Education News and Notes

Landmark Trust offers Rudyard Kipling award

DUMMERSTON >> The Landmark Trust USA recently announced the first ever Rudyard Kipling Young Writers Award in celebration of its 25th Anniversary.

"As owners of five historic homes that have been painstakingly restored and open for guests, including Rudyard Kipling's home, Naulakha, in Dummerston, where he wrote 'The Just So Stories,' 'The Jungle Book' and 'Captains Courageous,' we wanted to celebrate his legacy along with our own anniversary," said Tristam Johnson, interim executive director of Landmark Trust USA. "We believe this competition is an important opportunity to encourage imagination and creative writing skills in our young people."

The competition is open to all 4th- through 6th-graders in Windham County, whether in public or private schools or home-schooled. There are three categories to this award: poetry, narrative (non-fiction) and narrative (fiction). Submissions from 4th- through 6th-graders will be due by May 15 and awards, honorable mentions and overall best will be made June 4 in a theater at the Latchis.

For more information, contact Tristam Johnson at

Dorothy Vander Meulen honored by AAUW

BRATTLEBORO >> Dorothy Vander Meulen of Brattleboro was recognized for her significant contributions to her community and to the Brattleboro branch of the American Association of University Women at its recent 90th birthday celebration.

Vander Meulen was cited for her volunteer work with the branch as a member of the scholarship committee and with the book sale that raises money for the scholarship fund.

An active community member, Vander Meulen volunteers with the overnight shelter and the food pantry. She is also a member and historian of Centre Congregational Church and is author of a history of the church entitled "The Jewel on Main Street: Centre Congregational Church at 200 Years, 1816-2016." She was honored by the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce with its Bicentennial Recognition Award for her authorship of the book.

A native of Waterbury, Conn., Vander Meulen graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. She and Allen, her husband of almost 57 years, have three children and four grandchildren.

AAUW is devoted to advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Further information is available by contacting President Vivian Prunier at 802-387-5875, online at or on the branch Facebook page.

Pre-school support program offered by WCSU

TOWNSHEND >> Windham Central Supervisory Union is starting a new program for families with preschoolers in the West River Valley towns of Jamaica, Wardsboro, and Townshend.

The Preschool Support Program is funded by a state and federal Preschool Expansion Grant. Through this program, families with preschool-aged children can get help with a variety of needs. The preschool support worker can help families receive beneficial screenings for their child (hearing, vision, dental, health and developmental), connect to community resources for help with things like housing and food, and coordinate/pay for transportation to and from appointments or preschool.

The pre-school support worker can meet with families in their home or at another location, whichever is more comfortable and convenient for the family.

In order to be eligible for the Preschool Support Program this coming fall, a child must be 4 years old by Sept. 1, and as mentioned above, be living in Jamaica, Wardsboro, or Townshend. They do not need to be enrolled or planning on enrolling in preschool in order to be eligible, though the program does happen during the 2016-2017 school year. This program has income guidelines, but they are broader than the free and reduced lunch program guidelines.

This program will also be offering numerous family events. These events will be a chance for families to connect with others in their community and will cover a variety of topics and activities. These events will be open to all families with preschool-aged children in Jamaica, Townshend and Wardsboro.

YMCA Hosts Healthy Kids Day and Camp Open House

SPRINGFIELD >> Two popular Meeting Waters YMCA events come together for a fun day for the entire family. A regional leader in both summer camp programming and health promotion for youth and families, Meeting Waters YMCA will host a combined YMCA Healthy Kids Day and Camp Open House at its Lewis Day Camp facility on Route 5 in Springfield on Saturday, May 21. The event takes place, rain or shine, from 1:00 to 3:00 and is open to the public, free-of-charge.

During the event, prospective campers and their parents can meet the camp's staff leaders; tour some of the 52-acre Lewis Day Camp facility; learn about financial assistance options, the Summer Food Program and daily bussing; and hear from campers and camp parents from previous years about their experiences.

2016 marks Meeting Waters YMCA's 52nd consecutive summer providing enriching day camp programming. Over those years, more than 12,500 area youth have kept their minds and bodies engaged during the summer months when many other youth experience learning loss and/or weight gain.

More information about Meeting Waters YMCA's camps is available at their website at, on their facebook page, or by calling their local number—Brattleboro: 246-1036; Bellows Falls/Fall Mountain: 463-4769, or Springfield: 885-8131.


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