Lincoln Academy student volunteers peek through insulating window inserts they constructed in LA’s ATEC facility to support CHIP Community Cares Day. Photo courtesy Linda Shaffer.

On Saturday, September 7, 26 Lincoln Academy students and many adult volunteers came together at LA’s Applied Technology and Engineering Center (ATEC) to build 34 insulating window inserts for local families as part of the Community Housing Improvement Project (CHIP)’s Community Cares Day.
The inserts were designed by community volunteer Brad Craig of Nobleboro with some modifications made by LA faculty members Ryan Wynn and Shawn St Cyr to take advantage of the available tools in ATEC.

The project was coordinated by LA staff member Sarah Kennedy, who works in the school’s Resident Life program. Kennedy wanted to bring together LA students and ATEC’s resources to support CHIP’s efforts to keep local residents warm in the winter. She held a training workshop in August for student team leaders, and then organized the actual build day on September 7 to coincide with CHIP’S large scale volunteer event, Community Cares Day
“The inserts significantly reduce heating costs while having a positive environmental impact,” said Kennedy. “They also fit in with CHIP’s mission of keeping families safe, warm and dry.” CHIP Coordinator Brittany Gill worked over the summer measuring windows and working with recipients to ensure they had a space available to safely store the inserts when not in use during the warmer parts of the year.

Recipients of the window inserts include residents at Stepping Stones Community Housing and Mobius, both organizations that support families in Lincoln County. According to Kennedy, this is the third year LA has helped organize student volunteers take part in CHIP’s Community Cares Day efforts, which happens each year in early September and coincides with the annual community service weekend organized by LA’s resident life program.

“We start every year with community service because it is important to us to help our boarding students, many of whom are from overseas, be part of the life of this community they call home during high school,” said Jake Abbott, Lincoln Academy’s Dean of Students and Director of Resident Life. “Involvement in the community is a pillar of LA’s Resident Life program. We find that volunteering is also a fun and active way to start the year, giving students a chance to get to know each other and their neighbors, and making new students feel like their presence here matters.”

“It was a very busy day complete with power tools, a giant roll of plastic wrap, teamwork and loads of skill building,” said Kennedy. “Huge thanks to all my team leaders, Hancock Lumber and LAMATEK, Inc. who donated materials, and to our incredible volunteers! It was especially wonderful wrapping up the day by delivering the window inserts to some of the recipient families with our students – both to see how happy the families were to receive the windows and to witness the pride the students had in their work as they handed them off.”

Plans are already in the works to make more window inserts at LA in the fall of 2020.

Photos by Linda Shaffer. More photos of the window insert project by Aria Tan ’20 are at this link