Education news and notes

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Fresh Air Fund needs hosts

BRATTLEBORO >> This Father's Day is a good time to celebrate all the men in our lives and many men in southeastern Vermont who take on the role of Fresh Air father, as they open their hearts to New York City children through The Fresh Air Fund's Friendly Towns Program for one to two weeks during the summer.

This Father's Day, consider sharing the joys of playing catch barefoot on the grass and roasting s'mores by the campfire with a New York City child. The Fresh Air Fund is currently seeking more families to give children from New York City a Fresh Air experience this summer. Sign up by July 1 to host a Fresh Air child this August.

"What it really equates to is another setting at your dinner table and giving a child a an experience they might not otherwise have," said host father Chris. "When our Fresh Air child, Kenneth, comes to visit all we have to do is have a welcoming home for a week or two."

Each summer, close to 4,000 children visit volunteer host families in rural, suburban and small town communities along the East Coast from North Carolina to Maine and Ontario, Canada. Fresh Air children are given the opportunity to experience a world outside of New York City full of meadows to run in, streams to fish in and lakes to swim in.

Submit your application by July 1 to sign up to host a Fresh Air child this August. The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. To learn more about hosting a Fresh Air child this summer, please contact Tom Kosiba at 802-282-9933 or visit The Fresh Air Fund online at www.freshair.org.

Vermont Learning Collaborative offers summer educator courses

DUMMERTON >> The Vermont Learning Collaborative serves educators throughout Vermont and beyond with professional learning opportunities. This summer's courses support teachers in Classroom Practice, Mathematics, Science and Technology and held in Brattleboro, Dummerston, and Springfield.

The following courses are designed to strengthen classroom teaching and student learning, to engage and motivate students, build a supportive learning environment, and enhance social and emotional and academic success.

"All Kids" presents best practices plus a researched based lesson delivery system to assist educators in providing equitable access to academic content for all students. Local educator Tina Shakespeare will offer "Differentiated Instruction and the Common Core." Differentiation in instruction can lead to student success, proficiency and more.

Also available will be two math courses. "Laying the Foundation Building a Deep Understanding of Number" with instructor, Loree Silvis. This course will explore the foundational concepts of early numeracy. "Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI): Reasoning Algebraically About Operations" will be presented by Liz VanCleef. This hybrid course will help teachers prepare students to think algebraically for success in middle school and beyond.

"Using Personalized, Proficiency-Based Learning to Help ALL Students Master NGSS," taught by Liz Mirra, begins practical implementation of personal learning plans in the subject area of science, building upon the widely acclaimed Next Generation Science Standards. "Accessing Digital Resources" is a teacher-developed course which reveals a world of resources to support instruction through both classroom investigations and personal learning opportunities. Alison Sullivan and Crystal Griswold from Dover School will be the instructors.

"A Lasting Opportunity: Non-Fiction Craft and Structure in Grades K-5," will explore the challenges and opportunities to every classroom with colleagues and an engaging expert. Hilary Kissel will be the instructor.

The Vermont Learning Collaborative is located in Dummerston. For more details about these course offerings and to register for courses, visit learningcollaborative.org or call 802-257- 8600.

Class of 1956 reunion

BRATTLEBORO >> The Brattleboro High School Class of 1956 will celebrate its 60th reunion on June 22 beginning at noon at the home of Stu and Beverly Thurber at 30 Covey Rd. in West Brattleboro. Classmates are urged to contact Pete Harrison at 802-722-3080, studebaker99@comcast.net, or Stu and Beverly at 802-254-8113, bthurber99@hotmail.com, for details.

Summer reading program

BELLOWS FALLS >> Register now for Rockingham Library's 2016 Summer Reading Program for all ages by visiting the library and signing up or sending an email with the name, age, and phone number of each child to youthservices@rockinghamlibrary.org. Once registered, visit the library at least once a week to update your reading log and enter to win special prizes each week.

The Summer Reading Program officially kicks off on Tuesday, June 21, at 5 p.m. with "Dance with Ashley!" a high energy program exploring play, literacy, and creative movement. June 21 is also the Eighth Annual Stuffed Animal Sleepover. Kids, teens, and adults are invited to bring a stuffed animal to spend the night in the library, which will create a video of what the stuffed animals do overnight.

The summer program offers lots of activities for all ages each week. For young children, the library holds a playgroup each Monday at 10 a.m., an all-ages storytime on Tuesday mornings at 10:30, and a baby storytime on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. Older kids can join the weekly Lego Club or Minecraft Club. Teens can look forward to teen movie night each Wednesday, game nights on Friday evenings, book group get-togethers, and this year the Library will be participating in the National Teen Lock-In on July 29.

New this year is STEAM Saturdays. Get hands-on with science, technology, engineering, art, and math every Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon. The line-up of projects includes rockets, electronics, marble machine tinkering, animation and video creation, and a morning of engineering challenges. STEAM Saturdays are open to all age, but kids 12 and younger will need to have an adult attend the program with them. Additionally, some materials are limited, so signing-up at the library ahead of time is encouraged.

For more information about the Rockingham Library Summer Reading Program and all of the programs being offered this summer stop by the library at 65 Westminster St., call 802-463-4270 or email youthservices@rockinghamlibrary.org,.

Host families needed

BRATTLEBORO >> Host families are urgently needed for a group of Spanish students will be spending three-and-a-half weeks in southern Vermont this summer to improve their English and experience American family life. These boys and girls, who range in age from 15 to 17, arrive June 25 and depart on July 20.

Among the students eagerly awaiting news about their American family are Iratxe, a 16-year-old girl who likes swimming, bicycling, dance, and cooking, and Itxaso, a 17-year-old girl who enjoys swimming, tennis, basketball, and aerobics. Several boys also are in need of host families, including 16-year-old Ander, who enjoys tennis, soccer, and basketball, and Jon, 17, who likes swimming, running, and animals. The students are all from the Basque region of Spain.

Host families provide a warm and safe home environment for the student, as well as meals and transportation to a meeting spot on the days there are field trips to Boston, and Six Flags. It's fine for a student to share a room with a host sibling, and students have their own spending money and medical insurance.

Hosting a student from another country is a great way to expand your family's horizons, share some summer experiences with a teen who's eager to learn, and to make a lifelong friend from another country. Interested families are encouraged to call Ann Newsmith at 802-257-4710 or email exchangeVT@gmail.com as soon as possible.


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