What We Do
The Downtown Education Collaborative (DEC) is an innovative partnership of four colleges and two community partner organizations in Lewiston, Maine whose mission is to bring the knowledge, resources and skills of DEC’s members into partnership with the community in order to strengthen community-engaged teaching, learning, research and service to effect beneficial social change in the community.
Since its official opening in 2008, DEC has launched an array of programs, projects and activities primarily focused on strengthening educational supports and access but has also been engaged in additional efforts aimed at Lewiston’s revitalization. Examples of these initiatives include:
- The Promoting Academic Success Program - Directly supports school success for several hundred Lewiston youth annually.
- Bridging the Digital Divide - Provides computer and Internet access and one-on-one mentoring and skill building for community members at two designated computer labs in downtown Lewiston six days a week.
- Good Food for Lewiston - A multi-year community food assessment, advocacy and action project.
- Summer Camps - Helps youth build leadership skills, develop college aspirations and express creativity.
- Environmental Science Video Lab - Connected at risk high school students, college students and a local documentarian to do community based research.
- Early Childhood Education and Development Cross Campus Group - A cross campus group of faculty and staff in early childhood education and development who are exploring possibilities for combining resources (curricular as well as project-based) to enhance the development of early childhood programs in Lewiston.