Friday May 10, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Hilltop received a $2,000 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation's Small and Inspiring grant program for its middle school trip to Alabama, which offers students the opportunity to live and breath the Civil Rights Movement after an intense period of study on the topic. This was the fifth trip to Alabama for Hilltop middle schoolers. The Alabama odyssey occurs every other year so that students are certain to have the experience in either 7th or 8th grade.

"All year long the students have been exploring the evolution of the American identity with a particular look at the impact of slavery, abolition, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, and the Civil Rights Movement," said Paul Dedell, middle school co-director. "We are grateful for the Vermont Community Foundation's support through its Small and Inspiring grant program. Those funds helped our students experience first-hand the legacy of the Civil Rights era, and learn a tremendous amount about the people and places of entirely different communities."

Through its Small and Inspiring grants program, the Community Foundation hopes to foster the spark and hope that keeps Vermonters healthy and happy by finding and supporting projects in every town where a small grant can make a big difference.

The students will be presenting an original musical, "Return to Sender," based on their experiences in Alabama at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, May 9 and 10, at the Hilltop Montessori Middle School, 120 Summit Circle, Brattleboro.

Learn more about the Alabama Odyssey www.hilltopmontessori.org and click on "middle school odyssey." Photos and short videos, singing and speech making, and student journal entries are available.