At the John T. Gorman Foundation, we believe that advancing the academic achievement of Maine's youngest children is one of the most effective ways of ensuring their long-term success as adults.
Over the next five years, the Foundation will support efforts that can help ensure that more Maine children --- especially the most disadvantaged --- are born healthy; that they receive appropriate developmental supports from their parents (whom we regard as their most important teachers); that their mental and physical needs are met; that they have access to the highest quality childcare and pre-school experiences; and attend elementary schools that successfully prepare them to read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade --- the point at which children move from "learning to read" to "reading to learn."
The Foundation seeks to help more of Maine's older youth develop the skills, build the knowledge and gain access to the support systems required to meet key milestones associated with successful adult transition: achieve a post-secondary credential, secure employment, and live independently.
We are especially interested in our most vulnerable populations: youth involved in the juvenile justice system, those aging out of foster care, homeless youth, young parents, dropouts from high school and post-secondary programs, and high-risk youth in our middle and high schools --- the young people that research and experience tell us are likely to face the toughest challenges to successful adult transition.
The Foundation recognizes that one of the most important things that we can do to prevent poor outcomes for Maine's children and youth in the future, is to invest in ideas and opportunities that can help improve outcomes for parents and caregivers in the present.
Toward this end, over the next five years we will invest in ideas and opportunities that can improve families' economic security, support their parenting efforts, and help them more easily access relevant help when they need it --- especially in times of crisis.
Because Maine's population is among the oldest in the nation, we believe that we all have an obligation to ensure that our seniors --- especially those who are economically disadvantaged --- have the opportunity to age comfortably in settings of their choosing. Because research indicates that for the majority of our state's seniors this means living out their years at home, we support ideas that can increase their ability to do so.
We expect that over the next five years we will invest in efforts aimed at increasing public awareness about this critical issue; support advocacy efforts on behalf of the elderly; and invest in community-based approaches that bring greater resources to bear in support of this population and this goal.