Friday, August 15, 2008

Veritas Academy Students Earn
Annual York County Award

The Child Abuse Prevention Council is a busy organization educating adults and kids of all ages and giving kids the courage to report any abuse happening to them. That’s why when a group of students from Veritas Academy, a newly formed private Christian high school located in Wells, approached the Council and offered to assist them with their activities, the Council was more than happy to take them up on their offer.
Each year the students at Veritas Academy engage in “Project Veritas.” Project Veritas is the school’s community service effort. In December, each student must research and present a compelling essay regarding a local or world cause and make a plea to join an organization in its efforts to help in that cause. “This year students asked fellow students to support efforts to curb human trafficking, child brides in India and poverty in Africa. But it was the essay that told the story of child abuse victims and outlined the work by the Kennebunk-based Child Abuse Prevention Council that carried the day and became the Project Veritas focus for 2008,” said Nancy Parsons, Veritas Academy Director.
Each week the students and the Council met to talk about the basics of running a non-profit. The students assumed roles of CEO, CFO, Manufacturing, Marketing and so forth. They developed a business plan with four goals: First, to raise money for and manufacture flannel baby bags for the 900 new parents in York county hospitals. Each bag contained information regarding child abuse and shaken baby syndrome. Second, to support two Rick Charette concerts I’ve Got Super Powers for public schools who could not afford the concert. Third, to make a baby quilt for the Council’s auction and also work at the auction. Finally, to attend many April events in support of the Council’s efforts to promote Child Abuse Prevention month.
All in all Veritas Academy students cut and sewed all 900 bags and through all of their efforts raised over $1600 for the Council’s programs. “ Not only did the kids learn about running an organization, they experienced the joys and struggles of working in the non-profit world where so much of your effort is dependent on the generosity of others and their belief in what you are doing,” said Nancy Parsons. Debbie Duross, resource development coordinator, commented, “We watched these high school students bear down, work together and follow through on their commitments even when they were busy with other priorities.” Each year the Council gives an award called “Friends of York County’s Children” that is for recognizing longstanding commitment to children and families. This year’s award is going to the students at the Council’s Annual Meeting in September.
The Child Abuse Prevention council can be reached at (207) 985-5975 or at

Caption: Front to back - Ashley Lowell, Kate Moore, Rebekah Risteen, Sara Picard, Sara Higgins, Sara Dore-Fairfield from the CAPC and Christopher Picard at the State House for Child Abuse Prevention Month.. (Courtesy photo)

Coastal Clover 4-H Club Fights Hunger


The fight against hunger in our community has a new weapon. The Coastal Clovers 4-H Club, a group of farm and non-farm kids ages 5 to 12, undertook a project called Food for Families. Their goal is to donate one ton (2000 lbs) of fresh produce and fruit to the local food pantries. To date they have harvested over 1000 pounds of vegetables. The harvest is donated weekly to the York Food Pantry, with occasional donations to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, not only benefiting the local community but the entire State of Maine.
Coastal Clovers 4-H Club started their project in April with a donation of over 1000 seedling plugs from Coastal Landscaping. With a grant from the Pine Tree 4-H Foundation they purchased transplanting supplies and tools, and then children planted the seedling plugs into growing trays. The seedlings were raised in a makeshift greenhouse until the temperature regulated. On June 1, Coastal Clovers transplanted the seedlings into a field donated by Zach’s Farm. The one-acre field is lined with two rows of plastic mulch and an irrigation system. The 4-H Club has worked hard at keeping weeds down and tending plants, harvesting nearly 200 pounds of lettuce in July. Since then harvests of cabbage, zucchini, squash, cauliflower, peppers, broccoli and cucumbers, all totaling over 750 pounds, have followed. Coastal Clovers also has tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe and three kinds of winter squash that will soon be ready.
Coastal Clovers 4-H wants to acknowledge the support of local and corporate business and the parents that come to help with the upkeep alongside their children. Without them this wouldn’t have been possible. Generous donations from Coastal Landscaping, Paris Farmers Union, Lebanon Seaboard Corporation – Preen Weed Preventer, Home Depot, Eldredge Lumber & Hardware, and Pine Tree 4-H Foundation have been instrumental in making this project a success. John Zacharias, the owner of Zach’s Farm, has truly been an inspiration to the kids in Coastal Clovers 4-H. He has not only given over an acre of land but has donated his time, equipments and knowledge to help Coastal Clovers 4-H provide local food pantries with fresh, locally raised produce.

Caption: Carly Osgood, Haleigh Osgood and Laura Wilson with their harvest of lettuce, cabbage and zucchini. (Courtesy photo)