Nearly $3.5 million in federal grants for Maine communities, including Waterville and Unity, were announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently.

In Waterville, Learning Disabilities Association of Maine will received about $490,000 to connect the roughly 10 percent of students suffering with specific learning disabilities with educators at the association.

The students are at about 150 sites across the state and will be connected to educators by video.

The Unity-based School Administrative District 3 will receive a grant for about $492,000. It will be used to connect 21 northeastern Maine high schools, middle schools and elementary schools with each other and with higher education institutions for classes, training and mentoring.

The programs include a general emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math.

Thomas and Unity colleges are participating with advanced placement courses, dual enrollment options and a wider array of foreign languages. Students and teachers at each site will also be able tap into the educational software and video platforms at the University of Maine.

The other grants were award to Maine Sea Coast Missionary Society in Bar Harbor, Topsham-based School Administrative District 75, Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice in Lewiston, Region Two School of Applied Technology in Houlton, Eastern Maine HomeCare in Caribou.

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