LIVERMORE FALLS — Students and teachers at the Progressive Learning Institute are working with two agencies to help struggling families get necessary back-to-school supplies for their children in the Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls schools.

The Progressive Learning Center was given $500 by the Western Maine Division of the Maine Transition Network, regional network coordinator Mary Redmond-Luce said.

“These funds come directly from the (United Way of the Tri-Valley Area),” she said. “The Maine Transition Network divided the money it received from the United Way to give to projects in local high schools to enhance work experience, plus engage students in connecting to their local community and helping out where there is need.”

Progressive Learning Institute students have created donation boxes that are located at the town offices in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls and at the Puffin’ Stop in Livermore Falls, teacher Chris Ellingwood said.

Donations received in the boxes will be combined with the items that are purchased with the grant money, he said. The center is collecting basic school supplies of pens, pencils, regular writing notebooks, spiral notebooks, colored pencils and colored markers.

Items will be bundled and packaged by the students for delivery to the Jay School Department and Regional School Unit 36 in Livermore and Livermore Falls.

Administrators in each district have been made aware of the initiative to help support the tri-town area, Ellingwood said. Requests for supplies will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis, he said.

“Times are tough for everybody,” he said. “We thought we could help out.”

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