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Maine VolunteerFare

AmeriCorps Reflections

Published January 19, 2006

VolunteerMaine Partnerships AmeriCorps*VISTA, Jade Arn, tells us about herself

I am a Camden native and still reside there with my eight-year-old daughter Sasha. I attended local schools and graduated from the Community School in 1996, where I returned as tutor and PR volunteer. After high school and the birth of my daughter I went on to study Social Science at the University of Maine at Augusta.

This is my second year as an AmeriCorps*VISTA, my first was with the Waldo County Emergency Management Agency in Belfast. in this capacity I worked extensively with the Governor's Operation Keep ME Warm project, winterizing the homes of Maine's low income citizens. It was my first major project as a VISTA. I served as a County Coordinator the first time around and then at both the State and County levels this year.

I will be a VISTA with the VolunteerMaine Partnership through November 2006 and look forward to accomplishing a great deal over the next several months.

If you're interested in the partnership or need assistance recruiting volunteers using contact me at

Working with Habitat for Humanity from An AmeriCorps Member's Eyes

By: Leigh Ann Tully

AmeriCorps Member and

Youth Coordinator

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland

As an AmeriCorps Member with the Community Resource Corps I serve as the Youth Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity. I go into classrooms and visit youth groups to conduct educational programs and lead service learning projects. In early November, I went to St. Bartholomew?s Church where I talked to a group that meets every Sunday. The group consisted of young people of all ages (mostly teenagers) and we spent the evening talking about poverty, poverty housing and Habitat?s goal of providing affordable housing for everyone.

They also participated in a service learning project- building a wooden toy box. The group was broken up into groups and each group built part of the box. Each group then brought their piece of the box together and we screwed them all into place. The toy box looked great but it was a little plain. Luckily the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Chebeague Island School are excellent painters.

I visited them on three different days and we talked about "Home" and what it means to them. They learned about Habitat and they helped us with the toy box. They painted wooden animal cut outs which will be used to decorate the box.

A group at West Gorham Union Church had their own box to build. I met their youth group and we talked for a while about who needs a Habitat house and how they work for one and then we made a wooden jewelry box.

The toy box and the jewelry box were presented to the children of new Habitat Homeowners for their first Christmas in their new house. (Special thanks to the group from St Bartholomew?s and a fund raiser that they held, the boxes will be filled with toys!)

Three different groups of young people from very different parts of the Greater Portland community worked together to help a family have an exceptionally Merry Christmas. They helped show me that anyone of any age can have a meaningful impact on their community while having a lot of fun!

For More Information:

Leigh Ann Tully

Youth Coordinator

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland


Bristol Consolidated School Nature Trail Receives Grant From Greenworks

From the desk of Erin Jordan, an AmeriCorps member with Community Resource Corps placed at Pemaquid

Watershed Association

BRISTOL - As the partnership between Bristol Consolidated School (BCS) and the Pemaquid Watershed Association (PWA) grows, so does the schools nature trail. After completing the redesign of the trail to reduce erosion of the trail and make the trail more handicapped accessible, middle school science teacher Kevin Crafts is excited to take on a new trail project. Craft and incoming PWA AmeriCorps volunteer, Ashley Atwood, will build ten learning stations along the trail to highlight the natural features and teach students at BCS as they hike.

Thanks to a $790 Greenworks grant from Project Learning Tree, a national organization dedicated to teaching the nation?s youth about the forest and forest management practices, and an additional 50% match in in-kind donations from the PWA and local businesses, the 7th grade students at Bristol will be selecting locations, designing, and building ten learning stations that describe the Maine woods along the Nature Trail. Each year Crafts? students create posters depicting important cycles and phenomenon in nature such as the carbon and water cycles, the maple sugaring process, and tree growth. The learning stations will provide areas to display the posters along the trail. The student designed interpretive panels will not only celebrate a year of learning in the 7th grade, but will also provide for another year of learning for the rest of the school. A component of this project will be for the students to design a self-guided tour of the learning stations for other classes and members of the community to use as they walk along the trail and learn about the unique Maine forest.

The Pemaquid Watershed Association is a membership-supported conservation association dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural resources of the Pemaquid Peninsula region through land stewardship, water quality and environmental education. Community members interested in being involved in this project, or with PWA Earthways? educational programs should please contact Gary Best at 563-2196 or