2022 Barry S. Timson Award

2022 Awardees:
Miriam, Robin, and Aaron Asch

Miriam, Robin, and Aaron Asch posing with issues of the Academy Street Journal

The young publishers of the Academy Street Journal have been selected by the Old Hallowell Day Committee to receive the 2022 OHD Barry S. Timson Community Service Award.

Fourteen-year-old Miriam Asch, her twelve-year-old sister Robin, and their nine-year-old brother Aaron launched this small, uber-local community newspaper last year during the pandemic. Features include their own musings and observations (e.g., about dogowners cleaning up—or not-- after their pets), and interviews with neighbors (e.g., pandemic-inspired things to do such as building a climbing wall in the backyard).  

“We have learned a lot about interviewing people, working together to create something, doing graphic design, and editing,” says Miriam of the collaboration with her siblings, who live with their parents on Academy Street. Their mom, Rabbi Erica Asch of theTemple Beth El, and their dad Chris Myers Asch, executive director of the Capital Area New Mainers Project, provide encouragement and logistical support. A small cadre of young neighborhood friends contribute to the paper as staff writers and reporters. There were four issues published during the first year; and one so far in 2022. With full-time school back in session this year, production is a little more challenging-- but the young trio is determined to have their next issue out in time for Old Hallowell Day, and extra copies available for the occasion.

They print a limited number of paper copies – one in color for their own archives, one in color for the Hubbard Free Library, and a few dozen in black and white that are hand delivered free of charge to those in the Academy Street neighborhood. The Journal is also available online, and sent to email subscribers at no cost. Miriam estimates their email distribution at just over 100, and their estimated total circulation is approximately 150, although that figure is likely to increase as the Journal is in the spotlight this Old Hallowell Day!

Interestingly, when asked about their academic interests, none of the three young journalists cite school subjects that relate to journalism or graphic design. At Hall-Dale, Miriam’s favorite subject is math; her least favorite is social studies. Robin’ sfavorite is also math, and her least favorite is chorus. And Aaron’s favorite subject is PE while his least favorite is writing.  

Looking ahead to Old Hallowell Day, Miriam and Robin are excited about the parade. Aaron especially enjoys the International Kids’ Festival—a community event for the whole family sponsored by the Capital Area New Mainers Project. It will be hosted for the first time this year at CANMP’s new Hallowell Multicultural Center on Union Street,the site of the former St. Matthew’s Church.

Each year, Timson Awardees are invited to choose a Hallowell nonprofit to receive a donation on their behalf from the Old Hallowell Day Committee. Miriam, Robin and Aaron have chosen the Vaughan Woods & Historic Homestead as the 2022 recipient.

-Nancy McGinnis

This award has been established to celebrate and memorialize Barry Timson’s remarkable contributions to our city, to make his commitment a model for others and to encourage the spirit of volunteerism, civic commitment and leadership in the city of Hallowell.

Past Timson Awardees

  • 2019 Rosemary Presnar
  • 2018 Anthony Romano
  • 2017 Rose Warren
  • 2016 Kieran Kammerer
  • 2015 The Bessey Family
  • 2014 Erin Ballew
  • 2013 no awardee
  • 2012 Ava & Noah Katz
  • 2011 Johanna Baker
  • 2010 Kate Cart
  • 2009 Laura Harper
  • 2008 Cary Colwell
  • 2007 Douglas Averill and Maureen Drouin
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