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BENNINGTON — The Alliance for Community Transformations is asking individuals, businesses and organizations to “help spread a little sunshine” and show local youth that they are valued by sponsoring the Sunshine Box Project.

Launched by youth leaders at Mount Anthony Union Middle School in 2021, Sunshine Boxes are free take-home activity kits aimed at promoting healthy engagement while supporting youth mental health and substance use prevention.

Each month students receive themed boxes that include crafts, games, activities, essential resources, and more.

The idea for Sunshine Boxes came from seventh and eighth grade participants in the ACT/MAUMS Youth Leadership Group.

According to recent survey data, only 57 percent of middle school students in Bennington feel they matter to the community.

Sixty percent of Mount Anthony Union Middle School students felt sad or hopeless in the last year, and 31 percent reported not having healthy ways to manage stress and worry.

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“The goal of our Sunshine Boxes is to bring a little bit of happiness to students’ lives,” said eighth grader Morgan.

Thanks to support from local sponsors, ACT was able to distribute 1,000 Sunshine Boxes to Mount Anthony Union Middle School students last year.

“We are happy to contribute to ACT’s Sunshine Box initiative to promote well-being and self-care for youth in our local schools,” said Heidi French, director of community relations and development at United Counseling Service.

“This is a great opportunity for our community members to come together in support of students throughout the year,” French said.

Individuals, businesses, or organizations who are interested in sponsoring the Sunshine Box Project should visit https://secure.givelively.org/donate/mcse/sunshine-box-fundraiser, or contact info@actbennington.org with questions.


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