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CEMS Mental Health Initiative Read Aloud

In the Fall, Cape Elizabeth Middle School launched a mental health initiative, "You Will Be Found...@CEMS," in hopes of promoting awareness and smashing the stigma surrounding mental health. This initiative is funded and supported by the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation (CEEF) and The Thompson Family Mental Health Initiative Fund. As a part of this program, we are excited to conduct a community book read aloud with a mental health theme. The book chosen, Finding Perfect, delivers a compelling story of a middle school aged girl struggling with anxiety and OCD. Through her struggles, she will eventually learn that there is no such thing as perfect. "Beyond darkness, there is light. Beyond fear, there is hope. Beyond the perfection, there is me. Imperfect and beautiful me."

All CEMS students and staff will be provided with a copy of Finding Perfect. The author, Elly Swartz, will kick off the event by reading the first two chapters to our students and delivering a brief message via a video recording. She will return to visit with our school community on April 23rd, once we have finished reading the book, and plans to sign all of the copies provided to our students and staff. CEMS students will bring their signed book home to keep at the completion of the read-aloud program. A meet and greet  with Elly Swartz will be held at the Inn By the Sea on April 22nd from 6:30-7:30 pm for any community members interested in meeting the author. Her book, Finding Perfect, will be available for purchase at this event.

After the author reads the first two chapters, the rest of the book will be read by guest readers (community members, staff members, students, mental health advocates, authors, and even a few celebrities). A few chapters will be shared with CEMS students over the intercom daily, during the first hour of school. The video recordings of the guest readers will be shared via email to staff, students, and parents, and posted on the school website.

Please make every effort to have your student arrive to school on time during the month of April so they do not miss out on the readings for the day.

We invite you to join us in this effort to spread awareness and smash the stigma associated with mental health!  You may follow our community read aloud on our websitehttps://www.cape.k12.me.us/ where a link will direct you to our CEMS Mental Health site https://sites.google.com/capeelizabethschools.org/CEMSmentalhealth/finding-perfect starting April 2nd. Videos of our guest readers will be posted here as we progress through the book. A few copies of the e-book are also available for parents through the school’s overdrive account at https://capeme.libraryreserve.com using a student’s network account.