Volunteering in the Schools - Two Coots event last night
I'm (Pat Fowler) involved in Bellows Falls Middle School's 21c afterschool program, both as a member of the Advisory Board an as a volunteer Instructor. This year I started a book group. We now have 6 girls and one boy involved in reading advanced reader's copies. We've set up a web page for each student (using just their first name and an avatar). They've each chosen a book to review, so I'll update their book list this week. For each book chosen, the students will prepare reviews based upon the New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Council format, which includes a short review and rating system. Once they have read their books, we'll contact the authors through the web so that the students can ask them questions about their book.
Right now Village Square Booksellers has a Book Fair going on at Saxtons River Elementary School. The students visited the library yesterday to prepare their wish lists. Tonight (Oct 8th) their parents and other relatives can visit the school during the Open House to make their purchases. The Book Fair benefits the school's PTO who have helped organize the event. I enjoyed seeing the students- many of whom recognize me from reading aloud at breakfast or from the Winter Sports Program - Alan volunteers for skiing at Okemo, I help with the Cross Country program at Grafton.
All of our schools have students taking the NECAP tests. The Bellows Falls Union High School School and Community Relations Committee has a project to feed a snack to all of the students before test prep and a full breakfast for the juniors on testing days. We solicited donations from area businesses to help pay for the food and some of us worked on snack preparations (stuffing bags with milk, fruit, bagels & cream cheese in our case- Alan & I both volunteered to stuff the 300+ bags). I think we'll be able to help serve at one of the breakfast meals next week.
Village Square Booksellers donated apples from Saxtons River Apple. We'll also be donating Orange Juice and yogurts for one of the breakfast. Sara & Ryan James of Harvest Moon/Smokin Bowls will be serving coffee cakes 2 days of the breakfast. Allen Brothers donated donuts. Many of the committee and school board members donated items, or volunteered to help bag the snacks or serve breakfast, including Jan Mitchell-Love, Dave Clark, Jack Bryar, Laurie Rowell, Joe & Hope Brissette, Superintendent Johanna Harpster, Asst Superintendent Chris Kibbe.
I'll start reading at Central and Saxtons River School's next week as part of the breakfast program. Alans' still taping the school board meetings for FACTV.
We enjoyed listening to David Morine discuss his Two Coots in a Canoe book last night- about 15 attendees, all very interested in his project. Richard Ewald attended - he's now the Director of Planning & Development for the Connecticut River Watershed Council. Richard asked to intriduce the author. After the event, we headed over to Mary Lynch's for a late dinner with David and his wife. The "Two Coots" stayed with Mary overnight when they were passing through Bellows Falls. We have autographed copies of the book in the store. The Rockingham Library had Castle Freeman speaking - we "over-booked" our literary events for the night in Bellows Falls. Hopefully they had a good turnout too. We provided books for their event.
Getting ready for our next event with Don Bredes on Friday Oct 16th at 6:30pm. Don has a mystery series with a Vermont setting. Yes, there are other Vermont mysteries besides Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther series. Speaking of Archer, he'll be visiting Village Square Booksellers on Fri Oct 23rd, so get your reservations in for books and the event. Al Braden, a photographer that Alan met when he was a member of a Monadnock Photographers group, has a new book out on the Connecticut River. He'll be putting on a slide show on Sat Oct 24 at 2pm. Poetry Open Mic Sat Oct 10, American girl Club Oct 17 & Nov 21.
In November we have Michele Moore talking about her book on Feeding a fmily for $75 per week (Sat Nov 14 at noon followed by Poetry Open Mic at 2pm). We are organizing that event with the Bellows Falls Farmers Market and the Great Falls Food Hub. Joe Citro is returning to the store on Fri Nov 21 at 7pm, along with illustrator Steve Bissette - Vermont Monster Guide. I saw Steve at the New England Independent Bookseller's Assn convention saturday- he mentiond that he will have a slide show.
Never a dull moment in Bellows Falls.
--- Pat Fowler