Our ambitious Maine 5000 initiative, serving 5,000 students annually in 50 partner schools by September 2022, recently received a huge boost — a $75,000 grant from Jane’s Trust. This support will help scale the program in 2018, serving 1,300+ students in underserved rural and urban communities statewide.
Jane’s Trust is a highly-respected philanthropy providing major funding for projects in education, arts and culture, the environment, and health and welfare in northern New England. Nicholas Witte was among the educators who wrote in support of our application: “I have been a sixth grade ELA teacher at Freeport Middle School for the past 9 years and, in that time, I have not come across a program that’s had a greater impact on our students than SPIRIT SERIES… It makes for the kind of lasting experience we want our students to take with them as they grow up and move on.”
Three years after launching in the state, under the leadership of New England Executive Director Kent Pierce, more than 2,000 students have met the SPIRIT SERIES challenge. This year alone, 1,000 fourth- through eighth-graders in 12 partner schools will complete the SERIES, one-fifth of the way to our goal in the first year of this five-year initiative. Thanks to Jane’s Trust, we are laying a foundation to provide many thousands more children in Maine with the chance to strive for academic excellence, forge a positive vision for themselves, and begin to become their own heroes.