GARDINER — The Keystone Club, a Boys & Girls Club teen program, was notified in November it was the recipient of a $500 grant to purchase books for The Next Chapter Program for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, according to a news release from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley.

Timmy Doyle, 16, of West Gardiner, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley’s 2018 Youth of the Year and member of The Keystone Club, collaborated with his Teen Director Holly Jordan to write the grant.

“When I see an opportunity for our club kids to receive financial help for their ideas, I encourage them to do it. Grants like the Disney Be Inspired grant allow kids to think about the big picture and give a voice to their passion to help,” said Jordan, according to the release.

After Jordan learned from a recent survey, done by Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, that over half of the Keystone Club members have (or had) a parent incarcerated at one point in their lives, she began to discuss with them the effects that it had on them as children.

Many of the teens talked about the cold disconnect when visiting their parents. As a group they discussed these moments and collectively agreed to create a book program, according to the released.

Along with the grant, and monies raised through fundraising, the teens purchased the books. Sentiments were written in the books by the parent, and during visits they would read to their child a book he/she could take home.

The project goal was to make a time of loneliness, embarrassment and confusion a little easier and more personal for the children involved.

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