Thursday, June 14, 2018

Good Citizen Challenge Flag Day Bonus

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 1:21 PM

Thursday, June 14, is Flag Day!

In honor of this national holiday celebrating the Stars and Stripes, we’re adding a 10-point bonus activity to the Good Citizen Challenge, our summertime civics project for Vermont youth.

Here's the Flag Day bonus activity:

Explain what the stars, stripes and colors of the flag represent.

When you send in your Challenge scorecard, be sure to add your response to your other work and note the 10-point activity in your final total. The deadline to complete the Challenge is October 9, but the first 100 students to finish will receive a Good Citizen T-shirt!

Find a Challenge scorecard in the June, July, August and September issues of Kids VT — available at more than 700 locations around Vermont — or download a scorecard from

Hint: You can find out more about the flag on the official government site, Learn some fun flag facts here.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Good Citizen Challenge Underway!

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 4:06 PM

What are the three branches of government? Who is the treasurer of Vermont? What is Vermont's state motto?

The answers to these and other civics-related questions will earn you points in the Good Citizen Challenge, a summertime project Kids VT and our sister publication, Seven Days, launched at the end of May. You'll find a Challenge scorecard inside the June, July, August and September issues of Kids VT; you can also download one at

Jill Warrington of Shelburne shared this photo of her family at a stop on the African-American Heritage Trail as part of the challenge. - JILL WARRINGTON
  • Jill Warrington
  • Jill Warrington of Shelburne shared this photo of her family at a stop on the African-American Heritage Trail as part of the challenge.
We're inviting K-12 students across the state to take the Challenge, and earn points by visiting historic sites, learning about their communities and answering questions like these. Participants who earn 251 points — the number of towns in Vermont — can send in their scorecards to receive a Good Citizen medal, and an invitation to a reception at the Vermont Statehouse, where they'll meet state officials and be recognized for their work.

The first 100 youth to complete the Challenge will also receive a Good Citizen T-shirt.

To help you in your quest, we'll be posting regular updates here about Good Citizen-related events and bonus opportunities that didn't make it onto the scorecard.

For example, this weekend, June 8 and 9, are Vermont Days at all Vermont State Parks and State Historic Sites. That means admission is FREE! A visit to those historic sites will earn you 10 points each. This is a great opportunity to knock a few of them off your list!

And mark your calendar for the Vermont Humanities Council's Reading Frederick Douglass events, which take place in towns all across the state around Independence Day, the Fourth of July.

At these free gatherings, volunteers will read a fiery speech given by abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass in 1852, when he was asked to speak about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. So far, towns hosting events include: Jeffersonville, Jamaica, Ferrisburgh (Rokeby Museum), Wallingford, St. Johnsbury, Colchester, Norwich, Montpelier, Wilmington, Barre, Randolph, North Hero and South Hero.

Reading or listening to the speech on your own is worth 10 points. Attending one of those events is worth 20 points. Organizing an event of your own is worth 40 points!

Help Us Spread the Word

Kids VT managing editor Alison Novak and executive editor Cathy Resmer have been visiting classrooms and talking with families across the state about the Challenge, and about ways that students can learn about our shared civic heritage.

We've also been hearing about youth who are doing the Challenge and have already racked up dozens of points. It's so exciting to get those messages! If you're one of those folks who is working on the Challenge, please send us a note to let us know, and share evidence of your work. It will help inspire others to give the Challenge a try!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Congratulations to our May Writing Contest Winners!

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2018 at 2:51 PM

In our May Mom & Baby Issue, we asked kids to interview their parents about what they were like as a baby and write about it. Below, find the winning entries. Kinsley and Lena each receive a $25 gift certificate to Crow Bookshop in Burlington.

Kinsley Maxfield, 10, Highgate

What did I look like?

I had never seen a baby born with so much hair! It was so long that we could almost put it in pigtails.

What did I like to do?
You loved to play with your big brother. He always made you smile.

Did I cry a lot?
You were a happy baby! You only really cried when you were hungry.

Lena Whitaker-Hechanova, 10, Richmond

The following is an excerpt from a book Lena sent to Kids VT entitled 2 Essays of When I Was a Baby and a Younger Kid.

I was a serious baby. Blubbing, screaming, crying, sleeping (so much people think you’ve been knocked out.) These are pretty much not really babies’ routines, because all babies are different and this is mine.

When I was 1 year old, my family went to the Penguin Plunge. I had my fat lip over my skinny upper lip. I was scrunching in my face. I was exact.

When I was at the nursery when I was born, I was being rinsed off. Most babies (my sis and my brother) cry when water or something is rinsed off their heads. Not me. I yawned like it was nothing.
Last thing, I stared A LOT! Once I was at Uncommon Ground and I was staring at a college kid who, for some reason, was of quite an interest to me. He got really uncomfortable and moved away. I was serious at being funny.

Find the latest writing prompt in the Just For Kids section of our June Dad Issue. The deadline for entering is June 15. Happy writing!

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Congratulations to our May Coloring Contest Winners!

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2018 at 2:48 PM

An amazing mix of vibrant ducks swam into our mailbox this month. Oliver, 4, used a cheerful yellow crayon to color his feathered friends. Seven-year-old Evangeline’s green-and-yellow mama and baby birds floated in a pond jazzed up with blue glitter. Nine-year-old Whitney’s ducks made merry in a mud puddle, with an orange sun shining over cattails in the background. Savor the beginning of summer, kids, and send us your very best artwork again in June!

The winners of annual family memberships to the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium are…

“Mother Loon”
Hazel Abetti, 10, Concord

"Mother Loon"
  • "Mother Loon"

“All Mixed Up!”
Henry Hoff, 7, Richmond

"All Mixed Up"
  • "All Mixed Up"

“Quack Fabulous”
Maya Cousino, 5, Bristol

"Quack Fabulous"
  • "Quack Fabulous"

Find the latest coloring contest in the Just For Kids section of our June Dad Issue! The deadline to enter is June 15.

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Congratulations to our April Coloring Contest Winners!

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2018 at 5:55 PM

Our amazing artists welcomed spring’s arrival with their colorful entries this month. Five-year-old Jack’s brilliant masterpiece included a lemon-yellow sun, rainbow and a tiny mouse in one corner. Hazel, 10, sprinkled raindrops over green mountains and a red barn. Her kitty sported pink rain boots and held a red umbrella and matching tulip. Amelia, 6, made our judges laugh out loud; her cat clutched a fish skeleton in one paw. Kudos to everyone who entered! Send us your best again this month.

The winners of annual family memberships to the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium are…

“Spring Kitty”
Aubrie Byers, 5, Irasburg
Spring Kitty
  • Spring Kitty

“Jumping in Puddles”
Paige Black, 7, Waterbury Center
Jumping in Puddles
  • Jumping in Puddles

“The Hippy Cat”
Orion Ward, 12, St. Albans
The Hippy Cat
  • The Hippy Cat

Find the May coloring contest in the Just For Kids section of the May Baby & Maternity Issue. Send us your  entries by May 15!

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Congratulations to our April Writing Contest Winners!

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2018 at 1:33 PM

In our April issue, we asked kids to tell us about what they like to do on a rainy day. Below, find the winning entries. Aya and Harper each receive a $25 gift certificate to Crow Bookshop in Burlington.

Aya Chakaki, 7, Burlington

When it is raining outside, I read Ivy and Bean books or play with my baby sister. Sometimes I play school. I’m going to be a teacher when I grow up. I always am the teacher. I teach math and reading to my stuffed toy seal, Bluey.

Harper Hayes, 9, Bolton Valley

When it’s raining, I like to splash puddles at my friends and we have a rain fight together. Sometimes I play cards under the roof of my porch. We watch the rain splat down and make a puddle. I love when it rains!

Find the May writing prompt in the Just For Kids section of our May Mom & Baby Issue. The deadline to enter is May 15. Happy writing!

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Congratulations to our December/January Coloring Contest Winners!

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 1:39 PM

Kids’ works of art were filled with gliding ice skates and glittering snowflakes this month. Interestingly, some young artists saw the drawing as a bear, while others considered it a cat. Eight-year-old Maya’s teddy danced through the season’s first snowfall under a turquoise sky. Elizah, 12, dressed up a Santa bear in a cherry-red suit, with pasted-on jewels for some extra flair. Five-year-old Blakely’s furry friend skated on blue ice, with a fluttering rainbow scarf trailing behind. Marvelous work, kids. We can’t wait to see your imaginative creations this month!

The winners of annual family memberships to the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium are…

“Mrs. Paddington Ice Skating!”
Zac Zalewski, 5, Stowe
"Mrs. Paddington Ice Skating!"
  • "Mrs. Paddington Ice Skating!"

“Skating with Teddy”
Naya Vaughan, 8, South Hero
"Skating with Teddy"
  • "Skating with Teddy"

“Ice Skating”
Kelman Pirie, 10, Topsham
"Ice Skating"
  • "Ice Skating"

Find our latest coloring contest in the Just for Kids section of the February issue. The deadline to enter is February 15.

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Congratulations to our December/January Writing Contest Winners!

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 12:34 PM

  • Dreamstime
In our December/January Issue, we asked kids to describe what they’d build with an unlimited amount of snow. Below, find the imaginative winning entries. Sophie and Harper each receive a $25 gift certificate to Crow Bookshop in Burlington.

Sophie Freebern, 8

I would build a snow fort, and it would be EPIC! It would have a thick snow ceiling, and a snowflake in the floor like in Elsa’s (from Frozen) ice castle! The walls would be made of ice, so you could see through. It would be two stories, and on the second would be my room and library.

Harper Kring, 9

If I had the ability to use all of the snow in the world to build anything in the world, I would build Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter. It would have rooms with fluffy snow cushions and soft snow bedding. And they would have snow tables to eat their meals at. For classrooms, they would have lots of snow spell books and snow wands to cast spells. There would be snow cakes with hot honey and they would drink melted snow. For fun, they would build snowmen and make snowballs to have a snowball fight. If someone was being mean, then they would go to the snow dungeon and not get to eat a good meal. And now, since you know about what I would build, I will see if I can build it on a snowy day!

Find the latest writing prompt in the Just for Kids section of our February issue. The deadline to enter is February 15. Happy writing!

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Latest & Greatest Children's Books from Vermont Authors

Posted By on Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 5:20 PM

Local children’s book writers had a strong showing on the shelves in 2017. Kids VT asked a few Vermont booksellers to share their top literary picks from area authors. We also preview two titles coming out in 2018.

Kristen Eaton, events and publicity manager at Phoenix Books, suggests naturalist Mary Holland’s Otis The Owl, a photo book that documents the first months in the life of a baby barred owl. It includes a fact-filled 
An image from 'Trains Don't Sleep'
  • An image from 'Trains Don't Sleep'
 ection about these feathery forest dwellers, and it has a Spanish edition. Eaton also  recommends Trains Don’t Sleep by Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum, a picture book that mesmerizes tiny travelers with a rhyming story and lavish illustrations of locomotives by Deirdre Gill.

An image from 'Grand Canyon'
  • An image from 'Grand Canyon'
For middle-grade readers, Eaton suggests Grand Canyon,written and illustrated by Jason Chin (who is married to Gill). This information-packed story follows a father-daughter duo as they explore the desert terrain, its plant and animal life and fossils. Teen fantasy aficionados will delight in Julie C. Dao’s Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, in which 18-year-old protagonist Xifeng, born a peasant, fulfills her noble destiny by facing her inner darkness.
Jane Knight, children’s room manager at Montpelier’s Bear Pond Books, praises acclaimed author Katherine Paterson’s My Brigadista Year, released in October. Paterson’s 13-year-old heroine, Lora, leaves her life in Havana to volunteer for Fidel Castro’s literacy campaign in the poverty-stricken Cuban countryside. Knight also recommends Vermont College of Fine Arts instructor Kekla Magoon’s Reign of Outlaws, the last installment of her middle-grades Robyn Hoodlum Adventure trilogy. In the story, 12-year-old Robyn Loxley must decide whether to sacrifice herself, save her family and friends or support a rebellion against a harsh government. In September, the prolific M. T. Anderson, a National Book Award winner, published Landscape with Invisible Hand, a young adult satire about harnessing creativity to survive in a dystopian world.

Also of note: Tanya Lee Stone’s Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time, which chronicles the lives of girls in developing countries, illustrating how education can break the cycle of poverty. And families looking for a bedtime read-aloud might consider Alec Hastings’s self-published Rosie and the Little Folk, featuring four stories about wee people. Hastings teamed up with fellow Randolph resident Barbara Carter, who contributed charming illustrations.

As we head into a new year, Sandy Scott from Hardwick’s Galaxy Bookshop is looking forward to the April 2018 release of Jessie Haas’s Rescue. This coming-of-age tale tells the complicated story of two girls whose friendship is challenged when one of them, an animal rights activist, steals a neighbor’s miniature horses. The other girl must navigate the difficulties of standing up to her friend while trying to maintain the friendship.

In March, Katy Farber’s Salamander Sky lands in bookstores. Illustrated by Meg Sodano, this picture book tells the story of a mother and daughter who brave a stormy night to help some spotted amphibians cross the road to safety, subtly introducing the topic of conservation to young children.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Vermont Kids Can Learn to Ski for $49

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 1:28 PM

Young snowboarders - SKI VERMONT
  • Ski Vermont
  • Young snowboarders
Vermont parents who act fast can get a cool deal for their kids this winter. Thanks to the Vermont Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, 125 Vermonters under age 18 can take advantage of Ski Vermont's Take 3 Beginner Package — three beginner ski or snowboard lessons, lift tickets and rentals — for just $49.

The subsidized package, which normally costs $129, is designed to encourage youth to get outdoors this winter and experience the mountains in their backyard while adopting a healthy and active lifestyle for years to come.

Young skiers and snowboarders can choose to use all three days at the same resort, or travel around the state to some of the 11 participating mountains. The Take 3 package is valid all winter, with the exception of some holiday blackout dates and age restrictions. Find participating resorts and age requirements here.

To receive the deal, parents must fill out an online application form. Once the form is submitted, an email will be sent within 48 hours with the discount code and instructions to purchase the package.

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School of Creative and Performing Arts (SOCAPA)

School of Creative and Performing Arts (SOCAPA)

Burlington, VT

SOCAPA offers intensives in the arts for teens in Burlington or East Burke, VT. SOCAPA provides a place for young artists to explore their craft in a supportive, creative environment. SOCAPA students come from all over the world to attend intensives of their choosing. Programs include: filmmaking, acting, photography, dance,…(more)

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