NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen has agreed to try to help fund ClubRowe from a town trust fund set up by a former schoolteacher specifically for educational causes.

Selectmen unanimously agreed at their Thursday meeting to take $300 to $500 from the Tessa Thibodeau Trust Fund and give it to the club. Selectman Mike Twitchell also said he would donate 10 percent of his selectman’s stipend of $1,500 to the club.

In August, ClubRowe Director Stacey LaFlamme asked the Board of Selectmen to help purchase a modular classroom and other items totaling about $20,000 to avoid a reduction of club enrollment by about 60 percent and staff cuts.

The program lost half of its space when school officials needed it to start a prekindergarten program this fall. That meant the program had to reduce enrollment from 62 to 25 students and cut the number of staff from four to two teachers.

To prevent the loss, the club members used club savings to buy a modular classroom from Schiavi Leasing Corp. and place it on the school property. School officials and the Planning Board have approved that move.

But LaFlamme told selectmen Thursday that they need about $5,000 to $7,000 to finish work on the modular before they will be allowed to occupy it. They were looking for $2,500 from the town.


“We cannot get in there until we get the money for the handicapped ramps and staircase,” LaFlamme said. The money is also needed for fire protection.

While selectmen said they could ask voters at a special town meeting if they wished to approve the money, they also made it clear that the process was not a guarantee and could take time. They said previously that there is no extra money to spend.

Selectman Russ Newcomb also suggested that the town committee charged with distribution of $30,000 to provider agencies such as ClubRowe could convene to see if there is any available money for the club.

ClubRowe is a nonprofit school-age enrichment program for children in grades kindergarten through six at Guy E. Rowe Elementary School and for children living in or visiting Norway during the summer.

It was started seven years ago with a 21st Century Grant that lasted for five years. For the past two years, the club has become an independent entity while maintaining a partnership with the school district.

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