Biddle receives funding to continue research on rural schools and community well-being

Catharine Biddle, assistant professor of educational leadership, is the recipient of nearly $5,000 from the American Education Research Association (AERA) to continue her work with the Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE) program in Washington County.

TREE — an initiative of the nonprofit Cobscook Community Learning Center — uses strengths-based, equitable, trauma-informed practices to support schools and communities in rural Maine. The heart of the program is a research-practice partnership that brings together school-based personnel and scholars from UMaine and Colby College to develop holistic wraparound services for children and families. Biddle facilitates the weekly partnership meetings and leads TREE’s evaluation efforts.

The AERA grant will allow Biddle to travel to Washington County to conduct eight case studies of students and caretakers who receive TREE services. The case studies will help with development of a comprehensive program evaluation plan. In addition, Biddle will present her findings at AERA’s annual convention in 2020. She also hopes to publish research based on the interviews conducted with children, parents and educators, examining how to create trauma-informed programs in schools that serve diverse, rural populations.

The grant is part of AERA’s Education Research Service Projects program, which encourages education researchers to donate their time to projects that meet community needs.

Contact: Casey Kelly, 207.581.3751