Former Allagash worker brings beauty, prose to Telstar middle schoolersPublished on Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 12:12 am | Last updated on Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 12:12 am
BETHEL — Tim Caverly brought the beauty and prose of the Allagash region to Telstar Middle School students at all-day workshops and slide show sessions Wednesday.
Caverly, a retired Maine Department of Conservation employee who spent many years as the supervisor of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, took his love for that northern region as well as his skills in writing, to teach youngsters how they can write books, too.
“When people read your writing they get to know you. You must communicate your feelings,” he said as a group of students tapped away on their laptops as they wrote stories.
Seventh-grader Avery Griffin was impressed with what Caverly had to say.
“He was very informative and showed us how he gets his ideas from his imagination,” Avery said. “I really want to go to the Allagash.”
The Bethel Rotary Club and Jolly Drayman Pub owners, Fred Siebert and Cindy Coughenour, provided the funding to bring Caverly to the school. They also bought 40 copies of one of Caverly's books, “A Wilderness Ranger's Journal,” so students could read it.
When this year's eighth-graders were seventh-graders, the class read another of Caverly's books, “Allagash Hauntings,” English teacher Lindsay Luetje sid. Those books were bought by the Rotary Club and are now a part of the seventh-grade curriculum.
“A bunch of our kids went to see him last fall at the Fryeburg Fair. They wrote to him and he wrote back. They were amazed,” Luetje said.
Among the tasks assigned to the students in the workshops was to help Caverly create a sequel to that book.
“It's nice to have help on writing,” eighth-grader Mackenzie Bragg-Albert said. “And to have an author help us. Now that I've read his books, I'd like to go to the Allagash.”
Cassidy Smith, also in the eighth grade, said she loved having an author at the school. “It's cool that he wants us to help him with his writing,” she said.
Rotary President Ellie Andrews said one of the group's passions is helping out in the schools. They regularly donate books to the local elementary schools, she said.
Siebert and Coughenour are both voracious readers. They try to help the community as much as they can. In the past they have donated to the local skate park and the handicapped skiing program.
Caverly, originally from Skowhegan, began writing about 20 years ago when he wrote “Allagash Tails” for his daughter. That book tells of life lessons through a merganser duck and an unlucky beaver.
After he retired from the Department of Conservation, Caverly became the director of Maine Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, and worked in the Millinocket school system. The illustrator of all his books, Franklin Manzo Jr., still works in the Millinocket schools.
Now Caverly travels throughout the state sharing the beauty of the Allagash region and leading writing workshops. He plans to expand outside of the state in the near future.
After he left Telstar Middle School on Wednesday, he was driving to the University of Maine at Farmington where he was presenting his books and information about the Allagash region to adults.
Caverly's books are available in more than 100 bookstores in the state, and from his website, www.AllagashTails.com.