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Barbara Bush Awards $234,995 for Maine Family Literacy Initiative
June 19, 2007
AUGUSTA – Mrs. Barbara Bush announced today that the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy awarded $234,995 to Maine Family Literacy Initiative programs in 15 Maine communities. Representatives from each program accepted their grant awards from Mrs. Bush and Maine’s First Lady, Karen Baldacci, at an awards ceremony at the J. Richard Martin Community Center in Biddeford. Maine Family Literacy Initiative money supports programs that improve the reading skills of parents and their children, while developing solid literacy practices in the home.
“I'm so proud of the students and teachers who have participated in our Maine Family Literacy Initiative.” said Mrs. Bush, Honorary Chairperson of the Foundation. “They have accomplished so much over the past twelve years. We know that thousands of parents and children are now able to share the pleasure as well as the benefits of reading as a result of their hard work in the 166 family literacy programs funded by the Maine Family Literacy Initiative so far.”
"Reading holds the key to success in life," said Maine's First Lady Karen Baldacci. "Barbara Bush has devoted many years of work to promote and increase family literacy. I would like to thank and honor her on behalf of the people of the State of Maine for her dedication to such a worthy cause."
Eight winning grants of approximately $25,000 were chosen this year from applications submitted by libraries, community-based organizations, colleges, adult education, and public schools across the state to implement family literacy programs. These programs provide family literacy services that include adult literacy instruction, early childhood literacy instruction, and parent and child time for reading together.
An additional seven planning grants of $5,000 each were also awarded to communities to develop the partnerships and resources needed to implement a family literacy program next year. According to Becky Dyer, State Director of Adult Education and Family Literacy for the Maine Department of Education, planning grants have proven to be an effective way to bring agencies together to begin talking about family literacy and identifying existing resources that could be used to support family literacy programming in their community.
The Maine Family Literacy Initiative has awarded 166 grants totaling of $2,787,855 in its twelve-year history to develop or expand Maine family literacy programs. The Barbara Bush Foundation also funds family literacy initiatives in Texas, Florida, and Maryland, as well as through its annual national grant competition. As of June 2007, the Foundation, which was established in 1989, will have awarded nearly $30 million to build or expand more than 650 family literacy programs in 48 states and the District of Columbia.
FY 2008 Maine Family Literacy Initiative Grantees
Eight received $25,000 grants:
AUGUSTA SCHOOL DEPARTMENT, AUGUSTA
Project L.I.F.E. (Literacy is for Everyone) will link the services of Augusta Adult Education, Southern Kennebec Child Development Center, Child Development Services, and the Augusta public school Pre-K, Title I and Special Education programs to address the literacy needs of the entire family. Project advisors will work directly with families to support and encourage their participation in the project.
WINDHAM ADULT EDUCATION, WINDHAM
GATEWAY (Goals Attained Through Education for Windham Adults and Their Young Children) is a partnership between Windham Head Start, Windham Adult Education, Windham Public Library, Windham Primary School and other community providers to provide comprehensive family literacy services. In addition, they will pilot-test three new areas of focus: computer literacy, numeracy, and financial literacy.
MADAWASKA SCHOOL DEPARTMENT, MADAWASKA
Building Learning Teams (BLT) with Families brings together a mix of agencies to provide services to the families of Madawaska, Grand Isle, Frenchville and St. Agatha. Head Start, Madawaska Adult Education, Maine Parent Federation, the Career Center, Literacy Volunteers, elementary schools, and Maine Centers for Women, Work, and Community will work together to provide access to family literacy services at home and at community-based sites throughout the region
WISCASSET SCHOOL DEPARTMENT, WISCASSET
Wiscasset Family Literacy Center is a collaborative partnership between Wiscasset Primary School, Wiscasset Adult Education, Wiscasset Head Start, and Tri-County Literacy Volunteer’s “Read With ME”. The Wiscasset Family Literacy Center will foster partnerships between school and family and provide a seamless system to support successful learning for all.
LITERACY VOLUNTEERS OF BANGOR, BANGOR
Voices in Diversity: Parents and Children Celebrating Literacy is a partnership between Literacy Volunteers of Bangor and the Penquis Community Action Program. They will expand their services to include English Language Learners focusing on culturally sensitive activities and the importance of native language literacy.
MAINE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICT #32, ASHLAND
Families of Learners serves a previously underserved area by bringing together Ashland Central School, SAD # 32 Adult Education, Head Start, and Literacy Volunteers of Aroostook County to provide center, home-based, and extended year services to families with children in grades Pre-K and One.
MAINE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICT #6, STANDISH
Read to Succeed is a program promoting family literacy at home and at school. This project will bring together community partners, including Adult Education, Guidance, Title One, Literacy Volunteers, Steep Falls Public Library, the Training Resource Center, and Buxton’s Social Welfare Department to improve literacy skills of families in the district.
TEEN AND YOUNG PARENT PROGRAM OF KNOX COUNTY, ROCKLAND
The Growing Tree - Focus on Fathers will provide targeted outreach efforts and family literacy programming specific to young fathers. This program expands the partnership of the Teen and Young Parent Program of Knox County, M.S.A.D. # 5 Adult and Community Education, the Rockland Public Library, and the Passages Program of the Community School.
Seven received $5,000 planning grants:
RURAL COMMUNITY ACTION MINISTRY, LEEDS
The Community Literacy Planning Committee will identify and convene community partners, local literacy stakeholders, and literacy consumers form Androscoggin, Oxford, and Kennebec counties to develop family literacy goals.
SACO SCHOOL DEPARTMENT, SACO
Family Literacy Collaborative, a partnership between the Saco School District and Old Orchard Beach/Saco Adult Education, will convene a planning committee to build a comprehensive, community-based approach to family literacy.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE, COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, GORHAM
Family English as a Second Language (ESOL) at Kennedy Park will allow USM and other community partners to explore expansion of an ESOL class to include intergenerational literacy activities for refugee mothers and their children.
JACKSON MEMORIAL LIBRARY, TENANTS HARBOR
Family Reading Initiative will allow the Jackson Memorial Library to identify and work with area collaborators to develop a family literacy initiative for three mid-coast Maine villages.
REGION 9 SCHOOL OF APPLIED TECHNOLOGY, MEXICO
Region 9 Adult Learning Center and the School of Applied Technology will create a cross-generational literacy rich program prior to the opening of their new early childhood program in 2008.
OLD TOWN SCHOOL DEPARTMENT, OLD TOWN
Reading in the Family builds upon established successful relationships between the Old Town School Department, the Old Town Public Library and The River Coalition, Inc. to plan a family literacy program for underserved Pre-K children and their parents.
DENMARK PUBLIC LIBRARY, DENMARK
Brownfield/Denmark Family Literacy is a partnership between the Denmark Public Library and the local elementary school to plan a family literacy program for their area.
David Connerty-Marin, Director of Communications, Maine Department of Education, 207-624-6880 Becky Dyer, State Director of Adult Education, 624-6755
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