April 9, 2015

Broadreach Hosting Children’s Art Show and Free Children’s Musical Event

Broadreach Children's Art Show 2015


Broadreach to Host Family Musical Event on April 18 and Children’s Art Show Beginning April 12


Kate Quinn-Finlay, Executive Director of Broadreach Family & Community Services is announcing to area families with young children, “Come join us for a wonderful time with award-winning children’s entertainer Matt Loosigian of Earth Jams.  This free event will take place in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library on Saturday, April 18th from 11:15 am until noon.  This fun family time is the culmination of our celebration of National Week of the Young Child.”


Deb Hensley, Director of Early Childhood Education at Broadreach shared that businesses throughout Belfast will be displaying the artwork during this time period of children attending Broadreach’s Early Childhood programs in Waldo and Knox County.  “We are excited that the Belfast Free Library (in the Children’s Room and the Abbott Room) and so many businesses have agreed to showcase the children’s art in such a special way.  We encourage everyone, including the children’s families, to check out the displays at Belfast Framers, Eat More Cheese, Coyote Moon, The Good Table, The Green Store, All About Games, and Vinolio’s.”


According to the EarthJams.com website, “Matt is a folk singer/guitarist specializing in playful, funny songs about ecology and being green.  Join him as he works his musical magic in this interactive and fun music show.  Inspired by Matt’s incredibly dynamic voice and charismatic performance style, participants will sing, play, and dance along as this musical wizard pulls giggles out of his guitar.”


This event is hosted by Broadreach Family & Community Services, Maine Roads to Quality, and Many Flags.  For more information about this free family event, contact Sue diRosario at Broadreach Family & Community Services at 338-2200 extension 201 or at sdirosario@brmaine.org.




March 31, 2015

Thanking DHHS-Rockland Child Protective Workers


“Today, we delivered a gift basket of mini-whoopie
pies from Wicked Whoopies to the Child Protective
unit at Maine DHHS in Rockland. We expressed our
thanks for the important and difficult work that
they do. This recognition is part of our observance
of Child Abuse Prevention Month (April)”.

– Patrick Walsh, Director of Prevention Services,

Broadreach Family & Community Services

March 12, 2015

Broadreach to Help Bangor Savings Bank Collect Peanut Butter & Jelly for Local Food Pantries


Broadreach Family & Community Services is joining in the project to collect jars of peanut butter, jelly, and jam for the Bangor Savings Bank Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive.  The jars can be dropped off at Broadreach and we will deliver them to Bangor Savings Bank.  Please see information from the Bangor Savings Bank’s website below about this drive:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive

Helping to feed Maine families.

More Maine families are facing hunger than ever before. Today 200,000 Mainers struggle with hunger, a quarter of which are children. During the month of March, Bangor Savings Bank will be collecting peanut butter and jelly to benefit local food pantries statewide.


Take a photo of yourself donating at one of our locations and send to socialmedia@bangor.com and we will upload to our Facebook page! For each #SelflessSelfie we receive, we will donate 2 additional jars of peanut butter to the drive to be donated to local food pantries statewide. It is our way of showing the community how grateful we are for those who take the time to selflessly donate to others in need.

Why peanut butter and jelly?

Peanut butter is among one of the most expensive foods for food banks to purchase in large quantities. However, it is one of the most sought after due to its high protein and beneficial fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils). And what’s peanut butter without jelly?

Donate today.

You can drop off donations of peanut butter and jelly in the Proud to Support Maine Communities bin at any of our 56 branch locations. Donations will be accepted throughout the month of March.  (Remember, you can also drop off your donations at Broadreach and we will deliver them for you!)

Have questions?  Contact Patrick Walsh, Broadreach Prevention Services Director at 338-2200 x 209 or at pwalsh@brmaine.org


April 10th is Wear Blue Day


Friday, April 10th is Wear BLUE Day in support of April as Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Awareness Month.  Spread the word and wear blue to show your commitment to the children of Maine.

February 24, 2015

Write in Your Vote for Broadreach Today!

This is the last week to vote for your favorite non-profits in Bangor Savings Bank’s 2015 Community Matters More!  Please write in your vote for Broadreach Family & Community Services under the Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc & Waldo Counties section.  We need your vote!  Please ask your family, friends, and colleagues to vote for Broadreach, too!

A total of 68 grants will be awarded to the organizations listed on the Community Matters More ballot and to the top 20 write-in recipients. The organizations in each of the eight regions (including write-ins) that get the most votes will receive $5,000 each. The remaining 60 organizations will each receive $1,000. So, make your vote count!

To vote for Broadreach and up to two more of your favorite nonprofits, visit Community Matters More or stop by any of the Bangor Savings Bank’s 56 branches statewide or you can copy and paste the following link in your browser and click for the Bangor Savings Bank voting site:


Thank you!


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!

December 31, 2014

Youthlinks Volunteers at Hospitality House

Youthlinks Cooks for Change

By Hannah Magnusson, Youthlinks Program Manager

“I think my favorite part of being at the Hospitality House was how quickly I connected with the kids there,” reflected Youthlinks’ sophomore Mariah Blake.  At the end of every day the Youthlinks high school group, the Student Garden Army, spends time in a circle sharing their thoughts about their experience that day and writing in their journals.  Thursday, December 18th the students reflected on their time at the Hospitality House in Rockport. The students cooked, decorated cookies with the residents and served a delicious meal with veggies from the Grassroots garden at Youthlinks. They spent the last six weeks developing their cooking skills, making ornaments, and cutting out snowflakes.  During their closing circle the students were giddy with excitement about the experience they shared together in helping to give back to their community. ” I feel like we all really bonded,” said freshman Kat Cova.

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.  The Youthlinks Student Garden Army are excited for another session beginning January 12th. During this session they will be working on making a documentary to raise money for a new greenhouse and developing another great community service project as a team.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services. For more information about Youthlinks like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/youthlinks or for more information about all of Broadreach’s programs and services, visit www.brmaine.org.

August 4, 2014

Grassroots Garden Tour to be Hosted by Youthlinks Student Garden Army

SGA photo

On Saturday, August 16th from 9 am until noon, the Youthlinks Program’s Student Garden Army will host a Grassroots Garden Tour at their 420 Broadway location in Rockland.  Local students have been participating in the summer agricultural program and the event will showcase the work they have accomplished in the gardens and greenhouse and allow participants to sample the fresh produce they have grown.  Each Wednesday morning from 9 am – 11 throughout the summer the Student Garden Army operates the Youthlinks Farmstand at 420 Broadway, next to Eastside High School.


The Grassroots Garden Tour will also feature the students of the Midcoast Music Academy who will be on-site to provide live music for the gathering.  The Student Garden Army participants have also planned fun games and prizes and will be displaying art at the event.  Children under 12 receive free admission and for those 12 and older the admission is $5.  All admission fees will be used to support the Student Garden Army Program.


Working with the young people have been Kristofer Koerber, Youthlinks Director and Hannah Magnusson, Program Manager.  The program is supported from private foundations, local businesses, and private individuals.  Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a private, non-profit organization serving children, youth and adults for over three decades with youth services, early childhood education, prevention services, and behavioral health and case management for all ages. For more information about Youthlinks, contact 594-2221 or find Youthlinks on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/youthlinks to learn more about the programs offered and visit http://broadreachmaine.org/ to learn about all of the great things happening through Broadreach.







April 28, 2014

Youthlinks to Hold Yard & Bake Sale on May 3rd

Youthlinks house

Ready to start the spring?  It’s yard sale season kicking off at  420 Broadway in Rockland on Saturday May, 3rd.  Come discover some great treasures!  Youthlinks has cleaned house and in the process uncovered nearly 200 items that are going to be waiting for bargain hunters.  Help support Youthlinks programs with every purchase made; from a kayak and ping-pong table to mugs, glasses and lawn games- we’ve got something for everyone.

In addition to yard sale items, the Youthlinks team will have some fantastic baked goods for sale -and wow… Youthlinks can bake some mighty fine treats!   The event kicks off at 8:00 am and runs until 3:00pm.  Don’t miss this one!

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services providing after school and summer programs for middle and high school students in the region.  For more information about Youthlinks call 594-2221.


October 30, 2013

Click for Babies Campaign

Sometimes it seems young babies will cry inconsolably no matter what a parent tries to soothe them.  Parents try feeding, changing, holding, and checking for any signs of illness but nothing seems to help.  There is a term for this period of an infant’s life, the “Period of PURPLE Crying”.  PURPLE is an acronym for P- peak of crying, U – unexpected, R – resists soothing, P – pain-like face (a crying baby may look like they are in pain even if they are not), L-long-lasting, and E – evening.  Babies may cry more in the late afternoon or evening.  Infants can reach a peak with their crying, often at two months, and then crying begins to taper off as they increase in age.

Recognizing that this can be a confusing and stressful time for parents, the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome developed a “Click for Babies” program to help educate parents about the “Period of PURPLE Crying”.  Each state and province works with local organizations, including hospitals, to disseminate information to new parents along with little purple infant hats hand-knit by volunteers, either individually or as members of knitting clubs.

Broadreach Family & Community Services, along with many generous local knitters will be delivering the purple hats to parents of newborns at Waldo County General Hospital and Penobscot Bay Medical Center during the months of November and December.  Each one comes with a special tag with a message for the new baby, such as “From a Knitting Grammie” or the name of the knitting circle.

Patrick Walsh, Director of Prevention Services at Broadreach shares, “In the past we often attributed those infants who cried a great deal in their early months as colicky babies.  While every child and parent’s experience is unique, research shows us that this spike in crying in infancy is normal and it reduces over time.  We want to get the word out to parents that this is a temporary situation and to understand that this phase is a typical part of infancy and will pass.  While not all babies will experience this period, many will.  We so appreciate the caring knitters that help us convey this important message to parents of newborns.”

Maine, through the Maine Children’s Trust and the Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Councils has been sponsoring the “CLICK (the sound of the knitting needles) for Babies” campaign since 2011.  In the first year the program collected five times their goal of purple knitted hats.  Maine is one of several states and Canadian provinces that participate in the program.

For more information about the “Click for Babies” Campaign, please contact Patrick Walsh at Broadreach Family & Community Services at 338-2200 extension 109 or at pwalsh@brmaine.org.

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.

Youthlinks Farm Camp at Headacre Farm

“Who likes vegetables here?” Chef Kerry Altiero of Café Miranda asks a group of campers from Youthlinks. “No one? Well let me tell you something, vegetables just need a little dressing up!” For the first four weeks of July campers entering grades six through eight were invited to Headacre Farm in Owls Head to learn about farming and cooking with Anne Perkins, Deb Donnelly and Kerry Altiero. At Headacre Farm, Anne, Deb and Kerry set out to prove to groups of middle school age campers that the world of organic, local farming is an exciting one with numerous health and environmental benefits.

Anne Perkins of Headacre Farm teaches campers how to transplant seedlings.

Anne Perkins of Headacre Farm teaches campers how to transplant seedlings.

Headacre Farm is a saltwater farm offering vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, and seasonal decorations. Headacre is committed to returning its 17 saltwater acres to sustainable, diversified, and organically certified farming and becoming a vibrant, productive, and responsible member of our local communities. Headacre Farm is operated in partnership with Café Miranda and provides the Rockland restaurant with fresh, organic produce throughout the growing season.

As part of their commitment to community, Anne and Deb approached Youthlinks over the winter about collaborating to create Farm Camp. Each week a group of twelve students would spend their mornings at Headacre farm learning about plant families and organic pest management from Farmer Anne and helping to plant vegetables and weed and water garden beds. With Deb Donnelly campers also made their own barometers to measure atmospheric pressure, planted basil seeds and nasturtium flowers, and made terrariums with recycled bottles and materials found on the farm. Youthlinks’ AmeriCorps members Josie Gates, Sarah Woodman and Kameryn Sanchez worked with campers to plant, maintain and harvest their own garden beds. They were able to monitor the progress of their own vegetables and make decisions about weeding and watering.

On Wednesdays, campers harvested vegetables from the farm and their garden plots to cook a veggie focused lunch with Chef Kerry. While the campers washed produce and chopped greens, Chef Kerry discussed the merits of eating green and eating local. He gave an example about the difference in taste between a tomato shipped from across the country and one grown in a local garden and he also described the global effects that a small, locally grown tomato can have. Because a tomato grown in a farm only a few miles away doesn’t need to be shipped very far at all, it has a smaller carbon footprint than a tomato from across the country.

In the afternoons campers left the farm but continued the outdoor theme and explored local areas such as Mt. Battie in Camden, Lucia Beach at Birch Point State Park, and Lakes Chickawaukee and Megunticook.

On the last day of camp, campers and their families were invited to a family field day at Headacre farm for games and a potluck style dinner. Families competed in tug-of-war and were given a tour of the farm by campers eager to show off the vegetables they took care of. Anne, Deb and Kerry Altiero all joined in the fun and were available to answer questions parents had about camp or organic and local farming practices. “We had an amazing summer,” said Youthlinks’ Program Director Amie Hutchison. “I am so grateful to Headacre Farm and Café Miranda to providing this opportunity to local students.”

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



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.

June 5, 2011

Mid Coast Children’s Services Now Accepting Summer and Fall Enrollments

Mid-Coast Children’s Services is in the midst of planning our 28th year of summer and fall programming. Our qualified staff has been hard at work designing a variety of early childhood education options that will enrich a child’s early years providing a language and literacy enriched, nurturing learning environment with certified teachers.

This summer beginning June 6th, we are offering our regular extended day program (childcare). Our hours of operation will be Monday thru Friday from 7:30AM to 5:00 PM. In addition, a special six-week Early School summer program (July 11th – August 18th) for children ages 3 – 5 will be offered. This program will be Monday through Thursday from 8:30 – 11:30 AM with the option of our ever popular “Lunch Bunch” until 12:30 if needed. This is a wonderful opportunity for your child to maintain his /her skills that he/she achieved over the past months, have fun, and make the transition to kindergarten smoother.

In addition, we are asking for your help and support by spreading the word that MCCS is now accepting applications for our fall programming beginning September 6th. This new school year, we will be offering the regular Early School morning sessions (8:30 to 11:30AM) for 2 ½ years olds (Tuesday and Thursdays); and for 3 years old on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. We are excited to share that we will be bringing back the 4 year olds programming that will focus on school readiness skills for preparation for entering kindergarten. The 4 year old classroom will be offered Monday through Thursday, 8:30 to 11:30 AM.
For those families needing extended days coverage for childcare services, we will continue our same hours of operation in the afternoon as this past year.

As always, we’re happy to answer any questions and/or provide more information. You can contact Sandy Billington at 594-8474, ext 301 or via email sbillington@brmaine.org, or Mary Bailey MCCS Director at 594-8474 ext.304, email mbailey@brmaine.org.