Christmas Bazaar

WESTON — The Weston Community Association announced the Weston Christmas Bazaar is returning from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26 and 27, at the Weston Playhouse, just off Route 100 in the center of Weston Village. There is no admission charge. Pandemic safety protocols will be observed and masks are required.

First-generation student

RUTLAND — On Nov. 8, National First-Generation College Celebration Day recognized first-generation students across the country. At Community College of Vermont, 55% of students are the first in their family to attend college.

Local Rutland resident Matthew Stoddard earned his GED at Vermont Adult Learning in Rutland and continued on with the Post-Secondary Education Program through DCF. In 2018, he started classes at CCV-Rutland. Now, at 45 years old, he is close to graduating from CCV with an associate degree in design and media studies and will also earn a certificate in graphic design.

Some of the challenges he had to overcome stemmed from working part time and being a single father during a pandemic. Through the TRIO program, he got the needed financial and emotional support to continue his studies. Stoddard plans to continue his education in the graphic design program at Castleton University, hopes to one day start his own business, and says that his education is invaluable. “I really believe that no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to further your education.”


Museum news

STOWE — The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum is closed until Nov. 26 to prepare new exhibits for the upcoming season.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, via Zoom, join author Peter Radacher and Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame member JG Gerndt, for the Virtual Writer’s on The Red Bench Series, Boards — A Brief History Of The Snowboard. The event is complimentary, but a $10 donation is encouraged. To receive a Zoom invite, RSVP at online.

Vermont humor

MONTPELIER — Rootstock Publishing, a Montpelier-based publisher and imprint of Multicultural Media Inc., announces the Dec. 7 release of “I Could Hardly Keep From Laughing: An Illustrated Collection of Vermont Humor” by former legislators Don Hooper and Bill Mares, with a foreword by prize-winning political cartoonist Jeff Danziger. With cartoons by Hooper and prose by Mares, this potpourri of art and words documents how Vermont humor has evolved over 150 years.

Maple Conference

RANDOLPH CENTER — The 2021 Vermont Maple Conference, Dec. 8 through 11, will offer options for online and in-person learning with 15 sessions led by maple industry experts and maple producers. Daily sessions will be of interest not only to sugar makers but also to foresters who work with maple producers and forest landowners looking to lease to a producer.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Dec. 8 with the first of nine online sessions over a three- day period, attendees also can register for a day of in-person sessions Dec. 11 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center.

To register, go to online. The registration fee is $10 for online sessions only, $25 to attend the Dec. 11 in-person sessions and $35 to participate in both online and in-person sessions.

Writers’ Prize

Green Mountain Power and VERMONT magazine are accepting entries for the Vermont Writer’s Prize contest. Submissions can be essays, short stories or poems that focus on “Vermont — Its People, Its Places, Its History or Its Values.” The prize is awarded in two categories: prose and poetry. Each winner receives $1,250 and their works will be published in VERMONT magazine’s Summer 2022 issue.

The deadline is Jan. 1, 2022. They must be unpublished works, less than 1,500 words of prose, and less than 40 lines of poetry. Individuals may submit only one work. Entrants may be amateur or professional writers. Employees of VERMONT magazine or Green Mountain Power and previous winners are ineligible. To submit your entry, visit online.

Grant recipients

The Vermont Community Foundation announced $150,000 in grants to expand Vermonters’ access to mental health and suicide prevention care as part of the newest recovery initiative from its VT COVID-19 Response Fund. The full list of grantees is:

Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro received $10,000 to expand its PRISM program’s LGTBQ+ support group.

Center for Health and Learning received $10,000 to support its Umatter Postvention Project, a collaboration with the Howard Center to provide suicide postvention programming.

North Central Vermont Recovery Center received $10,000 to provide peer recovery coaching.

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital received $10,000 to expand the efforts of the Pediatrics Department.

Out in the Open (FKA Green Mountain Crossroads) received $10,000 to support expansion of its evidence-based peer support Trans Femme Chill Club.

Outright Vermont received $10,000 to support a two-to-three-year pilot project in Rutland to identify and recruit allies, volunteers and build community relationships.

Pride Center of Vermont received $10,000 to implement a short-term counseling program.

Rutland Mental Health, Community Care Network received $10,000 to expand youth access to services.

South Royalton School-Based Health Clinic (DBA HealthHUB) received $10,000 to hire a part-time mental health outpatient therapist.

Spectrum Youth & Family Services received $10,000 to implement an agency-wide effort to adopt comprehensive suicide prevention planning.

The Special Needs Support Center of the Upper Valley (SNSC) received $10,000 to implement Art Lab for Teens.

Turning Point Addison County received $10,000 to expand mental and behavioral health supports.

Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery received $10,000 to support the development of a pilot program in suicide peer support services.

Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement & Innovation received $10,000 to support a “Umatter Gatekeeper” Training of Trainers for student and staff leaders at Northern Vermont University and Community College of Vermont (CCV) in partnership with the Center for Health and Learning.

Youth Services received $10,000 to support Friends For Change (FFC) approach to help youth reframe their responses to traumas.

Nonprofits collaborate

BARRE — Four Vermont nonprofits recently gathered at the Vermont Granite Museum to announce a new workforce development effort called Serve, Learn & Earn, as they celebrated the graduation of one of the funded programs (ReSOURCE’s Construction 101 training). Serve, Learn & Earn is a collaboration of Audubon Vermont, ReSOURCE, Vermont Works for Women and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. The group is centered on the vision that every Vermonter should have a viable pathway to employment and affordable education, in exchange for serving their state. Participants serve by working on important projects in priority areas such as climate, housing and outdoor recreation.


Bird feeding

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department recommends Vermonters wait to put up bird feeders until Dec. 1 to avoid attracting bears. While watching your bird feeders, you can participate in one or more bird monitoring projects by looking up the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, the Great Backyard Bird Count and Project Feeder Watch — all three collect important information to understanding bird populations. Tips for bird-friendly bird feeding:

Keep cats inside. Place feeders closer than 4 feet or farther than 10 feet from a window. Clean feeders every few weeks with a 10% bleach solution, then rinse and allow to dry before refilling. Feed birds only between Dec. 1 and April 1 but remove feeders if you see signs of bears.

Wild turkeys

North America’s native wild turkeys were the ancestors of the Thanksgiving turkey on our dinner table. Wild turkeys disappeared from Vermont in the mid-to-late 1800s due to habitat destruction when land was cleared for farming. The wild turkeys we see in Vermont today originated from just 31 wild turkeys stocked in Rutland County by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department in 1969 and 1970. State wildlife biologists moved groups of these birds northward, and today Vermont’s population of turkeys is estimated at close to 50,000. Funding for Vermont’s wild turkey restoration was derived from the sale of hunting licenses and a federal tax on hunting equipment.

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