Skowhegan Early Childhood Wing Reaches Fundraising Milestone along with Congressionally Directed Spending

The Building Better Beginnings Campaign Committee, led by Kennebec Valley Community Action Program and Chaired by Skowhegan native Sam Hight, Principal, Hight Family of Dealerships, successfully rallied a community of passionate leaders reaching over 100 donors to meet the $3 million dollar fundraising goal in just 18 months!  “I am so proud of our community’s support of learning beginning at birth,” expressed Jonathan Moody, MSAD #54 School Superintendent. “Including infants and toddlers in the new school construction is an investment that will pay off in the short term and in the long run,” adds Hight. “This is how you build a strong economy. These are our future workers and community members. ”

The Department of Education (DOE) determined that a new MSAD #54 elementary school in Skowhegan is critical for the region. The new school will serve children birth to 11 years, providing continuity for children and families. Skowhegan celebrates this project as Maine’s first new school build encompassing space for younger children, achieved through public and private funding streams. The school will also house the Somerset Career and Technical Center Early Childhood Education high school students, providing a meaningful placement for hands-on learning and experience, creating opportunities for a career pathway in education.

The longstanding partnership between MSAD #54 and KVCAP, and the outcome results of Educare Central Maine, a KVCAP operated national research model, serve as key influencers of this community early care and education model. The comprehensive services provided align and integrate staff training, child assessment and growth tracking across learning environments for increased student achievement and kindergarten readiness, and positive parent and family outcomes.

This $75.44 million construction project broke ground in July 2023 and will be ready to enroll 800 students in August 2025. This includes four infant and toddler classrooms and eight preschool classrooms in a dedicated early childhood wing.

“This project ultimately highlights how a community can address educational access and opportunity, altering the poverty cycle in rural Maine,” says Suzanne Walsh, CEO, KVCAP.

In addition, on March 13, Congressman Jared Golden announced that he has secured $1.9 million through the partial 2024 government funding package signed into law on March 10, which covers the remaining amount needed for the new school build, without adding any burden to the local taxpayers. You can read the full release HERE.