Priority Area

Young Children

Advancing the emotional and academic achievement of Maine’s youngest children is one of the most effective ways of ensuring their long-term success as adults.

Young Children

Advancing the emotional and academic achievement of Maine’s youngest children is one of the most effective ways of ensuring their long-term success as adults.

A child’s earliest years are critical for their future success. These early years lay the foundation for everything from academic and career achievement to health and wellness to maintaining healthy personal relationships.

Nearly 20% of Maine children under five live in poverty. Many of these vulnerable children come to school without the skills and resources they need to thrive. Some hear too few words as babies and toddlers, setting them up for challenges in school. More than 50,000 Maine children live in families that struggle with hunger and often rely on free school lunches, food pantries and other emergency meal programs for food. Others lack quality early childhood experiences and struggle with unmet health needs, language barriers and other obstacles.

At the John T. Gorman Foundation, we believe that advancing the emotional and academic achievement of Maine’s youngest children is one of the most effective ways of ensuring their long-term success as adults.


Our Approach

The Foundation partners with communities, schools, advocates, early childhood education providers and others to ensure that more Maine children get the quality experiences they need to meet critical milestones associated with long-term academic success. This includes supporting parents’ efforts to become their children’s first teachers and best advocates.

Some of the areas we focus on include:

  • Partnering with community-based collaboratives (schools, early childhood providers, non-profits, businesses, etc.)  to increase 3rd-grade reading proficiency;
  • Supporting school districts and community-based organizations to implement programs that address summer learning loss; and,
  • Working with local organizations and providers to increase child care quality and access to important prevention programs and supports.