REGION — Many area businesses have gone above and beyond in helping out others during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the River Fund, whose mission is all about creating educational opportunities for area youth, is getting in on the action.

They recently announced a new program, “The River Fund Maine’s COVID-19 Relief Program,” which looks to support online education for students in the MSAD 44 area (Andover, Bethel, Gilead, Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock).

“The River Fund is working on new programs to ensure that children can continue schooling without burdening their family’s financial resources,” the fund said in a statement.

For the next three months, the River Fund will pay internet access fees (up to a total of $100 per household) for any family who income has been “furloughed” due to COVID-19.

The River Fund said that families should not have to make a decision between their child’s education and meeting the families’ essential needs. They are encouraging any family whose income has taken a hit to apply for the stipend.

Those interested in applying will need to provide the name of their child/children and where they attend school, preferred contact info, name and address of business where the wage earner has been furloughed, info from the household’s most recent internet provider’s bill, and a completed application form, which can be found on the River Fund’s website.

For application details and more info, visit

In another effort, The River Fund is also been in contact with SAD 44 about getting internet hot spots to all towns listed earlier in the article. The fund believes that doing this will extend internet coverage to all students in the area and will ensure that they can finish their academic year without any additional challenges.


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