Saakumu Dance Troupe, from Ghana, performing at the Village School. Scroll down for more photos.

Posted 6/1/23

Dear Families,

Village School students enjoyed a special experience yesterday learning about traditional Ghanaian music, drumming, and dance from Saakumu, one of the leading cultural performing troupes in Ghana, West Africa. “Joyful” is the best way to describe what it felt like to see all of our students captivated by this cross-cultural experience and dancing together. Even the most reluctant students participated with some encouragement. Saakumu explained that in Ghana when the “gyil,” a traditional instrument made of wooden keys suspended over gourd resonators, is played (as it was for us) “everyone—whether short or tall, rich or poor, black or white—dances and sings together as a matter of respect and as part of being in community together.”

The Saakumu Dance Troupe will perform TONIGHT (Thursday, June 1) at Merchants Park’s Thomson Family Stage at 119 North St. in Bennington from 6:30-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. (It is suggested that you bring lawn chairs or blankets.)

Many thanks to Matthew Perry and the Vermont Arts Exchange, as well as VSNB Business Partners in Education for helping bring Saakumu to our school. You can read more about Saakumu on their website and see photos in today’s Bennington Banner, as well as below. 

I appreciate that at this time of year, after nine months of academic learning, our students are enjoying many special experiences outside of the classroom. Teachers are making an extra effort and taking on even greater responsibilities to ensure that students have unique hands-on experiences and real-world learning opportunities. While this type of approach characterizes learning at the Village School throughout the year, it is especially in full swing right now. Tomorrow the fourth, fifth, and sixth graders will set sail (literally on a ferry) for Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and the third graders will visit the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. Today the kindergartners are learning at the Grafton Nature Museum, and yesterday the sixth graders visited The Robert Frost Stone House Museum. On Tuesday the first graders participated in the “Curious About Curious Goats” program (photo below) at Hildene. Next week, the Second Graders will have an overnight camping trip at Silver Lake State Park. These are only a sampling of the many exceptional field trips our students have taken this year. 

There’s so much that I can say about the value of field trips in contributing to the growth and development of our children. These trips would not be possible without your support. We are grateful for the commitment parents, guardians, and extended family members make when taking time away from work and childcare to chaperone and transport students on trips, and we hope you have enjoyed these meaningful experiences with your children. I also want to thank our generous donors who make it possible to cover the costs of these programs, which go above and beyond tuition for the benefit of all of our students.

Warm regards,

School Announcements:

• Saturday, June 3 – Yo Re Mi is holding a Family Workshop for Grades Pre-K, K, and 1st in the VSNB gym from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. The class is free, and siblings are welcome to attend. Yo Re Mi is appropriate for all ages and abilities – no yoga experience required; All children must be accompanied by an adult (this is not a drop-off class); Please wear clothing comfortable for movement; Bring water and a yoga mat if you have one. There will be mats available to borrow as well. If you have questions, please contact

• Tuesday, June 6 – The Village School Band, Chorus, and Strings Program are performing a Spring Concert in the gymnasium at 6:30 p.m. The concert is free, and all are welcome to enjoy the music!