FVS Meeting Sept. 18, 2018 – Minutes

Introductions and brief overview of history & purpose of FVS. A full listing of FVS activities are available at https://vsnb.org/friends-of-the-village-school.

>> Download the Friends of the Village School Newsletter Sept. 2018


Shopping Fundraiser at the Manchester J. Crew Factory – Sat., Sept. 29th
Join Friends of the Village School for sips, snacks and a little shopping from 10 a.m.-2:00 p.m. A percent of the purchases made will benefit the Village School. Also enjoy an extra 20% off purchases of more than $100.

Costume-Making Evening – Friday, Oct. 26th

This event will be a festive way to get into the spirit of Track and Treat and to enjoy crafting and conversation with friends and family. This is the first Family Fun Night of the year and it takes place in the school gym from 5-8 p.m. Volunteers, including VAE teaching artists, will be on hand to help create costumes during this open-studio! This event is only open to Village Students, and they must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own materials, including cardboard boxes or fabric if you would like a cape, mask or other fanciful creation.

Donations of the following materials would be appreciated: Duct tape, corrugated cardboard boxes and cereal box cardboard, spray paint (lots of black), mini glue sticks, craft foam sheets, scrap fabric in solid colors, sequins, buttons, felt, paints, stuffing materials, recycled materials. Please bring these to the school the week prior to the event or on the day of the costume-making event.

Track & Treat – Sunday, Oct. 28th

Read more about the event here. Volunteers are needed to assist with:
-Registration on the morning of the race
-Race course management
-Baking for the sale of baked goods

Please email friends@vsnb.org if you are interested in volunteering.

Holiday Catalog:

Jody Schade, Chair of the Holiday Catalogue, talked about this incredible catalogue, which will be given to families on Oct. 9th. Volunteers are working hard to fill its pages with gift certificates for local restaurants and services, along with a variety of products. Our thanks to them and also to Jen Spika, who is working behind the scenes pro-bono to design and produce the catalog. For nearly two decades, the Holiday Catalogue has successfully raised enough funding to support various in-school residencies, as well as provide direct classroom support to students and teachers to help fund class trips and activities.

Volunteers are needed to help tally classroom orders and for the Holiday Catalog Sort on Sunday, November 19th. Please email friends@vsnb.org with your interest.

Winter Carnival – Saturday, January 26

Tammy Carpenter and Rachel Maher, co-chairs of the Winter Carnival, talked about this fun annual indoor carnival, which is part of North Bennington’s Winterfest. The carnival features games of skill and chance plus some great STEM challenges and activities for kids of all ages. Activities are held in classrooms throughout the school, as well as in the library and gymnasium. All proceeds go directly to support classroom activities for the benefit of students. Meeting attendees discussed asking families to start setting aside and collecting items that can be sold at the White Elephant Sale.

Many volunteers are needed to help make the Winter Carnival a success. Please email tammycarpenter@vsnb.org if you would like to volunteer.

Holiday Bazaar – December (Date TBA)

Morgan Oldham stepped up to chair this wonderful annual tradition, which gives Village School students a chance to do some holiday gift shopping, while also raising money for charity.

Meeting attendees discussed starting to set aside and collect “gifts” that can be donated to the Bazaar, as well as gift wrapping and wrapping decorations/labels. Volunteers are needed to help organize this event and assist at wrapping stations.

Please email friends@vsnb.org if you would like to volunteer.

After School Enrichment Program – Year-Round

After School Enrichment Program Director Rachel Maher talked about this new year-round initiative, which will be similar to the After School Programs that used to be run by FVS. This new iteration will offer one or two program choices regularly to students. Some might run 5 weeks, and others might be a single-session workshop. They can run from 3-4:30 p.m. or 3-5/5:30 p.m. Rachel is looking for volunteers to teach something they are passionate about for students of different age groups (volunteer teachers can pick the best suited ages). A stipend will be provided for the teacher and possibly an assistant; reimbursement is also provided for supplies (up to a certain budget). Pat Gibbons mentioned that the high school’s Spanish Honors Society used to do a Spanish After School Club.

If you taught an After School Program in the past and want to do so again or have a passion or skill you would like to share with students, please notify Rachel of your interest using this spreadsheet and/or by contacting her at rmaher@vsnb.org.


Grandfriends Day – Spring 2019

Judie Brower, the Development Chair for the Board of Trustees, spoke about this new event being developed as a way to connect students and grandfriends and to encourage grandfriends’ support and involvement at the school. Students will be given the opportunity to invite a relative, friend or neighbor. Ideas included:

  • A luncheon in the library by class, with students helping to serve lunch
  • A tea party (it was suggested that students should bring their teddy bears)Volunteers are needed to help shape this event and get it off the ground.
  • A planning meeting will be announced in the near future. If you are interested in helping out, please email friends@vsnb.org.

Teacher Appreciation Week – May 6-10, 2019

Kim Krall would like to see FVS celebrate teachers during this appreciation week, which takes place the first full week of May each year. More details will be announced as the time draws closer. If you know early on that you’d like to be involved or have ideas, please contact Kim at kakrall@me.com. This event will be in addition to the annual FVS Staff Appreciation Luncheon, which takes place the last day of school.


Meeting attendees split into two groups to discuss ideas for “Family Nights” and “The Outing Club.”

Family Nights  

  • Family nights to occur once per month (likely Friday nights)
  • No cost, snacks available, estimated around 25 families may attend·
  • Friday, October 26th will be the first family night with a costume-making event (refer to earlier description in the Minutes above)
  • Someone suggested they would enjoy if daycare was offered at the school one night to allow caregivers to have a date night out
  • Someone else suggested planning a date night event at the Lake Paran facility
  • Book clubs: One night to discuss the book; just for adults or for caregivers and their children; suggested age of participation is 4th grade and up
  • Family camping night (possible overlap with planned outside activities); Include a movie and pancake breakfast (is there enough space at the school for this?)
  • Concert events
  • Duct tape events (repeat of Katrina Hastings’ spring 2018 craft night)
  • Cosmic Adventure (repeat of Hugh Crowl’s winter 2018 astronomy event at Bennington College)
  • Create sleds and then test them Saturday morning at Pudding Hill; Create boats and then test them Saturday morning at Lake Paran (It was suggested to do one of these but not both)
  • School dances, including a Contra Dance, which is tentatively in the works for Friday, Feb. 1, 2019
  • Suggestion: New Year’s Eve party/fundraiser with childcare at the school.

Outing Club:

  • Fall hike ideas:
    -Prospect Mountain; Clark Art Museum hike and museum visit (Lori Elwell will talk to Cadey Shultz is the coordinator)
    -Fall Foliage Hike was decided upon for Harmon Hill on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 12 noon. This part of the Long Trail is a 3.3-mile lightly trafficked out-and-back trail located in Bennington. The hike is expected to take 3 hours. We will pack apple cider and snacks. John Ulrich, Amy Newbold, and Sherry Schwarz will help organize this. Other volunteers are encouraged to assist. Students will need to be accompanied by a parent or caregiver and will be reminded to pack individual snacks and water.
  • Ice skating at Lake Paran on a Saturday afternoon in February, with a potluck and bonfire to follow, including games and a sing-along (set a date for February and see if Matt Morse can plow the lake and whether we can use pavillion)
  • Snowshoeing and animal tracking

FVS Meetings will be scheduled on the 2nd Tuesday of every other month: November 13, January 8, March 12, May 14 (and then committees/event chairs can meet on off months and/or as needed).