Sage Bagnato, Contributor
As part of a year-long study of Vermont history, government and ecology, Vermont Day School 2nd and 3rd grade students created travel brochures to highlight unique aspects of Vermont. The brochures focused on everything from the maple sugar industry, to favorite swimming holes, to museum offerings.
During the process of creating their brochures, students gained invaluable research, interview, writing and graphic-design skills. The class hosted a mock Chamber Of Commerce event for parents and classmates to showcase their work.
And the project did not stop there. Students sent the brochures to people living in other parts of the country to entice them to visit our extraordinary state. While most students sent the brochures to family and friends in places as far reaching as Colorado and Florida, one student took a different approach.
“I wanted to send the brochure to someone I look up to as a leader,” said 3rd grade student Felix Nestor. “I like President Obama because he is thoughtful, makes good decisions and thinks about others.”
A month later, a thick manila envelope arrived at school, addressed to the class. The return address was unmistakable: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC.
“The class was ecstatic when the package from President Obama arrived,” teacher Brea Schwartz said. “It was one of those moments as a teacher that I will never forget.”
President Obama’s letter reminded students that their generation “will be charting America’s course.” He encouraged students to “keeping dreaming big and working hard,” a message they will undoubtedly remember for years come, Schwartz said.
To learn more about project-based learning, attend Vermont Day School’s winter open house at 3:00 p.m. on Feb. 12. The school is also hosting a kindergarten visiting morning for prospective kindergarten students (preregistration required). For more information, visit the school’s website.