Cornerstones of Science, Maine Campus Compact, and the Child Nutrition Program of the Maine Department of Education teamed up for a second year this past summer to address two fundamental issues facing schoolchildren: food insecurity and access to education. The new initiative called REV Up The Fun reached as many as 40,000 Maine families in the summer and is now gearing up to provide science activities and food to youngsters and their families throughout the school year.
“We are concerned that hunger and a lack of access to learning are at an all-time high during this pandemic,” said Cornerstones of Science Executive Director Cynthia Randall. “Therefore, we are happy to announce that the REV Up The Fun initiative will continue into the school year in 25 communities in Maine as the urgent need for good food and good fun continues due to the pandemic. With more great activities, videos, and partners, it is hopeful that this program can become available to more children in more states so they can receive healthy food and continue to be engaged in hands-on activities that stimulated their minds and make a difference.”
Last summer, due to COVID-19, organizers quickly pivoted to a home-based learning model which was designed to provide engaging science activities to youngsters and their families, and which was distributed via food boxes at pre-selected community locations. A new website, called revupthefun.org, offered a large collection of online science activities, videos, and resources for kids, aged 6-12 on the topics of space, energy, wellness, and more. These science-based activities are designed to use household materials and are downloadable at revupthefun.org.
“Last summer as libraries were closed and as families were coping with the health and economic hardships presented by COVID-19, we worked even harder and faster to ensure that we could reach a greater audience of children in the safety of their own home,” said Randall.
“The goal of this initiative is to make this free educational resource accessible to everyone and to invite community organizations and families to use it,” explained Randall. “The new website is full of fun activities that allow children to explore their world from safety of their homes.” It also houses resources and a marketing packet, including local sponsor ask-sheets and a press release template – for communities to launch programs in their own areas.
For more information on how to launch program in your own area, please visit “Community Resources” at revupthefun.org.