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 “$25K for Kids” grant goes to Longley Elementary School

Androscoggin Bank’s MainStreet Foundation has named Longley Elementary School the 2015 recipient of its annual $25K for Kids grant. The award was presented at the Foundation’s annual meeting recently at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center of Lewiston. Focused on its mission of providing the three essentials of life – food, shelter and security – to as many children as possible, the $25K for Kids award was presented to Gov. James B. Longley Elementary School to help it maintain and expand its afterschool programming for students in grades pre-K to 6.

Longley Elementary School employs 80 full-time staff members and currently serves over 400 students from downtown Lewiston, all of whom live within walking distance and almost all whom live in poverty.

“Afterschool programming is particularly important for Longley students for several reasons,” said Principal Kristie Clark. “For many students living in poverty, additional academic support is necessary for students to catch up to their peers. It’s also critical that at-risk youth have support and mentorship after school hours. This provides a place where they can feel safe, express themselves and form bonds with their teachers and classmates.”

In support of the district’s commitment to the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, the funds will allow selected K-2 students to participate in an online iRead literacy lab, while students in grades 3-6 will participate in self-selected clubs focused upon learning through the development of their multiple intelligences. The funds will also enable two Longley staff members to serve in the school’s innovative “walking school bus” program to escort children safely home after the program.

“We chose Longley Elementary School as the 2015 $25K for Kids recipient for its work enriching the academic experience of Lewiston’s downtown students, many who have experienced difficult situations in their lives,” said Melissa Rock, Vice President and Marketing Manager of Androscoggin Bank. “Longley’s afterschool programs not only provide students with opportunities for enrichment that they otherwise likely wouldn’t have, but it also gives students a safe place to learn and the security of a safe walk home each night. These are the essentials of life, and we are honored to help Longley continue making an impact in the lives of its students.”

Longley Elementary School was one of three finalists for the $25k for Kids award. Chosen from a pool of numerous applicants, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick, a one-to-one mentoring service to over 300 at-risk kids, and Safe Voices of Auburn, an organization that supports those affected by domestic violence in Oxford, Franklin and Androscoggin Counties, were the other two finalists.

This is the third year that the MainStreet Foundation has awarded this annual grant. In 2014, the grant was awarded to the Androscoggin Childhood Advocacy Center (ACAC), a child-focused center that promotes the healing of victims of child sexual abuse. In 2013, Good Shepherd Food Bank’s BackPack Program in Lewiston and Auburn schools received the grant.

Androscoggin Bank’s $1,000,000 MainStreet Foundation has a mission that is simple, focused and essential: to help keep at-risk kids in Maine safe, healthy, active, happy, educated, and nourished. Four times a year, the foundation bestows grants up to $5,000 to excellent non-profit agencies actively working to help kids thrive. These grants vary based on need and typically total over $50,000 per year. In 2011, Androscoggin Bank pledged to donate $100K to the MainStreet Foundation in honor of outgoing Bank President Steven A. Closson. With this gift, the foundation has been able to offer four $25K individual grants, one each year since November of 2013.

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