One Step Closer
Someone recently said to us, cash is king. And, boy, don't we know it. As a non-profit trying to make our way in the sea of start-ups, raising the money to take us from a mock-up to an operational platform is actually everything. No money = no platform = not being able to spark joy in children's lives through skill-based, community volunteers.
I know. We feel the urgency of that mathematical equation, too.
With our feet to the proverbial fire, we've been hot on the trail of grants and foundations that can support us to meet our goals of creating a community-centered school district through volunteerism. And, along the way we've happen to come by some incredibly powerful endorsements of support.
One of those grants is the Maine Community Foundation's "Community Building Grant," which "supports projects that help to build and strengthen Maine communities." The grant supports projects that use existing community resources, show the ability to strengthen community life and are sustainable. As a team that believes in the reciprocal impact of connecting classrooms with community volunteers, we know our platform has the power to deliver a currently non-existent service that will be a catalyst for transforming school districts into models of what it means to be community-centered. By capturing current volunteers and drawing more community members to our schools, we can spark joy in students and volunteers and develop students who are engaged in their community now and in the future.
A piece of our application to MCF's grant recommends a letter of support from a school representative. Lucky for us, ours came in the highest form possible. On the first of this month we were incredibly humbled to be supported by Jeanne Crocker, Interim Superintendent of Portland Public Schools:
Last summer, The Portland Board of Public Education appointed Crocker the Interim Superintendent after then superintendent, Emmanuel Caulk, accepted a position in Lexington, Kentucky. Though Crocker's appointment is short - just a year - her list of accolades is long and includes High School Principal of the Year in 2003. Though she does not plan to apply for the role on a permanent basis, the School Square team is grateful for her endorsement and eager to connect with the next superintendent to continue our momentum and support of Portland Public Schools' teachers and students.
Being awarded the Maine Community Foundation's grant represents the ability to take us one step closer to making our vision a reality in our community. We are excited. And nervous. But most of all, hopeful. The opportunity to roll out our platform in the largest, most diverse school district in our state is the stuff this team lives for because we know the kind of impact this will have on our community.