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VSE has an extraordinary history of providing integrated enrichment programs for classes at all grade levels. From art, writing and music residencies, poetry festivals, inter-island collaborative events and much more, VSE has enhanced the education of our children since 1999.
During the week of June 4th, the Vinalhaven School music program hosted 11
musicians from The Bridge Ensemble, a professional chamber choir from Washington DC. Their residency at school was extremely successful, as they worked with students from grades 3 – high school. The elementary students created their own music and performances and sang rounds. Middle school and high school students were treated to free private voice lessons as well as group singing in two, three, and four part harmony. The middle and high school students were also invited to watch the ensemble rehearse their concert program, often asking questions and getting to see “the process,” an extremely valuable experience! The group performed a community concert on Friday, June 8th in Smith Hokanson Memorial Hall to an enthusiastic crowd of students and adults. Four high school students and one elementary student joined the group on stage to sing “Danket dem Herren” by JS Bach. The evening was magical, to say the least!
The residency was generously sponsored by Fox Islands Concerts, Partners in Island Education, and the Vinalhaven School Music program. This residency will be remembered very fondly by so many and we cannot thank everyone enough for their support and enthusiasm for singing, music, and bringing the arts to the island! – Bill Trevaskis
Abigail Trafford – Island Week with the Vinalhaven Press Corps
Journalist Abbie Trafford spent the week of May 14-18, 2018 working with grades 4 & 5 to produce the magazine, Island Week. With Abbie as editor, students became the Vinalhaven Press Corps. They selected and researched topics, like climate change and rising sea levels, kelp farming, and the Skippers Program. They wrote editorials about school activities, and conducted interviews with members of the school and community. All of the writing was produced by the students.
The result of a week of very hard work was a handsome 24-page, full-color publication of such quality that some people couldn’t believe had been written by elementary students. One letter even arrived from a reader in Wisconsin, who said, “Your publication was first rate! Congratulations to your students for putting together a really interesting magazine! I … can honestly say I learned something from every article”. They can be very proud of their accomplishment.
(This was Abbie’s second residency with Vinalhaven’s 4th & 5th grades – her first was in Fall 2015.)
The Theater at Monmouth: AESOP’S GUIDE TO FRIENDSHIP
Our Vinalhaven School Enrichment Committee is dedicated to enriching Vinalhaven School’s curriculum, and on May 3rd, enrich they did – by bringing actors from The Theater at Monmouth to Vinalhaven to present Aesop’s Guide to Friendship. Vinalhaven students recite the Code of Honor daily: “I care enough to be kind. I care enough to be respectful. I care enough to be responsible. I care enough to be honest. I care enough to be fair.” Through Aesop’s Guide to Friendship, these words were brought to life. After their performance, the three wonderful actors stayed to lead lively theater games with grades Pre-K – 7, which was an added treat.
Port Veritas, Back Again!
In celebration of National Poetry Month (April), Robin Merrill and Nate Amadon, from the poetry collective Port Veritas, returned to Vinalhaven for their third annual poetry residency with middle and high school English classes. For five days, students read poetry, wrote new poems, revised their work and performed it for others. With their relaxed manner, sense of humor and thoughtful comments, Robin and Nate put students at ease and showed them that poetry is still relevant and important: it’s even cool. We hope Port Veritas will return again and again!
Peter Ralston: Arctic Observations
Last summer, noted photographer Peter Ralston and co-founder of the Island Institute, went all the way to Greenland and the Northwest Passage aboard a friend’s yacht. Ralston’s photographs document the severe beauty of the landscape, as well as Inuit villages and hunting camps, polar bears and whales, all under the midnight sun. In January, Peter shared his photographs and observations with our middle and high school students; then gave an evening presentation for the community. Peter described his experience as “a privileged front-row seat in the most dramatic theatre of rapid climate change on the planet”, with many lessons to be learned that apply to our own Gulf of Maine and the fisheries here.
LEAPS of Imagination: Thinking through Art
This October, it was the second and third graders at Vinalhaven School who participated in LEAPS. This year’s program was “Galvanizing Connections Between the Island Landscape & Art”, which led students on a collaborative art making journey, interweaving scientific investigation, literacy and printmaking to cultivate stewardship of their island. Walks through the woods inspired observational drawings. Students kept journals to record ideas, thoughts, and to create. The journals and observations served as a launch pad for printmaking. Students presented their final work at Windy Way Gallery on Vinalhaven. This program was a generous collaboration between Vinalhaven School, PIE, Vinalhaven Land Trust and LEAPS of Imagination.
Check out the LEAPS of Imagination blog about their visit to Vinalhaven by clicking here!
Michael Cole: Lighting Designer
In the 3rd week of October, Michael Cole, who has designed lighting for theaters all over the US, worked with students to design the lighting for the school musical School of Rock. He also introduced them light board operation and to cleaning and maintenance techniques for our lighting equipment, and created a prioritized list of lighting equipment upgrades for the school. Adult members of the community were welcome to stop by after school for a hands-on learning experience.
Ray Troll, “Fin Artist”
Ray Troll is an artist known for his very unique blend of scientifically accurate and humorous artwork. His “fishy” images can be found in museums, magazines, books, and on tee shirts worn by fishermen – and other people too. On Friday, October 27, Ray presented his work: Sharkabet, a Sea of Sharks from A to Z to grades K–5. He also visited the Art Room and shared his experience as an artist who draws his inspiration from fish and other creatures. On Saturday, Ray gave a presentation to the public: Fish Worship And The Art of Ray Troll or “How I Became a Scientific Surrealist”. It was a fun and fascinating event!
Click the below links to see what exciting programs Vinalhaven School Enrichment has had in years past or to view our gallery!