WESTBROOK CHILDREN’S PROJECT

 The Westbrook Children’s Project is a community-wide collaboration led by Westbrook School Department, City of Westbrook, and United Way of Greater Portland.

OUR VISION:
We envision a community that is prepared for a prosperous future by supporting all young people in Westbrook, from cradle to career.

Download the 2013 Annual Report

About the Project

The Westbrook Children’s Project is an innovative partnership of schools, parents, youth, businesses, community organizations, and residents. The goal of the Project is for all Westbrook youth to graduate from high school ready for success – whether it be in college, the workplace, the military, or another choice. For this to happen, all sectors of our community must be united around supporting the success of Westbrook youth, from the moment they are born until they are launched into the world of college, career and citizenship.

The Importance and Impact of Education

  • Approximately 85% of the core brain structure is formed by the age of 3, and critical brain development continues well into early adulthood.
  • Reading at grade level by third grade is a key determinant for future achievement.
  • High school graduates earn 74% more over their lifetime than those who drop out, will live longer, and will have better health. 
  • Raising education levels not only boosts income for individuals, but also strengthens local, state, and national economies.

Complex Issues Require Strategic Investments

“Graduation from high school is not just critically important for a young person’s future, it is vital for the health of local business and the community.  That is why the work of the Westbrook Children’s Project is so important.”  Matthew Gilligan, President, Disability RMS

Increasing academic achievement for all children is a complex challenge that requires long-term commitment from the entire community. The Westbrook Children’s Project is developing a broad range of strategies based on conversations with families, youth, community members and leaders; Westbrook community data; and national best practices. These include:

  • Communities That Care, a national model to identify how to best help children succeed.
  • Strategies to increase attendance and keep students engaged in positive learning environments.
  • Providing high quality after-school programming.
  • Practices and policies to identify children who need additional support.

Early Success

Measurement is a cornerstone of the Westbrook Children’s Project. We are developing the measurement systems to track our progress. Promising results from 2011-2012 include:

  • Community members, business leaders, and youth contributed over 500 hours to the Communities That Care work. 
  • The number of children with behavior incidents decreased by 30% in one elementary school. 
  • 66 volunteers donated over 2,300 hours to help children succeed in one elementary school.
  • 300 backpacks with school supplies were distributed to incoming kindergarten, first, and second graders.

Be Part of the Change

Three things you can do to help kids succeed in school if…
…you are a community member:

  1. Mentor a young person.
  2. Volunteer in schools or at a youth-serving organization.
  3. Learn how Westbrook is remodeling its schools for 21st century thriving, and talk with legislators about the importance of getting kids ready for the future.

…you are a parent or caregiver:

  1. Read to and with your child, and establish a family routine with scheduled homework or reading time.
  2. Communicate regularly with your children’s teachers and school staff.
  3. Support your child by volunteering at their school or with extracurricular activities.

 To Get Involved

Contact Florence Young at fyoung@unitedwaygp.org or 207.874.1000 ext. 2331

Thanks to the following for their support of the Westbrook Children’s Project and associated programs.

Lead Partners
City of Westbrook
United Way of Greater Portland
Westbrook School Department

Implementation Partners
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine
Community Partnership for Protecting Children
My Place Teen Center
The Opportunity Alliance
Walker Memorial Library
Westbrook Community Center

Funding Partners
Acadia Insurance
City of Westbrook
Clark Insurance
Cross Insurance
Disability RMS
Infinity Federal Credit Union
Sysco