Bath area gears up for back-to-school supplies spree

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BATH — With nine days to go before its “Back to School: Set for Success” day on Aug. 10, the Midcoast Community Alliance was just $2,300 shy of a $30,000 fundraising goal.

Those funds have allowed the organization to purchase all the school supplies it hoped for, MCA founder Jamie Dorr said last week.

The effort is aiming for 60 percent of Regional School Unit 1 students to attend a day-long event at Bath Middle School, 6 Old Brunswick Road, on Sunday, Aug. 19. They will receive all the school supplies they require, regardless of financial need.

Every student will receive a backpack to fill with notebooks, binders and writing utensils. Pre-K to eighth-grade students are asked to attend between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and high school students from 1-3 p.m. Visit mcamaine.org/set-for-success for more information.

Items are being stored at the Bath Parks and Recreational Department, 4 Sheridan Road, and Dorr said volunteers are sought to help move the supplies to the middle school between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday, Aug. 18. She can be reached at 443-6856.

“We truly can’t wait to connect with students and families and spread a little happiness,” Dorr said last week, noting that school staff will be on hand Aug. 19 to check in students and welcome families.

“We’re aiming for 60 percent attendance and really hoping we get that,” she added.

Along with supplies, an “Information Highway” will be available the day of the event, with information on community organizations that provide educational support, behavioral health services, and sources that address addiction, health issues and food insecurity.

Thanks to a donation from the Davenport Trust Fund, MCA is in the process of printing a resource booklet for area families, also posted at https://goo.gl/BPJgh1.

The document, to be available Aug. 19, includes information on each RSU 1 school, MCA, managing back-to-school stress, technology and youth mental health resources, and after-school and extracurricular activities.

Dorr was moved enough by concern about the number of young people taking their own lives in the Mid-Coast area that in 2016 she created MCA, a network that helps troubled youths and the adults around them access the knowledge and resources to prevent such tragedies from happening.

She is also president of the Friends of the Bath Youth Meetinghouse & Skatepark, and a Big Sister through the Bath-Brunswick Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.