Literacy for ME: Community Literacy Teams

A cornerstone of the Literacy for ME plan is the Maine Department of Education's commitment to assisting local Maine communities develop their own comprehensive literacy plans. 

The first step is for communities to establish their literacy planning teams. The Maine DOE is strongly encouraging Maine schools and/or school systems to take the lead by forming a team representing the birth-adult continuum within their community.  While schools/school systems are being asked to take the lead, community partners are urged to contact school systems if they are interested in serving on a team or willing to take on the role of leading a team. 

Community Literacy Team Listing is a listing of community literacy teams based in Maine. 

Literacy for ME Webinar Series 2015

In an effort to support the ongoing planning work of community literacy teams, the MDOE will be providing a series of webinars focused on various aspects of community literacy planning.  These webinars will be recorded so that they can be accessed for future viewing. In addition to the webinars already scheduled, the MDOE is hoping to add a webinar that will focus on securing funding sources to support community literacy planning. 

Recommended Team Members

Each team would ideally be comprised of between 4-8 members.

  • Early childhood educators/providers
  • K-12 educators (classroom teachers and special educators) and administrators
  • K-12 Literacy Specialists
  • Adult Educators
  • Family Literacy Educators
  • Directors or members of civic organizations and/or businesses that support literacy
  • School and community librarians
  • Health care providers
  • Parents
  • Other community partners


  • PowerPoint Presentation - (PDF, 1.1MB)
  • Community Team Materials Packet (DOC, 527KB)
  • Community Literacy Needs Assessment - (PDF, 150KB)

Community Literacy Planning Tool Collection

To assist Community Literacy Teams with the process of constructing and implementing a comprehensive literacy plan, the Maine DOE has compiled a collection of tools to support the different phases of the planning process.  The tools in this collection are organized by the phases of the planning process, and each includes a brief description of this use. 

Comprehensive Community Literacy Planning Guide
  • Literacy for ME Regional Community Literacy Workshop. The PowerPoint used in workshops presented to introduce the Literacy for ME initiative and to assist communities in beginning to develop comprehensive literacy plans. (PPT, 7.85MB | PDF, 1.1MB) 
  • Literacy for ME Workshop Materials Packet (DOC) is a collection of activities utilized in the regional workshops for community literacy teams.
  • 2010 Legacies Now Community Literacy Planning Guide is comprehensive community literacy planning guide based on the 2010 Legacies Now Community Literacy initiative in British Columbia, Canada.
  • Simple Steps: A Workbook to Help You Plan a Community Literacy Project (PDF) is a workbook that walks through the steps involved in planning a specific community literacy project. Concepts can be easily transferred to community literacy plan development.
Literacy Team Formation

View this web page which covers the following topics: 

  • Potential Community Literacy Team Members. A list of ideas for potential community members to include on a Community Literacy Team. 
  • Norms for Team Work. A list of generic norms for Community Literacy Team work. 
  • Initial Meeting Guidance. A list of key questions to address during the initial Community Literacy Team meetings as well as a planning checklist for these meetings.
  • Literacy Reflections Introductory Activity. An opening activity for team members that encourages them to connect with a quote about literacy and share that connection with other team members.
  • Spheres of Influence. This activity helps team members define their individual roles related to the Literacy for ME initiative and how their roles can contribute.
Developing a Vision
  • Activity 1: Carousel. Helps team members examine critical questions about community literacy that will surface ideas to include in a vision statement.
    • Invite team members to form groups of four or five people. Place each of the following questions on a chart. Create four stations, with one chart each

    • How would we like our community to be different five years from now?

    • How can we expand choices for literacy and lifelong learning for people of all ages?
    • Where is there a need in our community to provide literacy learning opportunities?
    • How might a Community Literacy Plan help us to realize our hopes for our community?
    • The groups visit each chart in turn, spending up to five minutes on each question. Ideas are recorded on the charts. At a signal, the groups move on to the next chart. They read the comments, add to them and place check marks where they agree with a previous statement.

      When all the groups have visited all the charts, post the charts on the walls and invite everyone to look at them again.

      Everyone returns to their seats to address the following questions as a group:

    • What patterns emerged?
    • What are the most important ideas that have come to the surface?
  • Activity 2: Story Tapestry. Encourages team members to identify the feelings associated with literacy to help shape a vision statement.
    • The facilitator begins the activity after group members have had time to share their relationship/roles related to literacy in the community as well as their wishes for community literacy.  The facilitator provides this introduction:

      “We all have memories of our experiences of learning to read, write, and communicate.  We remember our school days, the books we were given, and the joy or pain of those experiences. In our work we may be concerned with literacy as teachers, librarians, parents or in some other way. Take a moment to think about your literacy experiences, in the past or in the present. On a piece of paper, jot down some words, phrases, or a quick sketch that shows one moment from your life’s rich experiences. Try to capture the feelings associated with literacy in that moment. This moment may be about yourself, or about someone else. Focus on the moment and try to capture it.”

      The team members write or draw for about two to three minutes. When all seem to be finished, members are invited to share their moment with the person next to them and talk about the feelings they had in that moment. When everyone has shared a story with a partner, invite the group to talk about the stories they heard.

      “Please share one thing you heard your partner talk about.”

      As the stories are shared, have someone write down all the feelings associated with literacy that are mentioned. Review those feelings. It is predicted that a whole range of feelings will emerge from positive to negative.

      Use the feelings revealed in the activity to help shape the vision for literacy in the community.  Which of the feelings would the community want a literacy plan to foster and which would it want the plan to prevent?

  • Activity 3: Visioning Statements. Encourages team members to articulate a vision for literacy for different roles represented within the community. 
    • As a team, discuss literacy and your community.

    • What would it look like in your community if literacy was going really well? 
    • What would parents be doing?
    • What would early childhood providers be doing?
    • What would educators and school administrators be doing?
    • What would businesses be doing?
    • What would community partners and organizations be doing?
    • Based on the results of your discussion, write a few sentences that capture your team’s vision of literacy excellence.

  • Activity 4: Gallery Walk. Encourages team members to articular a vision for literacy for different age spans in the community.
Community Literacy Profiles & Inventories
  • Literacy for ME Needs Assessment (DOC, 269 KB). A comprehensive tool for conducting a community literacy profile and inventory of literacy resources. 
  • 2010 Legacies Now Asset Inventory (XLS). Tools for organizing literacy assets and for examining them to determine literacy strength and needs within the community.
Goal Setting
  • Consensus-Building Activity (RTF, 84KB). This activity helps teams determine the priority goals for their community literacy plan.
  • Mind Maps (PDF, 95KB). This activity is a process for developing objectives that support the goals of the community literacy plan.
Action Planning
  • Literacy for ME Community Literacy Action Planning Template (DOC). An action planning template for community literacy teams to use to craft their plans.
  • Literacy for ME Community Literacy Matrices. A tool that maps out key steps to engage in across the development and implementation of a comprehensive literacy plan. The matrices are organized by essential components of comprehensive literacy planning.
  • 2010 Legacies Now Community Literacy Action Plan. A sample community literacy plan from a community in British Columbia, Canada. 
Summer Nutrition Sites


For more information contact the Maine DOE's Literacy Specialist Lee Anne Larsen.