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Maine AmeriCorps*VISTAs Need Daily Voters for Pepsi Refresh grant

June 2nd, 2010

Contact: Matthew Fornoff, AmeriCorps*VISTA

Augusta, ME –VolunteerMaine AmeriCorps*VISTAs are asking Mainers to go online and vote for a grant proposal to continue funding wind energy education for the state’s youth.

From June 1 through June 30, people can visit the Pepsi Refresh Project website to vote for the 4-H Power of the Wind proposal:  Visit this website link, and register or login in through Facebook.  Then vote every day.

The Pepsi Refresh Project awards multiple grants each month based on online voting for ideas.  Individuals receive 10 votes each day.  Each vote must be used on a different idea.  Voters can return to the website and vote every day.  At the end of the month, the ideas with the most votes win the grant.

If Power of the Wind ends up as one of the top 10 vote-getters at the end of the month, the program will receive $50,000 to hire new VISTAs and purchase supplies for the program.

4-H Power of the Wind is a curriculum that uses wind power to teach youth concepts in science, engineering, and technology.  On the 2009 Maine Education Assessment achievement tests, more than one-third of eighth grade students and almost half of fifth graders did not meet the expectations set forth by the state for science.  With hands-on, innovative lessons and a model that makes learning basic concepts enjoyable, 4-H Power of the Wind is a tool that will help improve youths’ understanding and interest in science, engineering, and technology.

 “We’ve been working hard to get this program implemented around Maine,” said Al Beseler, one of four AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers working with the program.  “In the southern half of the state, we’ve trained more than 30 teachers, home school parents, after school educators and youth club leaders to use the curriculum.  They are all very excited to put it to work.” is a free, web-based, state-wide link between agencies looking for volunteers and people interested in volunteering.  The VolunteerMaine AmeriCorps*VISTA project is administered by the Maine Commission for Community Service.