Crying “Babies” Help Make for Somber High-schoolers

ELLSWORTH — A handful of Ellsworth High School students spent a few recent weekends caring for their own computerized baby dolls, which are programmed to cry intermittently.

The experience left a few students wailing themselves.

“I was so excited,” said student Dominique Alexander. “Then the first night I was like, ‘I’ve had enough.’”

Many students who participated are in the ASPIRE afterschool program, which is run by Deb Arnold.

The students spend Friday night through Monday morning caring for the babies, including feeding and changing diapers.

Arnold is able to tell if the babies have been mishandled or neglected.

Dominique Alexander said the program teaches students not to have children too early.

Arnold said the program, provided by Downeast Health Services, also teaches students about shaken baby syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome.

The babies have left Ellsworth High School to move on to other schools and caregivers in Hancock County.

The Maine Children’s Trust and the Maine Community Foundation’s Hancock County Fund provided funding for the program. To reserve the babies for your school or community group, contact Eaton at 667-5304, ext. 261.

For more details pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]