End of Year Celebration

Seedlings just closed out its 4th year and what an incredible journey it’s been! On the last day of May we came together at Catamount Connections to bring our students, their families, and our volunteers together to celebrate the end of the year. We bussed our students over from Molly Stark and walked our students over from Bennington Elementary. Many parents were already waiting for us when we arrived. Students ran in and grabbed the hands of family members and guardians to drag them around to explore. There were teams of students and adults in line for pizza, making art, riding the smoothie bike, hula hooping, and more. Everyone enjoyed an afternoon of games, crafts, delicious smoothies blended by our students as they pedaled a smoothie bike, and lots of pizza and ice cream (almost 4 gallons!). Thank you to every volunteer who donated food and helped things run so smoothly! We could not run without our dedicated volunteers.

Lastly, thank you to all of the parents and guardians who believe in this program, for having to pick up your child at 4:30 three days a week, and for making the long-term commitment that is Seedlings. We are so grateful for your little ones!

Volunteer Spotlight: Peg

Meet Peg! 

Peg is one of our pod leaders at Molly Stark Elementary and also a member of our Seedlings board. She brings much stability to our week at Molly Stark and always brings the most creative snacks for our students.

How did you learn about volunteering for the Seedlings Program?

I learned about the wonderful opportunity to volunteer with the Seedlings Program through RSVP and my niece, a school counselor at the high school. 

What do you like best about serving with Seedlings? 

I really like how we work as a team both on our days together and as we plan for our sessions with the kids. The kids really appreciate how we work together and include them; they are a fun group to spend time with!

Tell us about a time that was especially meaningful for you as a volunteer at Seedlings.

A meaningful time for me was when one of the girls saw that another was not having such a great day and she put her arm around her and didn’t need to say a word. You could immediately see the relief on the troubled student’s face. I think that the mentoring that we provide really has an impact on all of the students in some way. 

Do you have any advice for someone who is considering becoming a volunteer?

My advice for someone considering volunteering with Seedling would be to schedule a visit with us to meet the kids and other volunteers. Spending time with us will show you where you may fit in as a volunteer and how you might use your gifts and talents with Seedlings!

Thank you for everything you give to our program, Peg!

 

Storytelling at Seedlings

We’ve been treated to time with a special guest on Mondays here at Seedlings! Every month, Beth Tegart visits our students at both schools and shares incredible stories with them. Beth is a former children’s librarian who has been a storyteller for 25 years. She first met our students at one of our visits to the Bennington Museum and offered to come in once a month to engage our students in storytelling. Our students love her interactive stories and look forward to her visits! Thank you Beth for sharing your time and talents with us!

Volunteer Spotlight: Marianna

Meet Marianna!

Marianna began volunteering with us this past fall. She started out going to One World Conservation with us and now spends her Tuesday afternoons with our three first-grade boys at Bennington Elementary. Thank you for being an incredible addition to our team, Marianna!

How did you learn about volunteering for the Seedlings Program? 

Sue Andrews, Director of the Bennington Free Clinic recommended your project. 

What do you like best about serving with Seedlings?

I like the sincere team effort to promote healthy growth in young children. 

Do you have any advice for someone who is considering becoming a volunteer?

Listen, enjoy the children, learn from the children and fellow volunteers.

Anyone who is interested in joining our team of volunteers, please email Sarah at sarah.seedlingsprogramvt@gmail.com for more information. 

SVC Winter Visit

Last Thursday, both of our pods returned to visit Southern Vermont College!  This time we spent our afternoon in the Hunter Hall Atrium. Led by Audrey Ames, SVC Students who had chosen an alternative spring break (choosing to stay on campus and serve in the Bennington community) planned special activities for all of our students. Activities included team games outside, coloring, board games, and of course exploring the atrium! We are so thankful for our collaboration with Southern Vermont College and the opportunities we’ve had to bring our students to campus.

Volunteer Spotlight: Amanda

Meet Amanda! 

amanda-0231.jpgAmanda started with Seedlings this past fall and has volunteered at both Molly Stark and Ben El. She also went with us on our trips to One World Conservation Center. Thank you for the time you dedicate to our students Amanda!

Tell us how you first got involved with the Seedlings Program.

I went to my orientation for college and I saw the flier on the back table and it said I was able to work with kids. So I put my name on it in hopes of getting that email. I have always wanted to work with kids. Now I get to help them learn and grow a little. 

Tell us about a time that was especially meaningful for you as a volunteer at Seedlings.

This is definitely hard to choose a special time because every time I see them I feel lucky. But one memory that comes to mind is, when one of the girls saw us in the cafeteria waiting to start seedlings, she ran over and gave me and the other volunteer a hug and said: “this is my favorite place to be”. I’ll always remember that moment, it made me smile. 

If you could encourage someone else to volunteer with Seedlings, what would you say? 

If I was going encourage someone to join I would say, that it’s fun and exciting. You really get to know the kids and work with them. They are happy to see you’re there and want to spend time with you. There are sometimes when things get tough, but it’s all worth it because you get to spend time with these amazing children. 

Anyone who is interested in joining our team of volunteers, please email Sarah at sarah.seedlingsprogramvt@gmail.com for more information.