Walking into Camp Agape is wonderful. I’m greeted with smiles and cheers of “the storyteller’s here!” People might think kids who have a parent or caregiver or two under supervision of the Vermont Correctional Department might be nothing but trouble. Will kids with troubled backgrounds stay still and listen to folk and fairy tales?
Once a year, the CLiF Staff and Board of Directors get together to discuss what CLiF has done over the past year, what’s coming up, and to enjoy dinner together while taking a breather from our busy, busy lives. That happened at CLiF World HQ on Monday, and this year, we had a lot to talk about.
(See photo above – Back Row (L to R): Program Director Meredith Scott, Secretary Dan Lynch, outgoing Board Chair Glenn Curie, Rick Roesch, incoming Board Chair Mitzi Barrett, Treasurer Matt Rightmire, Program Manager Jana Brown; Front Row (L to R): Executive Director Duncan McDougall, Jess Eakin, Laura Rice, Data/Office Manager Stephanie Kucinskas, Communications Manager Erika Nichols-Frazer, Deb Nelson.
What do shipwrecks, flying pigs, and talking fruit have in common? There were all featured in story submissions for the Vermont PBS Kids’ annual Writing Contest, which I had the pleasure of judging last week.
Last Friday, I joined nine other writers, librarians, and members of educational non-profits at Vermont’s PBS headquarters in Colchester to review 106 compelling stories written and illustrated by talented students from all over the state.
When the temperature sneaks above 20 and the sun pokes out of the winter grey, I seize the opportunity to take my son skiing.
He’s gone a handful of times, and each trip out to the slopes is a clean slate.
Last Tuesday, about five hundred young readers filled the seats of Judd Hall at Vermont Technical College for the 2014 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Ceremony. You could feel the excitement in the air as soon as the students walked through the doors.
Lots of news over the past two weeks! Here’s the roundup:
Probably most adults could not coherently discuss
- the differences between the 1840 and 1860 census
- how a daguerreotype differs from a tintype
- or the repercussions of the 1890 census being destroyed in a Department of Commerce fire.
But the children of Island Pond and Lowell, Vermont can.
Up until Saturday morning, I had about 10 boxes of books sitting in my living room and dozens of middle grade and young adult books scattered throughout my house. I had a pile of books to read when I was upstairs, a pile of books to read when I was downstairs, a pile of books on my nightstand.
I have a theory that everyone who loves reading also has their own book kicking around in their imagination.
It’s simple: reading other people’s stories empowers us to tell our own. I would bet every one of us — faced with an incredible real-life situation, waking up from a dream, looking up an interesting fact — has thought, This would make a great story.
Katie Gunn is a native Vermonter who works for the management consulting firm Oliver Wyman in New York City. The firm’s Nonprofit Fellowship Program allows its consultants to take several months to work closely with a nonprofit anywhere in the world.