Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DCF Book Award Ceremony

Linda Urban and Tany Lee Stone answer questions from the audience. 

Some of our students went to the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book (DCF) Award ceremony this Tuesday at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center. At this event, two Vermont authors spoke about their books, and the writing process . Both of these authors have books on next year's DCF list. Tanya Lee Stone has written the informational book, Courage Has No Color, and Linda Urban has written The Center of Everything.  

Wonder by R.J. Palacio was the winner of this year's DCF Award.  This award is an annual kid's choice award given to a children's chapter book.   VT students (4th-8th grade) must read at least five books on the DCF list to vote for a favorite.

More information about the DCF Books can be found at:

A list of the books on the 2014-2015 DCF list can be found at:

PowerSpeak Languages

Interested in Learning a New Language?
Students at VUES have access to the Powerspeak Languages online program.  Learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, or Korean using this interactive web site.  To access this site, visit the VUES library website ( Click on Links (on the left side on the page), click on Powerspeak, and then scroll to the bottom of the Gale Databases website to find the link to Powerspeak.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Everybody Wins!

EW! VT finishes first year at Vergennes Union Elementary School
Everybody Wins! Vermont (EW!VT)  is mentoring program based in literacy.  Currently there are 24 schools in the Vermont with an EW!VT mentoring program.    
The foundation of EW!VT is the Power Lunch, which pairs elementary school children with adult reading mentors. Reading mentors spend one hour a week at schools with their student partners. Each week, the pairs read together and share conversations about the books. The Power Lunch provides children with positive role models and fosters a love of reading and learning.
Research has proven that the more children read, the better readers they become; the better readers they become, the more they want to read. Children who read well tend to achieve more academically, enjoy school more, and stay in school. EW! VT is not a tutoring program. Rather, the goal of EW!VT is to help children develop and practice literacy skills by helping them experience the pleasure of reading good books in a one-to-one, noncompetitive setting.

This year Vergennes Elementary school had seven reading pairs who met once a week during lunch starting at the end of January.  This week a end of the year celebration was held for the mentors and mentees with pizza and cake for all.      

The EW!VT program will be back again next fall.  Want to become a mentor or know someone who would be a great mentor? Visit or contact Tara Brooks to learn more. 

Interview with a College Student about the Outdoor Classroom Improvements

Bridge builder and college student, Asher with some VUES students. 

College students had plans to build a bridge in the outdoor classroom recently, so we interviewed one of the students. First we asked college student Asher what his motivation for his tedious task of building a bridge in the outdoor classroom, and he said; “I was doing it as an extra-curricular class, but my more prominent motivation was to keep pollution, and residents of the wetland (the wildlife) happy.” Next we asked him how long it took to build the bridge, and when it’ll be finished, and he replied; “The bridge is finished and now laid out in the wetland.” We then asked him as his third question what he thought of the beavers. He replied “I thought it was pretty cool that they were there, they may have made the building of the bridge a bit tough, but we think it must be pretty sweet to have wildlife like that in the outdoor classroom.” For our fifth and final question, we asked him if he knew that two beavers were removed, and if he felt that it was necessary. He said “No, I didn’t know that two beavers were removed. I know they caused some problems though, so I believe it was necessary in a way.” We ended the conversation with a little tag-along conversation about that last question, and he left. This concludes our interview with Asher. Until next time,                                                          
 Article by 6th grade students, H.C.and S.F.
(6th grade students have been learning about the Outdoor Classroom
in Mrs. Raphael's Enrichment Class)

The new wetland bridge in the VUES outdoor classroom.

Another view of the new wetland bridge. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

VUES 3rd Grade Creation: Elephant!

The 3rd grade Enrichment class constructed Elephant out of more than a 100 recycled milk cartons (and duct tape) for the Made by Milk contest.

If you would like to help, please visit the Made by Milk website and vote for Elephant.
  • Please visit:
  • Click on See Entries (Elephant is in the Elementary School 1-5 section) and 
  • Vote for Elephant! (From Timeless Classics to New Favorites, Elephants are our Favorite Characters!)