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The FAFSA Tongue Twister

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015


FAFSA or the  Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a tongue twister. It does not roll of the tongue and often causes families with high school students confusion and stress.

You see, the forms were not accepted until January 1 and depended on information people may not know until their taxes were filed in April. So, people had to guess. And risk having to file for readjustment later. This made making a decision about aid packages from schools difficult because the numbers could change.

On September 14, President Obama took action to take the guess work out of the FAFSA. Families can now file their FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016 and use their tax information from the prior year. No more guess work. The administration hopes that this will give students and families more information sooner about how much money they are getting to help pay for college.

A new tool to help you get a better idea how much you will pay for college, President Obama also released a new website called the College Score Card. This useful tool can estimate how much you may pay to attend a specific school based on your family’s income.

For more information on the new FAFSA deadlines, click here!


Grant Kick off and Introduction!

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, September 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Curtis’ free How-To Festival and Block Party. This will serve as our official grant kick off.

This year will feature FREE mini-workshops as well as informational tables, food and fun. Middle Street will be closed to vehicles to accommodate events happening at the library, in the street and in the Unitarian Universalist Church hall. There will be food trucks, demonstrations, giveaways, live music with local musicians, and special appearances and photo opportunities with Baxter, the Maine State Library mascot, and Slugger, the Portland Seadog mascot.

Attendees can learn about English Country dancing, weatherizing windows, baton twirling, rug hooking, preparing family meals on a budget, caring for a pet chinchilla—and much more! There will be plenty of how-to presentations that showcase technology and online resources, such as accessing free magazines on mobile devices, how to scan photos, demonstrations on a 3D printer, and an introduction to the Apple Watch. You can see the most current schedule here: http://www.curtislibrary.com/how-to-festival-and-block-party/

I also want to highlight our September grant programming.

  • Thursday, September 17: Money Smart Family Meal Night. Join us for a FREE MEAL for all ages, from preschoolers to adults. Busy families can attend without having to find childcare or cook dinner! You don’t have to bring a family to participate, these workshops are for anyone with an interest in the topic. September will focus on budgeting. 6pm Morrell Meeting Room.
  • Friday, September 18: Tech Meetup. Join library staff for an introduction to the newly renovated Curtis Money website www.curtismoney.com where you can access financial information, links to books in our collection about simple topics such as banking basics, credit and where to turn in difficult times. You can also learn about the amazing community resources on how you can Make it in Maine. You can do it! We can help. Let us show you how. 12pm Seminar Room
  • Wednesday, September 23; Friday, September 25: Money Smart Meetup Book Club. Money Smart Meetup functions as an enhanced book group and will include discussions focusing on spending mindfully and financial psychology, managing and eliminating debt, saving money and building assets, practical economics, home ownership, and investment strategies.  Each month, one book on personal finance will be reviewed and discussed by club participants. Guest experts frequently available to provide professional insight. We provide books, free for all participants available at the reference desk. September’s book: The Power of Habit: by Charles Duhigg. 6:30pm on Wednesday and 12pm on Friday. Seminar Room
  • Beginning Tuesday, October 6 at MidCoast Hunger Prevention Program, Good Shepard Food Bank Cooking Matters class. A six week series offers hands-on cooking and nutrition classes led by volunteer professional chefs and nutritionists. Attendees receive groceries weekly to recreate the meals at home. Interested participants can sign up at the reference desk or MCHPP.

Each month will feature a family meal or lecture (third Thursday), book group (fourth Wednesday and Friday) and tech meet up (second Friday) at the library. Additionally, we will take a monthly family meal to Brunswick Housing Authority family housing Perryman Village (third Wednesday) and the book club and tech meet up to both Brunswick Housing Authority senior housing Woodlawn Towers and Terrace (third Monday) as well as private senior housing Pejepscot Village (third Thursday). We hope to also program at Orr’s and Cundy’s Harbor Libraries as well as Harpswell Town Hall.

Finally, our money websites www.curtismoney.com has received a facelift. There you will find our grant programming through June, 2016, key resources on a number of financial topics and a link to local resources.