We are pleased to announce that we have received the following grants to support our work.
Maine Women’s Fund has provided funding to support “Bridging the Gap.” During the school year, students in high schools (and some middle schools) can obtain services from a SAPARS advocate through our school based drop in programs. This program allows students to meet with an advocate during the school day at the school, thus minimizing barriers for students to access services. The “Bridging the Gap” project is designed to continue that access to SAPARS services by establishing drop in programs in the communities during the summer months. Those drop in sites will be at various locations and various times, and will allow for students to seek or continue to access support services throughout the summer. For more information, see the “Summer Services” section of this newsletter.
The Betterment Fund has awarded a three year grant to SAPARS to help support our Rural Educator/Advocate who will be working in the areas of Franklin County outside of the greater Farmington area. The Rural Educator/Advocate will be providing prevention education programming in the schools, and will also be establishing service sites in communities of western and northern Franklin County so that residents of those communities will have better access to sexual assault services without having to travel to our office in Farmington.
The Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault has awarded 3 Rape Prevention Education “mini grants” to SAPARS. One of the grants will fund training for Resident Assistants at Central Maine Community College (in Auburn) to support ongoing prevention programming with their students. Our College Advocate, Sabrina Yocono, will train the RA’s and provide them with materials and support do continue doing prevention education using materials from the Backbone Zone curriculum. Trainings will also be offered to faculty/staff and non-residential students.
The second grant will fund a project working with Upward Bound Students at UMF over the summer. This project will provide prevention education training to the Bridge student leaders of Upward Bound, using the scenario based prevention training of the University of Maine system. Those Bridge students will then provide the training to the other Upward Bound students throughout the summer months. At the end of the training, the Upward Bound participants (including the Bridge students) will develop a project of their choosing to reflect the information they have received and which can be shared with the larger campus community.
The third project is a media literacy project occurring in Androscoggin and Oxford Counties which will engage youth age 13+ in developing and using critical thinking skills when presented with images and stories through media outlets. Four movies will be viewed, followed by facilitated discussions about the themes in the movies. Those themes include healthy relationships, consent and sexual assault; sexual harassment; internet safety and online bullying; and gender roles as they relate to sexual violence. Participants will then help create youth focused/issue focused boards on our social media sites (Pinterest, Tumblr) and mini PSA’s that can be broadcast via local radio stations. This program will be available at Lewiston High School, Lisbon High School, Oak Hill High School, the Auburn Library and through the Norway Library.
With schools out for the summer, SAPARS is providing a wide range of services for youth during the summer months. Our goal is to continue our education efforts with youth and to provide greater access to our support services during the summer months. Below is a list of activities/service sites for youth.
Media Literacy Project:
The media literacy project (described above) will be held at Lisbon High School (beginning 6/22), Lewiston High School (beginning 6/30), Oak Hill High School (beginning 6/24), the Auburn Library Teen Center (beginning 7/2), and through the Norway Library and New Beginnings. For specific dates and times for programming through the Norway location, please call (207) 743-9777. For dates and times in Androscoggin County, call (207) 784-5272.
Drop In Service Sites:
For the summer months, we will have an Advocate at various locations, accessible to young people so that they can access crisis and support services close to home.
In Androscoggin County, drop in programs will be available at Lewiston High school, Lisbon High School, Oak Hill High School, Auburn Library Teen Center, New Beginnings, and Poland High School. For dates and times, call (207) 784-5272. Support groups will continue at both locations of Beckett House.
Drop in sites in Oxford County will be at the Norway Memorial Library, Common Ground Counseling in Fryeburg, the Peru Community Building and the Rumford college campus. For more information, call (207) 743-9777.
Drop in sites in Franklin County will be at the libraries in Rangeley and Phillips, and at the Jay Town Office. Other possible sites are under development. For more information, call (207) 778-9522.