VSE has an extraordinary history of adding integrated programs to the classes at all grade levels. From art and writing residencies, a poetry festival, inter-island collaborative events and much more, VSE has enhanced the education of our children since 1999.
Leaps of Imagination: Thinking through Art
This fall Vinalhaven School’s fourth and fifth graders read E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. Studying Charlotte’s Web focused kids’ attention on a small town community, so artists used the topic of the island community as a springboard for open discussion. On their first day of LEAPS, children brainstormed elements they knew to be part of their island, from people who work in the fishing and lobstering industries, to friends, animals, quarries, and ocean life. They read books like Energy Island and Brave Girl – true stories about communities that came together to solve problems in creative ways – just like in Charlotte’s Web.
Yoga with Adriana Eder of Vinalhaven Yoga
The Health II class just finished up a 10 week stint of practicing yoga. It was a great experience for all of the students involved. Having a yoga teacher weekly, demystified the practice of yoga and meditation and taught them that regular yoga participation is an important health practice with many benefits. Adriana Eder’s teaching was inspiring and motivating, and the students looked forward to the 40 minutes that they spent with her on Friday’s for the 10 weeks. They gained an understanding of a variety of postures and increased not only their flexibility, but gained an interest in pursuing yoga as a personal practice. Many are even using yoga at home now for relaxation and stress management.
George Neptune-Abbe Museum
On November 2nd, George Neptune, from the Abbe Museum of Wabanaki of History and Culture, made Maine native trade economies come alive for grades 4-12. Students learned about what kinds of objects were traded at different times, and how to barter for “needs” and “wants” between tribes and with European traders. Teachers praised George’s presentations because of his vivid evocation of the native perspective, the hands-on quality of the experience, and his skill in working with students of all ages. We would like him to return again next year!
Giant Puppets, Peter Isnardi
Veteran puppeteer Peter Isnardi spent a week at the Vinalhaven School (Nov. 14-19) introducing students to large-scale puppetry, and building a life-sized puppet of the lion Aslan for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was performed in December. VHS theater teacher Chloe Keller and kids of all ages worked with Peter in their theater classes, as did the cast and crew of the play. The school staff and community were also invited to participate in the project.
In late November and early December, High School Art students worked at the Engine House Press with local artist and printmaker Chris Clarke over several weeks as part of their “books.paper.print” class. In this project, they learned a new printmaking process – etching – and combined it with book binding skills they had been learning during the semester. Students’ artwork was inspired by Emma Farrarons’ “Mindfulness Coloring Book”. Their prints became content for hand bound books with a coptic stitch binding.
Poetry Workshop with Port Veritas
April was Poetry Month! To celebrate, it was a pleasure to host two poets from Port Veritas. Port Veritas is a community based organization whose goal is to enlighten, engage and entertain with poetry! The group came to Vinalhaven last year and we were excited to have them again! Poets Nate Amadon and Robin Merrill worked with over thirty-five high school and middle school students in a five-day poetry workshop that taught students creative writing techniques. Students wrote everything from persona poems to sonnets and practiced reading their poetry out loud. The grand finale at the end of the week was a poetry slam where students got to perform their original poems. Mae Applegate, Middle School ELA teacher said, “I LOVE this program!!! I think it is one of the best examples I have seen of VSEC funded programs directly supporting in-class curriculum. Thank you!!!”.
Art Baron Jazz Residency: April 24-26, 2017
Art worked with 4th & 5th grade bands, middle school band, individual high school musicians, and even visited the Pre-K. A Community Concert on Wednesday, 4/26, was the highlight of the residency, with Art, Bill Trevaskis, and 11 student musicians from Grades 6-12 playing onstage. They really rocked the house with C Jam Blues, the high school duo of sax and trombone (MacKenzie and Molly) was a hit, and Art and Bill’s duets of Ellington favorites were just wonderful. The audience was thrilled to be treated to such an excellent concert. In just three short days, Art not only charmed the students with his easy manner and sense of humor, they started to take risks and swing with the rhythm of jazz.
Art Baron is an acclaimed jazz trombonist who began his career with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and has played or recorded with a wide range of musicians, including James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen. Art also plays tuba, alto and bass recorder, pennywhistle, didgeridoo, and conch shell. He is a longtime friend of Vinalhaven, and has previously taught several workshops at Vinalhaven School. He has performed on the island many times in various venues.
Ingvild Waerhaug Baron: High School Art Workshop April 26-28, 2017
Ingvild (wife of Art Baron) is an artist and designer from Norway and New York City, who uses dyes and paints to create beautiful fabrics and turn ordinary clothing into fashion. From Wed. April 26-Fri. April 28, she generously shared her techniques with VH high school art students, who made bright and lively tee-shirts by painting with dyes and stamping with fabric paint. Students worked intently under her direction for three sessions, and were so pleased with the results. They are wonderful!
Chrissy Fowler: Contra Dance
May 9-12, 2017
Contra dance is a traditional New England dance form that is communal in nature and very popular in the last century on Vinalhaven. It is also very popular with students at Vinalhaven School – especially when Chrissy Fowler is their teacher! Every year, students ask, is Chrissy coming back?
This year we were fortunate to have two excellent musicians come from Whitefield to play for us: John Pranio on fiddle and Toki Oshima on guitar. Five local musicians joined in playing with them for the community dance held on Friday, creating a wonderful musical energy for the dancers, who ranged in age 3 to 83!
“It is such a gift to have Chrissy come to classes, and this year in particular was wonderful with all the high school and middle school kids coming down throughout the day during their free periods to DANCE with great enthusiasm and energy. With her calm and positive attitude and emphasis on kindness and respect, Chrissy teaches more than dance. Thanks to all of PIE for supporting this program, and to the community musicians who played for the dance.” – Jake Tuminski, P.E. and Health Teacher
Click the below links to see what exciting programs Vinalhaven School Enrichment has had in years past or to view our gallery!