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Maine Commission for Community Service Takes Lead on Learn & Serve America Funds

July 1st, 2010

AUGUSTA – At the request of the Maine Department of Education, the Maine Commission for Community Service will become responsible for federal Learn & Serve America funds beginning July 1st, 2010.  “Because the Maine Commission handles the majority of funding from the Corporation for National & Community Service that flow into the state of Maine, this is a natural transition.  Learn & Serve funds will continue to support schools while also helping the Commission meet its goals of increasing youth engagement in service and promoting an ethic of service among all Maine residents,” said Michael Ashmore, Grants Officer at MCCS.

Learn and Serve America (www.learnandserve.gov) provides support to K-12 schools, community groups, and higher education institutions to facilitate service-learning implementation.  Service-learning is an instructional strategy that offers a unique opportunity for students, from kindergarten to college, to get involved with their communities in a tangible way by integrating classroom learning with service that addresses local needs.  Current Learn & Serve America K-12 formula fund recipients are RSU 67 (Chester-Lincoln-Mattawamkeag) and RSU 34 (Alton-Bradley-Old Town).  Each is completing the first year of a three year $45,000 grant.

Time Warner Cable recently donated $35,000 to support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) service-learning activities in Maine schools as part of its new science and technology education initiative, Connect a Million Minds (CAMM).  These funds will allow the Commission to fund two additional multiyear grants similar to those already operating while also continuing to fund smaller grants to support schools developing smaller service-learning experiences.  Sites currently receiving these smaller Time Warner grants are RSU 10, Jay Middle School, Rockland District High School, Deering High School, and The New School.

Schools will be able to apply for service-learning grant funds at the end of August.  Interested parties should read their local paper and visit  www.maineservicecommission.gov for coming details.

The Maine Commission for Community Service builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing managers of volunteers, raising awareness of the scope and impact of the sector, and encouraging an ethic of service.  To learn more about the Maine Commission for Community Service visit our web-site at www.maineservicecommission.gov.