Thursday, July 28, 2016

And now, a story from Laraway's Fisher Cats Team

       For our morning meeting game, we wrote a story one sentence at a time taking turns around the circle. This is what we came up with:
       One day at summer camp, we went on a hike.  We saw a bear.  We also saw a deer.  The bear and the deer started talking to us.  They said "What a great morning!" They asked if we wanted a fire to make s'mores.  But, the animals were tricking us because they really wanted to eat us.  The bear brought out a big cauldron, filled it up with water, and put it over the fire.  Then, he added carrots and onions. The bear told the Fisher Cats that it was a hot tub, and they were excited to try it. 
      All of a sudden, a helicopter flew over their heads and a line came down. Alyssa, Melissa, Vinny, and Alex came down the line.  Alex said, "They tried this yesterday! Get out quick!"  Everyone climbed up the line to escape the deer and bear.  We flew to McDonald's because the smell of the carrots made us hungry. 
      Then, Vinny took us all fishing and we caught a big fish.  Afterward, we all ate blueberry pies and lived happily every after.  Until... the next group went hiking. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"...the best thing I've gone to in my life"

     "This is the best thing I've gone to in my life!" said an enthusiastic student.  The young man then proceeded to give the presenter a hug.
     Jan Reynolds---writer, photographer and world traveler extraordinaire---visited with students at Laraway School as part of our summer program. Her presentation captured images of faraway mosques, deserts, camels and hot air balloons floating through clouds.  She transported her audience to the Himalayas with its crowning peak---Mount Everest.  Her camera's lens introduced the marketplaces brimming with spices in varying hues and, more importantly, the people with whom she sipped tea while learning about their culture.
     "We (Americans) invented plastic and styrofoam," remarked Reynolds.  "There is no such thing as trash for the indigenous peoples I visit.  They use everything."  She offered the example of the yak's importance among Himalayan peoples.  The animals provide meat, milk, cheese, carrying-power and blankets.
     Reynolds has worked for National Geographic Magazine and is the author of the Vanishing Cultures  book series.  She's a graduate of the University of Vermont and was a member of the U.S. Biathlon Team in 1983 and 1984.  She's a skilled mountaineer and skier, having crossed the New Zealand Alps on cross country skis in 1979.
     Reynolds has achieved extraordinary heights in her career.  Her story is inspiring and loaded with important messages for our students...about setting goals and working towards them.  For more information, visit


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

CLiF Grant brings Vermont author David Martin to Laraway

    Vermont author David Martin recently visited Laraway Youth & Family Services (Laraway) to read some of his books aloud to students. His visit was supported by a Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) Summer Readers Grant. Martin’s lively presentation was followed by a generous book giveaway of brand-new children’s books.
     Martin, author of a slew of books for children, including Shh! Bear Sleeping, enchanted his audience with his dramatic reading style and a little bit of juggling.
     “CLiF’s presentation was awesome,” said Adria Dube, Operations Manager for Laraway’s Backpack Program.
     CLiF’s Summer Readers Grant helps keep kids reading during the summer.  As part of the grant, each child present chose two books which they read and keep. Laraway is delighted to work with CLiF to foster a love of reading.
     CLiF is an independent non-profit organization founded in 1998. Its mission is to nurture a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural children in New Hampshire and Vermont. Over 18 years, CLiF has inspired 180,000 young readers and writers through literacy program grants and has given away more than $4 million in new, high-quality children’s books. For more information, visit or email