Pat Richard lights up as she goes through all the school supplies and materials she accumulated throughout her 45 years as a teacher. Hand made projects – books – games – every last item holding memories of her time helping children learn. All of this that used to live in her classroom, now sits in the Fort Kent Rec Department..after Richard retired in June, she knew she had to give it up.
“It just seemed like the perfect thing because it’s in the hands of kids,” Richard says.
A plan that Richard says she had for years..and so when Ann Beaulieu, Recreation and Parks Director for Fort Kent approached her about it, she couldn’t say no. So far Richard says she’s donated at least 6 thousand dollars worth of materials..and letting go of it all wasn’t easy.
Richard says, “The first time that Ann came it was big pieces of furniture that were leaving because I had a couple of big library shelves..and the furniture and a lot of resources leaving the first time she had a truck and a trailer and we filled it and the first time I thought I was going to never make it.”
Beaulieu says, “Once I went to her classroom I was just floored…I mean the facility was full full full of all types of resources..and my excitement was to use those resources that we could create new and different kinds of programs.”
People have come to me, have seen me in restaurants and the grocery store and they’ve thanked me for donating for the rec department and some of the kids have said I saw this I saw that in your classroom so that’s just great,” Richard says.
From puppets, to science experiments, to a shelf of creative materials for hands on projects, Beaulieu says these items in the storage area of the rec department are just a fraction of what Richard has already donated..and there’s more to come. Richard has also donated her teacher resources to students at UMFK where she is still an adjunct professor, and she’s donated about 3-thousand dollars worth of books to the town library.