PORTLAND, ME – Educate Maine, Ruth’s Reusable Resources and law enforcement agencies across Cumberland County joined forces today to distribute more than 4,000 books to students across the county. Cumberland County has been hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic than any other region in Maine.
The books will be distributed by law enforcement officials to Cumberland County school districts in 1,400 bags that also include school supplies.
“We heard from educators around the state that – in addition to hotspots and devices – students need books and school supplies to support their remote learning. Unum provided financial support for this project and law enforcement stepped up to help with distribution. This partnership demonstrates just how much Maine businesses and communities come together to support the academic and social wellbeing of our students. I am proud of how quickly so many partners were able to work collaboratively to help students”, said Jason Judd, Executive Director of Educate Maine.
Last month, Educate Maine launched the 2020 Books Challenge, a statewide campaign to get 2,020 books into the hands of Maine kids while supporting local booksellers.
“This partnership is another way in which Educate Maine and Unum are working together to help Maine teachers support their students,” stated Cary Olson Cartwright, AVP Corporate Social Responsibility at Unum.
The program to provide the books was funded through the purchases of gift cards from Maine’s independent booksellers. Educate Maine’s network of County Teachers of the Year and Education Leaders Experience alumni also helped with the program.
The purpose of the program was to provide books to students during the difficult transition to remote learning while also producing sales for Maine small businesses.
Educate Maine brings together resources and groups in government and the private sector to ensure the best educational opportunities for students across Maine.