Islesboro School swaps old bulbs for LEDs with new grant

Spark! Fund provides mini grants for community energy projects

Posted 2016-11-28

ISLESBORO, ME—Islesboro Central School (ICS) has been awarded $2,000 for LED lighting upgrades in the first grant from the Island Institute’s Spark! Fund. The Spark! Fund supports community-based energy projects with energy-saving and educational outcomes on Maine’s year-round islands and remote coastal communities. ICS will be matching the grant with school funds.

The school’s lighting project expands work from a student-led project that replaced bulbs in one classroom this spring. This project was supported by the Islesboro Energy Team, a leading community organization now pursuing energy savings and long term sustainability for Islesboro. Several of the student leaders later formed the Islesboro Sustainable League of Energy (ISLE), a club working on energy and sustainability issues at ICS. With this grant they expect to replace about half of the lighting in the school with high efficiency LED bulbs.

School librarian Melissa Olson said: “We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and using the grant money to purchase LED lights for the school will make a big difference. Sophomore Emily Lau, who is a member of both the ICS Sustainability Task Force and ISLE, wrote the grant with the assistance of energy team adviser Jon Bolduc. This is exactly the type of learning ICS promotes—project-based, hands-on, with students following their interests and applying their knowledge to real-life situations.”

Spark! Fund grants are available on an ongoing basis. To learn more about this program or request support for your own community project, go to or contact Community Energy Associate Harry Podolsky at the Island Institute: (207) 594-9209 x 127 or