Enrichment Programs

In the same way that we encourage and develop programs that invite our students out into the community at large to explore its remarkable resources, so, too, do we foster strong in-school “partnerships” with local cultural and educational resources. These programs (and many others) serve as a source of continuing enrichment across a wide spectrum of arts, culture and education.

Band & Chorus

Vocally and instrumentally, music enlightens young minds and helps fulfill them.

kids with instruments

As an elective to the Village School’s regular Music program, we also offer students in fourth grade and older participation in a full instrumental band, with instruction in a wide range of band instruments: brass, woodwind and percussion. Playing in the band encourages teamwork and collective enterprise, while nurturing instrumental passion and skill. The school has arranged for rental of band instruments at a very minimal cost.

Chorus begins in third grade for those students who are interested. Chorus offers our students an opportunity to enhance their musical, creative and expressive qualities and to learn the basic skills of singing, developing song repertoire, broadening listening skills and experiencing the interrelated nature of music with other cultures and content areas.

chorus spring concert 2018

Electives Program

Sparking new interests and providing creative learning opportunities is at the core of these exploratory classes.

Elective projects

The Electives Program is an engaging way for students to learn new skills and concepts that go above and beyond the standard core. Village School staff and volunteers offer Electives once per week in the fall and spring, with approximately 10 options for students to choose from. These classes are multi-age and multi-disciplinary, covering a range of creative and educational pursuits both indoors and outside. In addition to the annual Junior Instructional Snowsports Program (JISP), options have included Animal Tracking, Creative Writing, Legos & Blocks, Making Things Go, Movement Games, Baking & Cooking, and Woodworking.

Girls Playing backgammon

Four Winds

Advancing the understanding, appreciation and protection of the environment through community-based natural science education and research.

Creating a spider

Four Winds is a monthly program run by trained adult volunteers who are passionate about sharing their love of nature with school children. Engaging indoor and outdoor activities and explorations enable students to study nature in their own schoolyard and neighborhood. They get the chance to learn about science by doing science: observing the world around them, asking questions, and using all their senses to explore and investigate. Lessons might involve creating a spider as a way to learn about their life cycle or dissecting owl pellets to discover what owls eat. The program is designed to encourage children’s curiosity and concern about the world they live in and to give them an understanding of the way it works and their role in it.

Click here to find out more about the Vermont Four Winds Nature Institute.

girls in nature class

Girls on the Run

Inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

Physical Education instructor Laura Cary oversees Girls on the Run (GOTR), an after-school program for 3rd through 6th graders. The program’s goal is to build confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. GOTR teaches dynamic and interactive lessons while weaving in physical activity and running games that culminate in a celebratory 5K running event. Lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development; and, participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at this age. They also develop important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences.

Click here to find out more about Girls on the Run.

Hiland Hall Gardens

A place where flowers and vegetables grow, ideas bloom and community blossoms.

sandra magsamen with students

Hiland Hall Gardens (HHG) runs a “Farm to School” program for Village School students to learn about organic farming, healthy eating, and the environment. For six weeks in the fall and spring, students from pre-K through 6th grade walk to the nearby gardens for a weekly “outdoor classroom” or “glassroom” experience (utilizing the Victorian style Grapery). HHG staff work with Village School teachers to create age-appropriate, hands-on nature, science and nutrition lessons. Students dig into planting and harvesting and then enjoy the fruits of their labor by making healthy garden snacks, such as butternut squash soup, pumpkin butter, garden pizza with homemade sauce, salsa verde and more. The fifth and sixth grade classes run a biweekly farmer’s market held after school during September and October for families to purchase reasonably priced garden produce. For many students, the HHG is a highlight of their time at the Village School as they learn where their food comes from and gain an appreciation for the growing process.

Click here to find out more about HHG.

farmers market

learning math in the garden

Strings Program

A remarkable opportunity to stimulate young musicians’ hearts and minds.

string players group

The Village School prides itself on being one of the few elementary schools that offers a robust strings program to all its students. Beginning in the first grade, students have the opportunity of learning a string instrument: the violin or cello. The Strings Program began in 1991, and today more than 50% of our students participate in the program each year. Perri Morris, who teaches Strings, is a certified Suzuki instructor and an active professional cellist who plays with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Village School has arranged for rental of string instruments at a very minimal cost.

Perri Morris_Staff with student

Click here to read more about Perri Morris.

WORLD LANGUAGE PROGRAM

Helping our students develop a broader perspective of the world in which we live.

Learning about other countries

Under the supervision and organization of Bennington College language faculty, advanced college students of Spanish, French, and Chinese provide weekly language instruction to all grades at the Village School of North Bennington. Their lessons are engaging and creative, as they share the joy of learning a new language. The motivation for this program rests on much research that “has shown that second language study offers many benefits to students in terms of improved communicative ability, cognitive development, cultural awareness, and job opportunities.” (Cal.org) The program started in 2013 and has proven an excellent way to expose students not only to a different language but also to different cultures.

Click here to learn more about Bennington College’s Languages Program.


Mission

Children are at the heart of all we do. We nurture a child's curiosity, ignite enthusiasm for exploring, develop tools for inquiry, for invention, for achievement. We welcome families into a community-wide collaboration to help our children grow into their best selves - responsible citizens and stewards of the greater world, makers of the future.