Hildene offers opportunities for learning

MANCHESTER -- Each year there is more to explore on the 412-acre estate and Diane Newton, education director, notes that, "Opportunities for diverse experiential student learning also increase." In "Wetlands are Working Lands," students in grades 3 through 5 investigate Hildene’s wetland to discover the indispensable properties and functions of these unique habitats. Students access this environment from a new floating boardwalk that crosses 600 feet of the marsh bordering the Battenkill. Hildene’s 1903 wooden Pullman palace car, Sunbeam, provides the setting for the newest history program, "Pullman Porters: Unsung Heroes." Students in grades 5 through 6 discover the critical role that Pullman porters played in giving rise to America’s black middle class. They role-play what it was like to travel and work on a Pullman car, use primary sources that relate to the era, learn a civil rights song, construct a timeline of the milestones in the African American civil rights movement and visit the mansion where Robert Lincoln conducted Pullman business when he was at home in Vermont.

Informed by Hildene’s mission, Values into Action, education programs focus on history, agriculture and natural science. Learning takes place in environments that include the family’s home and gardens, Hildene Farm, Pullman car, Sunbeam, the 1832 Hollow School, wetlands, streams and ponds. These venues provide the backdrop for experiential learning that includes topics as varied as the life cycle and migration of the mighty Monarch butterfly, the history and behavior of Vermont’s wild turkey, a typical day in a classroom 150 years ago, or learning how Lincoln, the innovator, revolutionized the use of the telegraph. These interactive learning experiences represent a sampling of the many programs being offered this year both on site and in local schools.

Hildene programs offer connections to classroom studies, hands on learning, inquiry and observation opportunities. In the fall of 2014 programming will transition to the new Common Core State Standards, aligning teaching materials with the standards in social studies as they pertain to students in grades 3 through 6. The standards lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the 21st century. While Vermont’s implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards is not expected until 2016-2017, Hildene’s science programming shares the vision of and Framework for the NGSS.

For a complete listing of school programs, visit the website at www.hildene.org. For more information or questions, contact Education Director Diane Newton at 802-367-7965 or email dianenewton@hildene.org.

Zumba for PAVE

BENNINGTON -- Learn moves to Latin and African rhythms on Saturday, March 22, anytime between 2 and 3:30 p.m.

The Zumbathon, led by Bennington’s premier instructor Andrea Malinowski, will happen at The Dance Mill at 160 Benmont Ave., 4th floor, Bennington. You can enter near the mailboxes at the south wing of the Benmont Mill. Supporters with all levels of Zumba experience are welcome. A tax deductable donation will be your ticket for entry. There will also be a 50/50 raffle.

All proceeds will go to PAVE, Project Against Violent Encounters, a community organization that offers support and aid to survivors of domestic violence and their families. Services include a 24 hour hotline, transitional housing, Family Time for supervised visitation with children, and anti-bullying education in the schools.

Scholarship awards from Manchester Garden Club

MANCHESTER -- Last June two outstanding seniors were awarded The Garden Club of Manchester’s Scholarship Awards of $1,000 each. These monies were recently sent to their colleges after they completed a successful first semester of Freshman year in January. Sarah Maness is attending the University of Colorado Boulder and Victoria Biller is attending the F. Donald Myers Educational Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The Club is delighted to help local qualified students pay for their education with one of its Scholarship Awards.

High School Seniors: Is college in your plans for next fall? If so, why not apply for one of the Garden Club of Manchester’s Scholarship Awards for 2014? The applications can be found in the guidance department at Burr and Burton or Long Trail School. Applications are due by April 7 to the Garden Club address noted in the form.

Students can receive financial assistance

STAMFORD, Conn., -- The Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), a not-for-profit organization and one of the nation’s leading gifted summer programs, today announced that scholarships and financial assistance are now available for their Online Learning Program.

Gifted and talented students between the ages of 7 and 12 in Bennington and around the world can apply for financial assistance towards their participation in SIG’s Online Learning Program. In addition, SIG participants who receive free or reduced lunch will be eligible to take a course completely free of charge.

The program, which begins June 18, runs for 8 weeks and features courses that offer students a curriculum beyond what is available during the school day. The courses are wide-ranging in potential interest areas for individualized learning and engage students in hands-on learning while applying school content through speaking, writing, researching, analyzing, reasoning and questioning.

To learn more about the Online Learning Program or to apply for financial assistance, visit www.giftedstudy.org/beyond/online. The deadline for scholarship applications is May 1, 2014.

The mission of SIG is to provide the highest quality educational and social opportunities for academically gifted and talented students through programs designed to meet their abilities and needs. SIG is a program of the National Society for Gifted and Talented (NSGT).

SIG’s three-week residential programs for gifted children are held at eleven of American’s finest college campuses: Amherst College, Bryn Mawr College, Columbia University, Emory University, Harvard University (two-week commuter only), Princeton University, UC-Berkeley, University of Chicago, UCLA, Vassar College and Yale University. The SIG Day Program is offered for younger students, ages 5-12, at campuses across the country and NSGT’s University Prep, a 3-week intensive college preparatory program, is available for students ages 15-18.

To apply or to request brochures, information or materials, contact SIG at 866-303-4744 or by e-mail at sig.info@giftedstudy.org. Visit SIG on the web at www.giftedstudy.org.

CCV offering free little open online course

BENNINGTON -- Based on the massive open online course (MOOC) concept, Community College of Vermont is offering a free, non-credit little open online course (LOOC) called Money Smarts. The new LOOC begins on Monday, March 3, and ends on Monday, April 7. It will cover a variety of topics with the aim of increasing financial literacy and getting control of personal finances. Some weekly module topics are: Budget and Goal Setting, Understanding Credit, Mastering Credit Cards, Borrowing Basics, Bank on It (services provided by banks and credit unions). The five-week course will provide opportunities to discuss financial literacy with the instructors and other participants and include readings, videos, websites and other resources to build money management skills.

Money Smarts is offered free to all as a public service of the Community College of Vermont. High-speed (cable modem or DSL) internet access is recommended. Visit http://looc.ccv.edu to enroll.

CDC classes available to community

BENNINGTON -- Marie-Pierre Huguet, Assistant Director for Adult Education at the Career Development Center in Bennington, Vermont would like to remind our community of the many interesting professional, technical, and personal development classes offered at the CDC. Please visit our website, svcdc.org or call the Center, 802-447-3596 for information and class schedules. Here’s the link to the brochure for the web. http//www.svcdc.org/adulteducation/adult-ed-printable-catalog.pdf