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From Northern Maine: The Van Buren Resiliency Project (VBRP)

     This is just a short message to let you know that we are active and after our "sort of" summer break, we're looking forward to the coming months.  I have attached a short description of our mission and vision as well as what we hope to do.  I am also appending a link to an article on the AcesConnection website  that describes the Maine Resilience Building Network: We are affiliated with them, and they are giving us tremendous support even though they are located about a four-hour drive from our location in northern Maine.   
     In June VBRP received a grant from the Maine Community Foundation, as well as a grant from a Van Buren philanthropist, to help us obtain skilled assistance in working to spread the message that the long-term negative effects of ACEs are common everywhere -- even in our community -- but that there are proven ways in which our community can get together to help each other.  Together we can understand ACEs and their life-long effects; assess our needs and recognize our strengths; seek the wisdom of those who have been impacted by ACEs; and design one or two small "test" programs to promote the resilience and community support that can help our community and its families to thrive and prosper in spite of the adverse experiences they have suffered in childhood.  
      We have formed a board of directors of which Vanda Madore is the chairperson.  Our board consists of nine members now, and we are looking for more representatives from the community to bring it up to a full strength of 15.  We have also incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of Maine, and will be working on obtaining 501 (c) (3) status with the Internal Revenue Service so that we will be able to obtain further grants to help in our work.
      We are working with staff from Penquis Community Action Program in Bangor to establish a Foster Grandparent Program here.  We're collaborating with a really engaged school faculty and a caring clinic staff to research ways in which our community can help our kids to have the support they need to be more ready to succeed in school, and we're looking at resources for older people as well.  In mid-October we'll present "Paper Tigers" to the staff of our PreK-12 school, and towards the end of October we will have a Sunday lunch of chicken stew and ployes (an Acadian treat -- something like pancakes but lots better) for families.  After the meal we'll have a presentation on resilience for the adults and activities for the kids.
       With the help of the Maine Resilience Building Network we're preparing to do an assessment of  community needs as well as the resources that can play a big part in lessening the effects of ACEs.  We're continuing to present programs that help our Van Buren community  to understand what ACEs are all about, and to discover that, working together, we can lessen the impact of ACEs.  As our logo says:  "We've got this!"  and "we" Is our entire community.
      Thank you for allowing us to share our goals -- and our enthusiasm -- with you.
- Dave
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