Monday, June 23, 2014

Laraway staff featured on WLVB Radio

     Laraway's Backpack Program is gearing up for another successful summer jam packed with  fun activities.  Greg Stefanski appeared with Adria Dube, Backpack Operations Coordinator, on Roland Lajoie's radio show at WLVB.
     Twenty-seven local children and youth will swim, play, read, write, play math games and volunteer at local community organizations during our five-week program.  Field trips encompass the educational and the fun with trips to the ECHO Center, Circus Smirkus and the Pump House Water Park at Jay Peak.  A Small and Inspiring Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation will allow artists from River Arts to deliver art workshops on our campus. Volunteer sites include Meals on Wheels, Out and About, the Farm Between, Agape and Hope Grows.
     Backpack's summer program is carefully crafted to keep kids who experience behavioral challenges engaged in learning over the summer so that their academic skills stay fresh.  Volunteering with seniors and in other community settings enhances kids' social skills while deepening their sense of empathy.  Breakfast, lunch and nutritious snacks are provided to kids who arrive at 8:00 a.m. on each weekday and depart at 2:45 p.m.
     "It's great for Laraway to bring awareness of summer activities on the radio," Dube said.
     Thank you to Roland Lajoie and WLVB for shining a spotlight on----actually, for bringing a microphone to---the work we do with children, youth and families.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Got Talent? Laraway School's Annual Talent Show

     Got talent?  Can you sing, tell a joke or walk on your hands?  Maybe you play the drums, keyboard or guitar?  Is acting your thing?  Can you walk on your hands or twist your body like a skilled contortionist?  Can you scat like Dizzy Gillespie?
     Laraway School's Annual Talent Show took place on campus today under a warm and sunny sky.  Performers took to our creatively designed, moveable stage, built by kids and staff.  A blue-haired emcee (aka Sarah the Teacher) introduced performers, offering a joke or two between acts---including a little quip about a mushroom seeking to be served in a fancy restaurant..."But I'm a fun-gi!"  Audience members cheered staff and kids as they took turns sharing their talents.
      There were even tasty treats for attendees.  Spanakopita (spinach and feta wrapped in phyllo dough) and bacon-wrapped hot dog bites provided a delicious snack.  These were prepared by one of our students who works part-time for a local food service company.
     Laraway is about teaching and healing.  Laraway is also about sharing what makes us sparkle and shine.  Kudos to our students and staff for a wonderful talent show!

Rick Isabelle joins Board of Trustees

     Rick Isabelle, a Notheast Kingdom native, joined Laraway's Board and serves as Treasurer.  He brings many years of experience in banking and finance.
     Rick owns and operates the Isabelle Insurance Agency in Newport.  His long list of civic involvements includes serving on the boards of the Vermont Community Loan Fund, the Northern Community Investment Corporation and the St. Johnsbury Development Fund, among others.
     "One of the reasons I was interested in Laraway was the commitment of management and staff to meeting the needs of the community," Isabelle said.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Laraway's "Rock" Garden

     Strawberries are planted.  Mesclun greens, beans and peas grow steadily under sunny skies.  Basil sprouts in anticipation of a late summer date with garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil to be transformed into pesto.  Wheat springs up, in preparation for fall bread-baking.
     Summer weather has arrived and you can find Laraway kids, staff and a smattering of volunteers tending our gardens.  Teaching youth about how to plan, plant, cultivate and harvest homegrown, natural foods promotes healthful living and independence.
     A new initiative this year is a Word Garden in which kids and staff are encouraged to write words on brightly painted stones which are them placed in our garden.  Oh the sentences, poems and proverbs waiting to be arranged!