Kennebec Valley Boys & Girls Clubs Partner with Educare Central Maine

Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec have partnered with Waterville’ Educare Central Maine. From left are Jessica Phyllis, BGCKV; Tracye Fortin, ECM;, Dawna Gregoire, BGCKV; Rhonda Kaiser, ECM; Ingrid Stanchfield, BGCKV; and Erica Palmer, ECM. Submitted photo

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley has received a $150,000 donation from the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation to establish a three-year partnership with Educare Central Maine to participate in Educare’s Lab School & Learning Hub.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation for making this investment in the lives of our youngest club members and staff. By increasing the program quality for our already successful BGKV Early Childhood Programs, we can in turn provide all of the young children we serve, especially those growing up in poverty, with better educational opportunities. This will ultimately result in better educated young children who turn into responsible, caring adults, who ensure great futures for the next generation,” stated Ingrid Stanchfield, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley, according to a news release from the Gardiner-based clubs.

One of clubs’ top priorities is to support quality childcare through enhanced programming and provide club staff access to high-quality continuing education. Educare’s Lab School will provide BGCKV’s staff with higher education opportunities, such as credit-bearing coursework and individual course assignments specifically for early childhood professionals.

Educare’s Learning Hub will provide increased access to high-quality, research-based professional development resources to build capacity for the early childhood workforce.

These resources include coaching, consultations, observations, informational and study tours, trainings, and badging certificate programs in partnership with Thomas College. The Lab School & Learning Hub will influence early care and education, strengthening the club’s staff to provide greater care for BGCKV’s children and families.

According to Rhonda Kaiser, Educare’s school director based in Waterville, “The demand for high-quality early childhood education programs is growing as a result of increasing awareness of its long-term benefits. Educare Central Maine is excited to work together with BGCKV in a comprehensive and intentional way to achieve a high-quality early childhood program that helps children from birth to age 5 grow up safe, healthy, and eager to learn and to help create a stronger workforce to support Maine’s children.”

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Morning Sentinel Article: Kennebec Valley boys, girls clubs partner with Educare Central Maine