MONTPELIER — The Vermont College of Fine Arts Young Writers Network has received a $2,500 Small and Inspiring Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation. It’s the first time the college has been awarded a grant from the Community Foundation. The college will use the funding to bring a Young Writers Network program to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.
The Young Writers Network, which the college launched just over one year ago, connects alumni authors to youth who are underserved by existing creative writing programs and underrepresented in children’s literature as a whole. The network, which has a nationwide reach, was founded by The Vermont College of Fine Arts’ master of fine arts in writing for children and young adults alumni and has hosted programs in Boston, New York City, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Through its Small and Inspiring grants program, the Vermont Community Foundation is helping foster the spark and hope that keeps Vermonters healthy and happy by finding and supporting projects where a small grant can make a big difference. This grant will be used to bring the The VCFA Young Writers Network’s “Telling Our Stories” project to middle school students in Canaan. A VCFA author will visit the school for an intensive, multi-day workshop series in which seventh and eighth graders will explore and develop their own stories.
Teresa Bolton, the Library Media Specialist for Canaan Schools, became familiar with the project after attending a “Telling Our Stories” celebration in neighboring Colebrook, N.H. last March; six communities in New Hampshire’s North Country participated in the pilot author series with the Young Writers Network and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire.
“We knew we had to find a way to include Canaan students in the next iteration,” says Katie Bayerl, director of the network and a VCFA alumna.
Deborah Lynch, Principal of Canaan Schools, said the school system is thankful to the Young Writers Network and Vermont Community Foundation for providing the opportunity to bring new experiences to students.
“Our junior high and high school students don’t often get to experience artists-in-residence, so this will be a wonderful experience for them. I look forward to seeing the written work that is produced,” Lynch says.
The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of hundreds of funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles and back-office expertise to make giving easy and effective. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing and connecting philanthropists to multiply their impact, and by keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments in the community.
Visit www.vermontcf.org or call 388-3355 for more information.
To learn more about the VCFA Young Writers Network and to make a gift, visit vcfa.edu/youngwriters.