Category - Community Resources

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Back to School Checklist
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Why a Creative Economy Is Important to All of Us
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Summer Meals for Kids and Teens
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Resilience
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Summer Meals for Kids and Teens
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Lace Up Those Kicks…
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Morristown Community Gardens

Back to School Checklist

By: Jessica Bickford

Pencils… check!

Notebook paper… check!

Erasers…. Check!

Endless stacks of back to school forms… check!

Plans and lists are being made…but the real question facing families with school aged children is: “How are you helping prepare your child for the stress that a new year can bring?” 

While there is no formal checklist for this, I’ve compiled some snippets from some of Healthy Lamoille Valley’s go-to resource websites. We hope you check them out and talk about them as a family!

Parentupvt.orgLearn which students are most at risk of substance misuse, how to prevent misuse, and how to respond if you think your child might be trying alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs.

Website excerpt:

“We all know how important fitting in is when you’re a teenager. And drinking or drugs can seem like an easy way to make new friends and find a place in a new school. Teens can also feel pressured if they’re looking to fit into a group of kids who are drinking or using drugs. And some teens who’ve always been seen as “the good one” may even try to use drinking or drugs to change their image.

That’s why it’s so important to talk to your child and monitor your child’s behaviors, friends, and activities regularly—especially during times of transition.”

Ryanpatrickhalligan.org – Practical suggestions relating to technology and cyberbullying. John Halligan came to Bishop Marshall and Stowe schools last spring to share Ryan’s story with students and parents. If you couldn’t make it, you can now rent John’s parent presentation at this site as well.

Website Excerpt:

“If your child is under 13, you do have the option to have these accounts deleted since most of these services have an age and parental consent requirement per the Federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

      • Have them share with you all their user account names and passwords.
      • Make certain they never have and will never share their passwords with anyone, even a friend. Explain the risk of someone impersonating them and ruining their reputation
      • Remove the technology (cells phones, tablets, iPods, computers) from the bedroom, specifically, when it is time to sleep.”

Teens.drugabuse.gov – It’s important to give your kids resources as well. This one is designed for teens, but also has links for parents including researched based scientific facts about various drugs.

Website Excerpt:

“Another teen from Croatan High School in North Carolina submitted:

My best friend of 7 years has smoked cigarettes, smoked marijuana, and tried other drugs since she was 11. She has dealt with social services, law enforcement, and was sent to a foster home for 3 months. She has been back home for a month and says she’s going to change. I love her and don’t want her to go back down the same road again, but she doesn’t want to hear it when I talk to her about drugs. How can I help her?”

Healthvermont.gov – State, county, and school district data helps you to know what struggles and strengths your student encounters daily. Many of Lamoille Valley’s Middle and High Schools have student “Getting to Y” groups looking at this data and planning ways to help their classmates who may be struggling.

Website Excerpt:

“The YRBS was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1990 to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disease, injury and social problems among youth. These behaviors, often established during childhood and early adolescence, include:

  • Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
  • Physical activity
  • Nutrition
  • Weight status
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol and other drug use
  • Sexual behaviors

The survey is part of a larger effort to help communities increase the resiliency of young people by reducing high risk behaviors and promoting healthy behaviors. Vermont collects student responses every two years from nearly every high school and middle school in the state.”

Was this information helpful? Do you have other resources you’d like to share? Share in the comments section below or message the author at: jessica@healthylamoillevalley.org.


Jessica Bickford has worked as Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley for a little over two years, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.

Why a Creative Economy Is Important to All of Us

By: Tricia Follert

Judith Wrend wrote an exceptional piece on the creative economy and I’d like to put it in perspective as it applies to Morristown. Investing in our community and especially in public art shows a commitment to our citizens and our future. Art and culture supports community engagement, increases the potential for people to understand themselves and each other, and changes how they see the world. Public art is also an economic driver.

The Morristown Alliance for Culture and Commerce (MACC) started the Chair-art-able project six years ago to add more public art and improving the walkability to our community. They purchased 25 folding Adirondack chairs and offered them to the community to be painted by the local citizens. Peoples Academy has painted five plus chairs each year as part of their curriculum. This year, I went to the open house at the school, and it was heartwarming to hear the students brag about the chairs they painted. (And they should brag about them, they are fantastic!) The students had sparkles in their eyes when they talked about their creative process and how the chairs would adorn the streets of Morrisville.  I’ve had friends from near and far come into town to see the “chairs”.

Last fall, the town installed the first of three permanent sculptural trees in the downtown area. The community selected artist Gordon Auchincloss for the project, as his work is beautiful, compelling and timeless. His stainless steel sculptures stimulate the imagination of local voters and will serve the community through public placement in the downtown area. This summer the second sculptural tree will be installed at Morristown Centennial Library.

These works create a “creative industry” which will create jobs, attract investments, generate additional tax revenues, and stimulate the local economy through tourism, consumer purchases, drawing and retaining a talented work force. An active cultural scene fosters social connectedness across cultures, ages, and other divides. It promotes well-being, fosters cooperation, and builds social and civic connections. Public art creates a common experience and helps to build a vibrant community. It starts a conversation, good or bad, but public art is always engaging. The very first discussion of bringing in public art creates a positive influence as residents begin to think about what they want their community to be.

I hope you enjoy reading Judith’s piece, below, as much as I did.


How the Creative Economy Boosts the Life of a Town

 By: Judith Wrend

How does the “creative economy” affect us and benefit our town?

The basic element of the creative economy is the so-called cultural workforce, which is composed of the many creative people who live among us: painters, craft artists, performers, writers and poets, filmmakers and photographers, designers, musicians,architects—and sculptors, like me. According to the U.S. Census Bureau Vermont ranks #3 in the nation for artists, is #2 for fine artists and writers, and is #8 for musicians and photographers as a percentage of the total workforce. We are what help give Vermont a high ranking in the national census.

Members of this creative workforce directly contribute to the economy of the region. Many of them are self-employed. They pay income tax and sales tax, and they purchase supplies and services, thus supporting other local businesses. They buy paints and canvas, steel and aluminum, craft materials, equipment and other supplies. They use the services of tax preparers, welders, auto painters, art framers, movers, photographers and many others. Arts and cultural enterprises total nearly 5 percent of all businesses in Vermont, according to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. These businesses employ more than 7000 Green Mountain State residents.

A second element of the creative economy is the non-profit sector: community organizations that provide cultural opportunities and services for all ages in the area. The Morrisville Centennial Library links the public to the literary arts. River Arts brings opportunities in the visual arts, offering exhibitions and classes for adults and children. These centers are focal points in the community where the public can access the arts and, very importantly, have contact with other people who share their interests. Connecting community members to each other through the arts is a vital function of these non-profit centers.

A third element of the creative economy is the for-profit sector: businesses that sell or exhibit creative products. A restaurant or a gallery that exhibits the works of local artists would be in this category. A shop that sells crafts, photography and handmade gifts, such as Haymaker Press, is a part of the creative economy.

Individuals who offer music lessons can also be included here. A commercial designer who helps create presentation materials for a local company is in this sector.

State and local governments have realized how important a vibrant creative sector is to the overall wellbeing of a region. The New England Foundation for the Arts collects data supporting the idea that a state or town with a relatively higher concentration of creative enterprises and creative workers gives that area a competitive edge by raising its quality of life and ability to attract economic activity. In 2016 the Vermont Legislature established the Vermont Creative Network, in partnership with the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Downtown Program, Common Good Vermont, the Emergent Media Center of Champlain College, the Regional Development Corporation, and the Vermont Department of Libraries. The Network divides the state into six organizational zones. The zone that includes Morrisville is called the Four-County Creative Zone, encompassing Franklin, Grand Isle, Washington and Lamoille Counties. Morrisville’s representative for this Network is Tricia Follert, who will help to connect our town into the statewide creative initiative. As they coordinate with other sectors of the Vermont economy, such as tourism and skiing, both locally and statewide, they will help the creative enterprises here to flourish and to be an asset to our town. Having a thriving creative economy is one of the ways we make a community as attractive as possible. A town with a healthy creative community is likely to also have good schools and profitable businesses. Realtors report that their buyers are drawn to communities that have these features. People want to live in such towns. As the arts community grows, tourists are attracted to these towns and come to visit. A creative town also draws in people from surrounding communities. The town becomes a destination.

Many of the economic benefits of the creative economy are quantifiable. We can measure them and print out reports, but there are other benefits that are not so easily measurable. What can we look for? There may be a group of elders who make art together and as a result feel connected and energized. There could be a business that gives a new look to its façade and makes the downtown more attractive and lively looking. A new sculpture installed in the town may provoke opinions and conversation and a desire to take a closer look. Signs that educate about the history of the town and link with a walking pathway enhance the sense of place. Children in an arts-focused class gain confidence in their own ideas and creative ability in a place that is safe for their explorations. People who gather for a regular book club discuss ideas and feel connected to each other and to the town. An exhibit of poetry written by a local group of poets graces a wall of the post office. People come in to pick up their mail and then stop to read a poem or two. The town gets a new logo emblem, designed by a local artist. We see it on the town website, town trucks and t-shirts worn by town workers. All of these, and more, give the impression that things are happening here, that people care about their town, and that people are engaged with the life of the town. All of these make the town inviting and indicate a high quality of life.

Judith is a sculptor who maintains her studio in Morrisville. She was a member of the founding board of River Arts and continues to support River Arts programs. www.judithwrend.com


Tricia Follert is the Community Development Coordinator for the Town of Morristown, where she coordinates and implements activities for the town. She currently sits on three local boards, River Arts, Lamoille County Planning Commission and the Morristown Alliance for Commerce and Culture, and works closely with many local nonprofits on community projects. She is also actively involved in the community gardens, the rail trail and the arts.

Summer Meals for Kids and Teens

Summer meals for kids and teens

 

Looking to stretch your food budget, try new foods and support local farmers? This summer, 3SquaresVT will provide free meals to children 18 and under; no registration, no application, no reservation required. In fact, many who apply are surprised they qualify. Below is a list of local meal sites in our community.

If you need a different location, call 2-1-1 toll free or text “FOOD” to 877-877 to find drop-in summer meal sites anywhere in Vermont.

The 3SquaresVT program helps Vermonters stretch their food budgets and put three meals a day on their tables. 3SquaresVT is for everyone who qualifies, including individuals, families, seniors, and people with disabilities. Receiving a 3SquaresVT benefit this summer means automatic free school breakfast and lunch for your kids in the fall.

3SquaresVT is a federal USDA program administered in Vermont by the Department for Children and Families, Economic Services Division that helps put healthy food within reach. Visit www.vermontfoodhelp.com to learn more and get an application,  or call 1-800-479-6151 for assistance.

Resilience

By: Jessica Bickford

Many community partners are coming together to host three screenings of the film, “Resilience.” This film looks at Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how they can impact our lives into adulthood. Beyond ACEs, the film explores ways to come together as a community to support and create opportunities for resilience, or the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful (again) after something bad happens.

 

Resilience Trailer – KPJR Films from KPJR FILMS LLC on Vimeo.

Choose from any of three dates/locations. Reserve your free ticket today!

Here’s a longer overview of the film:

“The child may not remember, but the body remembers.”

The original research was controversial, but the findings revealed the most important public health findings of a generation. RESILIENCE is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress. Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behavior.

However, as experts and practitioners profiled in RESILIENCE are proving, what’s predictable is preventable. These physicians, educators, social workers and communities are daring to talk about the effects of divorce, abuse and neglect. And they’re using cutting edge science to help the next generation break the cycles of adversity and disease.

A must see for everyone in our communities!



Jessica Bickford has worked as Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley for a little over two years, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.

Summer Meals for Kids and Teens

Summer meals for kids and teens

Are you worried about affording enough food for your family? This summer, 3SquaresVT will provide free meals to children 18 and under, no registration, no application, no reservation required. Below is a list of local meal sites.

 3SquaresVT free meals

If you need a different location, call 2-1-1 toll free or text “FOOD” to 877-877 to find drop-in summer meal sites anywhere in Vermont.

In addition, the First Congregational Church in Morrisville will offer a free drop-in “Breakfast on Us” program Monday – Friday from 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. for all community members.

The 3SquaresVT program helps Vermonters stretch their food budgets and put three meals a day on their tables.  3SquaresVT is for everyone who qualifies, including individuals, families, seniors, and people with disabilities. In fact, many who apply are surprised they qualify. Receiving a 3SquaresVT benefit this summer means automatic free school breakfast and lunch for your kids in the fall.

3SquaresVT is a federal USDA program administered in Vermont by the Department for Children and Families, Economic Services Division that helps put healthy food within reach. Visit www.vermontfoodhelp.com to learn more and get an application,  or call 1-800-479-6151 for assistance.

Lace Up Those Kicks…

runner

Copley Hospital’s Wellness Center has shared a list of upcoming runs/walks through June. If you are a runner or a walker, signing up for an event is a great way to stay motivated and/or reach your goals.

Not sure you’re ready for a 5K? Check out our training program for the Copley 5K or 1-Mile Health Walk.

June 4th – West River Trail Run, Londonderry

June 4th – Colchester Causeway 5k/15k, Colchester

  • Choose either a 5k or 15k.  The race begins at Airport Park and follows a gravel trail out the historic Causeway before returning to the finish. www.colchestervt.gov

June 4th – Miles for Smiles, Stowe

June 11-12th – Green Mountain Relay, Jeffersonville.

  • Teams of seven to 12 runners exchange relays for 200 miles from Jeffersonville to Bennington on Route 100. www.greenmountainrelay.com

June 11th – Fight for Air Climb, Bennington Battle Monument, Bennington

  • Runners take to the stairs up the Battlefield Monument while raising funds for research and programs to help people affected by lung disease. www.lung.org

June 11th  39th Annual Capital City Stampede 10k, Montpelier

  • Runners race a flat and fast out-and-back course on half paved, half-dirt roads. Course is USATF-certified. www.cvrunners.org

June 12th – Remembrance Run and Ludington Mile, Morrisville

  • Join us for the 11th Annual Remembrance Run on Sunday, June 12. There will be great prizes, great food, and great fun. Start your training now for the 5K run, or walk to benefit the scholarships for Trace, Sigrid, and Chris. There is also a kid’s 1-mile race. Visit remembrancerun.net to sign up.

June 12th – Equinox Trail Race 5k & 10k, Charlotte

  • The Green Mountain Athletic Association hosts a pair of runs on trails through fields, single tract and old roads. www.gmaa.net

June 18th – 9th Annual Run for Empowerment, Burlington

  • Run 10k, 5k, or walk a mile along the waterfront while raising funds for Women Helping Battered Women.  www.whbw.org

June 19th – Worcester 4 Mile Challenge, Worcester

June 24th – Sine Nomine, Vermont

  • The Endurance Society’s secretive endurance challenge will be held in a rural location disclosed only to the entrants. www.endurancesociety.org

June 24th-26th – Coyote Scramble Trail Runs, East Burke

  • Kingdom Trails hosts three days of trail runs with suggested distances for each day.  Post-run activities include bowling and live music. www.coyotemoonultras.com

June 26th – Paul Mailman 10-miler, Montpelier

  • The longest continually-held road race in central Vermont starts and finishes near Montpelier High School as part of the Central Vermont Runners and Onion River Sports Race Series.  www.cvrunners.org

And just a reminder: Copley’s 5k Run/Walk for the Heart is set for October 1, the first Saturday in October, at Oxbow Park in Morrisville. It includes a one-mile Health Walk. Our course uses the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail and Oxbow Park. It’s a fun way to kick off Morristown’s Rocktoberfest! Registration is open at RunReg.com

Morristown Community Gardens

By: Tricia Follert

gardening

It’s that time of year again that many of you who live in Northern Vermont dream about all winter: springtime. The trees are starting to blossom, the garlic is showing its scapes, the robins are singing, and it’s time to think about gardening.

Morristown community gardens are located at Oxbow Riverfront Park and there are lots of good organic plots available, large and small. Are you interested in having a plot of your own? We’d love to have you! Please contact Jake Rehm at jkswft@yahoo.com.

Don’t worry if you’re not able to crawl around the ground, planting gorgeous little seedlings and then weeding them all summer. We also have 13 raised bed boxes available! Contact Kylie Brown at kylie.unitedway@powershift.com or call 888-3252 and she’ll set you up with one of the raised beds.

There is no better way to spend the great summer months than enjoying your own little garden plot at the park and then heading home with your bounty. Gardening can help you stay active and can also feed your soul. So ride your bike or stroll down to the park and enjoy one of the many our wonderful assets, the community gardens.


Tricia Follert is the Community Development Coordinator for the Town of Morristown, where she coordinates and implements activities for the town. She currently sits on three local boards, River Arts, Lamoille County Planning Commission and the Morristown Alliance for Commerce and Culture, and works closely with many local nonprofits on community projects. She is also actively involved in the community gardens, the rail trail and the arts.