Lincoln Academy IDEAL students riding fat tire bikes to remote trail areas at Midcoast Conservancy’s Hidden Valley Nature Center to help with trail maintenance.
As school opened this fall Lincoln Academy’s IDEAL (Innovatively Designed Education for All Learners) Program has been out getting off campus to volunteer in the community. “Service Learning is an important part of the IDEAL curriculum,” said program director Janna Civittolo. “Students learn hands-on skills as well as the ethic of giving back.”
Onions grown and harvested at the Food Bank Farm in Damariscotta and cleaned by LA IDEAL students
Students in the morning Service-based Learning class have been working at Twin Village Farms located at Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust with founder/farmer Sara Cawthorn, harvesting and washing bushels of carrots, as well as trimming onions for the cold storage. Twin Village Farms grows and donates produce for nine local food pantries.
Food Bank Farm carrot harvest
After a day’s work Cawthorn commented, “Wow! These kids did such a great job with the onions and cleaned a whole greenhouses worth. A pretty big help to our community!”
The IDEAL students have also been helping groom and create mountain biking trails at Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson alongside Americorps Volunteer Coordinator, Scott Eisele, most recently in preparation for a bike race. The IDEAL Service-based Learning crew had to get to the remote site to work on the trails by biking themselves with their trail grooming tools in their backpacks.
IDEAL students “have a lot of fun and really enjoy helping the community,” said Civittolo. Other community partnerships that students work with throughout the year include Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, Lincoln County Gleaners, and Miles Thrift Store.