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May 2016

Greetings!

Greetings from The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers campus in Waterville.

As I sit here and type this note I am joyfully interrupted by the sounds of toddlers from The Children's Place playing outside. It is a reminder of the core of our mission, "to build and strengthen families and their children, instilling hope for the future and a better quality of life."

We are working hard to provide tools, resources and support to help Maine children and families to be able to enjoy all the good things in life that we would want for our own children.

This month, we are sharing particular joy in the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program. This incredible collaboration is bearing fruit with eight graduates this year! We are very proud of their dedication and commitment. We celebrate their bright plans for the future, for school, for careers, and as parents. This empowerment model is giving young parents the tools to change the course of their own lives. One of the students last week shared that she is deeply thankful for all the people who have believed in her and given her support to be successful here. She shared her goals for school and work, and one of her top priorities is "... to move off the welfare system to be independent and to take care of all of her son's needs herself." She is grateful for this springboard for a better life for herself and for her son.

We are very proud of the graduation success rate for the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School of more than 80 percent based on longitudinal surveys of former students (2015). Data from the America's Promise Alliance indicates only 40 percent of U.S. teen moms will finish high school, and although the U.S. teen birth rate is now at an all-time low, nearly three in 10 girls in this country will become pregnant before the age of 20. The need for this support remains consistent.

We are deeply grateful for the partnership with the Waterville School system, many volunteers and donors, and having the counseling, case management and early care on our campus to provide effective supports.

Continue reading for more on the graduates, the Summer Camp Scholarship Program's 2016 goal, and upcoming events.

Thank you for being partners in this very important work.


 
Richard Dorian, Executive Director

Eight Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program Students Prepare to Graduate

This June, we are so proud to announce that eight Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program students will graduate from high school and move on to pursue great plans for work and/or study.


Back row (left to right): Alissa Smith, Tyler Bragdon, Marisah Colon, Tabitha Spencer (with baby Owen) and Executive Director Richard Dorian. Front row (left to right): Alysha Willoughby (with baby Ellie) and Ashten Allen (with baby Everett).

The photo above was taken on May 10 at the Teen Parent School Program senior lunch at Governor's Restaurant. Those who applied to college were presented with a $1,000 scholarship to help toward their future plans.

  • Alissa plans to go to KVCC in the fall and pursue a nursing degree.

Alissa said, "Without the Teen Parent School and all the support that I received, I would not have been able to graduate."

  • Tyler plans on going into the military after graduation.
  • Marisah is attending the CNA program at Helping Hands this summer.
  • Tabitha is planning on taking online college classes this fall.
  • Alysha will be attending the CNA program at Helping Hands in the fall.

When Alysha was asked about the Teen Parent School Program, she said, "This is a very lovely school. The understanding teachers, childcare services, and nurturing support helped me to stay on the right track to graduate and become a more knowledgeable mother."

  • Ashten will be taking a year off to work full time and decide what career path to pursue. She plans to attend college in the fall of 2017.
  • Shelby McFadden and Jasmine Ellis, not pictured above, will also be graduating from Messalonskee and Winslow High Schools and have used the parent support services of the Teen Parent School Program.

Shelby will be working as an apprentice at Bath Iron Works.
Jasmine plans to attend UMA to pursue a criminal justice and paralegal degree program.

We are so proud of these students and wish them and their babies the very best and brightest futures.

Recognition Night for the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School

This is the season of graduations and transitions. We were very pleased to welcome more than 60 guests to recognize the hard work and dedication at the combined Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program (SATPSP) and the Waterville Alternative School at the Recognition Night on May 19 on The Maine Children's Home campus. The seniors were applauded for their successes and plan for future endeavors.


Angie Woodhead, SATPSP director; Sharon Abrams, former MCHLW executive director & former SATPSP director; Alaina Wolman, SATPSP administrative assistant; Becky Judd, case manager; and Jana Burgoyne, Waterville history and parenting teacher.

Two other transitions are taking place in the SATPSP/ Alternative School. Angie Woodhead is transferring to a new position in the adoption unit and Jana Burgoyne is retiring. Both have had a wonderful impact on all the students. We are also pleased to share that Becky Judd will step into the role of SATPSP director at the beginning of July, and will continue to provide case management on a limited basis. Angie has accomplished a great deal at the SATPSP over the past four years and she will miss her direct work with the teens. However, she is thrilled to be returning to the adoption unit, where she had served as a social worker for six years.

It was a pleasure to honor the long-term dedication and hard work of Jana Burgoyne for her many contributions over more than 15 years. As a Waterville High School teacher, Jana worked with students in the Teen Parent School Program and the Waterville Alternative School on our campus. It was a joy to have Sharon Abrams present to recognize Jana.

Send a Kid to Camp!

We need your help to get more kids to camp. Summer camp changes kids' lives for the better.

We have already registered 70 children for summer camp through the Summer Camp Scholarship Program, with nearly 100 more children on the waiting list for their life-changing week.

We have donations and commitments of more than $20,500 but need to raise at least $9,500 more by mid-June to meet our $30,000 goal. It only takes $250 to sponsor one child for a week at overnight camp.

Though we are incredibly fortunate to have contributions from the George Keller Campership Fund, private donations, corporate and foundation support, and gifts from the Friends of the Maine Children's Home, more support is needed.

"Dear Mrs. Sawyer: Thank you for giving me a scholarship to camp. I went to Camp Fairhaven. I got to use the Blob and I went almost 4 feet high. My favorite thing was swimming and I passed the swim test. I made a new friend named Jonah and I got to sleep on the top bunk! I had a really fun week. Thanks again. Your friend, Simon"

"My children and I have just moved into the shelter and were given applications for a camp scholarship. As you know, all children of domestic violence have so much to gain from an experience at summer camp and I know my children will too. Thank you for this opportunity."

Each year, The Maine Children's Home and many supporters work to send 120 Maine children to summer camp through the Summer Camp Scholarship Program.

Since 1967, the agency has conducted an annual special fundraising campaign to provide an overnight camping experience for children who could not afford to attend otherwise. The activities, friendships, and positive role models they experience in that one week can shape a child's character in enduring ways.

For more information, please visit mainechildrenshome.org/summer-camp.php. Questions? Call (207) 872-0261 or email Cristen Sawyer at csawyer@mainechildrenshome.org.

We are so very thankful for your help and generosity.

Current Teen Parent School Needs

These are empty diaper boxes in our Teen Parent School Program closet. Help us fill these boxes by donating a package of diapers in sizes 3, 4, 5, and 6, and wipes in any size. Dry babies are happy babies! Thank you for your support.

Upcoming Events

Hannaford Shopping Bag Fundraiser
Starting May 1
Hannaford, 140 Elm Plaza, Waterville

Hannaford Shopping Bag Fundraiser

Friends' Annual Yard Sale
Saturday, June 4
The Maine Children's Home campus, Waterville

The Friends organization at The Maine Children's Home is now accepting gently used furniture for the annual yard sale to benefit the Summer Camp Scholarship Program.

Please call 872-0261 to make arrangements to deliver your donations. Please Note: We do not accept used adult clothing, stuffed animals or any items requiring a disposal fee such as mattresses, large electronics, etc.

As always, thank you for your contributions!


Shopping on Amazon?!

At smile.amazon.com you can shop just like you always do on Amazon, but for every purchase you make, they will give to a charity of your choice. Please select The Maine Children's Home as your charity of choice!

 

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Adoption

Our Hague-accredited adoption program, Maine's longest-operating adoption program, provides expert assistance to those hoping to adopt internationally or domestically. more »

The Harland A. Turner Counseling Center

Offering outpatient mental health counseling, specializing in play and art therapy and adoption counseling. more »

Adoption Counseling

Specialized counseling for people considering adoption as well as adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees of all ages. more »

The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program

Providing education, counseling and guidance to pregnant and parenting teens. more »

The Children's Place

Delivering nationally accredited early care and education to children 6 weeks old to age 5. more »

The Christmas Program

The only program of its kind providing new clothing, books, games and toys to underprivileged children throughout Maine. more »

Summer Camp Scholarships

Providing an overnight camp experience to approximately 150 disadvantaged Maine children each year.more »

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