SACO – SacoSTEAM, a nonprofit that distributes grants to fund teacher-initiated projects in Saco, has received a combined donation of $5,500 to support its initiatives from Saco & Biddeford Savings and P&C Insurance. The funds will be used to fulfill grants requested by teachers throughout Saco’s K-8 schools.
The organization was founded in 2018 by a small group of Saco parents and residents who perceived a lack of a strong public advocacy foundation in their school system. SacoSTEAM is fighting to change effects of limited school budgets by supporting projects in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
In addition to providing funding, it aims to serve as a public advocate for educational resources, raise educational standards and practices and build connections between the educational community and the rest of Saco.
“While we have a good education system here in Saco, there are still gaps in advocacy, communication, and of course, gaps in funding,” said Tony Palleschi, president of SacoSTEAM. “We want to partner with local businesses to help provide important resources that will help our teachers educate our children as best as they can.”
Every Saco teacher is eligible to submit a grant application and any student, teacher, administrator or community member may join as a co-applicant. Selected projects must be approved by the principal of each involved school. Exact criteria and application instructions can be found on SacoSTEAM’s website.
Last year, the organization funded its first grant for LEGO Robotics at C.K. Burns School, providing enough kits for the LEGO Robotics Team along with regular curriculum instruction for every 4th grade student. Potential future projects could include outdoor mapping, overnight stays at The Ecology School or attending state-wide technology conferences like the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) at the University of Maine in Orono.
“We are very appreciative of businesses like Saco & Biddeford Savings and P&C Insurance who help support this endeavor,” Palleschi said. “The children of Saco are fortunate to be surrounded by businesses like these.”
SacoSTEAM is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization focusing on enhancing science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education in Saco’s K-8 school system through advocacy, community building and direct giving to teacher-initiated projects. For more information about the foundation, including how to donate to or partner with SacoSTEAM, please visit sacosteam.org.
About Saco and Biddeford Savings
Founded in 1827, Saco & Biddeford Savings is Maine’s Oldest Bank with locations in Saco, Biddeford, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland and Westbrook. A leader in community banking, SBSI has contributed more than $3.8 million to area organizations over the last 10 years and continues to support the needs of the communities it serves. For more information, visit sbsavings.bank or on Twitter at @SBSavings and #InItTogether. Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.
About P&C Insurance
Founded in 1928, P&C Insurance provides personal, business, financial insurance programs and advice, as well as providing employee benefits throughout Northern New England. The firm maintains the highest standard of service and is proud of its long-standing client relationships built on mutual responsibility and trust. Locally owned, with access to the finest national and regional insurance carriers and providers, P&C ensures customers have competitive products and pricing to fit clients’ budgets. For more information and locations visit insurancepc.com.