting, photography, gardening, snowboarding and exploring the sea and wilds of Maine and Canada with her family.

Interested?

Fill out this quick form to express interest in the Ecology Bridge Program and we will be in touch!

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