The Maine Department of Education teamed up with the Augusta School Department last month to deliver 200 backpacks filled with supplies, books and snacks to elementary and middle school students in Augusta, Lewiston, Portland and RSU 17.
The supplies were donated through Maine DOE’s partnership with Feed the Children HELP Backpack program, a national effort working to end childhood hunger. Together, the Department and Feed the Children work to determine areas of highest need and connect donors, experts, partners, leaders, and communities to attack the issue from all angles.
The Department is currently working to bring more backpacks and supplies to Maine’s homeless children and youth. The McKinney-Vento Education Assistance Act defines homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”
“Last year, Maine identified almost 2,000 homeless children and youth,” says McKinney-Vento State Coordinator Jacinda Goodwin. “Academic stability is important to student success, so when a student is experiencing homelessness, we can, with the McKinney-Vento Act, minimize educational disruption by keeping students in their school.”
The Maine DOE extends a special thanks to the Augusta School Department for providing storage space and assisting in the coordination of delivering the backpacks. Partnerships like these help bring resources and supports to some of Maine’s most vulnerable children and youth.