UMFK Foundation Funds Three Proposals to Celebrate Franco-American Cultural Heritage in the St. John Valley

August 15, 2013
NR13061

The University of Maine at Fort Kent Foundation has approved funding for three grant proposals from University departments, all of which celebrate the Franco-American cultural heritage of the St. John Valley. The Foundation approved the proposals for a total of $5,425 at its annual board meeting earlier this month.

The proposals were recommended by the Foundation's Grant Request Guidelines Committee.

This year's funded projects include:

Acadian Curriculum Trunk

This funded proposal will supplement lesson plans written by UMFK Education students, which will provide the students with an authentic learning experience that supports the University's mission and vision statement.

The purpose of the curriculum is to provide an Acadian Curriculum Trunk to all St. John Valley schools in order to accurately educate local students about the rich Acadian cultural roots of the Valley. The proposal is timely, with the upcoming World Acadian Congress in 2014.

Acadian Commuters

A proposal by UMFK Nursing students to develop a local bicycle program, which reinforces that transportation can be achieved through cycling, and is in the best interest of students' health, and the environment.

The funded proposal will paint ten donated bicycles in the red, white and blue colors of the Acadian flag, as well as with the flag's yellow star. Students will ride the bicycles around campus and around town during the upcoming academic year. They also plan to ride the bikes in the World Acadian Congress parade next summer.

Restoring the Acadian Garden

This funded proposal will restore the abandoned and overrun Acadian Garden located on Crocker Beach, behind Cyr and Nadeau halls in time for the 2014 World Acadian Congress. The project will provide experiential learning experiences for students enrolled in two Anthropology courses.

The garden will showcase historically-used kitchen plants, herbs, and wild-collected plants that were commonly used by St. John Valley families during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The Acadian Garden will be planted to historically-known perennials and self-seeding annual herbs and flowers, and trees and shrubs.

The UMFK Foundation annually funds grant proposals supporting differing themes. Awards generally are made in the $2,000 to $5,000 range for projects having broad public benefit.

The Foundation's Grant Request Guidelines Committee was created in 2010 to establish a process for individuals and groups applying for gift requests from the Foundation.

The UMFK Foundation supports endowed scholarships, student and faculty research, state-of-the-art technology upgrades, cultural events, new equipment, library collections, and other campus investments not budgeted for in the University's annual operating budget.