BANGOR – Maine is currently facing a crisis. Many of the state’s employers are having difficulty finding suitable candidates to fill positions.
One kindergarten class in Bangor is getting a kick-start for their future and for Maine’s future workforce.
The Alfond Scholarship Foundation and the Finance Authority of Maine are partnering to launch a first in the state program called Invest in Me Kindergarten, which stresses the importance of starting early to save for higher education.
“The Alfond scholarship foundation has set aside $500 for over 90,000 Maine children totaling $45 million. So we think that these grants that can be used for education after high school is a great start to a bright future for Maine kids,” said Mary Dyer, financial education officer for FAME
The program is designed to inspire Maine families with children entering kindergarten in 2018 to prepare early for future higher education.
“We also think that kindergarten is a really great time for parents to think about opening up college savings account. Some of them may have funds available that they want to just use for child care cost and so kindergarten is a great time to think about savings,” Dyer said.
She said FAME is launching a new website called brightfutureforme.com.
“Where both the students and the parents can go online and get free tools and resources to help them on a path for a great future,” said Dyer.
“It’s so exciting I mean to have the finance authority of Maine here as well as the Alfond Foundation and that our Abraham Lincoln school was selected as a champion school is just phenomenal,” said Bangor superintendent Betsey Webb.
The Abraham Lincoln school is one of the initiative’s first twelve county champion schools.
“I just think its a message that not only do their parents and their school care about them, but the entire state wants to invest in them and believes in them and their future,” Webb said.
Students got to participate in activities designed to make them think about the future and what they want to be when they grow up.
“They see themselves as learners and they have this vision of where they’re going,” said Webb.