Summer in rural Maine can be fun and a time for learning! That's the mission of a grant program aimed at helping recreation, camps, library, and youth conservation programs guide young people through a service project.
"Service is not just a habit to develop when you are young. It is also a set of skills like figuring out what action to take to change something and how to organize a project so it succeeds," said Kelsey Preecs, Program Officer for Volunteer Initiatives at Volunteer Maine. "Summer youth programs are an excellent place for young people to work together on a project that they can complete in a brief time and see results without interference of weather or scheduling."
Preecs is overseeing a Volunteer Maine grant program that will award up to $2,000 for Youth Summer Service Projects. Applications are due June 23, 2023 and awards will be made the following week so young people can start organizing as early a July 10. Projects must be completed on or before August 27.
The grants prefer that service projects are "youth-led," meaning the participants are under 18 years old and take the lead in identifying the issue to tackle, researching solutions, designing the service project, and carrying it out. Adult advisors provide support on all aspects, teaching young people where to find information, how to assess what will work, and how to organize the actual service work.
Information on the grant program and application instructions can be found at VolunteerMaine.gov under Grant Competitions. Questions about the program should be addressed to Kelsey.Preecs@maine.gov
Volunteer Maine, the state service commission, builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing volunteer managers and service-learning practitioners, raising awareness of the scope and the impact of the volunteer sector, and encouraging an ethic of service.
105 State House Station
19 Elkins Lane, Rm 105
Augusta, ME 04333-0105