A child tries on a new pair of sneakers provided through Stratton Foundation’s Kicks4VTKids program.

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STRATTON MOUNTAIN — Through an Alterra Mountain Company Community Foundation matching grant award and the Stratton Foundation donors, the $100,000 Head-to-Toe program combines the foundation’s Boots4VTKids, Kicks4VTKids and Moving Mountains initiatives under one umbrella to provide basic necessities to local children in need. This winter, 500 children up to age 18, attending 19 schools across southern Vermont, received a new winter coat, hat, snow pants, socks, mittens/gloves, and in the spring, a new pair of sneakers.

“The program has been nothing short of wonderful and necessary,” stated Andrea Salo, Associate Director of the Stratton Foundation.

As schools attempt to spend more hours outside and families struggle financially, exacerbated by the pandemic, “the impact is clear,” noted Errin Pickering from Arlington Middle-High School. “This year we have had the most students participating in this program than previous years.”

Jennifer Luty from Northshire Day School stated “the warm winter gear our children received makes it possible for them to participate in outdoor play with their peers, leaving no child inside while fun things are happening.”

The success of Head-to-Toe is another example of the powerful relationships that the Stratton Foundation has with organizations and local resources to insure that critical services get to those most vulnerable. Gratitude extends to Equipe Sport, Stratton Mountain Retail, Smartwool, Operation Warm, Shoes That Fit, Bombas, Manchester Family Footwear, and countless volunteers who sorted and distributed a great distance to schools across the region.

Participating schools within the Stratton Foundation’s footprint include Arlington, Burr & Burton Academy, Flood Brook, Northshire Day School, Currier Memorial, Happy Days Daycare, Sunderland Elementary, Fisher Elementary, Manchester Elementary-Middle, Townshend Elementary, Leland & Gray, Windham, Newbrook, Jamaica Village, Wardsboro, Mountain School of Winhall, Dorset School, Timson Hill, West River Montessori, and many homeschool children.

“Now more than ever, the children across southern Vermont need our help as families must choose to pay for food, childcare, gas, heat, and necessities for their children as they grow,” said Salo. “The Stratton Foundation’s mission is to address the challenges that stand between a child and the opportunity to be healthy, safe, and educated.”

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