School dedicates area for 'learning locks'

Jun 07, 2018
Courtesy of: Lynn Snow thomaston Grammar School Student Aiden Lindsey, far left, looks on as classmates Cole Ingalls, left, and Sam Gorman, right, hold the ribbon while Thomaston Town Manager Valmore Blastow cuts it to officially open the Learning Locks.

Thomaston — At an outdoor ceremony June 1, a section of the new garden fence at Thomaston Grammar School was dedicated as a “Learning Locks” area. Learning locks are a spinoff from love locks. Love padlocks have been around for more than 100 years. They are placed on fences, bridges and gates at various places around the world as a symbol of a couple’s unbreakable love.

The idea of learning locks was inspired by a new fence and an old lock. Last fall Regional School Unit 13 replaced the original, dilapidated chainlink fence that surrounds the school’s garden space. At the same time, the locks to the gates were also replaced. Lynn Snow, fifth-grade teacher and garden leader, had an idea.

“The garden is a unique opportunity for many students to learn and grow. Why not create a space on the fence for students, teachers, the community and anyone interested to commemorate their own life lessons, educational milestones, or pay tribute to their various teachers by adding a lock to the fence?” She obtained permission from RSU 13 Superintendent John McDonald to move forward with the initiative.

Students from Thomaston Grammar School and Oceanside Middle School attended dedication ceremonies throughout the day. Also in attendance were Thomaston selectmen, Town Manager Valmore Blastow, RSU 13 administrators, including McDonald, retired principal Beth Chamberlain, and the Maine Commissioner of Education, Dr. Robert Hasson. Each of the four dedications included a fifth-grade student reading the Learning Locks poem, a ribbon-cutting, and the opportunity to publicly add a lock to the fence.

The first lock that graced the fence was placed in honor of Daniel P. Allan, a well-known teacher and community member. He helped begin the school garden in 2009. Ed Hasting, who will be retiring from RSU 13 this June, added his friend Dan’s lock to the fence.

Snow and her classmate, Rene Dorr (Thomaston recreation director), added a lock to commemorate the 30 years since their Medomak Valley High School graduation in June of 1988. Members of the community are encouraged to add their own locks, as well.

From left, Thomaston Grammar School fifth-grader Elizabeth Barstow and teacher Lynn Snow take part in the Learning Locks dedication. The learning locks area was Snow's idea. (Courtesy of: Lynn Snow)
Learning locks commemorate life lessons and those who teach them. (Courtesy of: Lynn Snow)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Lynn Snow | Jun 09, 2018 10:24

A special thanks to Rockland Dunkin Donuts, Rockland Hannaford, and the Thomaston Grammar School parent group for providing doughnuts for this event as it was held on June 1st, National Doughnut Day! This recognition was not published as included in the original press release.

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