State’s largest retired educators group meets

FORT KENT, Maine — Aroostook Retired Educators Association (AREA) members met Tuesday, July 26 at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. AREA is the largest such county group in Maine with 505 members.

Member Anne Roy of Van Buren taught kindergarten in Limestone for 37 years, up until she retired in 2002. Roy participated in the meeting and said AREA is beneficial to retired educators

“so that they can keep an eye on the legislation and bills that affect our retirement and to keep our union going.”

Roy said she loved teaching, mostly due to witnessing “the growth to the children and how excited they could get about anything.”

Although times have changed since her earliest days as an educator, Roy said the changes are not all bad and indeed some are necessary for the children to keep up with the society in which they live.

“Computers have come in, technology. Kids are exposed to that type of technology. They have to move along with how things change in the world, but kids are kids and they’ve got to be given a chance to grow and mature,” she said.

At the meeting, Roy and the other AREA members listened to a presentation by Lynn McNeal who discussed the AARP Tax Prep program.

They received informative brochures regarding legal elderly services, elder abuse and prevention, and ways to be more physically active.

Also at the meeting, members brought in backpacks and school supplies for the Bulging Backpacks program, which AREA sponsors.

Each year around September 11, AREA members deliver the backpacks and classroom supplies to a County elementary school of their choosing. Last year the group selected the Dr. Levesque Elementary School in Frenchville to receive the supplies.

“I think that’s a wonderful idea, it’s super,” Roy said of the program.

The retired teachers also collected food items, which they will distribute to local pantries.

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