Reading Elementary School Wins Award
First Annual Upper Valley Farm-to-School Champion
RES students and staff were on hand at Trek to Taste to accept the First Annual Upper Valley Farm-to-School Champion award on behalf of Reading Elementary School. In giving the award, Peter Allison mentioned that Michele Shepherd and her students have attended all six Trek to Taste events in its history. Peter also talked about the goats, the gardens and the efforts to incorporate FTS into our school lunch program.
Fabulous work, RES!
Explorers Present Eco-Project at the Stone Soup Summit
Students from Reading Elementary School, including Sam Mitchell, back left, Sam Blanchard, Nevaeh Sullivan and Hayley Mullins, discuss with area educators their school’s system of eradicating poison ivy using goats during last week’s Stone Soup Summit held at Middlebury College. The summit is an annual gathering of the local farm to school community.
Link to Addison Independent:http://www.addisonindependent.com/?q=201403student-teachers
Reading Elementary School
receives national Green Ribbon School award for sustainability
As a small community in Windsor County, Vermont, Reading is not used to being the center of attention. However, the determination and creative energy of the students and staff at Reading Elementary School has catapulted our tiny town into the state and national spotlight.
Recently, RES became one of 64 schools across the country to receive the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Award for Environmental Excellence. The award recognizes our school’s efforts to serve quality local foods through the Farm to School program, use environmentally friendly cleaning products, implement school wide recycling and composting systems, reduce its carbon footprint by cutting down on energy consumption, grow food in the garden beds on campus, incorporate the innovative Education for Sustainability (EFS) program into the school-wide curriculum, and develop hands-on projects to solve environmental problems in the community, such as eliminating the invasive poison ivy growing on the edges of the playground.
The fifth grade class tackled the poison ivy problem with the help of their teacher, Ms. Collins. They decided that the most healthy and environmentally sensitive pest-eradicator was … goats! They presented the idea to the school board, and received unanimous approval to dispatch a herd of boar goats to the school. After several weeks of feeding, the poison ivy was gone! The results of the project far surpassed the expectations of everyone, including the students. In fact, the fifth graders’ efforts earned them The Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence! They will travel to Burlington on May 14th to receive this award from Governor Shumlin at the Vermont Sustainable Business Association (VSBA) Conference.
The fifth grade class—along with Ms. Collins and our principal—were invited to represent RES at the Green Ribbon awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 6th. However, because Reading is such a small community, funds for the trip did not exist. The RES Parent Teacher Organization (RES PTO) reached out to area businesses and community members in hopes that they might be able to make a donation to help these students go to Washington, D.C.
It’s times like these that pull a community together. These children had worked so hard and had already reaped many awards for their efforts. However, this trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity. These children wanted to represent their school, their town, their state, in our nation’s capital. Fundraising efforts were wildly successful. Everyone in the community worked together and gave these brilliant minds an experience they will remember for their lifetimes!