WATERVILLE, Maine — Today, The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers announced that the Harold Alfond Foundation has awarded the nonprofit with a $400,000 grant to support the agency's Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program endowment fund.
The Teen Parent School, founded in 1974, is an alternative high school program open to pregnant and parenting teens across Maine. The program provides prenatal and parenting instruction, as well as academic and life skills courses. All students are registered as Waterville High School students and work toward earning a Waterville High School diploma.
A group of Maine Children's Home leaders, staff and board members have worked closely with the foundation to meet their funding criteria and objectives. The grant will be incorporated into the Teen Parent School Program's endowment fund, which will generate new revenue each year. These resources will help to provide urgent funding for pregnant and parenting teens to prepare for healthy childbirths, taking care of newborns and guidance to raise their young children. The support includes instruction on childbirth by a registered nurse, social work guidance, case management, child care, educational support towards the students' high school diplomas and ongoing child-care education.
"We are deeply grateful to the Harold Alfond Foundation for awarding this grant to such an important program. We have been operating our unique model of critical support for pregnant and parenting teens since 1974," said Rick Dorian, The Maine Children's Home executive director. "The growth of the endowment ensures the agency can continue helping at-risk teens and their babies far into the future."
The Harold Alfond Foundation's mission focuses on furthering the legacy of philanthropist Harold Alfond by investing in education, health care, youth development, and other charitable causes that hold the promise of making enduring transformative contributions to the community and Maine.
"The Harold Alfond Foundation has a mission of supporting education. We believe that if the teen parents can go to school, while trusted caregivers are taking care of their children, it's an invaluable combination," said Greg Powell, chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation.
For more information about The Maine Children's Home, please visit MaineChildrensHome.org.
About The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers: The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers features a full Hague-accredited adoption program that provides assistance to families hoping to adopt internationally or domestically. The Maine Children's Home, founded in 1899, gives children and Maine families hope for the future and a chance at a better life. In addition to the adoption program, the agency offers outpatient counseling, the Teen Parent School Program, The Children's Place Early Care and Education Center, a summer camp scholarship program, and a Christmas Program that provides clothing and toys to underprivileged Maine children.