Even among the happy images stuffing mailboxes at this time of year, Lili Clement’s charming self-portrait stands out. Clement is a first-grade student at Lincolnville Central School, and her smiling sketch graces Partners For Enrichment’s annual fundraising letter.

“It’s the happiest picture,” said Jane Cummons, president of Partners, the all-volunteer group that has been providing arts and science enrichment to Hope Elementary School, Appleton Village School and Lincolnville Central School for the past 12 years. “That little face — it’s a wonderful representation of what we as a board hope to do — inspire and educate and make kids smile!”

Before her mom asked if Partners could reprint her art, Lili cheerfully admitted that she’d never heard of the group.

“I sometimes think we are the Midcoast’s best-kept secret,” said long-time Partners’ member and AVS teacher Carol Chater, in a press release. “I work at Appleton Village School, and can’t tell you how many times I hear kids and parents talking about a Partners’ program they loved and they have absolutely no idea that the play or concert or field trip was planned and funded by Partners for Enrichment.”

Ann Bresnahan, a Hope resident, founding member of Partners and the board’s treasurer, said this has been a long-term challenge. “This is a busy, high-energy group that focuses on education. We work so hard on programming that we haven’t had a lot of time to devote to advertising ourselves.”

Even without advertising, Cummons reports that donors from all three towns give generously in response to the annual fundraising letter.

“We have many folks — parents, grandparents, people who have never had a child in the schools — who have donated every year since Partners was founded, “ said Bresnahan.

This year, Partners has added a holiday appeal to its usual fall mailing. “All nonprofits are feeling the pinch,” said Bresnahan. “And with school budgets slashed, we really need to work to be sure that Partners can supply the resources our students, teachers and schools need and deserve.”

To find out more about Partners for Enrichment, or to make a donation, contact Partners for Enrichment, 721 Camden Road, Hope, ME 04847.