Winslow resident earns award from WGU

Bethanie Farr, of Winslow, has earned an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University College of Health Professions, in Jersey City, New Jersey. The award is given to students who perform at a superior level in their course work.

Santa drops in at local dojo

Santa and Mrs. Claus made a surprise visit to Huard’s Martial Arts, in Winslow, on Wednesday December 22. (photo by Mark Huard)

Boston Blaney, 8, of Winslow, visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus recently at Huard’s Martial Arts on December 22. (photo by Mark Huard)

Santa and Mrs. Claus visited with Katelynn Shores, 10, of Benton, at Huard’s Martial Arts on Wednesday Dec 22. (photo by Mark Huard)

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Library series conclusion

Old Winslow Library

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro, Waterville, Winslow

There is no evidence that the Town of Vassalboro had a public library before 1909, when the ancestor of the present lively institution was founded.

The 1909 association’s bylaws give it two names, the Free Public Library Association of Vassalboro, d/b/a Vassalboro Library Association. The library has always been in East Vassalboro, and the bylaws say it must remain there.

According to an essay by Elizabeth “Betty” Taylor in Bernhardt and Schad’s Vassalboro anthology, Eloise A. Hafford organized Vassalboro’s Library Association, getting advice from the Maine State Library and providing the association’s constitution.

Then, Taylor wrote, “she disappeared from the records.” Her name was crossed off the list of members in 1910.

Intrigued, Taylor did research that identified Hafford, born Sept. 30, 1860, in Massachusetts, as an early pastor at the East Vassalboro Friends Church. She was a high-school and university teacher for many years, and by 1930 was in California doing public health work, at one time serving as executive secretary of the Southern California Society for Control of Syphilis. She died in 1938.

The first Vassalboro library building was a converted summer cottage on South Stanley Hill Road, on a small lot donated by George Cates, south of the Friends Meeting House. The cottage was a gift of the Kennebec Water District and in 1914 was hauled across China Lake “on skids by four teams of horses,” according to a Jan. 25, 1971, newspaper article at the Vassalboro Historical Society.

The single-story building was about 500 feet square, according to another source. Everett Coombs built bookshelves early in 1915. Madeline Cates was Vassalboro librarian from 1910 to 1948. When the Library Association was inactive during the Depression, she continued to open it one day a week without pay, and her husband Percy provided fuel without charge.

In the 1950s, Taylor and Mildred Harris took the lead in reviving the library.

The wooden building and the book collection burned in 1979. Taylor, who was librarian for more than three decades, was again a leader in obtaining replacement books after the fire.

Vassalboro Public Library (photo:

In 1980, the library reopened in its current home, a single-story brick building at 930 Bog Road, on the west side of the village. An addition in 2000 on the back (north side) doubled the size of the building.

The Vassalboro Library receives significant town funding every year, but donations are always welcome, and are tax-deductible.

Vassalboro has at least one of the libraries in boxes described in last week’s essay. It is on the south side of the Olde Mill complex in North Vassalboro, facing Oak Grove Road, identified by the word “BOOKS” across the top.

In Waterville, the first library was started before Waterville became a town, never mind a city, according to Estelle Foster Eaton’s chapter in Whittemore’s 1902 history.

Waterville was separated from Winslow on June 23, 1802. Eaton wrote that eight months earlier, Reuben Kidder (a member of the 1801 committee chosen to petition the legislature to make Waterville a separate town) had bought 117 books from Boston bookseller Caleb Bingham, for $162.65 (with a 10 percent discount).

Waterville Public Library

(Caleb Bingham [April 15, 1757-April 6, 1817] was an educator, textbook writer and publisher as well as a bookseller. An on-line article by Encyclopedia Britannica editors says he directed Boston’s public library for two years without pay; donated many books to the library in his home town of Salisbury; and helped other New England town libraries. His bookstore was a gathering place for Boston teachers and liberal Jeffersonian politicians and “a focal point of agitation for free public schools.”)

The books were mostly non-fiction, Eaton wrote. Exceptions she listed were The Beggar Girl and A Fool of Quality, each in three volumes. (Welsh novelist Anna or Agnes Maria Bennett’s The Beggar Girl and Her Benefactors was published in 1797; Irish writer Henry Brooke’s The Fool of Quality was published between 1765 and 1779, originally in five volumes.)

The books reached Waterville Nov. 18, 1801. Although Kidder had ordered them in the name of the “Winslow Library,” they were labeled as belonging to “The Waterville Social Library.”

Eaton could not determine how long the library lasted, but the books ended up with Abijah Smith, one of the people who signed a note to help Kidder pay for them. Smith let the Sons of Temperance use them when that organization started a short-lived library (Eaton gave no dates).

Kingsbury wrote in his 1892 Kennebec County history that the Waterville division of the Sons of Temperance was organized Nov. 27, 1845, reorganized in 1858 and still flourishing in 1892.

In 1902, Eaton wrote, a Smith descendant owned relevant documents and, apparently, books; she wrote that when the new public library building was completed, he wanted the remainder of the Waterville Social Library to “find [a] fitting home within its walls.”

The present library organization dates from 1896, the present building from 1902.

According to Eaton and Kingsbury, there were other predecessors besides the Waterville Social Library.

Eaton lists two bookstore-based “circulating libraries.” William Hastings, who was a printer and the publisher of the Waterville Intelligencer newspaper (see The Town Line, Nov. 26, 2020) as well as a bookseller, offered “well-selected books” from 1826 to 1828. Around 1840 Edward Mathews started lending books from his bookstore; he sold the library to Charles K. Mathews, who continued it until 1874.

The Waterville Woman’s Association, founded in 1887, by 1892 had a library of 400 volumes, Kingsbury wrote, “from which 100 books are taken weekly.” (The Woman’s Association was mentioned in the Nov. 11 The Town Line.)

Eaton made the Waterville Library Association, founded in March 1873, sound like the most important predecessor of the present library. She listed the founders by initials only, except for President Solyman Heath; apparently they were all men, although Kingsbury mentioned “the cooperation of a few spirited ladies.” Association membership was $3 a year; dues were used to buy books.

The directors of the Ticonic Bank gave the library space in the bank building for 26 years, and the library was nicknamed the Bank Library, according to Eaton. A. A. Plaisted (the Waterville history’s index lists many entries for A. A. Plaisted, Aaron Plaisted and Aaron Appleton Plaisted) was librarian, “assisted within the last few years by the Misses Helen and Emily Plaisted, Miss Helen Meader and Miss Elden, now Mrs. Mathews.”

In 1892, Kingsbury wrote, the library had 1,500 books and about 30 members.

Meanwhile, a movement for a free public library began. In 1883, Eaton wrote, former resident William H. Arnold willed to the town (Waterville did not become a city until January 23, 1888) $5,000 for a public library, conditional on the town matching the gift. The town did not, and Arnold’s heirs got the $5,000.

In 1896, Lillian Hallock Campbell spent early February visiting more than 50 women to ask them to help start a free public library. On Feb. 13, the Waterville Library Association organized, with an all-female list of officers, though some men were interested in Campbell’s project.

(The first president was Mrs. Willard B. Arnold, sister-in-law of the late William H. Arnold. Her husband, the first of five generations of Willard Bailey Arnolds, founded the W. B. Arnold Company, a Waterville hardware store that closed in the 1960s.)

“Public interest was aroused,” Eaton wrote, and business leaders, including W. B. Arnold, donated generously. On March 25, another meeting organized the Waterville Free Library Association, with Mayor Edmund F. Webb president, ex officio, and a mainly male group of officers and trustees (though Lillian Campbell, Mrs. Arnold and Annie Pepper were among the dozen trustees, as was Colby College professor and future president Arthur J. Roberts).

Library supporters began collecting books and money immediately; an April 7, 1896, public notice requested donations. Books were first circulated out of Harvey Doane Eaton’s law office (he was the husband of Estelle Foster Eaton who wrote the library chapter). A five-member book selection committee recommended initial purchases.

The library formally opened Aug. 22, 1896, in a room “in the Plaisted Block.” It moved to the Haines Building in 1898. Agnes M. Johnson was the first librarian.

Eaton wrote that by May 1902 the original 433 books had become 3,088. Circulation for the year ending May 16 was 20,692. Fiction circulation had declined, but “reference work in connection with the schools” was increasing.

Funds came from individual donations; from the City of Waterville, which increased its $500 a year to $1,000 in 1902; and from the State of Maine, whose annual $50 was “supposed to cover the running expenses; although as a matter of fact it has not,” Eaton said.

After the free library opened, interest in the membership-supported Waterville Library Association declined. Eaton wrote that its 1,500 books were donated to the Woman’s Association in 1900.

The earlier reference to a pending new building foreshadowed the 1902 construction of the main part of the present Elm Street building, with a $20,000 Carnegie Foundation grant. The library’s website describes the building’s architectural style as Richardson Romanesque, similar to other area libraries in Augusta, Clinton and Fairfield. The architect was William R. Miller of Lewiston, who also designed Fairfield’s Lawrence Library (see The Town Line, Nov. 11).

The building is of brick with granite trim. The original entrance on Elm Street is approached by wide granite steps leading to three arches, and the typical tower rises beside the entrance, with a tall triple window below nine small square windows.

The original building has been renovated and expanded several times. A banner on the side of the building proclaims Waterville Public Library a “2017 Winner National Medal for Museum and Library Service.”

New Winslow Library

This writer has failed to find a comprehensive history of Winslow’s public library, located since the late 1980s in a handsomely-converted former roller-skating rink at 136 Halifax Street. The town web page identifies the current library as a department of the town, with a board of trustees.

For at least part of the time between 1905 and 1927, the library was on the east side of Lithgow Street, in the north end of a single-story clapboard building it shared with the town office. Historian Jack Nivison wrote that the building was between the 1926 library and the Congregational Church, set farther back from the street than they are.

A photograph shows a single-story building with a peaked roof. Above what looks like a paneled front door is a three-section semi-circular window, and above it, under the peak of the roof, a second similar one. Windows on either side have decorative shutters and window boxes.

A side door has a small rectangular window beside it. This door and two larger windows on the south side are topped with arched semicircles of what looks like stained glass.

The first librarian, Jennie Howard, served from 1905 to 1933 and was paid $52 a year. Nivison wrote that Howard was also a teacher and superintendent of schools.

The second recorded Winslow library building was built in 1926-27 on an adjoining lot donated by George Bassett, at a cost of $30,000 (the on-line source that says $3,000 must have dropped a zero).

The 1926-27 library is a two-story, flat-roofed brick building. A semi-circular columned portico the height of the building shelters an arched, glass-paneled front door. Above the columns are the words “Winslow Public Library.”

Two tall windows on the front have decorative medallions above them; the window on the south side is topped by a smaller arched window. The library now houses the Taconnett Falls Genealogy Library; its sign says it is open from 1 to 4, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

After the 1987 Kennebec River flood, the library moved to its Halifax Street home.

Nivison adds a second Winslow library with a limited clientele. He wrote that “there was a Library in the Taconnet Clubhouse, built in 1901-02. This library was open to all families who worked at H & W.”

H & W was the Hollingsworth & Whitney Paper Company mill, which operated from 1892 until, after two changes of ownership, 1997. The H & W Clubhouse also offered its employees use of pool tables, a bowling alley and a swimming pool, according to Wikipedia.

Main sources

Bernhardt, Esther, and Vicki Schad, compilers/editors, Anthology of Vassalboro Tales (2017).
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902 (1902).

Personal conversations.
Websites, miscellaneous.

Winslow resident earns award from WGU

Bethanie Farr, of Winslow, has earned an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University College of Health Professions, in Jersey City, New Jersey. The award is given to students who perform at a superior level in their course work.




PHOTOS: Clauses visit Waterville area

Santa and Mrs. Claus travel to Winslow across the Waterville/ Winslow Bridge, following the Kringleville Annual Tree Lighting, in Waterville, on Saturday evening November 27. They had their elves on board, too! (photo by Tawni Lively/ Central Maine Photography)

Long journey completed

Santa checks on his reindeer following a long journey to Winslow, from the North Pole on Saturday evening, November 27. Families and children visited with the reindeer as Santa and Mrs. Claus came by. This was a special event coordinated by the Winslow Parks and Recreation Dept. (photo by Tawni Lively/ Central Maine Photography)

Winslow resident earns award from Western Governors University

Bethanie Farr, of Winslow, has earned an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University College of Health Professions, in Jersey City, New Jersey. The award is given to students who perform at a superior level in their course work.

PHOTO: On goal

Nixon Souviney, of Winslow, directs this kick towards the opposing goal in soccer action. (photo by Central Maine Photography)

PHOTO: Winslow boys soccer crowned Class B northern Maine champions

Front row, from left to right, Levi Olin, BenTilton, Sam Schmitt, Landen Gillis, Andrew Poulin, CJ Larsen, Zack St. Pierre, Ryan Martin, Tyler Nadeau and Brady Willette. Back row, Coach Carnick, Joey Richards, Braden Rodrigue, Ethan Loubier, Brady Goodwin, Thorn Dubois, David Doughty, Jason Reynolds, Kris Loubier, Braden Laramee, Lucas Boucher, Lukas Stabins and Coach Wolfe. (contributed photo)

The Winslow boys soccer team recently captured the Class B Northern Maine championship.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Windsor & Winslow schools

The second Fort School in Winslow was constructed on the east side of Lithgow Street during the summer of 1909 to replace the one-room original Fort School across from the church. The school had two very large rooms. In this image, the school is facing Lithgow Street. The school, the school lot, and land for a playground cost $4,500.00. It was part of the Winslow Public School system through 1937-38. In 1963, Waterville Window Company purchased the school and renovated it to serve their purposes.

by Mary Grow

Windsor residents are fortunate to have a well-researched town history by Linwood H. Lowden, published in 1993, that includes an equally well-researched chapter on schools by C. Arlene Barton Gilbert.

From this book, we learn that Windsor, like many other nearby towns, began funding primary schools early in the 1800s.

Windsor’s first teacher, and first resident preacher, was Rev. Job Chadwick, who had previously taught in China. In 1804, Lowden wrote, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel sought a teacher for two small settlements, Hunts Meadow (later included in Whitefield) and Pinhook (in the southern part of what became Windsor).

The Wiscasset minister who recommended Chadwick explained that he had experience and a good reputation, and added, “Through a variety of misfortunes he has lately been stripped of all his worldly property, & I imagine would keep school at as easy a rate as any.”

Chadwick, once he met the residents of the two settlements, commented on the difference between the two jobs. Windsor residents, he wrote, “appear fond of the gift of a school if they might have it separate from the Gospel which they discover an uncommon aversion to…& treat it with entire neglect & a degree of contempt.”

Gilbert wrote that Chadwick’s first term of school was two month long, with an average attendance of 15 to 20 youngsters.

The earliest record of a Windsor town meeting that Lowden found was on April 3, 1809, at Chadwick’s house. Voters approved a $50 appropriation for education – and $700 “to be wrought upon the road or highways.” The latter was supplemented by approval of paying $1 a day for a man’s work on the roads and 66 cents a day for oxen.

A year later, voters approved five school districts and appropriated $150. Gilbert copied from the town records: “this money for schooling be paid in lumber and produce.”

Another year later, in April 1811, Gilbert wrote that the appropriation went up to $200, and voters started rearranging the districts. Later in the century, Windsor had at least 16 school districts, and possibly 18. When Henry Kingsbury finished his Kennebec County history in 1892, there were 12.

The first free high school of which Gilbert found a record started in 1867. According to Kingsbury, town officials bought “seats and desks” for the second floor of the town house to open the school, with Horace Colburn the teacher.

(Kingsbury said that Colburn [1812-1885], left three sons. Two of them taught school, starting in their teens; and each of those two served as Windsor’s supervisor of schools, Joseph from 1871 to 1886 and Frank in 1888 and 1889.)

Gilbert wrote that after offering two high-school terms for each of five years, in March 1873 town meeting voters appropriated $200 to continue it, but rescinded the vote in April.

Nonetheless, she quoted from the 1877 school report that the prior year’s free high school terms, eight weeks in the spring and 10 weeks in the fall, were “very profitable to the district [District 1] and vicinity, giving the scholars who attended an opportunity for improvement that they could not otherwise have had.” The state subsidy amounted to $85.50, the report added.

The 1878 school supervisor’s report was equally enthusiastic. By then the free high school had 34 students, he wrote, “most of them being well advanced and quite a good number having had experience as teachers.”

Windsor’s free high school operated until 1902, Gilbert wrote. It was usually, but not always, in District 1. In 1902, there was a spring term, but the town was also paying tuition for students attending an out-of-town four-year high school (she did not say where the school was).

Winslow’s schools, at all levels, were of little interest to Kingsbury. He devoted one paragraph to the topic, talking about the situation in 1892. Fortunately, local historian Jack Nivison has approached the subject with more enthusiasm.

Nivison emailed that through his research, “particularly of very old Town Reports,” he found Winslow’s earliest schoolhouse for students up to eighth grade was the Fort School, built in 1819 on the west (river) side of Lithgow Street. Lithgow Street roughly parallels the Augusta Road (also Routes 100 and 201) along the Kennebec River, for a short distance south of the Sebasticook-Kennebec junction.

The 1819 school was named the Village School (and the area is designated on an 1879 map as Winslow Village). Nivison wrote the schoolhouse was diagonally across from and a little south of the Congregational Church, which was on the east side of Lithgow Street.

George Jones Varney’s 1881 Gazetteer of the State of Maine said Winslow had 15 schoolhouses by then. He valued them at $3,500.

In 1892, Kingsbury wrote, there were 16 school districts, but still only 15 schoolhouses, and only 11 districts held classes.

There were two free high schools in 1892, Kingsbury wrote. One was “at the village of Winslow”; the other was “in the eastern part of the town, near the Baptist church.” The Baptist Church had been built in 1850, he said, but he gave no more specific location.

In 1892, Kingsbury wrote, the town paid $250 to support the free high schools, which enrolled 80 students. There might have been additional state funding for the high schools; he said that the $250 was in addition to $1,400 “public money” and $1,500 from local taxes for 604 pre-high-school students.

Nivison says there were “attempts to formalize some post 8th grade courses in a couple of the existing schools,” perhaps the “high schools” Kingsbury mentioned.

Winslow’s Sand Hill School

The first Winslow High School, Nivison says, was in a disused Methodist Chapel on Birch (now Monument) Street, which runs between Clinton Avenue and Halifax Street (Route 100), along the top of the hill east of the Kennebec, parallel to Bay Street.

In 1899, he said, the Town of Winslow signed a lease with the Waterville Methodist Church “to renovate their unused Chapel” into a high school. He has a copy of the lease; as further evidence, he points out that Winslow High School graduation programs and the wall display in the present high school building date the school to 1899.

Nivison says the first freshman class had 18 students. By graduation in 2003, at the Congregational Church, the class was down to three students.

The original Fort School closed in 1909 or 1910, Nivison said, because more space was needed and because spring floods on the Kennebec had become a problem. A second Fort School, “built across the street on a higher level,” served as an elementary school well into the 1930s.

In 1904, Nivison continued, town officials had a three-story wooden school built on Halifax Street. The lower grades were on the first floor and the upper grades on the second and third floors.

“During the winter break in 1915 this school burned flat to the ground,” he wrote. It was replaced by a brick building that opened for classes in February 1916, again with lower grades on the first floor and upper grades upstairs.

The “new” Winslow High School, was built in 1928. It has since been replaced with a new building.

Winslow’s student population continued to grow, and in the spring of 1928, Nivison wrote, a new Winslow High School opened on Danielson Street. This school was about half a mile north of the previous ones; Danielson Street runs east off Benton Avenue, roughly parallel to Clinton Avenue.

Initially for grades seven through 12, the new high school quickly changed to grades eight through 12, Nivison wrote. The Halifax Street School became one of Winslow’s two brick elementary-school buildings (the other was the Boston Avenue School, built in 1921).

The Danielson Street site now hosts a complex that includes the current Winslow high and junior high schools and sports fields. Winslow Elementary School is adjacent, on the east side of Benton Avenue a short distance north of the other two schools.

Nivison says the Boston Avenue and Halifax Street schools were both demolished in the early 1990s. The Halifax Street School was considered as a new public library after the 1987 flood destroyed the Lithgow Street library building, but voters defeated the proposal.

Instead, town officials acquired the former roller-skating rink, also on Halifax Street, and converted it into the present library.

Rev. Job Chadwick

According to the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia, found on line, Rev. Job Chadwick was born about 1770, in Maine. An on-line Chadwick genealogy gives his birthdate as Dec. 4, 1756, “the fourth child of James and Ruth (Hatch) Chadwick.” The latter date matches his marriage date, also in the genealogy.

That source says James and Ruth brought their family to what would become China in the spring of 1782, establishing a farm at Chadwick’s Corner (near present-day Erskine Academy).

In 1796, according to the Biblical Cyclopedia, Chadwick “was ordained an evangelist” in Vassalboro, and a year later began eight years as pastor of China’s Second Baptist Church (once called the First Harlem Baptist Church), in South China Village at the south end of China Lake.

Another website, quoting Joshua Millet’s 1845 “History of the Baptists in Maine”, says this newly organized church was an offshoot of the Vassalboro Baptists. Starting with 19 initial members, who worshipped in a “neat and commodious brick edifice,” it grew slowly over the years, with Chadwick occasionally filling in as its preacher after he left in 1804.

Yet another on-line source records one of Chadwick’s actions: on Feb. 24, 1799, he “Joined in Marriage” Joseph Eveans or Evens (the Harlem clerk’s records have one spelling for the marriage intentions in January and the second for the actual marriage in February; your writer suspects the correct spelling is Evans) of Harlem and Jean Johnson of Ballston. (Ballston Plantation became the towns of Jefferson and Whitefield.)

The Biblical Cyclopedia says that after about 11 years as a missionary “under the direction of the Massachusetts Home Mission Society, in the destitute regions of Maine and on Cape Cod,” Chadwick took a pastorate in Gouldsborough, where he served from 1816 to 1831.

The genealogy says Chadwick married another emigree from Falmouth, Mercy Weeks (born Dec. 5, 1757), in Harlem (later China) on Sept. 13, 1784. They had a daughter and three sons. Mercy died in March 1826.

Chadwick died on Dec. 25, 1831, in Windsor, according to the Biblical Cyclopedia, or in January 1832, with no town specified, according to the genealogy. The latter claims he lived in China, saying nothing of missionary work or Gouldsboro. However, it also says he was the first and only teacher in town and was for years “the only spiritual guide the people of the town had of their own number,” making it clear all sources are describing the same man.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Lowden, Linwood H., good Land & fine Contrey but Poor roads a history of Windsor, Maine (1993)
Nivison, Jack, personal communications.

Websites, miscellaneous.




Erskine Academy will host Trunk or Treat from 6 – 8 p.m., this Friday, October 29, at the school.

There will also be a haunted house inside, around the gymnasium.


Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, in China Village, will be welcoming trick or treaters from 5 – 7 p.m., on Sunday, October 31.


Due to the impending inclement weather, the Fairfield Trunk or Treat has been rescheduled to Sunday, October 31, 2 – 5 p.m., on Eskelund Drive.


The Palermo Consolidated School eighth graders will hold a haunted trail on Saturday, October 30, from 3 – 8 p.m. The scariest experience will take place from 6 – 8 p.m. Admission is $5 per person and will include games, pineapple juice. You will not be touched. All proceeds to benefit the eighth grade heritage tour. The school is located at 501 ME-Route 3, Palermo.


The Alfond Youth and Community Center will be hosting a trunk or treat open house, family fun Halloween event for all ages and abilitites on Sunday, October 31, from 3 – 5 p.m., in the parking lot and facility, 126 North St., in Waterville.


This year we will be having our Trunk n Treat on Friday, October 29, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the field across from the fair grounds. This will be a walk through event, you will park in the field and we will have the trunks in a line for the kids to walk through. We will be selling glow sticks for a $1.00 at the front of the line. All monies will go help the kids at Windsor school this year. Parking will be in the big fields where the camping is.


Trick or Treat at the Winslow Public Library on Friday, October 29, 2 – 6 p.m. Ring the library doorbell for a trick or treat surprise. This will include candy, a snack, a craft, a bookmark and more. Let us know if you need an allergy friendly option. Feel free to wear a costume. Open to youth of all ages.