Friends of the Village School Meeting

January 8, 2019 

>> Download the FVS Newsletter Jan./Feb. 2019

I. Welcome & Review:

The Holiday Bazaar 2018 was a great success…more than 30 volunteers helped, including the 4th grade class. The event raised $749; half of the funds were donated to the Bennington Food & Fuel Fund and the other half were donated to the Greater Bennington Peace and Justice Center. Thank you to Morgan Oldham and Nelle Knapp for organizing the Holiday Bazaar. We are delighted that Morgan will chair it again next year!

II. Immediate Business/Upcoming Events:

If you want to help out with any of the following events, please email or call 802-442-5955.

Winter Carnival 2019 – Tammy Carpenter and Rachel Maher
Sat., Jan. 26, from 11:30 a.m. -3:30 p.m.

Volunteers would still be appreciated. Please email if you can help with the following:

  • Setting up on Fri., Jan. 25 (anytime after 3 p.m.): Hanging signs and decorating the school
  • Covering shifts during the Carnival on Jan. 26 (please choose a 1-hour shift between 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.). Help is needed with bounce house supervision, make-your-own-sundaes, and running the prize table.
  • Cleaning up on Jan. 26 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Baking –  We would appreciate home-baked or purchased contributions for the Bake Sale. You can drop off your baked good at the main office on Friday, Jan. 25 or deliver it to the Carnival on Sat., Jan. 26 (bake sale is located in the gym).

Contra Dance – John Ulrich
Friday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium

This free event is open to the community and folks of all ages. No experience necessary. Caller Fern Bradley will be accompanied by the lively Hubbard Hall Tune Jam Band, an informal group of local musicians including Village School parent Liz Crowl. Refreshments will be available. If any Friends of the Village School would like to contribute snacks, baked goods, drinks, paper goods, etc. these would be much appreciation. Contributions can be dropped off at the school’s main office on Friday or at the dance.

Exploring the Winter Night Sky – Hugh Crowl and Tim Newbold
Friday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Village School students and their families are invited to explore the winter night sky with Bennington College Physics and Astronomy Professor Hugh Crowl and Head of the Village School Tim Newbold. Enjoy an evening of star stories and crafts at the Dickinson Science Building at 6:30 p.m., and then we’ll walk over to the observatory to view the Orion Nebula, star clusters, and a few galaxies. If the event needs to be rescheduled due to weather, the alternate date will be February 15. Due to limited space, we ask that you register in advance. Please RSVP to

Dr. Seuss Night and Book Club Kick-Off – Morgan Oldham and Tim Newbold
Friday, March 1

Time and details TBA…

Zumba with Leslie Koelker
Friday, April 5 in the gymnasium; Time TBA

This free event is open to the community and folks of all ages. No experience necessary. Stay tuned for more details.

Grandfriends Day 2019 – Sue Maguire and Erin McKenny

Friday, April 26th from 1-3 p.m.

We have a wonderful afternoon planned for students to spend time with their grandparents and/or special guests and share with them the Village School of North Bennington experience. The afternoon starts with a classroom visit, followed by refreshments in the gymnasium, and ends with a special school-wide assembly and student performances.

We would love FVS volunteers to help out at the “welcome table,” to serve as “friends” to students, and to contribute refreshments (coffee, tea, fruit and cookies/donuts/baked goods). If you are interested in helping, please contact

After School Enrichment Program – Rachel Maher

The After School Enrichment Program is underway with Arts & Crafts, Beading, Legos, Sign Language, and Japanese Language & Culture. The current session runs until February 14th.

The next session is expected to run from March 11-April 11, from 3-4:30 p.m. If you are interested in organizing or teaching a class based on your passion, skill or talent, please contact Rachel Maher at A stipend is available, as well as funding for expenses.

III. Fundraising

Coins for a Curtain – February through March 2019

Catie Kwak led an Event Planning Electives class in which her students came up with the idea to raise money for the school’s new stage curtain by collecting spare change for three months. This initiative starts in February, and each class will have a coin can. Please start saving your spare change!

Movie Morning – To be scheduled in March

Join Village School families, friends, and staff at Cinema 7 for a movie morning “Set the Stage” fundraiser for the school’s stage curtain. Students will vote on their favorite flick for our youngest students and another for the oldest students. Stay tuned for more details!

Box Tops – Deadline March 30th

Please continue clipping and saving Box Tops to help our school earn dollars for classrooms. You can deposit loose Box Tops or Box Tops in bundles of 50 into the Campbell’s Soup bin located outside the main office, or bring a completed collection sheet to the main office. You can download collection sheets at If anyone is interested in coordinating this effort, please contact

Chili’s Give Back Night – Thursday, April 11, from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Save the date for Chili’s “Good Eats for a Good Cause” when the restaurant will donate to the Village School 15% of any meals purchased (both restaurant orders and takeout orders).

Pizza Hut Give Back Night – Date TBD

FVS meeting attendees discussed scheduling a Pizza Hut Give Back night, available on Wednesdays from 5-8 p.m. If we proceed, 20% of each meal purchased will be donated to the Village School.

Other ideas mentioned: Sarah Crosier and Erin McKenny’s suggestion to design FVS or school T-shirts with the slogan “It takes a village…”; and Matthew Perry and Erin McKenny’s idea to do an Arts & Crafts Fair.


There was a discussion about inviting up to two students from the 4th, 5th and 6th grade classes to serve as representatives to the FVS. If there were greater interest, the students could rotate. They would be asked to attend the first half of the FVS meetings and then report back to their classmates to discuss ideas and for additional input. Tim Newbold will mention this to faculty at the next staff meeting in February 2019.

The breakout session focused on the formation of a monthly book club for younger students and another for older students. We discussed the following:

  • Reading fiction versus practical nonfiction books (e.g. topics like parenting, homework, etc.)
  • Including food or not? If food is included snacks and/or dessert, providing a pizza and/or spaghetti dinner (something easy) and possibly a potluck before the last book club get-together of the year.
  • The book club kick-off event will be March 2 with a celebration of Dr. Seuss books. On this evening, the groups will decide on what book to read first.

The idea of a monthly “family night” morphed into “First Fridays.” Our goal is to plan a family-friendly FVS-hosted event for the first Friday of each month.

Matthew Perry is interested in preserving and showcasing historical photos and records of the Village School and would like FVS to consider how it may be able to help with this effort. Anyone who is interested in this idea or any other ideas mentioned herein should please contact or 802-442-5955.

Next Meeting: Thursday, March 7, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the school library. Childcare will be provided.