14 organizations receive Patricia D. Klingenstein Grants to support Maine children’s health

Friday, August 11, 2023

The Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation has selected 14 organizations to receive funding through its Patricia D. Klingenstein Grants program. Since its founding in 2007, this grant program - previously the Children’s Health Small Grant Program - has advanced its mission to support the health of Maine’s children by awarding more than $1.4 million to support nearly 170 distinct projects. These small grants of $5,000 to $15,000 have advanced Maine children’s health, focusing on prevention and increasing access to needed services for underserved populations. For more information, please visit the Foundation’s website: www.sadieandharrydavis.org.

The list of 2023 recipients and their funded work follow below:

  • Alan Day Community Garden: Funds will allow the Alan Day Community Garden to further invest in the ongoing evolution of their food and farming centered education and empowerment programs for Oxford Hills region youth. In a region that experiences high levels of food insecurity, this program offers a direct source of fresh, nutritious food as well as educational opportunities so that kids and families feel empowered to feed themselves well.
  • Bangor Region YMCA: Funds will contribute to a mental health support program for youth through the Y's Teen Center, which opened in 2019 in response to rising rates of suicide and substance abuse and which has indicated a positive impact on teen mental / emotional status. This program works in partnership with the University of Maine's School of Social Work.
  • Big Rock Mountain: Funds will support the organization's core program Ski4Life, which provides Aroostook County K-12 children with access to transportation, equipment, facilities, and instruction to learn how to ski and snowboard. Last season, the Ski4Life program had over 2,100 distinct users of this low-barrier opportunity to try skiing and snowboarding.
  • Bridging the Gap: Funds will be used to buy early childhood supplies, such as diapers, pull-ups, and wipes, for the Hygiene Pantry and support associated staffing costs to maintain inventory of these supplies.
  • Experience Camps: Funds will support a clinically-informed summer camp experience for children and teens who have lost a close family member to help grieving youth rediscover childhood, process their grief, and find resilience. This request would directly support the Maine program, which continues to be the largest with 300 children registered for this summer.
  • Heart of Maine United Way: Funds will build and expand upon the success of the Bundle project, which has identified key factors contributing to low utilization rates of public support for families with young children in Piscataquis County. The Bundle project is now working to increase access to social safety net programs in order to improve economic security and household wellbeing.
  • Kismet Rock Foundation: Funds will contribute to the Kismet climbing program, which provides a completely free one-week rock climbing experience to at-risk youth each summer, plus year-round engagement and mentorship opportunities. Summer 2023 will enroll 54 students in the program, almost 30% of whom are from Maine, providing at-risk youth technical climbing instruction and mentor-guided housing and daily nutritious meals.
  • The Kita Center: Funds will invest in a Clinical Program Director to oversee the curriculum and programs that focus on "postvention" support for survivors of suicide loss. The Center focuses on "postvention" as an organized response in the aftermath of a suicide that can mitigate the negative effects of exposure.
  • Mano en Mano: Funds will expand the operating budget for the Rayitos de Sol bilingual childcare center as a direct investment in staff capacity. This unique child care center is the first and only of its kind in the Downeast region, providing affordable, high-quality child and family support to local families, including children of seasonal farm workers and immigrants.
  • Rangeley Regional Health and Wellness Partnership: Funds will allow this rural health and community center to implement youth enrichment programs aimed at inspiring overall wellbeing and fostering positive youth development. Incorporating social-emotional wellness, intellectual growth, and physical activity, this multifaceted wellness program will be offered in a very rural region with limited resources Sandcastle Preschool Program Foundation: Funds will support an internship program for a group of Speech Language Pathology Assistants to receive required clinical training while providing services to approximately 100 pre-school children currently on the waitlist, the majority of whom are MaineCare eligible.  
  • St. Mary's Nutrition Center: Funds will support the Nutrition Center's public school partnerships, which create opportunities for Lewiston students to grow, cook, and eat nourishing food, integrate fresh and culturally preferred foods into the cafeteria, and provide experiential outdoor lessons that meet Common Core and STEM standards.  
  • Tree Street Youth: Funds will contribute to the expansion of Tree Street's successful PreK Bridge Program pilot that launched in 2021-22 to help more families access free public pre-K programs that end midday. The PreK Bridge Program has provided a "walking school bus" to bring pre-K students to the Tree Street facility for an afternoon of developmentally, culturally and lingually nurturing enrichment activities.
  • YMCA of Auburn-Lewiston: Funds will invest in a partnership program between the Lewiston Housing Authority and the YMCA to offer free, drop-in afterschool programs to all elementary school aged residents of Hillview - the city's largest subsidized housing complex. The program, which offers social-emotional support, academic enrichment, and supplemental meals and snacks, has served approximately 35 children since inception in 2020 and aims to expand to serve nearly 80 children through strategic investments in equipment and staff capacity.