Student volunteers built insulating window inserts on Saturday in the LA ATEC building. The inserts will be donated to two Lincoln County families who receive home heating assistance. These inexpensive, insulating inserts help make homes warmer and more energy efficient.

For the second year in a row, Lincoln Academy’s residential students worked with LA staff and volunteers to construct insulating window inserts for two local families in partnership with the Community Housing Improvement Project (CHIP). This year CHIP’s annual Community Cares Day had to be canceled because of covid concerns, but students were still able to help two local families who receive home heating oil assistance through CHIP.

“CHIP was excited that we could do this project, especially since they were not able to help as many families this year without Community Cares Day,” said LA staff member Sarah Kennedy, who coordinated the window project. “Because we were set up in the LA ATEC building, we were able to make the windows safely for families to install themselves.”

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 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.”

LA residential students have helped out with CHIP’s Community Cares Day efforts for four years, both as on site volunteers, and the last two years, constructing window inserts.

“Involvement in the community is a pillar of LA’s Resident Life program,” said Jake Abbott, Lincoln Academy’s Dean of Students and Director of Resident Life. “We find that volunteering is a fun and active way to start the school year, and helps our residential students feel like part of this community. Because the residential students are all part of one residential ‘pod’ who live in the dorm and eat meals together, this project also felt safe.”

“It felt a little different with masks on and fewer community volunteers, but it was still a great project,” said Kennedy. “Everyone got to learn to use new tools and new skills. Huge thanks to the team leaders and to Hancock Lumber and LAMATEK, Inc. who donated materials.”

Plans are already in the works to make more window inserts at LA in the fall of 2021.