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The Telling Room is a non-profit center in Portland that inspires young people to explore the pleasures of the written word.
In an increasingly diverse state, the Telling Room engages with communities that are under-served by the public school system: young people from Maine's growing immigrant and refugee populations, those with emotional challenges and at-risk middle and high school students.
As statewide budget cuts threaten programs in the arts, the work of organizations like the Telling Room is essential in making sure that future generations have the storytelling skills and confidence they need to be successful.
Kristen Ghodsee is director of the Gender and Women's Studies Program at Bowdoin College. She listens to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.