Frost House donates $5K to Shaftsbury school

SHAFTSBURY — The Friends of Robert Frost have donated $5,000 to Shaftsbury Elementary School.

The funds will be used for educational opportunities that will benefit most or all of the school's students, as per a request from the organization. Until last November, the Friends of Robert Frost operated the Robert Frost Stone House Museum. In September, the organization announced that it was donating the museum and property to Bennington College.

Principal Jeff Johnson announced the gift, which was unanimously accepted by the school board, on Wednesday. Johnson also read aloud a letter from Friends of Robert Frost President Carole Thompson.

"It gives the Friends of Robert Frost great pleasure to make a donation in the amount of $5,000 to Shaftsbury Elementary School in appreciation of its dedication to the children of Shaftsbury and to the memory of Robert Frost in the town where he once lived," she wrote. "We hope you make the children aware of Frost's connection to the town where they live as part of their education. In 2002, after becoming a not-for-profit organization and opening the Robert Frost House in Shaftsbury as a museum, we operated for 15 years, welcoming visitors from all over the world. Over 50,000 people came to visit this house. As you know, we gifted the Stone House to Bennington College last year. I hope this token of appreciation will be accepted and used for educational purposes for the children of Shaftsbury. We wish no publicity for this gift."

Johnson said that he had conversations with Thompson earlier in the year about the possibility of a donation, and that the school was very grateful for the gift. Shaftsbury School Board Chairman Ed Molloy suggested that the money be used in some way that teaches the students about Frost and his works.

Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union Finance Manager Renee Gordon said that, as with all donations with stipulations that come into the school system, this gift will be placed in a dedicated fund where it can be accurately tracked, rather than being rolled into the school's general fund.

Derek Carson can be reached at, at @DerekCarsonBB on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 122.


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