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NSB’s Commitment to Enriching Student Experience at MSAD #17 Schools Extends Past $40,000 in Less Than Two Years

OXFORD HILLS—In late 2022, after receiving many requests from teachers and administrators in MSAD #17 for student programs at several elementary schools, Norway Savings Bank decided to do its best to help enrich every student it could at once.

“This funding has allowed us to give our students experiences they would otherwise not have had,” said Jessika Sheldrick, Principal of Otisfield Community School. “Norway Savings Bank’s generous donation has helped us broaden the students’ horizons.”

“There is no way we would have been able to provide all of these fabulous opportunities without the support of Norway Savings Bank,” said Lori Pacholski, Principal of Paris Elementary. “Thank you.”

The program, Viking FUNds, is a tip of the hat to the Oxford Hills’ beloved mascot but, more importantly, pays for field trips at elementary schools throughout the district. All students have benefited, including at schools in Norway, Oxford, West Paris, South Paris, Otisfield, Harrison, Hebron, and Waterford.

The Bank has contributed over $40,000 in 15 months, including $10,000 in late February, and the money has gone to incredible use, sending children on field trips to over 20 locations around New England, from Maine Wildlife Park in Gray to the Museum of Science and Freedom Trail in Boston.

“Many schools across the country have been forced to make difficult decisions in recent years, including the elimination or minimization of field trips in budgets, forcing families to raise the funds in some cases,” said Dan Walsh, President and CEO of Norway Savings Bank. “NSB is a huge promoter of providing learning opportunities for our children that make a positive impact on the students without adding financial stress to their families. This program quite literally accomplishes that.”

“It’s such an amazing gift to our students,” said Jill Bartash, Curriculum Director for MSAD #17. “Our students are eager to learn and are moved and positively affected by extending their educational experiences outside the classroom walls. The support from NSB has been overwhelming and so appreciated.”

“Norway Savings Bank’s generosity allows us to serve the students in such a meaningful way,” said Heather Manchester, Superintendent of Schools for MSAD #17. “There are so many benefits to field trips beyond learning and improved social skills. The students learn how to effectively collaborate, and their natural curiosity comes alive on these memorable trips, helping to create lifelong learners.”

Elementary schools often send thank you notes and pictures from the field trips to Norway Savings Bank staff to thank them for the support. It is hard to judge which smiles are bigger: the ones extending ear to ear on the students in the pictures or the happy faces of bank employees looking at the photos.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to extend this assistance to these school children and teachers,” said Janice de Lima, VP and CRA Officer at Norway Savings. “It is a wonderful partnership and investment that helps students see a bigger world and understand their possibilities in life are limitless.”