Ellsworth, DI-S elementary schools selected for kindergarten initiative

ELLSWORTH — It’s never too early to start thinking about college.

Ellsworth Elementary School has been selected as a new County Champion School for the Invest in ME Kindergarten program. Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School was selected last year and will continue this year, expanding on last year’s initiatives.

The Alfond Scholarship Foundation and the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) rolled out the program last year to inspire Maine families with children entering kindergarten to start preparing for future higher education.

“Helping families build bright futures — that’s the mission behind the Invest in ME Kindergarten program,” said Colleen Quint, president and CEO of the Alfond Scholarship Foundation. “Last year’s kindergartners represented the first big wave of Maine babies who were born in 2013 and automatically awarded the $500 Alfond Grant, and the same holds true for those children starting kindergarten this year. We hope Maine families and Maine educators think of kindergarten as the first step to higher education.”

Each spring, Maine’s elementary schools are invited to apply to participate in the Invest in ME Kindergarten program. This year, 30 schools applied and 16 were chosen as County Champions. All 30 of the schools will receive information from Invest in ME Kindergarten over the course of the school year.

During the year, each elementary school in the Invest in ME Kindergarten program receives tools and resources to help families and children aspire to and prepare for higher education.

The County Champion Schools receive additional incentives to help engage families, including a Bright Future Fun Pack filled with materials for each kindergarten student; an Invest in ME Kindergarten banner for their school to hang; and a $500 grant to support Invest in ME Kindergarten initiatives or events hosted by the school.

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