Organization Name: Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers

Program Name: Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program/The Children’s Place Early Care & Education Center

Program Contact: Rebecca Judd, Program Director, Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program
Email: rjudd@mainechildrenshome.org     Phone: (207) 873-4253

UWMM has funded this program for 15 years.

Amount Requested: $13000
Is this an increase from what your program received for the current funding cycle? 
No

Twenty-five word summary of this program’s purpose:

Our alternative education program and on-site childcare enable pregnant/parenting teens to attend school, receive parenting support and plan a better future for their families.

How your program is uniquely important to the community:

The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program is an alternative education program for pregnant and parenting teens providing a full high school curriculum that also includes Pre-natal, Parenting class, Independent Living class, and access to individual mental health counseling. The student population for the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program consists of students labeled at-risk for a myriad of reasons beyond teenage pregnancy.  Many have records of inadequate attendance, poor academic achievement, have dropped out of school, and/or have family backgrounds with low socioeconomic and cultural status. Many of them receive little or no supports from their parents; who often are absent from their teen’s life due to complicating factors such as drug and alcohol use, mental health issues, financial instability, and, in some cases, homelessness. The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program is located in Lunder Hall on the Maine Children’s Home campus. Along with classrooms, Lunder Hall has a library, cafeteria serving breakfast and lunch, computer lab, and auditorium. The program is in session five days per week for the school year calendar.

The Children’s Place Early Care and Education Center is a comprehensive program providing full-day care for children six weeks to entry into kindergarten and is located in the Parks building adjacent to Lunder Hall on the Maine Children’s Home campus.

The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program is vital in the community because we are the only alternative education program for pregnant and parenting teens in central Maine and one of only three in the entire state of Maine. The on-site location of The Children’s Place removes the transportation barrier of transportation enabling the teen parents to have contact with their children throughout the day.

Program Updates

Since last report (or in past two years):

None

Expected in the coming year:

Expecting increase in expenditures coming year due to anticipated child care costs and the increase in child care rates at The Children’s Place.

Outcome your program most contributes to:
Education: All children grow up in a stable environment—safe, healthy, and ready to learn.

How program contributes:
Provides a direct service in early learning and youth success/education areas, Increases access/reduces barriers to direct services, Increases capacity/resources for direct services, Advocates for early learning, youth success, and/or education, Collaborates with other programs/services in early learning, youth success, and/or education

Define your year: Our year will be reported by calendar year – July 1 to June 30.

How much did we do? 15 (Total number served)

How well did we do it?

Performance measure: Percent of eligible youth who participate in the school or community-based out-of-school program on a regular basis
“Regular basis” is Regular basis is defined as a pregnant or parenting teen who attends classes at the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program 3 or more days per week for the school year calendar.
Most recent year’s data: 90%
Previous year’s data: 75%

What was the difference made?

Performance measure: Percent of fourth-year high school students who graduate
Most recent year’s data: 100%
Previous year’s data: 100%

Action Plan

Objectives for current year:

  • Continued collaboration with Waterville High School (previously AOS 92) to provide academic programming for the teens in this alternative education setting. This action step helps the program by providing access to a high school diploma, laying the groundwork for positive outcomes for the teens and their family.
  • With support from our partners and The Maine Children’s Home, we continue to provide additional support services for the teens. We are continually looking to add new and necessary support services for them. This action step helps the program because many of these support services are vital and would not necessarily be available to the teens if they were enrolled in a traditional educational setting.
  • A scholarship program is available for the teen graduates pursuing post-secondary programming. This scholarship was established a few years ago and this action step financially helps the teens that are continuing their education.
  • Our goal is to further expand the on-site food pantry for the teen students struggling with food insecurity. This action step will help because good nutrition impacts the learning, growth and development of teens and their children.
  • The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program plans finalize (through funds from a grantor) the purchase of a vehicle to be used to transport the teen students and their children to and from school and to scheduled appointments. This action step will help overcome the barrier that lack of transportation poses to the teens and their children.

Objectives and results from last year:

  • Collaboration with AOS 92 continued with provision of academic programming by certified teachers, Advanced Placement classes, breakfast and lunch provided on-site, and access to Mid Maine Technical Center and other extracurricular activities at the high school such as visual arts, theatre and band.
  • Continued support from Maine Children’s Home and community partners further strengthened services for the pregnant & parenting teens. On-site early care and education for their children enabled the teens to focus on their schoolwork secure in the quality care their little ones received. Access to mental health counseling through the Harland Turner Counseling Center and assistance with obtaining diapers, wipes, and clothing for their children was available. The Summer Group Program (in its 10th year), helps the teens maintain connection to peers, staff and other needed resources from our agency. KVCAP, an integral community partner, provided parenting resources: child abuse prevention, car seat safety, and Infant Safe Sleep and Period of Purple Crying curriculums.  Through the Good Shepherd Food Bank, we purchased items to stock our on-site food pantry.  And, Healthy Northern Kennebec supported the continuation of our Gardening Project, where the teens planted & harvested fresh vegetables, learned how to prepare them and learned about healthy eating.
    • All four 2018 graduates received a Scholarship, with three graduates enrolled in the local Community College and the fourth still making plans for post-secondary enrollment.
    • With widespread food insecurity, 100% of our teens utilized the on-site food pantry for themselves and their families.
    • We await response from a grantor to help with the purchase or lease of a vehicle for the program. Through a small grant, we assisted teens with gas cards, funds for minor car repairs and supported 3 teens with funds to complete Driver Education. Staff also provide transportation for the teens and their children, as needed.

    Success Stories

     The following is a de-identified excerpt from a report written by a 2018 graduate of the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program. All identifying information has been changed to protect the privacy of the student.

    “First, I would like to introduce myself to you. I am Emelia Martin, a current student and anticipated graduating senior at Waterville High school and the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School. These schools and programs have been instrumental in my ability to not only graduate from high school under unique and challenging circumstances, but to thrive in a personalized setting specific to my situation in order to move on to post-secondary education.

    My goals include furthering my education in order to provide for my family, especially my child-a son who is due to be born in August, 2018. I believe that it is critical to my personal and financial future success, and to the well-being of my child, that I am well-educated an considering a future career path which can help me be a better parent, an active member of my community and a productive member of society.

     I wish to model for my son, as well as prove to myself and my family, that I can be a future two-year college graduate, a successful employee in a career which helps society, and a parent who overcomes the challenges which have, and will, exist as a young adult who has been working to deal with my anxiety and depression challenges for several years along with my pregnancy, before high school graduation.  My son depends upon a parent who can both financially support him, as well as be strong during demanding situations and life’s ups and downs. I am in financial need based upon only recently getting a part-time job at McDonalds, my age of 18, and my current pregnancy, which will require providing for a child.

    My goals include continuing to access my family and professional agency supports, the helpful programs at KVCC, and to be thinking about a vocational future, such as Occupational Therapy Assistant as a possible career path. Things will be a challenge, yet I have already used my determination, desire and family support network to overcome difficulties. I have improved my school attendance after missing many days over the past few years, continue to see my counselor for my anxiety and depression, and I have obtained a part-time job at McDonalds. I also worked hard to bring my school grades all up to passing grades with academic abilities which earned me honor roll status at times, all while battling diagnosed emotional difficulties that sometimes caused my grades to suffer. Furthermore, high school classmates still considered me a leader and a kind person, since I was named Captain of my cheerleading team in Winslow on two occasions the past two years.

    The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program has motivated me by providing a program of education designed around my specific needs, such as encouragement to attend school, motivational support, counseling for careers/future aspirations plus important pregnancy and parenting programming.  Yet for me, the most heartwarming and favorite part of attending the Teen Parent School has been the feeling of support and not being alone because other young teen parents/pregnant students have been so open and caring in sharing their advice, supports, and experiences with me to help and guide me in my circumstances.

    Finally, I can only hope to one day be successful enough in my role as a parent and in a career to be able to give back in some tangible way to this necessary, life-saving, and future-helping program. Thank you for your consideration of my application to your scholarship fund.”

     

    Previous Year Actual Income and Expenditures

    Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
    0 13000 0 0 123026 136026

    Total Actual Expenditures: $281179

    Current Year Budgeted Income and Expenditures

    Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
    0 13000 0 0 122744 135744

    Total Budgeted Expenditures: $315304

    Anything remarkable about your program’s budget:

    Each year the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program operates at a loss.  The program generates no fees or any other revenue that helps to offset expenses.  Included in revenue is the rental income for the building, grants, donation/special event revenue, and investment income.  Shortfalls each year are covered by transfers from endowment funds. The increase in expenditures for 2019 are due to anticipated childcare costs and the increase in childcare rates. 

     
    What else you’d like reviewers to know:

    The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program is an alternative educational school that assists at-risk pregnant and parenting teens with the resources that will help them overcome cycles of generational poverty, abuse, and academic failure. The teens graduate with a high school diploma, a plan for future success and a scholarship to support their post-graduate goals. Beyond academic work, they learn independent living skills to help them become successful members of the community, how to access community resources that will support themselves and their family, and positive parenting techniques to strengthen their ability to be great parents and role models to their children – our future citizens. Because they have learned the importance of helping others while they were receiving services through The Maine Children’s Home, many of our graduates return, to give back to our program through volunteerism, serving on our board of directors, mentoring and/or through financial donations.

    Per our Agency’s Mission – to build and strengthen families and their children, instilling hope for the future and a better quality of life – the Maine Children’s Home continues to seek viable opportunities to expand and enrich resources to support the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent Program’s teen students and their families.

     

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