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May 18, 2015

Youthlinks Yard, Bake & Seedling Sale on Saturday, May 23rd

It’s everybody’s favorite season…Yard sale season!  Come support Youthlinks next weekend at their second annual bake-yard seedling sale.  On Saturday, May 23rd, there will be tables of treasures, homemade baked goods and seedlings raised by students.  Every purchase you make helps to fund our programs.  Start your spring by coming to 420 Broadway in Rockland from 8:00am-2:00pm.  All parking will be at Oceanside East High School.  Don’t miss this one!

Youthlinks offers programs to middle school and high school students that provide them with opportunities to engage with their community, to learn life skills, self- reflection, and healthy outdoor time.  Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family and Community Services. For more information about Youthlinks like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/youthlinks. For more information about Broadreach visit brmaine.org

February 12, 2015

Youthlinks Finds Missing Cat While Volunteering!

Youthlinks Volunteering at Humane Society of Knox County

By Hannah Magnusson, Youthlinks Program Manager

The Youthlinks Student Garden Army celebrated Valentine’s Day with homemade heart shaped healthy treats for the dogs at the Pope Memorial Humane Society. The dogs were excited to gobble down the peanut butter treats and they definitely loved the attention!

The afternoon brought the high school group an exciting surprise when visiting the cats. “This is my cat!”, exclaimed 8th grader Winter Cormier.  The staff at the animal shelter confirmed that all the data matched and the cat, Cinder, purred against the bars of her cage in recognition of her owner! It was a happy ending for all of us.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family and Community Services. For more information about Youthlinks find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/youthlinks. For more information about Broadreach visit brmaine.org.  Visit http://www.humanesocietyofknoxcounty.org/ to learn more about the animal shelter or take home a new pet!

November 5, 2014

Youthlinks Embraces Fall

Youthlinks began the school year with a schedule of exciting after school programs and a great set of new students. On Mondays, middle schoolers prepared tasty and healthy meals and learn about nutrition through the Cooking Matters program. On Wednesdays, one group of middle school youth prepared the garden for winter and had fun with hands on science experiments. Another group of learned how to halter train calves through the Farmhands program, with our Aldemere Farms partners. The High School Student Garden Army met on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to continue the garden harvest and run the fall farm stand.  A highlight of the session was the Halloween haunted greenhouse.

Registration for Youthlinks late fall programs is open. Middle and high school youth may register online at www.youthlinksonline.org. Youthlinks amazing after school activities are offered to youth free of charge.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family and Community Services. For more information about Youthlinks, please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/youthlinks or call us at 594-2221. For more information about Broadreach visit www.brmaine.org or call 338-2200.Youthlinks at Aldermere Farm

October 6, 2014

Student Gardeners Are Ready for Fall

YL Farmstand fall 2014

Youthlinks Student Garden Army (SGA) is back at it again with a Fall Farmstand. Stop by for pumpkins, gourds, greens, and more. The Farmstand is at Youthlinks at 420 Broadway in Rockland, Thursdays from, 3:30-4:30 pm. The SGA looks forward to meeting new customers!

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community. For more information concerning Youthlinks please call 594-2221 or visit www.youthlinksonline.org.  For more information about Broadreach please visit http://broadreachmaine.org/.

September 11, 2014

Broadreach’s Youthlinks Program Achieves Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Gold Status

Youthlinks, a Rockland area program serving middle and high school students, has been notified that it has attained Gold Status in the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Program. Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that promotes the increase of physical activity and healthy eating for youth.

Gold status requires that the program implement all five Let’s Go! priority strategies, have them in written policy format, and enforce these policies.

 

As a Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 site, Youthlinks is dedicated to carrying out these strategies by providing healthy choices for snacks and celebrations, providing water and low-fat milk instead of sugary beverages, providing opportunities for daily physical activity, and engaging with community partners to help support and promote a healthy lifestyle for youth. Youthlinks collaborates with RSU 13, the Good Tern Co-op, Cooking Matters, a program of the Knox County Community Health Coalition (KCCHS) which is funded by the Good Shepard Food Bank, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Program,  and Foo Corps, to provide consistently healthy lifestyle choices for students in middle and high school.

 

For example, the Student Garden Army, summer camp, and other programs offered by Youthlinks for 11- 17 year olds emphasize the tenets of 5-2-1-0 which signify eating at least 5 vegetables and fruits per day, 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity, and 0 sugary beverages. At Youthlinks, students have opportunities to grow, harvest, and eat their own garden produce. Many students try vegetables that are new to them and learn they like them and find out ways through interactive cooking demonstrations to incorporate more healthy ingredients into their meals.  They bring this knowledge home with them to their families and it adds to their store of knowledge needed to become a healthier adolescent and adult.

 

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services. For more information on Youthlinks please call (207) 594-2221 or visit the following website: http://www.youthlinksonline.org/ or for information about Broadreach Family & Community Services the website is www.broadreachmaine.org .

 

 

Broadreach’s Youthlinks Program Awarded Quimby Family Foundation Grant

The Quimby Family Foundation has awarded Broadreach Family & Community Services Youthlinks Program a grant in the amount of $15,000. The funds will be used to expand the summer pilot Student Garden Army into a sustainable year-round program for middle and high school students in the greater Rockland region – Rockland, Cushing, St. George/Tenants Harbor,Thomaston, South Thomaston, and Owls Head).

 

Youth, age 11 – 17 living in towns served by RSU 13 will have an opportunity to participate in the program that teaches young people to learn to grow, cook, and eat healthy food and to make food choices that positively impact their health, and that of their community and their world. Student Garden Army also teaches students how to operate a micro-business through the operation of a local farm stand, and to give back to the community through support of the local food cupboards with fresh garden vegetables and fruit.

 

Youthlinks works closely with partners such as RSU 13m the Good Tern Co-op, Cooking Maters, a program of the Knox County Community Health Coalition (KCCHC), Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Food Corps. The Youthlinks Program is located at 420 Broadway in Rockland and has been in operation for nearly 32 years.  It provides a safe place to nurture the development of young people, to support youth in becoming positive role models, and create meaningful connections between youth and their community.

 

For more information on Youthlinks please call (207) 594-2221 or visit the following website: http://www.youthlinksonline.org/ or for information about Broadreach Family & Community Services the website is www.broadreachmaine.org .

 

 

June 19, 2014

Youthlinks Program Has Student Garden Army Opening

Youthlinks Farmstand

Youthlinks Director Kris Koerber announced that there are a few remaining openings for the June 30th – August 21st Student Garden Army.  This eight week program for high school students features a wide array of agricultural and culinary experiences including: planting seedlings, growing vegetables, maintaining and developing a garden, harvesting crops, and cooking and preparing healthy foods.

 

 

 

Kris Koerber shared, “This is a great way for high school students to gain leadership skills, make a positive impact on their community, and earn money through managing the farm stand sales.   It is a great experience that provides knowledge that will be useful throughout students’ lives.”

 

 

 

For more information about application for the School Garden Army, contact Kris Koerber at 594-2221 or at youthlinksonline.org. Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services and is located at 420 Broadway in Rockland.  The program is free of charge for participating students.

 

 

April 16, 2014

Youthlinks Hosts Student Creative Writing Workshop in Thomaston

 

 

Youthlinks Creative Writing Students revYouthlinks Creative Writing Authors rev

 

Left:  Students of Oceanside West and authors pose for a group photo at the end of an all day Creative Writing Workshop.

Right:  Authors presenting at the Creative Writing Workshop are, from left, Jen Blood, Ben Odgren, Lacy Simons, and Elizabeth Hand.

Photos and article by Sarah Woodman, Youthlinks/AmeriCorps

On March 19th, forty eighth and ninth grade students of Oceanside West gathered at Watts Hall in Thomaston for a full-day Creative Writing Workshop, organized by Youthlinks of Rockland. This workshop complimented a weekly after-school creative writing club provided by Youthlinks and offered to high school students of RSU 13, from January through April of this year. The Creative Writing Workshop connected Oceanside West students to four writers of varying literary style who call the midcoast area home: Jen Blood of Cushing, Liz Hand of Belfast, Lacy Simons of Rockland, and Ben Odgren of Rockport. Students split into groups of ten and rotated through the day to spend an intensive, hour-long session with each author.

Jen Blood holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine, is a freelance journalist, professional editor, and author of the bestselling Erin Solomon mystery series.  Jen Blood led the students through the creative, multi-media process of developing dynamic characters which reflected her own process of creating characters.  Blood provided a series of questions about the character to encourage students to think deeply about creating a layered character; questions such as:  what is their favorite color, who is their best friend, what food do they love or hate, and where did they grow up? 

Elizabeth Hand is a multiple award-winning critic and author of numerous novels, comics, and short fiction for adults, teenagers, and children.  She is on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing, and divides her time between Maine and London.  Liz Hand led students through an exercise in creating strong descriptive language for stories.  Using student directed words and phrases, Hand showed how an out of the ordinary descriptive word choice can create emotional, visceral, and evocative descriptions of images and objects.

Benjamin Odgren studied film in college, lives in Rockport, works at the Island Institute in Rockland, and writes screenplays in his spare time. Odgren’s session began with a screening of the introduction of the movie “Kung-Fu Panda” while students followed along with a copy of the movie’s screenplay. Odgren explained the structure of a screenplay, the language of denoting camera work and dialogue, and the importance of writing directorial narration such as setting, actor direction and blocking. Students were then given time to write and share their own film scenes.

 Lacy Simons, who holds an MFA in poetry and is the owner of Hello Hello Books in Rockland, introduced to students to a variety of literary games and exercises to inspire creativity in writing, specifically poetry. Simons had students write the thoughts, sounds, smells, sights, and emotions of a ride in a favorite car. Using this exercise, Simons encouraged students to keep a journal as a record of similar sensory memories, which are so integral in writing and so easy to forget.

The day wrapped up with time for students to bravely share the imaginative, layered, and often funny works created throughout the day in each author’s session. The intention of the workshop was to connect students with local authors, inspire and skill-build in those students with experience in creative writing, and create a new interest for students who had not expressed an affinity for writing in the past. Feedback from students and authors indicated that the workshop was a success.

Organized and hosted by Youthlinks in Rockland, the Creative Writing Workshop was generously supported by RSU 13 and Oceanside West’s student activity fund. Snacks for students and lunch for the authors was available through donations from the Rockland Hannaford and Shaw’s supermarkets. The use of Watts Hall at no-cost for this educational event was provided by the town of Thomaston.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983. For more information please call Youthlinks at 594-2221 or visit youthlinksonline.org.



 

April 15, 2014

Youthlinks Offers Participants Opportunities for Community Service and Art, Theater & Radio

YL Fishes and LoavesBy Sarah Woodman, Youthlinks/AmeriCorps

February Youthlinks Fishes and Loaves kitchen volunteers take a break to share a smile and show off their homemade salad. From left, Callum Boggard, Youthlinks Director Kris Koerber, Christen Rasmussen, Kat Howarth, Keariel Peasley, and Takoda Peasley.

Local high school students needing to attain their required community service hours should check out the late spring offerings from Youthlinks.  On Mondays students have another chance to work with FoodCorps volunteer Genna Cherichello in the Spring Garden Army. Students will grow vegetable seedlings, plant flowers, construct and paint garden signs, build raised garden beds, and create a current map of the garden for Youthlinks, Oceanside East High School, and community use.  Spring Garden Army offers ten community service hours.

On Thursdays, Youthlinks is hosting a Community Action Team, a variety of community service projects including beach clean-ups, cooking and baking dishes for a monthly soup kitchen, and building a home for native bees out of wood, bamboo, and other found materials, to be located at Merryspring Nature Center in Camden. Students can earn up to twelve community service hours by participating in the Community Action Team.

Every second Saturday of the month, students can earn four hours of community service by volunteering at the Fishes and Loaves Lunch, a free weekend meal at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland, a collaborative effort of St. Peter’s and the Pratt Memorial United Methodist Church. Students prepare, cook, and serve a full meal for patrons. The upcoming dates for the Fishes and Loaves meals  are May 10 and June 14, and the program runs from 10-2.

The late spring session also offers three fun and free art, music, and drama based after-school programs. On Tuesdays students can exercise their painting and drawing skills and help beautify the Youthlinks building in Mural Art. Back by popular demand on Wednesdays is Improv, the fast paced, no-script form of theater. Fridays offer music lovers the chance to plan and run a radio show through Rockland’s local radio station WRFR in Youthlinks Radio.

Youthlinks programs are free, run from 3-5 Monday through Friday, and meet at the Youthlinks building at 420 Broadway (at the end of the driveway to Oceanside East). Students can pick up registration forms from the guidance office at Oceansides East and West or register online at www.youthlinksonline.org/. For more information on Youthlinks programming, please call 594-2221.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, serving middle and high school students with a variety of after school and summer sessions.  For information about Broadreach Family & Community Services the number is 338-2200 and the website is www.broadreachmaine.org .

 

April 10, 2014

The First Donates its Casual for a Cause Collection to Youthlinks

The First donation to Youthlinks photo (2)

 

Attached photo:  From left to right Sarah Woodman and Alyssa Sweet of Youthlinks/AmeriCorps; Alicia Costa, Assistant Manager of The First’s Union Street, Rockland office; Shannon Wenners, Branch Supervisor of The First’s Park Street, Rockland office; Youthlinks Director, Krisofer Koerber; Hannah Magnusson, Youthlinks/AmeriCorps; Polly Chatfield, member of Broadreach Board and Youthlinks Advisory Group; and Susan St. John, Youthlinks Advisory Group member.

The two Rockland offices of The First recently donated $606.12 to Broadreach Family & Community Services’ Youthlinks Program.  For nineteen years the employees of The First have been dressing casually on Fridays in support of charitable organizations in communities where they provide financial services.   The First employees who participate in the program make a contribution each Friday that they dress casually.  At the end of each month, a donation is presented to an employee-nominated, non-profit organization.    

 

Youthlinks Program Director Kristofer Koerber shared, “We are grateful for this generous support from the employees of The First and to their financial institution for providing this contribution and showing such community support. This donation will certainly be helpful to Youthlinks in carrying out our mission to provide quality after school and summer programs for area middle and high school students.”

 

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, serving middle and high school students with a variety of after school and summer sessions. For more information on Youthlinks please call (207) 594-2221 or visit http://www.youthlinksonline.org/ or for information about Broadreach Family & Community Services the website is www.broadreachmaine.org .

 

April 4, 2014

Broadreach’s Youthlinks Program Welcomes Chef Jeff Space of Pen-Bay Hospital

Broadreach Youthlinks Top Chef Club April 4 2014

Youthlinks students take a photo with their
guest chef. Back row, from left: Ethan Keene, Nick Smith, Chef Jeffrey Space,
Kat Cova, and Caroline Duda, and Front Row: Nina Davis and Kat Howarth.

By Sarah Woodman

On March 18th, the Youthlinks Top Chef Rockland cooking club was visited by Chef Jeff Space, Director of Nutritional Services at Pen-Bay Hospital. Each week, local high school students gather at Youthlinks in Rockland to learn new cooking skills, taste new foods, and meet with local chefs who share their talents and knowledge with students.

Jeff Space joined the program to share with students the USDA’s “My Plate” initiative, to reinforce the Let’s Go 5-2-1-0 program (5 servings of fruits and veggies, 2 hours or less screen time, 1 hour or more physical activity, and 0 sugary drinks), and to improve student cooking skills. The “My Plate” model is a program of the USDA, which offers a simple, brightly colored guide for people to follow to create healthy and nutritious meals. “My Plate” transforms the food pyramid into a daily meal guide, with half a plate filled with fruit and vegetables, one quarter filled with a lean protein, and one quarter filled with a whole grain, and a serving of lowfat dairy on the side. Chef Jeff Space cooked a “My Plate” meal of asparagus, chicken, and lowfat cheese quesadillas; tomato, avocado, and cilantro salad; a black bean and mango salad; and seared pineapple, served with a container of skim milk. Chef Space showed students that flavor, color, and interest in a meal can come from a variety of fruits and vegetables and delicious herbs and spices instead of added fats or preservatives.

Students also improved their cooking skills while working with Chef Space, as he reinforced the proper way to hold and use chef knives, tips for peeling garlic, red peppers, and pineapples, and the best way to pit an avocado and a mango. The meal was then enjoyed by all participants!

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983. For more information please call Youthlinks at 594-2221 or visit youthlinksonline.org.

 

February 28, 2014

Broadreach’s Youthlinks Program to Host March 7th Community Open House

Youthlinks house

 

The Broadreach Family & Community Services Youthlinks Program will be holding its Community Open House on Friday, March 7th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm at the Youthlinks location on 420 Broadway in Rockland with all parking next door at Oceanside High School.  Light refreshments will be served.  All high school and middle school students, families and community members are invited.  It is an opportunity to learn about all the exciting activities of Youthlinks and view what the students worked on in their previous sessions.  Youthlinks collaborates with RSU 13 to form the Rockland After School Alliance (RASA) to bring a wide range of activities to area students.

 

Last session those in middle school participated in sessions as varied as Animal Care Team, to CSI: Crime Scene Investigations, Photography with iPads and Extreme Food Science.  High school students are also offered an wide array of programs, including those that allow them to provide community service hours, such as Soup Kitchen Saturdays.  Both middle school and high school students participated in toboggan building programs in collaboration with The Apprenticeshop with a number of students entering the U.S. National Toboggan Championships in Camden with the toboggans they had built and prepared for the event.  Youthlinks also provides summer programs for  students including camps and School Garden Army.

 

For more information on Youthlinks please call (207) 594-2221 or visit the following website: http://www.youthlinksonline.org/ or for information about Broadreach Family & Community Services the website is www.broadreachmaine.org .

 

February 26, 2014

High schoolers: Join Youthlinks School Garden Army and Amazing Art

Filed under: Teens,Youthlinks — Tags: , , , , , , , — Sue Dirosario @ 5:45 pm

 spring garden army (2)

 

Youthlinks is excited to partner with Genna Cherichello for our Spring Garden Army (SGA) program offered Monday afternoons, March 3 through April 7 from 3:00-5:00 pm to high school students.  Genna is our local Food Corps volunteer with the Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension serving at RSUs 13 and 40.  SGA offers activities such as seed starting, tool maintenance, creating and decorating garden stepping stones, cooking projects, field trips to the Good Tern Co-op, learning how to help monitor and maintain Oceanside East’s burgeoning fruit tree orchard, and helping to plan the future of the spring/summer garden programs at Youthlinks.

Youthlinks is also offering high school students a fun and creative program called Amazing Art on Wednesdays, March 5 through April 9, from 3-5. Youthlinks has a multitude of art supplies and welcomes students to push their creative limits.  Students can experiment with all materials, and books and drawing guides are on hand for those wanting more structure.  Amazing Art will welcome local artist Mae Towers during one session to share her passion for painting and her use of art to raise awareness for the UnderHound Railroad, a non-profit which helps finds homes for abandoned dogs.

Youthlinks programs are free and located at 420 Broadway in Rockland. For more information and to register, please call 594-2221. Find us online at Youthlinksonline.org.  Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services.  Check us out online to learn more about what Broadreach can do for you.

January 13, 2014

Broadreach Youthlinks Program Kicking-off Food Drive in Rockland

The Youthlinks Community Action Team will be running a week long food drive in support of  Reverend Martin Luther King Day.  Please bring non-perishable food items to the Rockland High Schools and Middle School starting Tuesday, January 14th through Friday, January 17th. The food will be donated and used for the soup kitchen at St. Peters Episcopal Church in Rockland.  Youthlinks, which operates afterschool and summer programming for middle and high school students offers a session four times a year that provides high school students with an opportunity to serve the community by preparing and serving meals at the St. Peters Episcopal Church soup kitchen.

 

The purpose of the Youthlinks, a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, is to empower young people to commit to themselves and their community, broaden their horizons, and acquire healthy life skills through focused enrichment programs and meaningful volunteer opportunities.  The program fosters critical thinking skills (the ability to use logic and reasoning in solving problems that is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and supports self-corrective thinking), empathy and introspection.  Youthlinks uses a wide array of programs (including animal care; interacting with senior citizens; cooking; hiking; running small businesses; and having youth identify a community need and address it).  Youthlinks collaborates with the local school system and a number of local partner organizations, businesses, and volunteers.  For more information about Youthlinks call 594-2221 or check out the website at wwww.broadreachmaine.org.

Broadreach Hires New Program Director for Youthlinks

IMG_20140113_132937-1 (3)

 

Broadreach Family & Community Services Executive Director Kate Quinn Finlay has announced the hiring of Kristofer Koerber as the new director of the Youthlinks Program.  Kris began his new position on January 2nd.

 

“We are pleased to continue the fine tradition of Youthlinks offering quality after school and summer programs for area middle and high school students with Kris now leading the program.  He brings a great deal of experience working with young people in his previous roles as a coach.  Kris is also familiar with the region.  He lives in Owls Head where he is a volunteer firefighter and has worked as Sternman with Dave Cousens on board the F/V Three Sons out of South Thomaston.  Kris brings a great deal of enthusiasm, energy, and desire to continually improve the program to this position”, stated Kate Quinn Finlay.

 

Kris, a Maine native, grew up in Brunswick before leaving the state to attend Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.  After graduation he pursued a career in athletics, securing his first coaching opportunity at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, as an assistant for the men’s lacrosse team.  Following three years at Colby, Kris continued his coaching career at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York where he earned his Masters in Educational Administration.

 

“I first want to give thanks to Kate Quinn Finlay for presenting me and my family with this opportunity.  I am excited to be working at an organization where empowering people with skills for success are the standard.  I believe strongly in the mission of Broadreach and Kate’s dedication to Youthlinks.  I am honored to be the new leader at Broadreach’s Youthlinks Program and I am delighted to be working alongside such a passionate and outstanding staff”, shared Kris Koerber recently.

 

The purpose of the Youthlinks Program is to empower young people to commit to themselves and their community, broaden their horizons, and acquire healthy life skills through focused enrichment programs and meaningful volunteer opportunities.  The program fosters critical thinking skills (the ability to use logic and reasoning in solving problems that is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and supports self-corrective thinking), empathy and introspection.  Youthlinks uses a wide array of programs (including animal care; interacting with senior citizens; cooking; hiking; running small businesses; and having youth identify a community need and address it).  Youthlinks collaborates with the local school system and a number of local partner organizations, businesses, and volunteers.  For more information about Youthlinks call 594-2221 or check out the website at wwww.broadreachmaine.org.

 

November 19, 2013

Deb Donnelly Joins Youthlinks

Deb Donnelly photoRockland – Broadreach Family and Community Services’ Youthlinks Program welcomes new Program Assistant Deb Donnelly.  Ms. Donnelly is familiar with the work of Youthlinks.  Her son participated in several of the programs including afterschool options such as Animation Class and Dodgeball, and Summer Photography Camp and an Outdoor Activity Camp.  She also was involved in Youthlinks’ Farm Camp at Headacre Farm in Owls Head this past summer.

“I feel strongly about the importance of Youthlinks programs.  Youthlinks provides a lot of opportunities at an age when that support is so necessary.  Youthlinks provides a sense of belonging.  It’s good to know that the people at Youthlinks always have your back,” Ms. Donnelly shared when speaking of a young person’s experience with Youthlinks, as well as the experience of being a parent of a teen participating in Youthlinks.

Ms. Donnelly combines her role as parent and Youthlinks Program Assistant with part-time work at a local bookstore.  Throughout her career she has worked for a number of non-profit organizations including a Ronald McDonald House in an urban area of the country where she learned a great deal from the parents of sick children.

“I worked there when my husband and I were starting our family.  It truly changed the way we thought about family life and what we thought of as important.  There are parents and children from all walks of life and all income levels but they all had something in common – they would do anything to help their child.  It helped us decide that we wanted a different kind of lifestyle for our family.  We made the decision to move to Maine, where his parents were living.”

“My son really enjoyed his time at Youthlinks.  Now I look forward to my role here, making sure I help things run smoothly at Youthlinks.”

For more information, contact Youthlinks: 594-2221 or visit www.youthlinksonline.org.  Youthlinks, offering after school programs and summer camps, is a service of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983.

 

August 26, 2013

Youthlinks & Rockland Community Sailing Camp

Youthlinks & Rockland Community Sailing Camp

Sailing is a fantastic way to have fun on the water! This summer Youthlinks students in grades five through twelve are learning all the skills needed to sail a boat at Rockland Community Sailing’s youth sailing camp. A program of the Apprenticeshop, the Rockland Community Sailing (RCS) and Youthlinks six year partnership began in 2008 as a fall and spring afterschool program and soon evolved into two weeks of full day sailing camp. Fully funded by the Catawamteak Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, Youthlinks’ and Rockland Community Sailing’s collaboration is free of charge for 24 students.

Rockland Community Sailing camp is taught by five full time instructors: two head instructors: Robin and Devon, and three sailing instructors, Will, Aidan, and Cleo. All have sailed with RCS for years and worked their way up to become instructors. Lifejackets are provided.

Each day follows a similar pattern: morning lessons are spent introducing sailing skills to be practiced in the afternoons, whether that is tacking and jibing, identifying wind patterns and direction, points of sail, or self-rescue. Afternoons are spent in a hands-on manner, testing the skills students just learned in theory; students are taught by doing in sailing school. Swim tests and life jacket use are a standard part of the experience.

Students are first taught the basics of sailing: how to rig and de-rig a sailboat. Younger students and those with little experience sail one person Optimist prams, 8 feet long and rigge

d with a single sprit rigged sail. Older and more experienced students are paired up to sail larger 420 sloops which have both a mainsail and a jib and are sailed by two students. On the first day of camp new students take turns being towed by a motorboat to learn the feel of being on a boat, and how to use a rudder to steer without the pressure of manipulating a sail. By the third day, students are able to tack and jibe, and practice self-rescue, meaning students intentionally capsize a boat and right it again in a rather swift motion (with life-vests o
Throughout the week instructors teach lessons from small motorboats following sailors on the water to make sure that everyone is safe, yet allowing students the independence to learn on their own. Instructors also put buoys in the water to test student skills as they maneuver through courses set up as figure eights, ovals, and triangles. Thursday brought a fun day of capture the flag by sail, with Optis and 420s distributed throughout each team. Midweek the entire group divided into 420 crews and sailed to the lighthouse, with experienced students and instructors skippering boats.n and instructors at hand.)

Sailing Camp

Youthlinks program manager Sarah Woodman, who accompanied Youthlinks instructors Josie Gates and Kamryn Sanchez for the June week of sailing, expressed what a great experience it was to share the week with Rockland Community Sailing. “I was incredibly impressed with the skill and natural ease of all instructors. We had some students who were a little nervous to be out on their own, particularly the first day of sailing and the day we practiced self-rescue drills, and I was so happy with the balance instructors reached between encouraging the students to conquer their fears while also being there for them every step of the way. Students learned unbelievably fast and it was wonderful to see their confidence and skill grow, and to see how willing students were to help each other along the way.”

The week had been planned to wrap up with a sailing exhibition for parents to observe, but weather refused to cooperate. Instead, students participated in a sailing Jeopardy led by instructors, displaying their newfound knowledge. Instructors handed out personalized awards for all students recognizing their work and progress over the week, and parents, instructors, and students all gathered for a potluck celebration. Rockland Community Sailing offers lessons all summer long for students who wish to learn to sail.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983. For more information or to register, please contact Youthlinks: 594-2221 or visit www.youthlinksonline.org.

August 16, 2013

Youthlinks School Garden Army invites community to celebrate summer harvest

School Garden Army selling their weekly harvest at their farm stand near Oceanside East High School in Rockland.

School Garden Army selling their weekly harvest at their farm stand near Oceanside East High School in Rockland.

School Garden Army invites the community to celebrate the summer harvest this Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at Youthlinks from 8-10AM. Pick up some fresh veggies from our last farm stand of the season, take a tour of the Youthlinks/Oceanside East High School Garden, and learn about what the Garden Army has been doing this summer! We’ll have door prizes and contests to win free vegetables!
School Garden Army empowers youth to become leaders and responsible stewards of their environment using food as the mechanism of change. The program encourages land stewardship through sustainable local food production, improves public health through better nutrition and food security, and promotes community and economic development through investing in the next generation.
For more information, contact Youthlinks: 594-2221. Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983.

May 15, 2013

Youthlinks Open House May 25th

 

Youthlinks

The Youthlinks house

Saturday, May 25th Youthlinks invites friends, families and volunteers to celebrate summer at its open house at 420 Broadway in Rockland from 10am to noon.

Visitors will be able to tour the Youthlinks’ house and garden, and the orchard recently planted by the students of Oceanside East High School. They will also have the opportunity to meet the instructors and community volunteers who have helped design and run the after-school and summer programs of Youthlinks and RASA.

Everyone – kids and adults – will get a taste of summer camp. We will play our favorite outdoor sports like ultimate Frisbee® and three-legged races, as well as a few activities unique to the Youthlinks’ summer camp experience, like Birdie on a Perch and dodgeball in the Gaga Pit.

The games will be just a glimpse of what Youthlinks has in store for this summer. We are excited to partner with Headacre Farm in Owls Head for the first time to offer a Farm Camp where middle school students will tend and harvest their own vegetable garden for weekly farm to table lunches. Once again our summer program will include two weeks of sailing for middle and high school students through the Rockland Community Sailing program at the Apprenticeshop.

All Youthlinks programs are free for participating youth. More information about our summer programs and registration are available online at youthlinksonline.org.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services located in Rockland that provides community service, leadership and enrichment opportunities to all youth ages 11-17 throughout mid-coast Maine. These programs help youth learn skills, build self-esteem, cultivate social responsibility, develop leadership abilities and connect to their peers, to adult mentors and to their communities. Youthlinks is funded primarily by state grants and the generous donations of individuals, businesses and foundations. For more information about Youthlinks call 594-2221 or visit youthlinksonline.org.

April 24, 2013

Grant Supports Local After-School Programs

Left to right:  Youthlinks Program Director Amie Hutchison and Five Town CTC Executive Director Dalene Dutton

Left to right: Youthlinks Program Director Amie Hutchison and Five Town CTC Executive Director Dalene Dutton

The Juvenile Justice Advisory Group recently awarded a $90,000 grant to support after-school programs in mid-coast Maine. Youthlinks, a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services and STAR, a program of Five Town Communities That Care (CTC) were the joint recipients of this generous funding. “Youthlinks and STAR have common goals,” says Youthlinks Director, Amie Hutchison. “Both programs are working to improve outcomes for middle school students by providing skill building programs and meaningful volunteer opportunities.” “We are excited to be working with Broadreach and Youthlinks in this way. Collaboration provides us with the opportunity to share resources and expertise and ensures that every dollar goes even further,” added Five Town CTC Executive Director, Dalene Dutton. Another common goal of Youthlinks and STAR is to create a generation of life-long community-minded volunteers.
The Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) oversees Maine’s participation in the federal juvenile justice initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to help states craft effective responses to the problems of juvenile crime and violence; and to reduce delinquency and youth violence by providing community members with skills, knowledge, and opportunities to foster a healthy and nurturing environment that supports the growth and development of productive and responsible citizens.
Youthlinks’ mission is to empower youth to commit to themselves and their communities, broaden their horizons, and acquire healthy life skills through focused enrichment programs and meaningful volunteer work. Youthlinks offers a diverse menu of in-school, after-school, and summer programs to engage a broad base of youth with varying interests. Their programs rely on creating mutually beneficial relationships with other area non-profit agencies. Through these opportunities, youth are exposed to new experiences, develop new knowledge and skills and develop pride in the service they give to their community.
The STAR Program seeks to provide opportunities for youth to learn skills that they can use in service to their community, to provide recognition for the contributions of young people, and to connect youth to other places where they can use their newly acquired skills. Youths who have confidence in their basic skills are apt to become involved in groups where healthy development is fostered. For the spring cycle of STAR, students will participate in one of the following classes: Knit Wits, Exploring Through the Arts, Hands On Science, Animal Antics, Aldermere Farm Hands, Martial Arts, Cooking, and Improvisational Drama.
STAR is open to 5th-8th graders in the towns of Appleton, Camden, Hope, Lincolnville, and Rockport. It is the flagship program of Five Town Communities That Care, whose mission is to promote healthy youth and to prevent problem adolescent behaviors such as substance abuse, violence, delinquency, school dropout, teenage pregnancy, and suicide.
Youthlinks and the STAR program are available at no cost to participants thanks to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group grant and generous donations from community members, organizations, and businesses. For more information on Youthlinks, visit www.youthlinksonline.org or call 594-2221. For information on Five Town Communities That Care, visit www.fivetownctc.org or call 236-9800.

April 18, 2013

Local businesses offer prizes at Youthlinks’ Run-A-Hound 5K

The Run-A-Hound 5K banner marks the race's finish line at Youthlinks.

The Run-A-Hound 5K banner marks the race’s finish line at Youthlinks.

Saturday, April 20th Youthlinks will hold its third annual Run-A-Hound 5K for runners and dogs.

Local businesses have shown a great amount of enthusiasm and support for this year’s event.  Camden Hospital for Animals and Loyal Biscuit are sponsoring the race.  Hole in the Wall Bagels, Rock City Café, Hannaford and Safe Harbor Confections are providing fuel for the runners and StrongerFasterHealthier is providing samples of Omega-3 fish oil supplements for the pooches.

Everyone will have a chance to win something at the race.  Door prizes include a private dance lesson and group dance session at Swing & Sway Dancing, a $50 gift certificate from Yankee Clipper, a $30 gift certificate to Maine Sport, a day pass to Maine Boats & Harbors Show, a Boatyard Dog hat, a Boatyard Dog t-shirt, a $25 gift certificate to Planet Toys, a $10 gift certificate to Maine Street Meats, a WRFR t-shirt and CD, and a University of Rockland sweatshirt.  The top runner with a dog will be awarded a $50 gift certificate from Loyal Biscuit and a $75 gift certificate from the Camden Hospital for Animals.  The top male runner without a dog will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Penobscot Bay YMCA.  The top female runner without a dog will receive a $50 gift certificate to Mr. Wat Sushi & Noodles and a $50 gift certificate to Harbor Road Veterinary Hospital.

The race will be held rain or shine at Youthlinks, located at 420 Broadway in Rockland, on Saturday, April 20th at 9:30am. Participants are asked to park at OHS-East. Registration fees are $10 for Adults with a dog, $15 for Adults without a dog, and $8 for Students with or without a dog.  Pre-Registration is greatly appreciated and will be available on active.com until Friday, April 19th.  The race route, schedule of events and a link to register are available online at youthlinksonline.org/runahound5k.

The Run-A-Hound 5K is to benefit the programs of Youthlinks, a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, which serves over 500 Mid-Coast youth a year through quality after-school enrichment programs and summer camps.  These programs help youth learn skills, build self-esteem, cultivate social responsibility, develop leadership abilities and connect to their peers, to adult mentors, and to their communities. Youthlinks is funded primarily by state grants and the generous donations of individuals, businesses, and foundations. All Youthlinks programs are free for participating youth. For more information, visit www.youthlinksonline.org, or call 207-594-2221.

 

April 11, 2013

One Month Left to Enter to Win your Maine Dream Vacation

One lucky winner and a travelling companion will enjoy a one-of-a-kind dream vacation in the midcoast of Maine.

One lucky winner and a travelling companion will enjoy a one-of-a-kind dream vacation in the midcoast of Maine.

Once again the Penobscot Bay Chamber of Commerce and Youthlinks have teamed up to sponsor The Maine Dream Vacation Raffle.  Proceeds benefit the free youth programs of Youthlinks and the community development work of the Chamber.

The amazing prize package is made possible through the generous donations of local businesses. The lucky winner and companion will enjoy three nights at the Samoset Resort on the Ocean, including a round of golf.  They will dine each night at a different restaurant: La Bella Vita Ristorante, Rockport; the Craignair Inn & Restaurant, Spruce Head; and The Youngtown Inn & Restaurant, Lincolnville.

The winner will also be treated to a biplane tour over Penobscot Bay, courtesy of the Owls Head Transportation Museum, a sail aboard the Schooner Olad, Camden and passes to the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland.

The prize also includes round-trip airfare for two from Boston to Rockland, courtesy of Cape Air, and $500 in spending money courtesy of Bangor Savings Bank.  Travel is June 7th -10th and the drawing is in May.

This prize would make the staycation of a life time, or be a dream vacation for a lucky visitor.  “I see this as a win-win,” says Youthlinks Program Director, Amie Hutchison. “Every $25 dollars stays right in our community, encouraging development and supporting kids.  The chance to win this amazing prize is pretty great bonus.”

The price is $25 a ticket. Raffle sales are being conducted by Youthlinks through the website www.mainedreamvacationraffle.com.

Visit www.mainedreamvacationraffle.com to buy tickets and for more information (including the rules).

Proceeds of the Maine Dream Vacation Raffle benefit the community service programs of Youthlinks (www.youthlinksonline.org). Through participation in Youthlinks, Midcoast youth learn skills, build self-esteem, cultivate social responsibility, develop leadership abilities and connect to peers, adult mentors, and their communities. All Youthlinks programs are free for participating youth. Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983 (www.broadreachmaine.org).

April 9, 2013

Thorndike Creamery cooks with teens in Youthlinks program

Students Kat Howarth and Takoda Peasley are ready to serve their handmade pizza at the St. Peter's soup kitchen on Saturday, March 9th.

Students Kat Howarth and Takoda Peasley are ready to serve their handmade pizza at the St. Peter’s soup kitchen on Saturday, March 9th.

Sarah Vokey and Christian Willey of the Thorndike Creamery in Rockland joined the Youthlinks Soup Kitchen program on Tuesday, February 26.  Each week students in the Youthlinks Soup Kitchen program are joined by a local chef who shares a signature dish with the group and teaches kitchen safety skills. Students take these learned skills to prepare a meal one Saturday a month at the St. Peter’s soup kitchen in Rockland.

Vokey, owner of the popular pizza and ice cream parlor in Rockland, came prepared with all the ingredients required to make a perfect pizza from scratch.  Though Youthlinks staff and program participants were asked to keep the recipes secret, all were shown how to make a signature Thorndike pizza. Vokey showed students the proper technique to making pizza dough without over-kneading. Willey showed students how to stretch the dough over their hands, which requires a gentle, yet firm touch. Willey also demonstrated some impressive dough tossing skills, which no participant dared mimic.

From left: Thorndike Creamery Kitchen Manager Christian Willey, Youthlinks participant Kat Howarth, Owner of the Thorndike Creamery Sarah Vokey, and Youthlinks participant Takoda Peasley.

From left: Thorndike Creamery Kitchen Manager Christian Willey, Youthlinks participant Kat Howarth, Owner of the Thorndike Creamery Sarah Vokey, and Youthlinks participant Takoda Peasley.

 

During the process of cooking a sauce from scratch, Vokey pointed out the difference in flavor between a raw tomato and the complexity of a cooked sauce, encouraging students to taste the sauce before and after the introduction of fresh herbs. Students were able to create their own 10 inch pizza to take home. Vokey showed students how to bake a pizza in a home oven with the help of a makeshift bread paddle by way of a wooden cutting board.   On Saturday, March 9th, students Kat Howarth and Takoda Peasley were joined by Youthlinks program managers Sarah Woodman and Josie Gates at the St. Peter’s soup kitchen. Kat and Takoda used the lessons shared by Willey and Vokey to create a pizza lunch for soup kitchen diners. The two students used tomato sauce and pizza dough made with the Thorndike recipe, chopped vegetables and pepperoni for toppings, and baked their own pizzas to serve to guests. Students also provided a green salad and an apple crisp for dessert.

Student Kat Howarth stated that it was “Definitely interesting to learn how they make the pizza, which is the best pizza in town. And it was a great experience to volunteer at the soup kitchen. It was really nice of them to come.” Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983. For more information please call Youthlinks at 594-2221 or visit youthlinksonline.org.

February 4, 2013

Oceanside High School Students Enjoy the Outdoors Through Youthlinks After School Program

Oceanside High School students Josh Morehouse and Nick Smith take a break and enjoy the view while hiking up Mount Battie during Winter Adventure Team.

Sometimes the best way to ward off the winter blues is by getting out into the elements. For a few Oceanside High School students that’s exactly what they’ve been up to every Friday through the after school Youthlinks program, Winter Adventure Team. Students who participated hiked local hot spots like Merryspring and the face of Mount Battie in Camden, Beech Hill in Rockport, and the Breakwater in Rockland. Each week students bundled up and hit the trail, all the while learning important principles of Leave No Trace as well as proper group hiking etiquette. Youthlinks was fortunate to have Katie Schick of Lincolnville volunteer as a guide and co instructor along with Program Manager, Josie Gates. Schick currently attends Unity College and is working on completing a Bachelor of Science in Adventure-Based Environment Education. Through volunteering with Youthlinks she was able to complete a community service requirement for the semester. A new session of Winter Adventure Team starts Friday February 15th.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983. For more information or to register, please contact Youthlinks: 594-2221 or visit www.youthlinksonline.org