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MVSB Donates $2500 to Inter-Lakes Elementary School's "Living Classroom" Greenhouse Project

MEREDITH — Meredith Village Savings Bank's (MVSB) recent donation of $2500 to Inter-Lakes Elementary School's (ILES) Living Classroom greenhouse project has put the school even closer to its fundraising goal of $65,000. With these funds, the school plans to build a 24'x 48' rigid-frame poly-carbonate greenhouse that will provide interactive and experiential learning opportunities to students of all grade levels.

"Today's generation is the first to grow up 'indoors' and 'plugged in' and we believe this Living Classroom is an important tool for reconnecting children with nature," said Dr. Steven Kelley, Inter-Lakes Elementary School Principal. "We are so appreciative of the support from Meredith Village Savings Bank and other community partners to help us bring new, engaging learning experiences to the Inter-Lakes Elementary School students."

The Living Classroom initiative is focused on constructing and supporting a state of the art greenhouse on the Inter-Lakes Elementary School grounds in Meredith. This new teaching environment will promote active learning for students and provide learning experiences in all academic areas. With a supplemental heating design utilizing subterranean heat and solar energy, the greenhouse will operate year round with a minimal amount of purchased electricity. The space will include creatively designed outdoor garden beds, a composting center and will be large enough to hold 20 students and their educator(s). For more information about the project or to make a donation, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/interlakesgreenhouse/

In partnership with its communities, Inter-Lakes School District aims to provide outstanding educational opportunities and resources to all students to achieve academic excellence in order to reach their highest potential and to succeed as responsible, contributing citizens in a global society. More information can be found at www.interlakes.org.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:43

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Pleasant St. School is a recipient of CLiF Award

LACONIA — Pleasant St. Elementary School is a recipient of a Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF)  2014-2015 Year of the Book sponsorships. It was one of eight schools in New Hampshire and Vermont which will receive free books and literacy programs valued at $25,000 over the course of a school year.

The CLiF Year of the Book sponsorship supplements literacy curricula at schools with high percentages of students scoring below state standards on reading and writing tests and high percentages of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Over the course of the year, students may select and keep new books of their own.

In addition to free books, a sponsorship brings in literacy professionals to inspire students. Programs may include author/illustrator visits, multi-day comics or poetry workshops, storytelling presentations and theater or video production.

CLiF is a non-profit organization founded in 1998. Its mission is to nurture a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural children in New Hampshire and Vermont. Over 16 years CLiF has supported and inspired 150,000 young readers and writers through six literacy program sponsorships and has given away more than $3 million in new, high-quality children's books.

CLiF does not receive any federal or state funds for its programs. It relies solely on the generosity of individuals, local companies, social organizations, and foundations.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:34

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Winni Players invite local groups to participate in ‘Brundibar’ production

MEREDITH — Fifty-nine local performers, ages seven to over seventy, and numerous behind-the-scenes volunteers are hard at work on The Winni Players Spring production of The Brundibar Project. The production will run from May 1-4 with performances Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Brundibar is an opera for children written by Hans Krasa and Adolf Hoffmeister in 1938 in Prague. It was only performed twice before Krasa and many of the Jews involved in the production were transported by the Nazis to Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. The music was smuggled into the camp and the opera was performed 55 times between 1943 and 1945 by Jewish children in the camp. The chance to perform was a welcome break from the stark reality of their daily lives. Most of the children who performed were later sent to Auschwitz and murdered, yet their memory lives on through productions of Brundibar.

Despite the sad historical context, Brundibar is a fun and entertaining musical allegory about bullying appropriate for all ages. The plot revolves around two young children who want to buy milk for their sick mother, but the town Organ Grinder, Brundibar, won’t allow them to sing on his street and drowns them out with his organ. Three talking animals enlist the kids of the town to sing together loud enough to drown out Brundibar and “overthrow” the tyrant. Brundibar is often used as a way to introduce children to the subject of the Holocaust because it is not scary but offers meaningful context to the time period as well as lessons kids can apply to their everyday life.

The production also includes Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright Tony Kushner’s one act play But the Giraffe which Kushner wrote specifically to pair with Brundibar. But the Giraffe imagines how the score for Brundibar may have been smuggled into the camp when a little girl is faced with the decision to pack her beloved stuffed giraffe or her uncle’s musical score in her suitcase when faced with deportation.

Amongst the cast are 13 Lakes Region families represented by at least one parent and child, and five adult couples. This enormous undertaking is the Winni Players annual Holocaust Remembrance Day event, but this year instead of a staged reading of a play, the group is presenting a full scale musical production. Youth groups (religious, school, theatre, chorale, etc) are invited to participate in this unique event by learning a song from the show to sing with the cast on stage during a performance. Educational packets have been prepared for these groups to use in advance to learn about the Holocaust and the events surrounding Brundibar’s history.

To find out more how your group can get involved contact Bryan Halperin, the director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Tickets are only $10 and will be available online at www.winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org beginning April 1. Group sales are already open by calling (603) 279-0333. The production is made possible by the support of the NH Humanities Council, the Jewish Federation of NH, and Temple B’Nai Israel.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:30

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Belmont High School FBLA Wins Big at State Leadership Conference

BELMONT — Twenty-seven members of Belmont High School's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter attended the 42nd Annual NH-FBLA State Leadership Conference at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester on March 13 and 14. After a rough start to the day on Thursday, the students settled right in and performed admirably, earning a spot as one of the top three chapters in New Hampshire for the fifth consecutive year.
Ben Hill, the adviser of the FBLA chapter at Belmont High School (BHS), reflected on the work of his students this year, stating, "I am so happy for the students because they put a lot of effort and energy into the many things we have done during the last year. There is certainly a bar that has been set by their predecessors, but we had almost 50 students involved in FBLA this year, and I think they accomplished more than any group before them. I hope they are able to connect the work ethic and commitment to excellence demonstrated throughout the year to these awards and recognition."
Things weren't looking so good on Wednesday evening, as the snow started to fall and the threat of a school cancellation had the students worried that they would not be able to attend the conference. According to Hill, "I had students calling me Wednesday night asking if they could drive to the conference if school was cancelled. Some of them worked very hard for weeks preparing for their competitive events, so they were anxious about the weather."
After a two-hour delay on Thursday morning, the bus rolled out, and an hour later, the conference kicked off with professor, author, and motivational speaker, Dr. Joe Martin. In his first session with students, Dr. Martin used poetry and personal experience to deliver an emotional message about living each day to the fullest and never wasting opportunities. He returned after lunch for a second session, where he told students to learn to be ugly. The message was simple: don't let others get in your way, pursue your dreams, and don't settle for being average.
When Dr. Martin was finished, the candidates for state office gave their speeches, and then it was time for competitive events. Students delivered presentations and took tests on a wide variety of business-related subjects or skills. After the events were finished, a formal dinner was held for students and advisers to practice business dining etiquette. A casual dance and game night was held after the dinner to allow time for relaxation and encourage networking between schools after an intense day of competition.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:22

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