Community Resource Council (CRC) is holding its annual Set for Success event Sunday, Aug. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m at the Boothbay Region YMCA Field House. The event will feature thousands of school supplies and will have event booths and volunteers to help over 470 students from the Boothbay region, Southport and Edgecomb get ready for the school year.
The program was started nine years ago by CRC Board Member Sue Burge who was inspired by similar initiatives. Burge and co-leader Nancy Van Dyke ran the event for almost a decade.
The program seeks to eliminate inequalities and reduce stigma for families experiencing challenges, by providing all children Pre-k through eighth grade with a new backpack and required school supplies. CRC Director of Operations Holly Stover explained, “We create a level playing field so all children and youth have an equal chance in the classroom outfitted with the same supplies and equipment.”
Volunteers will offer information and handouts, health support resources, hygiene kits and healthy food from CRC’s partners at Hannaford. Nonprofits, churches and other organizations will discuss their programs and ways for children to get involved in community activities.
Last year, the in-person event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CRC organizers expressed their excitement about this year’s programming. Set for Success also welcomed new program leaders Katrina Dunsmore and Krystle Hodgdon, both working mothers with school-aged children.
When asked what Set for Success means to her family and what made her decide to get involved, Dunsmore said, “(Burge, Van Dyke and volunteers) created a community event that is a positive, fun way for our kids to get themselves ready for their upcoming school year. I try to stress the importance of being involved in our community to my children. What better way but to lead by example. It wasn’t a difficult decision to join the team!”
Hodgdon added, “It’s community. It shows that everyone here on this peninsula and beyond comes together for the sake of our children. That's what it's all about. I'm here for the children!"
Stover said volunteers and school supply and money contributions are essential to the event’s success for students, families and teachers. “We want to improve school performance by providing the tools a child needs to do well. Together, we give every child and youth in the Boothbay region a great start to the school year!”
Checks can be mailed to Community Resource Council, P.O. Box 43, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538. Please indicate the donation is for “Set for Success.”