Aroostook Aspirations Initiative's 2016 Gauvin Scholars are gearing up for the 2017 County Service Challenge. The County Service Challenge is a day in which Gauvin Scholars lead community service projects in Aroostook County, based on service platforms they selected last July. Below, you will find all of the projects our Scholars are working on and how you can help!
Samantha will be working with community members in Houlton to identify different areas in the town that could benefit from having volunteers clean up the area. On June 7th, volunteers will gather together to work on cleaning up the targeted areas. By doing this, Samantha hopes to make the community a more welcoming place .
The concept of this project is giving food/platters to others in need who will then, in turn, return the favor to another community member when they are able. Emilia and Brittany will be promoting their project via social media to recruit community members to create plates/platters and to nominate community members to receive the plates. Plates can be dropped off in a designated location and will be distributed by volunteers that day.
"I hope to help clean up and preserve some important historical landmarks. Aroostook County has such an amazing history, and it's important that we take care of the buildings and artifacts that we have now so that future generations can also learn about the history."
Kaitlyn will be leading a group of volunteers to help the Fort Fairfield Historical Society with some spring cleaning they need completed before the Potato Blossom Festival. The Fort Fairfield Historical Society is in search of funds to hire someone to scrap and paint the outside of Friends Church. If Kaitlyn can gather enough volunteers to complete the project for them, the Historical Society will not need to spend money to get the project completed.
Kyle and Jarrett plan to meet with the Presque Isle Fire Department to discuss which fire hydrants need to be repainted. They will coordinate volunteers in the Presque Isle area and spray paint the hydrants that the fire department uses. Painting the fire hydrants will improve the looks of Presque Isle as a community and make the fire hydrants easier to spot.
"We hope to provide insight to what it is like to work at a humane center and show how loving and caring these animals are. We want to engage more people to volunteer by showing them that taking a day and helping an area such as an animal shelter really isn't that difficult and can be really fun."
Humane centers have a lot of animals in them, mainly cats and dogs. It can be very overwhelming to take care of all of those animals in a day. Sarah and Megan plan to clean the animals, walk the dogs, play with them, and feed them. They would also like to invite the community to visit or even volunteer their time with them.
Liam will be visiting classrooms in MSAD 1 to talk about the importance of bees in the environment, how the bee population is rapidly declining, and plant flower seedlings. In addition to a bee fact sheet created by Liam, the children will be able to take their planted flowers home to help the bees around their house, as well as have extra flower seeds to plant. This project is to educate the future generations on the environmental importance of bees and to hopefully steer the children to a more environmentally friendly generation. He encourages the community to get involved in helping the local bee population by reading the bee fact sheet below and planting their own flowers.
The Oakfield Railroad Museum would like to create an education program to teach elementary aged children more about the importance of the railroad and be able to get grants to help make the museum better and the education program stronger. Mariah already serves on the Board of Directors for the museum and plans to create an educational video of some of the railroad exhibits, like the caboose, and show it to children in their classrooms. The video will also be able to be utilized by the Train Museum to apply for and acquire grant funding, allowing them to continue to grow their program.
"Cleaning the community is beneficial in more then one way. We hope to clean up the community near the high school, allowing opposing schools and residents to see the outcome of this and spread it to their community hopefully spreading across the county. Along with this the money from the bottle drive will be donated to a local organization allowing them to give back as well. "
Katie and Molly will be coordinating with Central Aroostook High School students to clean the community near the high school while collecting bottles from the residents of the community to donate to a local organization who will in turn put the money back into the community. Overall the project will benefit the community in multiple ways and does not cost anything except time and effort.
Bailee and Haley will be working with the Boys and Girls Club of Presque Isle to set up donation boxes at the Presque Isle High School and the Micmac Boys and Girls Club. They plan to collect supplies for the animal shelter and the soup kitchen while educating the boys and girls club the importance of giving back. At the end of the donations period the Boys and Girls Club kids will present the donations and volunteer at the animal shelter.