Posted on Thursday July 7, 2011

(Biddeford, ME) – Mrs. Barbara Bush announced today that the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s Maine Family Literacy Initiative (MEFLI) ( has awarded $25,000 to The Passages Program of Wayfinder Schools.

Passages Program Director Martha Kempe proudly accepted the award from Mrs. Bush at a ceremony held at the J. Richard Martin Community Center in Biddeford, on June 15, 2011. The grant will be used to support the family literacy work of Passages, a home-based high school diploma program for teen parents, aged 14-20, residing in Knox, Lincoln, Waldo, and Washington counties. The Passages Program provides individualized instruction to students in their homes, thereby eliminating student need to secure daily childcare and transportation to attend school. Students and teachers form strong relationships based on mutual learning and respect for students’ strengths, needs and their desire to be the best parents they can be. Students work at their own pace to meet 24 core skill requirements in Academics, Parenting, Life Skills, including math science, social studies, English language, budgeting nutrition, family literacy, child development and more. Both parents and their young children participate in this program, which includes strong adult, early and intergenerational family literacy components.

“The abilities to read, write and comprehend enable people to create brighter and more prosperous futures for themselves, their families and their communities,” said Mrs. Bush. “The staff and volunteers with the MEFLI programs are making a wonderful difference in many lives, and I am proud of their work to make Maine a more literate state.”
A total of ten grants of $25, 000 were awarded this year from applications submitted by libraries, adult education and public schools across the state. Programs receiving support provide family literacy services including adult and early childhood instruction, and time for parents and children to read together. An additional two planning grants of $5,000 each will help communities develop the partnerships and resources needed to implement a family literacy program in 2011.
Five “Lighthouse Model Programs” grants of $25,000 have also been awarded to well-established, model family literacy programs that have proposed outreach activities to support the promotion and expansion of family literacy services in Maine. Applicants were selected based on their ability to demonstrate experience and success in providing family literacy programming, the creativity of their outreach activities, and the diversity of their partnerships and target audiences.
Since 1996, The Maine Family Literacy Initiative has awarded 243 grants totaling $4,341,991. To learn more, visit