Sunday, February 17, 2008


What to do....

I was asked about arts & crafts in the area so here are a few additions:

Montpelier Rec Dept. , office located at 58 Barre St 223-5141 programs offered throughout the year for kids and also for adults. Programs include sports , computer classes, dancing, arts/crafts, unicycling, babysitting course, etc.

U-Paint-It Pottery Studio/The Painting Place - Pottery studio where you can try your hand at painting pottery for yourself or as a gift for someone special. On-going theme nights & events. 253-7753

Studio Place Arts (SPA) is located at 201 North Main St. in Barre 479-7069 has art classes for kids and for adults

Creative Habitat 514 Farrell St. South Burlington (Shelburne Rd just off exit 13) 802-862-0646 or 800-371-0646 classes

ReStore 1/2 price through Saturday 2/23 - Did you hear the roof on ReStore’s warehouse collapsed? On February 16th it said in the paper that they finished demolishing the warehouse and ReStore’s adjacent retail space would reopen in about a week with a half-price inventory reduction sale. There are always fun creative items to be found at the ReStore – perhaps this would be a good time to get some materials for vacation projects! If you’ve never been, the ReStore is at 186 River St, Montpelier (near car wash & Laundromat) and are usually open Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 3pm. You may want to call 229-1930 to verify they’ve reopened.
In an email I sent out recently entitled “Book Talk” (go to to see the details) I didn’t point out the Vermont Historical Society which has a wonderful library in Barre and the award winning museum in Montpelier. The library is open Tuesday – Friday 9am – 4:30pm and the second Saturday of each month). The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 4pm and costs $12 for a family ($5 adults, $3 students, children, & seniors, and children under 6 are free) has many online resources for Vermont history and genealogy!

What to do during February vacation….
Check out for additions to the below information (and other recent suggestions) … if you have something to add, please let me know at

Look at the Kid Watch and Community Connections pages under News and Info on Berlin Elementary School’s website to see the exciting programming they have planned for February vacation. Of special note is Dinoman visiting Kid Watch on Tuesday, February 26th – he came for an all school assembly a few years ago that the kids all loved! There is still time to sign up for vacation programming.
Also look at the Calendar of Events page for links of things to do at home and in the community. Look under Cool Links for more information on Geocaching and for Adventures in Reading. Have you seen the new library page yet which includes links for Learning Games? A favorite game of mine on line is on Yahoo Games – it’s called Text Twist. You’re given six letters and you have two minutes to rearrange them to spell as many words as you can.
Speaking of games, Kellogg-Hubbard Library has some new games for kids to enjoy – Apples to Apples Junior and Dungeons & Dragons Basic. They also have classics such as chess, checkers, backgammon and Scrabble. Every Friday starting February 22, 3-4:30 or come hang out with your family in the children’s area Monday – Saturday 10am – 5:30pm. Whether or not you have a library card, there are many services that are available to ALL! Free services include access to magazines, newspapers, books, reference materials in the library, computers with high speed access to the internet and all adult and children’s programs including storytime. A library card is needed to check out books and other materials.
Monday, Feb 25th at 3:30pm at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library
Cooking and Booking presents Localvore MAC AND CHEESE Where does Mac and Cheese come from? A cardboard box ? Stop guessing and come get a taste of real Mac and Cheese made from local ingredients. Presented by the student chefs at the New England Culinary Institute, with a side order from the Kellogg-Hubbard Children's Library. Yum! Contact the children’s library at 223-4665 to register
Wednesday, Feb 27, 2008 Farmer’s Night at State House 7:30pm FREE all welcome Vermont History through SongSinger and researcher Linda Radtke and pianist John Lincoln bring Vermont history to life with engaging commentary about songs found in the Vermont Historical Society's collection of sheet music. Dressed in period costume, Ms. Radtke takes listeners through state history, using the songs Vermonters published in their communities, ending with a sing-along of the 2 state songs. Complete listing of events at:
Friday, February 29, at 1PM Leap Year CHECKERS Tournament! at Kellogg-Hubbard Library. It only comes once every four years, so we're celebrating with an in-house checkers tournament! Are you the next checkers champ? Participate and get a frog. Win and get a frog trophy! Contact the children's library at 223-4665
Saturday, March 1st 10am – 2pm Capital City Farmer’s Market in the VT College Gym follow the signs from downtown Montpelier (held 1st Saturday of each month through April)

The Ice Center in Waterbury is open year round for ice skating. See their schedule at: Adult :$4.00 Youth (12 and under): $2.00 Skate Rentals: $4.00 per pair
Go bowling at Twin City Lanes - Open bowling on Mondays from noon - 5pm and Tuesday - Thursday from 9am - 5pm. It will cost about $3.50 per person for a game and $2.50 for bowling shoes.
Montpelier Rec Department Gym on Barre Street 223-5141 Typically they have hours in the afternoon and on Saturdays for open gym and for their game room with a fee of $2-$3. Sundays from 4:30 - 6 the gym is open for unicycling ($2 fee)
Go sledding - if you don't have a good place where you live, Hubbard Park might be just the place for you!
Go to Morse Farm and watch the movie on how maple syrup is made out in the woodshed theater and check out the replica of the State House. I do believe their maple creamies are for sale year round!
If there is a clear night, bundle up and do some star gazing - can you find the Big Dipper and other constellations?
Attend a sporting event; put together a jigsaw puzzle; write a letter and mail it... you might just get some mail in return!; start a collection; bake a cake, or bread, or cookies; make your own play dough; play a card game or dice game - if you need cards or dice, the Dollar Tree has decks of cards two for $1 and a package of several dice for $1. I'll be adding some games to print out on the school website this week.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Book Talk

We just got home from doing the Downtown Montpelier StoryWalk. Make sure to dress for winter including boots, hat and mittens if you decide to check it out! The book is Olivia, the delightful little girl-pig. You only have until February 18th to participate. This StoryWalk begins at Zutano, the children's clothing store on Main Street and you will traverse part of State St., Langdon St., and loop around part of Elm St. and School St. before ending at Rivendell books, also on Main Street. Thirty-two stores are hosting this event by each placing a page from the children's book "Olivia" in their windows. It takes about 20 - 30 minutes to complete the StoryWalk. This project was created by Anne Ferguson, who works as a volunteer to place the stories in Montpelier. She was able to purchase the books (helped by a discount from Bear Pond Books in Montpelier) with a mini grant from the Vermont Humanities Council. Her community sponsors, the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition, are partners who help in this fun and unique project.
There have also been StoryWalks in Hubbard Park, at North Branch Nature Center, the State House lawn and the Montpelier bike path. The kids and I hope they will continue.

Did you know ....

- that you can access library catalogs from the internet? This is true for
the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier;
Berlin Elementary School Library (look under Specialists for the library link); and
U-32 High School (look under Resources for the library link)
and the other schools in our district
- the Kellogg-Hubbard Library offers several book sales throughout the year. They also host events such as authors, lectures, reading & discussion groups, foreign language lunches, kids activities, and several days a week they offer storytime for the youngsters. For more details visit their website or stop by.

- Bear Pond Books has Author Events which are free and open to the public, for more information, visit

- Rivendell Books offers both new and used books and Yankee Paperbacks offers used books.

- at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and Bear Pond Books websites you can join their email lists to find out more about what they have happening.

- you can find The Vermont Book of Days on-line. Perhaps you've heard it on the radio or you've seen it in the World. This is your guide to this day in Vermont history ... a day by day diary of Vermont's history and heritage

10 Ways to Raise a Reader - remember, by encouraging your child to read, you are helping to ensure school success.
Read to your child every day. It's never too early to start - even newborns respond to hearing you read.
Continue reading together even after your child learns to read. Older children still enjoy listening to others read.
Make stories come alive for your child when you read. Be animated and use different voices.
Be patient - let your child read aloud at his or her own pace. Offer help only when needed.
Discuss what you read together. Ask questions and listen attentively to your child's answers.
Make reading time special. Cuddle up in a quiet, comfortable spot. your child will associate reading with feeling secure, relaxed and loved.
Encourage your child to read at least 15 minutes a day, either to you or independently.
Take along your child's favorite books wherever you go. Read on the bus, in line at the store, or in waiting rooms.
Take your child to the library often and check out a variety of age-appropriate reading material.
Be a role model - read on your own. By seeing how much you enjoy reading, your child will learn that it's a great source of information and fun.
Reading isn't just about books (although there is certainly something for everyone), some might prefer spending time with a favorite magazine, finding out what's happening locally or keeping up with a favorite sports team in the newspaper, reading recipes and delighting the family by trying one out, or maybe reading through the directions or instructions for games or putting something together.

Additional Links:

Vermont Humanities includes information on Vermont Reads; the Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators contest, and more.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher current and past lists along with a blog to write your comments about the current books. Parent's Choice, Young Reader's Choice

Children's Book Awards and Other Literary Prizes Links for Caldecott Medal, Newbury Medal and many others.

Mother Goose Programs including the Red Clover Award
Central VT Early Childhood Council

Vermont libraries - listed by name of library or listed by name of town

Thursday, February 07, 2008


February more

Please note the 6th grade transition/information night for parents will be held on March 19th at U-32. This is a change in date. Previously an earlier date had been announced and that's what I passed along.

The PTNA meeting which was postponed due to weather, will now be at 5:30pm on Wednesday, February 13th. We'll be discussing whether or not we'll be moving ahead with the idea for the Family Fun Nights - help is needed to make these a reality!

Also on the 13th is the voter registration at 6pm and the concert at 7pm.

Folks are welcome to attend the high school pops concert at U-32 on Thursday, February 14th at 7:30pm - you don't need to have children at U-32 to enjoy this event!

Check it out - Information regarding Town Meeting is posted in the Berlin Elementary School lobby - who's running for what, the requests for funds that will be on the Australion ballot, etc. Don't forget to request your absentee ballot if you won't be able to make it to the school to vote on Tuesday, March 4th

Check out the new local sports website: by our own Carl Parton. Coverage of 15 area high schools, VTC, Norwich, Frost Heaves, Mountaineers, adult and youth sports. It's a multi-media news and entertainment source using video, audio, photos, stories, interviews, schedules - anything that has to do with local sports. Carl tells me that he intends to do some type of fund raisers for local schools through the site as well, currently he donates 10% of all DVD sales to the home school.

RAFFLE - Central Vermont Community Land Trust
You pick: A deeded time share on Cape Cod – right on Nantucket Sound – each Memorial Day week for the rest of your life; a brand-new, spunky 2008 Chevy Aveo5 from Cody Chevrolet; or $8,000 in cash. If you are the lucky winner of the Central Vermont Community Land Trust’s (CVCLT) “Bringing it All Home Raffle” that’s extra what you get to choose from.
Only one winner will be chosen and only 250 tickets will be sold. Tickets are on sale now and going quickly. Call Peg at CVCLT 476-4493 ex. 213 for tickets or more information. The drawing will be held on March 28, 2008 at CVCLT’s Annual Meeting and Free Community Spaghetti Dinner (you do not have to be present to win, but they’d love to have you join in the fun).
“It should be a wonderful night.” said Chris Wood, CVCLT’s Development Director. “We are expecting a record crowd and lots of excitement over the raffle and silent auction. It’s a great way of raising awareness of our affordable housing projects and programs while helping to raise much needed funds.” Raffle tickets are $100 each and all proceeds go to helping the Central Vermont Community Land Trust create and sustain safe, decent, and affordable housing and build strong and diverse communities.

I would love to hear from more families regarding their use (or non use) of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Thanks to those of you who took a minute to share!

Keep an eye on .... very soon you'll see an updated website and lots of current information, school newsletters are archived to enable you to look back at previous ones, you can access the Berlin library card catalog, medication forms are posted on the health page and there is a text box on the main page for announcements and to point out new items on the website!

5/6 END OF YEAR PRODUCTION - The news is out, the fifth and sixth grade production this year will be based on the book "Once Upon A Marigold" by Jean Ferris. Every fifth and sixth grader will have a part in this production whether it's on stage, stage crew, or tech crew. Try-outs will be before April vacation and rehearsals start after vacation. We will need some adults to help in a variety of ways. Costume Coordinator is the the role we need filled as soon as possible. You don't need experience and you don't need to sew - we need somebody who is very organized and available to come into school during school hours. You'll be working closely with Lynn Spencer (our art teacher) to figure out what students need for costumes, getting the word home to parents, keeping track of what is brought in and working on costume fittings. If this sounds like something you could take on, or partner up with another person to do, please email me back or contact Marcia Bowles ext 114 or Lynn Spencer ext 102 at school.

(continue on for the original February News post)

Saturday, February 02, 2008


February News

Central Vermont Gem - I'm curious which families in Berlin make use of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. It's located in Montpelier but is also used by the surrounding communities. Parking isn't always easy but once you're inside it's such a pleasure to be there. The collection of books is fantastic, there are newspapers, magazines, books on tape & CD, movies & programs on VHS tapes & DVDs to borrow and computers to make use of. The Kellogg-Hubbard Library will once again be looking to Berlin to offer financial support with a request on this year's Australian ballot. If this passes, it will mean an additional $4.20 per household in taxes. It will also mean each household can stop in and use all the services for no additional fee. Did you know their catalogue of books can be accessed online - There is also delivery service to daycares and the homebound. The children's library is wonderful! It's a fun place to visit again and again. Have you stopped in during one of the recent book sales for some great reading that you can keep? Please let me know whether or not anybody in your family is a patron of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and what your thoughts are regarding Berlin offering financial support. Consider signing up for their monthly email newsletter which will inform you of upcoming programs for adults and activities for kids. Of course, if you haven't visited the library, they would love to have you stop down!
New Berlin Elem. School website coming soon .... very soon.... the tech people have been hard at work and I think you'll all enjoy it ... I'll send along an email to let you know when the switch takes place!
BERLIN PTNA meeting Wednesday February 6th in Mrs. Piro's room 6:30pm.
The BERLIN SCHOOL CONCERT which was cancelled because of a snow day has been rescheduled. The concert is now on Wednesday, February 13th at 7pm. There will also be an afternoon dress rehearsal that day. The girls 5/6 basketball game that night is cancelled.

VOTER REGISTRATION - has been rescheduled to Wednesday, February 13th at 6pm (prior to the concert) at Berlin Elementary School with notary, Peg Monley. Please bring your valid drivers license or be prepared to give the last four digits of your social security number. You can also register to vote at the Berlin Town Clerk's office which is usually open Monday - Thursday 8:30am - 3:30pm . YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE
GIRLS! Kindergarten through 8th grade are invited to Norwich University on Sunday, Feb 10th 9:30 - 3pm for ALL IN! This is a free event and girls participate in sport activities such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, swimming, and lacrosse. Girls should arrive dressed in athletic wear and with comfortable sneakers. They will need a bathing suit and towel if they plan on swimming. Pizza will be provided for lunch. Email Amanda Cuiffo at or call her at 485-2590 to sign up. This is open to ALL GIRLS IN THE AREA so please spread the word! (note from Corinne - I can send you the flyer with complete details as an attachment if you're interested - just ask. Several Berlin students participated last year and had a great time)
Adults - Native Tongue, a classic rock band, will be playing at Gusto's in Barre on Saturday, February 16th 9:30pm Native Tongue includes - Bob Nelson, Rob Boisvert, Todd Wells, TJ Powers, & Mike Stridsberg.
Winter Carnival is being planned for Monday & Tuesday, February 18 & 19. Your help is needed for the indoor and outdoor events. Back up dates are Feb 20 & 21st. We're hoping to get SNOW before this event so the activities we have planned can take place! The culminating event (slideshow, skits, & review of events) will be Friday morning, Feb 22nd. Students have early release on Friday, Feb 22nd and will be leaving school at 1pm. Please let me know if you have time available during the week of February 18th to help make this event happen!
Early release Friday, Feb 22nd - KidWatch and Community Connections will both be offering activities in the afternoon. Fliers have been sent home from both programs for the early release day and for what they're offering during February vacation.
TOWN MEETING - Tuesday, March 4th 10am. Polls are open 10am - 7pm. If you won't be available to come vote, request an absentee ballot in advance.
Mark your calendars
next Middle School Parent Teacher Council meeting will be on TUESDAY, FEB. 12th (moved from Valentine's Day)
U-32 Pops Concert Thursday, Feb. 14th
February vacation is the week of February 25th.
Town Meeting is Tuesday, March 4th 10am. Polls are open 10am - 7pm.
6th grade transition / information night at U-32 6:30pm Tuesday, March 11
U-32 Stage 32 will present THE WIZ April 10th - 13th.

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