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DEC 2020 / JAN 2021








New History, Civics, Service Challenge! SCORECARD INSIDE PAGE 16



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A moment of serenity at Moosalamoo National Recreation Area in Goshen

Do you have a special talent? What is it?


I took weekly dance lessons from age 5 to 22 and loved to perform. Once I graduated college and became an “adult,” there weren’t many opportunities for me to take classes with people my own age. One of my friends, who knew that I was missing dance, encouraged me to try BUTI YOGA — a style that blends yoga, dance and plyometrics — and I loved it! It filled me with so much joy that I got certified to teach it myself.


Cathy Resmer

cathy@kidsvt.com COPUBLISHER

Colby Roberts

colby@kidsvt.com MANAGING EDITOR

Alison Novak





Corey Grenier

corey@kidsvt.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Kaitlin Montgomery kaitlin@kidsvt.com PROOFREADER


A moment of serenity in Moosalamoo National Recreation Area in Goshen



John James, Rev. Diane Sullivan CIRCULATION MANAGER



Keegan Albaugh, Cat Cutillo, Janet Essman Franz, Heather Fitzgerald, Emily Jacobs, Elisa Järnefelt, Astrid Hedbor Lague, Ken Picard, Benjamin Roesch, Brett Ann Stanciu PHOTOGRAPHERS

Brooke Bousquet, Andy Brumbaugh ILLUSTRATOR

Marc Nadel

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Get Comfortable


elaxing after dinner with “The Great British Baking Show.” Taking a midday work break to share a meal with my 13-year-old daughter. Curling up to read an engrossing chapter book to my 10-year-old son at bedtime. Taking walks in the woods. Watching iPhone videos of my 1-year-old nephew. Making stew. Eating ice cream. These are just some of the things that are bringing me comfort these days. Now, more than ever, I rely on these pockets of peace to help me shake off the worries of the world and find a sense of equilibrium. During the pandemic, when even once-run-of-the-mill activities such as going to the grocery store or conversing with a friend require us to mask up and sanitize, home has become a refuge. In this issue, the last one of the year, you’ll find some great ideas for finding comfort as we launch into winter. In “Good Nature” on page 7, Heather Fitzgerald recommends documentaries about the natural world that will help entertain and educate families during the colder months. In “Musical Notes” on page 12, Benjamin Roesch writes about the relaxing power of music and shares songs and albums for both calming and uplifting the spirits. In “Art Lessons” on page 14, Emily Jacobs gives directions for creating winter landscapes with a twist, inspired by the work of Canadian artists Lawren Harris and Ted Harrison. Brett Ann Stanciu talks to local author Rob Broder, who recently released a sweet and snowy picture book, in “Bookworms” on page 11. And flip to page 22 to see photos and bios of the young performers in our annual Spectacular Spectacular talent show; we partnered with WCAX-TV and McKenzie Natural Artisan Deli to put it on virtually this year. You can watch their performances from the comfort of your couch on WCAX’s 4 p.m. news through December 18. When you do venture out, chances are you might want to ski or snowboard. On page 26, Janet Essman Franz gives a comprehensive look at the coronavirus-related protocols ski areas are following this year so that we can all stay safe while cruising down the slopes. This month, we’re also thrilled to announce a new round of the Good Citizen Challenge, the youth civics initiative we organize with support from the Vermont Community Foundation. We’ve got a new batch of activities in four subject areas — history, government, news literacy and community service — almost all of which can be completed from home. Also new this time around: Adults can participate, too! And we’ve got all new prizes, including a $500 gift card to a locally owned business of your choice. Find a four-page pullout scorecard in the middle of this issue. To be sure, winter is long in Vermont. But if we can find comforting and enriching ways to get through it, warmer days are waiting on the other side. ALISON NOVAK, MANAGING EDITOR

I can RIDE A BICYCLE BACKWARDS while sitting on the handlebars, much the way Paul Newman did in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. However, I’ve never crashed through a wooden fence, then been chased by an angry bull, while doing it. KEN PICARD, “CHECKUP” COLUMNIST

I’ve MEMORIZED lots of poems, prayers, songs and passages of speeches and plays that I love, a habit I picked up from Catholic school and competing in forensics (interpretive public speaking) through high school. Recalling those words grounds and comforts me in tough times — an especially useful talent to have this year! CATHY RESMER, COPUBLISHER/EXECUTIVE EDITOR

I teach art and language arts now, but SINGING is a hidden talent of mine! I sang in a cappella groups throughout high school and college and performed with them all over New England. EMILY JACOBS, “ART LESSONS” COLUMNIST


JANET ESSMAN FRANZ (“Ski Safe,” page 26) is a stage and soccer mom, writer, and health and fitness professional living in Shelburne. She geared up for this pandemic winter with season’s passes to Sugarbush Resort, warmer ski jackets and mittens, and new (used) ice skates and cross-country skis for herself and her two children. Franz chairs the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and is a member of the North American Snowsports Journalists Association. KIDSVT.COM DECEMBER 2020 / JANUARY 2021


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12/4/20 10:58 AM


Vermont Visionaries: Misoo Art is therapy for this South Burlington creator


Take the At-Home Challenge!

The Show Must Go On The stars of this year’s “Spectacular Spectacular” on WCAX-TV



Ski Safe Lift-line distancing, grab-and-go food, and rental reservations are the new normal


Columns Good Nature 7 8 Mealtime 9 Checkup 10 Pop Culture 11 Bookworms 12 Musical Notes 14 Art Lessons 21 Mom Takes Notes Just for Kids 11 Puzzle Answer 28 Coloring Contest 29 Birthday Club Winners 30

Coloring Contest Winners Coded Message Puzzle

On the Cover

Road to Somewhere


C l i M b s

Teaching my daughter to drive amid a pandemic

Welcome 3 Editor’s Note Contributors’ Question Contributor’s Note

We are an accredited distance learning school and homeschool curriculum that supports your child's education and follows them wherever their heart leads!

Short Stuff Trending 6 Kid-Created Art #InstaKidsVT

oakmeadow.com Charlie of Shelburne pauses at the summit of Bolton Valley Resort. Photo by Brooke Bousquet.

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5 12/3/20 12:23 PM

TRENDING Santa Claus is immune to COVID-19, says Dr. Anthony Fauci. Might want to leave the hand sanitizer on the fireplace mantle just in case, though.


Creativity Fueled by the Pandemic


udy Klima, art teacher at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington, shared this pandemic-related work created by her students. After looking at the work of contemporary collage artists Patrick Bremer, David Hockney, Benon Lutaaya and Derek Gores, seventh and eighth graders created their own masked collage portraits using magazines and paper from old books and maps. Sixth graders made Coronavirus Word Art pieces using encyclopedia pages, black Sharpies and watercolors. On her blog, Klima shared this quote from California College of the Arts dean Allison Smith: “Our main job as artists is to make the art that only we can make, right now in the times in which we are living.” 

According to the Green Mountain Club, Long Trail day use rose 35 percent this year and, in September, overnight shelter use spiked 80 percent. No shortage of places for social distancing here in Vermont.

Row above: Caelan Davey, Margot Rinehart, Caleb Ploof Cyber Monday — the Monday after Thanksgiving — was the biggest online shopping day ever in the U.S., with $11.4 billion in sales. That’s a lot of Lego sets.

Row at right: Anela Sahmanovic, Hawa Ma’Awaia, Kyle Buck Top right: A collage of sixth grade pandemic word art

#INSTAKIDSVT Vermont International Film Festival announced a short film series for kids ages 5 and up, airing online from Dec 18-31. Because, let’s face it, the Netflix queue is getting a little stale.

Thanks for sharing your photos with us using the hashtag #instakidsvt. We loved this picture of 2-month-old cutie Ainsley bundled up at Lake Willoughby in the Northeast Kingdom. Share photos of your family exploring new places this month. HERE’S HOW: Follow @kids_vt  on Instagram. 


Post your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #instakidsvt. We’ll select a photo to feature in the next issue.


Tag us on Instagram !


Bringing the Outdoors Inside Get a dose of nature documentaries this winter



ne of the ways my family and I have occupied ourselves during the pandemic is by taking advantage of lots of free trials for various streaming services and subscribing to Netflix. In my ideal life, we’d use this period of enforced isolation to be out in the woods more than ever. But in our household — made up of two exhausted teachers and one almost-13-year-old who can, on a moment’s notice, come up with several other things he’d rather do than go anywhere with his parents — the small screen seems to be one of the easiest ways for us to connect these days. As the weather gets colder and the evenings longer, snuggling on the couch with some popcorn and a show has a powerful appeal. We take turns picking what we watch, so between various superhero movies and episodes of “Kim’s Convenience,” the other night we found ourselves watching


This movie, in which a filmmaker chronicles his emerging friendship with an octopus, was a unanimous hit in our family — and my son is now inspired to snorkel — but it got me thinking about nature documentaries as a genre. The thing that stood out to me about this one was that, to borrow a math homework analogy, the filmmaker showed a lot of his work. Browsing the internet for the best nature documentaries, I learned that, for the 2019 series “OUR PLANET,” narrated by famed British broadcaster and natural historian David Attenborough, producers spent 3,500 days in the field. That’s not a typo; that’s 10 days for each minute you watch. For the 2001 movie WINGED MIGRATION, the filmmakers apparently imprinted baby birds on staff members, trained the birds to fly with the flight crews, and shot 590 miles of film. I started to wonder about what the results of such astounding efforts teach us. What if they give us an unrealistic idea of what nature is supposed to be like, making us think that on every outing in nature we should expect to interact with a baby bird as if we were its parent or to commune with baby gorillas who will untie our shoelaces. That every stream should have a 150-foot waterfall and every rise a breathtaking vista. That might make your average ramble through the woods feel a little disappointing or make you feel like you weren’t seeing what you were supposed to be seeing. It could make nature feel out of reach.

What is there to see if you don’t cross paths with a wild animal or happen to live in a national park? So much! As you gain familiarity with your own spots, the small wonders reveal themselves to you slowly, over time. Think of nature documentaries as the celebrities of the natural world — and then think of your nearby natural areas as the complicated, three-dimensional, real people in your life. I was curious about which nature documentaries might have been formative viewing experiences for the best naturalists I know. So, in a highly unscientific survey, I asked them about their favorite documentaries on Facebook. There was a lot of David Attenborough on the list and lots of PBS shows. And, to be sure, these programs are exciting and awe-inspiring. I just recommend accompanying them with a little dose of media literacy. For example, ask your family, “Did you know the filmmakers had to spend 10 days in the field for each minute you are watching? At first I was surprised to learn that, but then I realized that movies only ever show part of the story.”

I was surprised by the breadth of suggestions people posted. I got two cat recommendations: an entertaining BBC series called “THE SECRET LIFE OF CATS,” and KEDI, a 2017 documentary about stray cats in Turkey, plus a dog suggestion: PICK OF THE LITTER, a 2018 movie that follows a litter of puppies through guide-dog training. Upon reflection, though, that made sense: pets are the easiest animals to observe closely and over time, and a great place to cultivate the habits of observation. PIGEON KINGS, a 2020 film about a group of men in South Central Los Angeles who rear and train pigeons, also made the list. I appreciated the way these suggestions expanded ideas about what counts as nature. Some people mentioned my old favorites: Winged Migration and MICROCOSMOS, a 1996 film that combines a dramatic score with a bug’s-eye view of the world. I was glad to see them there. The thunderstorm scene in Microcosmos was the first time I felt like I had a visceral understanding of what it might actually be like to be an insect. And seeing birds flying, imprinted

or no, from a plane’s-eye view in Winged Migration was the first time I understood how hard it is to fly. And, I’m happy to report, My Octopus Teacher was mentioned several times. Many people noted that the show they recommended moved them to tears. But really, the list of programs they recommended was pretty short, and many of them were quite recent. My working theory is, naturalists don’t become naturalists by watching movies. They do it by going outside. So, the guilt my cousin Lauren admitted to in her post about how, back in March, she made a point to watch documentaries with her kids, but not so much anymore? Unnecessary. Pop some popcorn, watch the things that work for your family, and enjoy some downtime from our long, hard year. K Heather Fitzgerald teaches field ecology and environmental science at the Community College of Vermont, University of Vermont and Saint Michael’s College.




Schnitzel & Spaetzle The perfect comfort-food pairing from Germany





2 pounds thin-cut boneless pork chops

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs

1 cup bread crumbs

1/4-1/2 cup canola oil (for frying)

1 lemon, cut into wedges

parsley (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS: 1. If your pork chops are thicker than 1/2”, cut them carefully in half, horizontally, so that they are thinner. 2. Place the chops between two pieces of parchment paper, one at a time, and pound with a heavy iron skillet or a meat tenderizer until about 1/4” thick. 3. Set up three shallow bowls for breading: one with flour mixed with salt and pepper, one with lightly beaten eggs, and one with bread crumbs. 4. Dip each thin cutlet first into the flour, then the eggs (let excess liquid drip off), and finally into the breadcrumbs. Make sure the meat is coated. 5. Heat a large, heavy skillet with the oil over medium

heat. The oil level should be about 1/8”-1/4” deep, and the oil should be about 350 degrees. A good way to test the temperature if you don’t have a candy/oil thermometer is to drop a bit of the breading into the oil. It should crisp up quickly. 6. Fry the schnitzel, one or two pieces at a time, for 2-3 minutes per side. You may need to adjust the temperature to keep them from getting too dark before the inside is cooked. (The internal temperature of the meat should be 145 degrees). 7. Once they are fried on both sides, remove to a rack over a pan and keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees until ready to eat. 8. Serve with wedges of lemon and some parsley. PHOTOS: ANDY BRUMBAUGH

hen I was 13 years old, our family took a month-long trip to Europe, culminating with two weeks visiting family in Sweden. For most of the trip, our itinerary was loose. Dad would drive our packed-to-the-gills station wagon toward a vague destination, and we would stop and find a hotel when he got tired. I specifically remember a stop in Germany, where the proprietors of the hotel we had found guided us to a restaurant right across the street. Our family of five shared a large, cozy table in the eatery decorated like a hunting lodge. The walls had taxidermied animals on them, including “jackalopes,” which my father lovingly explained were rare animals — jackrabbits with large, showy antlers — found only in that part of Germany. (My father loved tall tales and could always tell them convincingly.) As we did at nearly every restaurant, we all ordered different dishes, and then shared them around the table, round-robin style. I don’t remember who ordered schnitzel, but I remember loving the crispy delightfulness of it and wishing for more than my fair share. Schnitzel is basically a thin cut of meat, breaded and fried until golden brown. It uses an ancient preparation method; some sources I found on the internet date it back to the Byzantine empire in the seventh century! The best-known schnitzel is Wiener schnitzel, which means “Vienna schnitzel,” and is made with veal and hails from Vienna. Chicken, turkey or pork — as I have used in this recipe — can also be made into schnitzel. The meat can be topped with a mushroom sauce, a tomato sauce, cheese, or just lemon and parsley. It is simple, quick to make and so delicious. It makes a perfect weeknight comfort food dinner. You can serve it with roasted potatoes or a side salad, or go even more German and make one of the simplest pastas/dumplings ever: spaetzle. Spaetzle is made by pushing dough through a special spaetzle maker or, if you don’t have one, a colander! It takes minutes to make and is a wonderful side dish to create an authentic German meal. Schnitzel and spaetzle — almost as fun to say as they are to eat! 


4 eggs

2/3 cup milk

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups flour

4 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon white pepper

parmesan cheese (for topping)

DIRECTIONS: 1. 2. 3.

Mix together eggs, milk, salt and flour until they form a dough that is a little thicker than pancake batter, but not as thick as bread dough. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. If you have a spaetzle maker, press the dough through it, in 2-3 batches. You can also push the dough through a greased colander, using a spoon.



The resulting spaetzle should be a little smaller than macaroni noodles. Boil for just 1-2 minutes, until the spaetzle is floating and tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into a serving dish. Coat with melted butter and sprinkle with pepper. Enjoy with additional butter, or top with a little cheese if desired. (Spaetzle can also be served with a cheese sauce for a truly comforting, Germanstyle mac and cheese.)



How Can Parents Keep Babies and Toddlers Safe During the Holidays?

he holiday season can be a joyous and busy time for families celebrating with young children. But even though many people will skip large gatherings this year due to the pandemic, immediate families can still decorate their homes, exchange gifts and enjoy festive meals together. To ensure that babies and toddlers stay safe in the home this season, Dr. Lewis First, chief of pediatrics at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital, offers some helpful advice for childproofing for the holidays. KIDS VT: What are the safety hazards common during the holidays? LEWIS FIRST: Each year around the December holidays, about 18,000 kids end up in emergency rooms due to falls, burns, objects that fall on them, or because they swallowed or choked on something they shouldn’t have put in their mouths. Most of those injuries are easily preventable. If families are setting up a Christmas tree, make sure it’s secure. Keep a live tree well watered but don’t add chemical preservatives to that water should a curious child, infant or toddler try to drink or taste the liquid in the tree stand. Make sure the needles aren’t easy to pull off, so kids can’t eat them. The drier the tree, the greater the fire hazard. Trees should be set up away from floor heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces and other heat sources. An artificial tree should be fire resistant. A good rule of thumb is, no more than three strands of lights on one extension cord. Always keep small ornaments and light bulbs high on the tree so that small children don’t try to eat them. Check older string lights for frayed cords and broken sockets. Older family heirloom ornaments may be lined or painted with lead paints, and even newer LED lights and light cords may contain lead. So can tinsel, which should be kept away from small hands. It’s a good idea to use gloves when decorating, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards to avoid the risk of lead poisoning. Younger children should not help decorate if lead products are being used, so check the labeling and, if not sure whether lead is an ingredient, make sure anyone that does decorate washes their hands thoroughly when done hanging lights and ornaments. Finally, eating mistletoe or holly berries in excess can cause nausea, vomiting

and diarrhea. Poinsettia may cause a skin rash. If you suspect your young one has eaten a plant, and you’re unsure what it was, call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. KVT: What’s your advice for fire safety during the holidays? LF: Candles should be kept in places where small children cannot reach them. Blow out all candles and turn off holidays lights before going to bed, and never leave young children unattended in a room with a lit candle, fireplace or woodstove. Keep matches out of their reach, and put barriers in front of all woodstoves and fireplaces, even those with grills and glass shields since children can touch the glass and potentially burn themselves. This is also a good time to get chimneys and flues cleaned, and to make sure that all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. KVT: Any tips for childproofing the kitchen? LF: I suggest that parents create a “no zone,” with tape on the floor, around stoves, ovens and drawers with sharp objects, that children are taught to not enter. Prevent scalding injuries by keeping coffee makers and Crock-Pots away from the edge of counters and turning pot handles inward on the stove so they won’t get knocked over. Avoid using tablecloths that children can pull off and drop hot liquids, silverware, glasses or dishes on themselves. Keep appliance cords out of children’s reach, and be sure that all electrical outlets not in use have safety covers. And, to avoid food poisoning, never put cooked foods on a plate that previously had raw foods on it. Make sure any alcoholic beverages and snacking foods are stored away from small children when enjoyed by adults later in the evening, so children don’t find them, drink them or choke on them in the morning when parents are still asleep. KVT: Any advice for choosing child-safe gifts? LF: When you’re buying toys for an infant or toddler, think big — that is, toys that are too large to fit in their mouth that they can potentially choke on. Always buy toys that are age and developmentally appropriate, not toys that you think they’ll grow into.

Older siblings who get toys with small parts, such as Lego sets, must be absolutely sure to put them away when they’re done playing. Otherwise, those pieces can look like candy to small children and become choking hazards. When buying stuffed animals, be sure that they’re machine washable and flame resistant, and that any small parts are attached securely. Toys never should be left in a crib, and no infant or toddler toy should have a string longer than seven inches. Otherwise, it can get wrapped around a child’s neck or tiny fingers. Here’s an easy trick to determine whether a toy is large enough to not become a choking hazard: If it can pass easily through the center of a toilet paper roll, it’s too small for infants and toddlers. Children younger than 2 do not need digital toys of any kind. For children older than 2, digital toys should be limited to no more than an hour a day and only used in the presence of a caregiver, and ideally used together with that parent or caregiver and not just to keep a child busy while the adult does something else. Finally, toys with button batteries must be secured so that the batteries cannot be removed by kids. Button batteries can look like shiny candy but are extremely toxic if they’re swallowed, especially if they get stuck in a child’s esophagus. If you think your child has ingested a button battery, treat it like a medical emergency. Contact the poison control center or your child’s health care professional to determine if you need to bring your child to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. KVT: What about gift wrap? LF: When families are finished opening presents, make sure that all bags, ribbons, wrapping paper and bows are cleaned up. Plastic bags can become suffocation hazards, and small bows can become choking hazards. Ornament hooks should be picked up because they can cause puncture wounds and be choking hazards as well. While all these tips may sound like celebrating the December holidays can only be dangerous for everyone, keeping these suggestions in mind will result in a safe and wonderful holiday season for young children and their families. Happy holidays! K

Hunkering Down

with the Fam? The Kids VT team is rounding up resources for parents looking to entertain and educate their children at home. Find inspiration in the Wee-Mail newsletter.

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Defining Manhood How to model healthy masculinity


Albaugh voting with daughter Coraline


s soon as my eyes opened on the morning of Wednesday, November 4, I grabbed my phone to check the results of the presidential election. I had anxiously gone to bed the night before, hoping to wake up and see the aftermath of the potential “blue wave” political analysts had been discussing for months. I did not want a repeat of 2016. I did not want to look into my daughters’ eyes, knowing that once again our nation had elected a man to be president who describes women in vulgar terms.. I stared at my phone blankly. The wave hadn’t come. Instead, the presidential election was still too close to call. Nearing the end of a presidential term that was characterized by bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, white supremacy and anti-science, nearly half of the nation’s registered voters still wanted this man to lead our country. Somewhere near 75 million people, to be exact. As startling as the results were, I also wasn’t entirely surprised. In addition to our nation being completely divided politically, our society has a history of elevating men who embody hateful and immoral ideologies. Time and time again, men who exhibit qualities that belittle, bully and harm others are put into positions of fame and power. And although these men may be criticized by a portion of the population, there continues to be enough supporters that accept and approve of them. I think about the National Football League and the growing number of players who have been charged with domestic assault. Children wear Tampa Bay Buccaneers football jerseys with Antonio Brown’s name on the back, 10


celebrating a man who has a history of charges that include sexual assault and battery. I think about the late Sean Connery, who was honored by many of my friends on social media after his recent passing. The same Sean Connery who, for many years, defended his position that “it’s absolutely right” to slap a woman when “they’re not happy with the last word.” Male celebrities aren’t the only ones exhibiting these types of behaviors. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, in 2019 men accounted for 78.9 percent of all violent crime arrests, including 88 percent of arrests involving murder. There’s a huge problem in our nation regarding the amount of violence caused by men. The term “toxic masculinity” has been used widely to increase awareness of the troubling qualities of masculinity, such as dominance, violence, sexism and homophobia. Indeed, this term has resulted in many much-needed workshops, discussions and movements. But I worry that the term fails to address many of the issues surrounding manhood that contribute to a world full of gender inequality and prevents men from truly engaging in meaningful reflection that can lead to important, intentional changes in their thoughts and behaviors. Because “toxic masculinity” has mostly been associated with traits such as violence and sexism, many men can distance themselves from the “toxic” label. Just because they’re not engaging in the more blatant offenses, they consider themselves to be one of the “good guys.” However, “toxic masculinity” fails to bring

attention to the things men do on a daily basis, myself included, that perpetuate gender inequality. According to research published in the American Political Science Review in 2012, men talk 75 percent of the time in meetings when both men and women are present. Another study from George Washington University “found that men interrupted 33 percent more often when they spoke with women than when they spoke with other men.” It’s fairly common to hear men refer to women as “girls” in casual conversations. Men need to increase their awareness around these everyday issues. I want to model healthy masculinity for my daughters and avoid words and actions that implicitly feed into the false narrative that men are more important than women. I make mistakes all of the time, including commonly interrupting my partner while she’s talking, but I’m always trying to do better. Here are some tips for modeling healthy masculinity for your children. • Demonstrate vulnerability. Talk about your emotions often. Let your kids know what you’re feeling and how you’re coping. • Listen more. Model active listening by making eye contact, asking questions and focusing on the words being spoken rather than what you’re planning on saying next. • Challenge stereotypes. Put on an apron and bake some cookies. Paint your fingernails. Do things that you typically don’t see men doing in the movies. • Discuss sexism, early and often. Our nation is deeply rooted in sexism, and it’s important to acknowledge this. Talk about why there hasn’t been a female president (yet), why mainstream professional sports are male-dominated and why there’s only one main female character in the original Star Wars Trilogy. • Think critically about media. Too many movies and television shows highlight ideas that perpetuate gender inequality. Make sure you’re aware of what your kids are watching, and talk about it with them before and after exposure. • Make a habit of being accountable. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. When you notice that you did something wrong, be sure to acknowledge the wrongdoing to your child, and let them know that your actions were not OK. Less than a week after the election, I listened to vice president-elect Kamala Harris speak during the Democratic victory celebration. “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities,” Harris said. I’m thankful that my young daughters’ earliest memories of the White House will be that of a woman in power, someone who they can look up to. And I’m hopeful that the positive momentum will continue, allowing more glass ceilings to shatter. I’m counting on men to continue to make more space at the table for those who are unheard and underrepresented. K



Winter Wonder Stories —new and old — about the magic of snow


OVER THIS CAMP! Waterskiing | Tubing | Sailing

GYMNASTICS! 1 to 9 week sessions Counselor/Camper ratio of 1:5 Located on beautiful Lake Champlain

Broder with a scarecrow in Shelburne

Kids VT: What are the most and least fun things about being a writer? Rob Broder: The most fun is being able to write down what’s swirling in my head. The least fun is when I’m stuck on how to get one scene [to] flow smoothly to the next. I know what I’m thinking, but sometimes it’s hard to write it and make sense. KVT: Any particular children’s picture book you’d recommend to other parents? RB: I’m a huge fan of The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, which was read to me in elementary school (see sidebar for more on this book). Every year, I think of the snowball Peter brought home in his pocket. KVT: Have you always wanted to be a children’s book author? RB: I have always written down things as far back as I can remember. Either writing in a journal or jotting down


helburne resident Rob Broder runs Ripple Grove Press, where he publishes children’s picture books. The father of a 9-year-old daughter is also the author of three children’s books. His latest, Crow & Snow, was published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in October. The picture book is a heartwarming story of two unexpected friends — a snowman and a crow. The book makes an apt bedtime tale, mesmerizing young listeners with illustrations by Olivier Tallec, but also gently reminding us that friendships endure through changing seasons. It’s a particularly fitting reminder in these challenging days of the pandemic. Just before Thanksgiving, Kids VT checked in with the author from his home office.

story ideas or even doodling. When I became a preschool teacher, the experience introduced me to picture books as an adult. During circle time, I would read a book or two, which then led to making up stories. Sometimes my stories held [my students’] attention span longer, and the kids weren’t so wiggly. Sometimes I’d have them help with the story. Much later, I was going through an old journal, and inside was a scrap of paper from those days that said, “A scarecrow becomes friends with a snowman, but needs to say goodbye every spring.” I grabbed a pen and wrote a draft of Crow & Snow.  Learn more about Broder’s work at robertbroder.com and ripplegrovepress.com


ALSO OF NOTE: Ezra Jack Keats, the famous author and illustrator of The Snowy Day, was born in 1916 in New York City to Jewish immigrants from Poland. Keats grew up poor and experienced anti-Semitism throughout his whole life. After serving in World War II — where the army put his artistic skills to use designing uniform camouflage — Keats became a children’s book illustrator. The first book he both wrote and illustrated was The Snowy Day, published in 1962. Keats had noticed that the books he was commissioned to illustrate always featured white children. That didn’t seem fair to him. The book won the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1963, making it the first Caldecott winner to feature an African American child. Although Keats was sometimes criticized because he was a white author writing about Black characters, he went on to create a number of books. Peter, the protagonist of The Snowy Day, also stars in Whistle for Willie, Peter’s Chair, A Letter to Amy, Goggles!, Hi, Cat! and Pet Show! Today, readers of all ages are still enchanted by this little boy in a red snowsuit with a pointy hood. The book reminds us of the beauty of a winter day and the sweetness of childhood.

802.318.1478 DunkleysGymCamp@gmail.com


Say you saw it in

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Learn more about Keats at ezra-jack-keats.org. KIDSVT.COM DECEMBER 2020 / JANUARY 2021



The Stress-Reducing Power of Music Forget trendy wellness apps and build the perfect playlist instead


’m stressed. Are you stressed? Of course you are. It’s 2020. From a pandemic that’s still affecting every part of our lives to a presidential election that brought our democracy — and my own personal sanity — to the brink, this year has been ridiculously taxing. As parents, we’re dealing with a lot right now, but it’s also a challenging time for kids. Learning from home. Reduced time with friends. Dealing with shortened or canceled athletic seasons. When I look at the effects on my own children, 12-year-old Felix and 10-yearold Leo, I’m grateful they’re healthy and still showing so much strength and positivity. And yet, as I watch them get on each other’s nerves more often and battle a growing sense of isolation, I have no doubt that 2020 has taken some of the fun out of being a kid. The good news is that no matter how old we are, playing the right music at the right time is a simple, effective way to turn down the stress and turn up the joy. There’s scientific data to support that. Licensed music therapist Jen DeBedout, owner of Music Blooms Music Therapy in Burlington (musicbloomsmusictherapy. com), explained that listening to music releases positive endorphins in the body that make us feel good. Research has also found that brain activity actually shifts when we listen to music. While mellow, calming sounds can have soothing effects on the brain, upbeat music quickens our heartbeat and gives us energy. Small wonder that music is so often used to get us through tough workouts and was always a locker room staple when I helped coach my son Felix’s hockey team. “Music calms me down and makes me more focused on achieving my goals,” he told me.

can use music to promote wellness in a multitude of ways. What do you do when things are feeling heavy in your household? DeBedout recommends putting on an infectious tune like Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” and watching moods improve almost instantly. Why? Our bodies almost can’t help but respond in a positive way to upbeat music. In her work with kids, DeBedout relies on movement to help kids manage stress and

regulate their bodies. If they’re hanging onto extra worries, dancing and moving not only help alleviate them but also add a sense of body awareness. Similarly, for kids feeling cooped up at home or frustrated by a lack of control, banging away at drums or percussion instruments provides an almost instant emotional release while also promoting healthy brain function. “Music can give a sense of control when things are feeling out of control,” DeBedout says. Families can also find joy and stress relief by making music together. Don’t worry about how it sounds. Sing together, clap, dance, drum — it’s all good. Next time a reflective family meeting doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, try music instead. Share favorite songs with each other. Have a family sing-along or a lip-sync contest. If there are instruments in your house, learn a song to play together as a way to connect. And, if your kids have a digital device, help them build playlists of go-to favorites. Music is also great for relaxation and sleep and can be a positive tool for kids who are just beginning to learn how to manage their emotions and overall well-being. Both of my children have occasional struggles with sleep, and I know they’re not alone. Soothing music affects our autonomic nervous system and promotes controlled breathing, a lower heart rate and even reduced blood pressure, which can lead to better, more sustained sleep. The year 2020 is drawing to an end, but elevated stress levels likely won’t disappear in the new year. Music is one simple tool we can use to brighten our spirits as we settle into the long Vermont winter. K



1. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves

1. Ambient 1: Music for Airports by Brian Eno

2. “Shout!” by The Isley Brothers

2. The Melody at Night, With You by Keith Jarrett

3. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

3. re:member by Ólafur Arnalds

4. “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown

4. Debussy for Daydreaming by Claude Debussy

5. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars

5. Juno by Lyle Brewer




Music also affects our limbic system, the part of our brains that deals with emotions and memory, said DeBedout. That means it’s a perfect medium for delivering what our bodies need, whether we’re trying to calm down or get a boost. While it’s helpful to remember that music therapy is a profession and should be delivered by a trained therapist — which requires more than 1,000 hours of training in a clinical setting — families

In a school year unlike any other, we’ve shown a grit and determination like never before. Our public schools are more than just a place – they’re an essential part of the community. We’re Vermont-NEA, 13,000 educators making schools work for our children and communities. vtnea.org/nomatterwhere k1-VTNEA1220.indd 1



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Northern Exposure

Reimagining winter landscapes through an artist’s lens


blue-gray in real life — were rendered in rolling hough many applaud hyperrealist landscape artwork — with mountains and layers of magenta, pink and coral. trees rendered in such exact detail that they look almost photographic — I find that some of the most beautiful and original landscape art alters nature’s colors Both Harris and Harrison created beautiful depth — the quality a two-dimensional painting and forms in a manner totally unique to the artist. has that makes it appear as though you could A photograph can give us realism, but only an artist can bring vivid shades of color to a cold and steely tundra, or translate the shadows and spires of an icy peak into bold, step inside and retreat far back into the space “Rocky Rainbow Road” by Claire, 8, depicted. sloping stripes of cobalt and cream. Canadian artists Lawren Harris (1885-1970) inspired by Ted Harrison and Ted Harrison (1926-2015) brought such colors and bold forms to their northern My students have loved both artists’ work — astutely comparing and landscape paintings. contrasting the two — and Every winter, I use the work of these two acclaimed artists to teach my students have greatly enjoyed creatabout depth and value (varied shades from light to dark), as well as the unique ability ing their own artwork of an artist to transform a landscape. Though very different, both Harris and Harrison inspired by each artist’s painted the majestic plains and peaks of Canada in unique and original ways. style.  Harris used clean, curving lines and bold, abstracted forms to render the natural northern landscape. Where the textures and edges of a mountain or iceberg would, in reality, be rough and LEARN MORE: jagged, Harris smoothed them into graceful arches and neat stripes of shadow and light. His softly sloping • tedharrison.ca lines and swaths of color brought calm to even the most • wikiart.org/en/lawren-harris imposing landscapes. Harrison transformed landscapes even more FOR ADDITIONAL PROJECT IDEAS: radically, painting Canada’s snowy, frozen vistas with brilliant purple, pink, orange and blue. In his artwork, • artsycraftsymom.com a cloudy sky would transform into layers of lavender, • deepspacesparkle.comted-harrison-lawrenIcy Seascape by Thomas, 11, inspired by Lawren Harris violet and deep indigo. Distant hills — most likely a soft harris-northern-landscapes



Materials: paper, pencil and coloring tools (colored pencils, crayons, watercolor paints and paintbrushes)

Materials: thick/heavy-weight paper, crayon or oil pastel, and watercolor paint and paintbrush (This project can also be done with marker, colored pencil or crayon alone.)

Using a real-life landscape or a photograph of one that you find online, you will create a landscape inspired by Harris’ work..

• • • • •


Notice what is closest to you in the landscape or closest to the “front” of the picture. This part of the pictures is called the foreground. Using your pencil, begin by drawing outlines of those closest parts of the landscape first. Even if the outlines of things in the landscape are rough or ragged in real life, smooth them out and make the shapes simpler and “cleaner” than in real life. After you have drawn the front parts of the landscape, look at the next layer of space — the landforms that are midway through the landscape — and draw those next. This part of the picture is called the middle ground. Keep using smooth lines and bold shapes to draw the parts of the landscape. Next, outline the furthest-away parts of the landscape (in Vermont, that will likely be hills or mountains, but it might also be a forest of trees). This part of the picture is called the background, because it is the furthest back. After you have finished drawing the parts of the land, consider the sky. Lawren Harris would simplify and smooth out the shapes of clouds, just as he would landforms. Use long, skinny, horizontal ovals, or smooth, wavy shapes to create clouds in the sky of your artwork. Now, it’s time to color in your landscape art! Notice where the sunlight is coming from in your pictures and which parts of the landforms are light (because sun is hitting them) versus dark (because they are in shadow). Harris drew stripy sections or shapes on his landforms, and then colored them different shades from light to dark to show light and shadow. In your landscape, use dark and light colors to create stripes or sections on your landforms, based on the shadows and highlights you see on them (in real life or in the photo you are using).


For this project, you can look at a real landscape or a photograph of one, or simply use your imagination to create your own.

Using your crayon or oil pastel, draw outlines for landforms in the foreground (front) of your landscape first. This might include flat or hilly ground and maybe some low hills. Ted Harrison usually used bright colors for his outlines, so you may want to choose a bright color, like orange, purple, blue or pink. Next, using the same color or a different one, draw the middle ground of your landscape by adding additional landforms higher up the page. This might include more layers of hills and maybe some trees sitting atop the hills.

Pro Tip: You can draw a river or road that looks like it is receding, or going back into your picture, by making two wavy lines that start wide apart at the bottom of your picture and get closer together as they go up the page.

• • •

Finally, draw the outlines for landforms in the background of your picture. This might include big hills or mountains and a sky full of wavy clouds, or stripy layers of color. If any of your outlines look rough in texture or are not yet solid (with specks of the white paper still visible in the line, if you look closely), then trace over them until they are solid and smooth. Now, you get to paint your landscape! Oil pastel and crayon are both somewhat water-resistant, so you should be able to paint easily right up to the edges of your outlines without ruining them. Use bright colors to paint your landscape, just like Harrison.

Pro Tip: Paint rows of landforms or clouds with different shades of the same color, getting lighter with each new row, to mimic Harrison’s style. For example, if you have many rows of hills, paint the front row dark purple, the next row back medium purple, and the next row behind that light purple.


Eligibility & Guidelines

This Winter, take the At-Home Challenge! “If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the union and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont.” — PRESIDENT CALVIN COOLIDGE

Vermonters: Help revive the spirit of liberty and bolster our democratic institutions by taking part in the Good Citizen At-Home Challenge! The next few months of the pandemic will be tough. We’ll all be

spending more time at home than usual this winter, so Kids VT and Seven Days have collected a wide variety of activities — many from our Good Citizen partners — to keep you occupied. This new Challenge will help you learn more about your state and your country, and give you a chance to help others, as well.

How it works:

1 2 3

Pass the Citizenship Test: Get 12 answers correct on the sample

U.S. Citizenship test on the back page of this scorecard. If you don’t pass on the first try, take it until you make it!

Do at least one activity and you’ll be eligible for monthly prize drawings. Submit your evidence at goodcitizenvt.com — the more activities you submit, the more chances you have to win! We’ll keep track of entries on the website’s public leaderboard and hold prize drawings on December 30, January 27 and February 3 to recognize outstanding work and to give away gift cards and other prizes.

• Individuals or teams may enter. Participants can submit an entry for every activity done by a member of their team. Activities completed as a group count as one entry. • Adults may participate on a team with at least one K-12 student. We encourage adult-child teams! This is a great family project. • Participants may submit multiple activities monthly to be eligible for prizes, but they will only be entered once in the grand prize drawing. • Only submit photos and comments that can be used online, in print or broadcast by Good Citizen media partners. We’ll use this material to inspire others to be Good Citizens. • Be sure to proofread your work — we’ll highlight outstanding submissions in Kids VT and Seven Days! • All activities must be completed and submitted online — or postmarked — by Friday, March 5, 2021 to be entered in the grand prize drawing. • We strongly encourage you to submit activities online at GoodCitizenVt.com. If you can’t access the internet, mark your work on this scorecard, collect and physical evidence possible and mail it to: Good Citizen Challenge Kids VT/Seven Days, 255 S. Champlain St., Ste 5 Burlington VT 05401.

Powered by:

Finish four activities (one in each category) before March 5, 2021

and you (or your team) will be eligible for the grand prize drawing on March 17. The winning person or team will receive a $500 gift card to a local business of the winner’s choice!

With support from:

Extra credit: The person or team that completes the most activities during

the Challenge will be able to make a $500 donation to a Vermont charity of their choice. In the event of a tie, a winner will be chosen at random from among those tied for the top spot.

More prizes! We’ll give away other prizes along the way, including gift cards to locally owned independent bookstores, publication subscriptions and copies of the comic book This Is What Democracy Looks Like: A Graphic Guide to Governance. Everyone who completes an activity will receive a Good Citizen Challenge sticker.

Empowering Vermont’s youth to close the opportunity gap.

Partners in the Good Citizen At-Home Challenge include:

Questions? Contact us at 802-865-1020, ext. 14 or goodcitizen@kidsvt.com.

Find this scorecard and get email updates at GoodCitizenVT.com.





History Learning about history can help us better understand the present and put it in perspective. And knowing how people got through hard times in the past can help us get through the difficulties we’re facing today. 1.

Visit a memorial in your city or town and find out who put it there and why. Do you recognize any of the names on it?


Research the name of your street, your school or a local park. What can you find out about when and how it was named? Does it reference a person? If you can’t find information online, try contacting your local historical society or town offices. You could also have an adult pose the question on your Front Porch Forum.


Draw a portrait of one of these notable Vermonters from history. Research them online first to find out about who they were and what they contributed to Vermont. Reminder: Wikipedia is a good starting place, but always verify the information you find there through other sources such as libraries, universities, historical societies, etc. Try to incorporate what you’ve learned into your artwork. •

George Aiken (1892-1984)

Alexander Twilight (1795-1857)

Consuelo Northrup Bailey (1899-1976)

James Hartness (1861-1934)

Lucy Terry Prince (1730-1821)


Learn about the biggest natural disaster in state history by listening to “Vermont’s Great Flood,” an episode of the podcast “Before Your Time.” Produced by the Vermont Historical Society and Vermont Humanities, it explains how the flood killed 84 people, devastated the state — and was an important turning point. It even inspired Plymouth Notch-born president Calvin Coolidge to deliver his famous speech, “Vermont Is a State I Love,” in which he describes it as a “brave little state.” Find it at beforeyourtime.org. The Abenaki people were here in Vermont long before European colonists arrived. Find out more about their cultural heritage and the struggles they have faced by attending this free virtual event, “We Are Still Here,” part of Vermont Humanities’ First Wednesdays series, on February 3, 2021. Find more information at vermonthumanities.org.


Find More Activities at GoodCitizenVt.com! 6.

Test your knowledge of Vermont by playing Virtual Vermont Trivia. The Vermont Historical Society hosts these free, all-ages competitions on Zoom on Wednesday nights in January. Each night focuses on a different theme: Geography and Place Names, Famous Vermonters, People and Customs, and Vermont Miscellany. A championship on February 3 requires an entry fee — and includes prizes. Find more information at vermonthistory.org/calendar. Send in a Good Citizen entry each time you play.


Help document the history of the coronavirus pandemic by contributing your own photographs, stories, poems and videos to the Vermont Historical Society’s COVID-19 archive. On its website, VHS asks “What’s different in your community — empty streets and empty shelves, signs and restrictions, people talking to each other across the street? What’s different in your own home — new routines, new office setups, new hobbies?” Find more information and a form explaining how to contribute at covid-19.digitalvermont.org. Send in a Good Citizen entry for each contribution you make.

Want to win prizes? Complete activites and submit evidence online at GoodCitizenVT.com.

Government Democracy is not a spectator sport! For it to work, you have to get off the sidelines and take action. Here are some activities that will help you understand how our government of the people, by the people and for the people actually works, and how you can participate in it.



Much of local and state government has moved online during the pandemic. Find out how you can watch your city council or school board meeting online and join the meeting. If you can’t view the meeting while it’s happening, watch one on TV or online via your local cable access channel. Don’t know when these happen? Look on your city website, call the town offices, or have an adult post a question about it on your local Front Porch Forum.



Stream the 2020 documentary Boys State (rated PG-13). Winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for a documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the movie follows 1,000 teenage boys as they attempt to form a government during a weeklong summer camp in Austin, Texas. Available on Apple TV+.


Find out how you can use your local library during the pandemic. What resources are available? Check out an item or attend a remote class or event. Be sure to return any items you borrow on time.


In October, VPR’s “But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids” released an episode answering questions about the election. Listen to this episode, called “Why Can’t Kids Vote?” Find it at butwhykids.org.

Community Service Vermont’s state motto is “Freedom and Unity.” In other words, while we prize our independence, we also recognize the importance of working together and looking out for one another. These activities will help you help others. That will make you feel good, too! 1.

Shovel snow for a neighbor. Don’t know who needs help? Have an adult pose a question to your Front Porch Forum to find out.


Make a card or mail a care package to an elderly person you know — or, with an adult’s help, find elderly Vermonters you don’t know who might appreciate a card. COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for people over 65, so many of them have been isolating themselves over the past few months. This winter is a great time to remind them that they haven’t been forgotten.





Conduct a socially distanced donation drive for your local food shelf. Invite your family, friends and neighbors to contribute. If you want to broaden your reach, have an adult promote it on your Front Porch Forum. Learn to make cloth face masks and donate masks to people who need them. Send in a Good Citizen entry each time you donate masks. Masks must be made by students or by a student-adult pair. Find a mask-making tutorial at kidsvt.com/ make-masks. Listen to or read Willem Lange’s Favor Johnson: A Christmas Story. This tale, about a Vermont farmer, his dog and a flatlander doctor, shows the ripple effects of a good deed. Find a recording of the story, which is broadcast every December on VPR, at VPR.org.

Read This Is What Democracy Looks Like: A Graphic Guide to Governance, a comic book about democracy produced by the Center for Cartoon Studies, based in White River Junction. Download it at cartoonstudies.org/cartooningprojects/ democracy. “Gerrymandering” is the practice of drawing congressional districts in a way that favors one political party over another. Learn how this practice affects elections by playing Gerry Mander: A Voting District Puzzle Game by Vermontbased GameTheory. Find the game at gametheorytest.com/gerry.



Write a thank-you note to an essential worker who has helped you or your family during the pandemic. Send in a Good Citizen submission for each note you send.


Make a brightly colored sign to put in your yard or your window to cheer up passersby.


Paint a rock with a message of hope and leave it outside for someone else to find.


Organize a fundraiser or donation drive with someone who disagrees with you politically, or bring two opposing sides together to do something positive that benefits the community. Be creative! Show that Vermonters can work together for the public good.

Vermont is one of several states that has a part-time legislature. In a typical year, the Vermont House of Representatives and the Vermont Senate meet at the Statehouse in Montpelier from January until May or early June. How does this schedule affect who is able to serve in the Vermont legislature? Find out by listening to “Low Pay, Weird Schedule: Who Exactly Can Pull Off the Legislator Lifestyle?” an episode of VPR’s podcast “Brave Little State,” available at bravelittlestate.org.

Being a Good Citizen means keeping up with current events and seeking out responsible, fact-based local journalism. As our lives increasingly move online, being a Good Citizen also means understanding how the technology platforms we use every day influence the information we see and our reactions to it — and the information that others have about us. 1.

Tune in to one of the governor’s twice-weekly press conferences about COVID-19 on VPR. Pay attention to how the governor and other state officials explain what’s going on, and how the reporters ask them to clarify and expand on the topics. Send in an entry every time you listen. Find more information about how to listen at vpr.org/term/coronavirus. You can find all of the press conferences archived at the ORCA Media YouTube channel.


Journalism isn’t just about reporting facts; it’s also about telling a compelling story. After an outbreak of the virus killed 21 residents at Birchwood Terrace, Seven Days reporters Derek Brouwer and Colin Flanders reconstructed how it happened. Read their story, “It’s in the Building: How COVID-19 Overwhelmed a Burlington Nursing Home,” from the June 3, 2020 issue. Find it at sevendaysvt.com. Did it give you a better understanding of the pandemic and its effect on nursing home residents and staff? If so, how?


How do journalists interview and draw out their subjects? How are they doing their jobs in this difficult time? Erica Heilman, host and producer of the podcast “Rumble Strip,” which airs on VPR, will tackle these questions and more during her free virtual talk, “Making Rumble Strip in My Closet,” on Wednesday, January 6. Attend this free, virtual event, which is part of Vermont Humanities’ First Wednesdays series. Find more information at vermonthumanities.org. Find out more about the podcast at rumblestripvermont.com. NEWS LITERACY CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE




Green Up Day is a Vermont tradition. On the first Saturday in May, thousands of volunteers help pick up trash along the state’s roadways. Green Up Day 2021 will take place on Saturday, May 1. Help inspire people to participate by entering the Green Up Day Poster Art and Writing Contests. Art submissions must be received by February 1. Poem and essay submissions are due on March 1. This year, Green Up Day added a contest for a 60-second video and a jingle. Those are due on April 1. Contests are open to all K-12 students, and you can enter them all if you’d like. Winners receive prizes. Find details at kidsvt.com/green-up-daycontests. Send in a Good Citizen submission for each contest you enter.


News Literacy


News Literacy (CONTINUED)

Watch the 1999 documentary The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords (not rated), which recalls the pioneering — and largely forgotten — efforts of Black journalists who chronicled Black lives prior to the civil rights movement. Available for rent on Vimeo.

An adult who wasn’t born a U.S. citizen and wants to become one must first get 12 correct answers on a 20-question civics test. Applicants study the answers to 128 possible test questions, not knowing which of those will appear on the test. Find all of the questions at uscis.gov/citizenship/2020test.

Get 12 correct answers to be eligible for Challenge prizes! 1.

____ What is the supreme law of the land?

2. ____ What amendment gives citizenship to all persons born in the United States? 3. ____ What U.S. war ended slavery? 4. ____ What is the name of the national anthem? 5. ____ Name the three branches of government. 6. ____ What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?



Watch the documentary-drama hybrid The Social Dilemma (PG-13). This 2020 film explores how social media platforms manipulate users’ emotions. It includes numerous interviews with some of the people who created these tools who are now alarmed by the effect their creations are having on society. Available on Netflix. Get a copy of your community newspaper in print, or visit its website. Read five stories. Do you recognize any people you know? Find a list of Vermont’s 10 daily and three dozen nondaily newspapers at the Vermont Press Association website, vtpress.org. Make your own newsletter for your family, neighborhood or school. What stories would be important to tell? How would you document this pandemic winter? What kinds of information do you and your readers need today? Interview people you see every day about what they’re doing differently this winter. Be sure to check your facts before you publish them.


____ How many voting members are in the House of Representatives?

8. ____ What does the president’s Cabinet do? 9. ____ The president is in charge of which branch of government? 10. ____ How many amendments does the U.S. Constitution have? 11. ____ Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? 12. ____ What founding document was written in 1787? 13. ____ What territory did the U.S. buy from France in 1803? 14. ____ Why does the U.S. flag have 13 stripes? 15. ____ What is Memorial Day? 16. ____ Who was president during the Great Depression and World War II? 17. ____ Why did the U.S. enter the Persian Gulf War? 18. ____ James Madison is famous for many things. Name one. 19. ____ The president of the United States is elected for how many years? 20. ____ What is the capital of the United States?



Watch the 2020 documentary Coded Bias (not rated), which reveals widespread discrimination in artificial intelligence. A free virtual screening is available to all Vermonters during Computer Science Week, December 7-13. The Vermont International Film Foundation is also screening the movie until December 17. Find information on both at sevendaysvt. com/coded-bias. Common Sense Media labels it as appropriate for ages 11 and up.

1. U.S. Constitution; 2. 14th; 3. the Civil War; 4. the Star-Spangled Banner; 5. legislative, executive and judicial or Congress, president and the courts; 6. The Senate and the House of Representatives; 7. 435; 8. advises the president; 9. executive; 10. 27; 11. Thomas Jefferson; 12. the U.S. constitution; 13. the Louisiana territory/Louisiana;14. to represent the 13 original colonies; 15. a holiday to honor soldiers who died in military service; 16. Franklin D. Roosevelt; 17. to force the Iraqi military from Kuwait; 18. “Father of the Constitution,” fourth president of the United States, president during the war of 1812, one of the writers of the Federalist Papers; 19. 4; 20. Washington, D.C.



Local Resources

Team Name: __________________________________

This is how we’ll keep track of your entries during the Challenge. •

Team Member Names: __________________________

_____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ Hometown: ___________________________________ This is the Vermont city or town where you live, or where most of your team lives.


• • •

Podcasts •

This is how we will contact you to send you a sticker, and to let you know if you won a prize.

Address/town/zip: _____________________________


_____________________________________________ Email: _______________________________________

Find this scorecard and sign up for email updates at GoodCitizenVT.com. 18


Phone: _______________________________________ We strongly encourage you to submit activities at goodcitizenvt.com. If you can’t access the internet, mark your work on this scorecard and mail it to: Good Citizen Challenge, Kids VT/Seven Days, 255 S. Champlain St., #5, Burlington VT 05401.

Front Porch Forum, frontporchforum.com Green Up Day, greenupvermont.org Seven Days, sevendaysvt.com Vermont Historical Society, vermonthistory.org Vermont Humanities, vermonthumanities.org VPR, VPR.org Vermont Press Association, vtpress.org

Before Your Time, beforeyourtime.org Brave Little State, bravelittlestate.org Buy Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids, butwhykids.org Rumble Strip: Good Conversation That Takes Its Time, rumblestripvermont.com

Films • • • •

The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords Boys State Coded Bias The Social Dilemma



U.S. Citizenship Civics Test






EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS FOR SUMMER... DURING THIS LIVE VIDEO Q&A SESSION! Learn about opportunities for your child Connect with representatives from local summer camps and schools Hear about new safety protocols regarding COVID-19 You can ask questions or just listen in. Attend one session or all — for free!




12/3/20 3:06 PM

Misoo in her basement studio in November

Find a of M video isoo at kidsv t.com


Art is therapy for this South Burlington creator WORDS AND PICTURES BY CAT CUTILLO


n a bitter November day, I sat with Misoo in the backyard of her South Burlington home. Wind gusts periodically blasted her in the face as the artist — who goes by just her first name — told the story of her early life. Born in New York City, Misoo was raised in Korea by her father until he passed away when she was a teenager. After his death, she moved to the United States to finish high school and live with her mother, whom she didn’t know very well. Unable to speak English, and newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she said she was in a dark place. “I started making art because I had a big language barrier,” she explained. “I couldn’t understand or communicate my feelings with others, so I started communicating my feelings through art.” Art is a universal language and a potent way to communicate with children who are struggling emotionally, she added. “For me, it is more powerful than written language or spoken languages,” she said “I enjoy doing it, but it’s not an option. It’s a critical element in my life … Art is like my therapist.” When her daughter was born in 2009, motherhood unearthed new fears for Misoo. She found herself using art again to cope, diving into a master of fine arts program at Florida Atlantic


Misoo working on animal ornaments

University when her daughter was 7 months old. “I remembered art always saved me in my darkest hours or when I didn’t have anybody to go to,” she said. “It really pushed me to research about subconscious memory. It made me find the answer to many things in my life. “I was sexually abused by my family member for a very long time. I always shut off that memory because it was too hard to deal with,” she said. “Becoming a


mother made me go back to that period of time, and I dealt with it. I dealt with it with my art.” Misoo moved to Vermont five years ago from Florida, initially teaching art appreciation at Burlington College before it closed. She taught drawing classes to both kids and adults at Burlington City Arts and the Shelburne Craft School, but those positions have been paused due to the pandemic. During the holiday season, the

40-year-old sells ornaments and custom pet drawings. Her daughter often works alongside her, attaching ribbons to the ornaments or creating her own art. As a single mother, Misoo has worked multiple part-time jobs to support herself, including as an assistant manager at Burlington’s Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Gallery. For the past several years, she has been focused on large paintings of women who went through trauma in their lives, a series she calls “The Giantess.” “Powerful people inspire my art. Not powerful people in position, but powerful people who went through [a] traumatic past and got over that and understand they are more powerful than their past,” she said. The series’ overarching message is “I am bigger than what happened to me,” she said. She feels inspired when women approach her and ask to be depicted as a Giantess with their name in the title of the piece and their face painted for the public to view. “Art gave me power. I wanted to share that with other people, so I started painting local women who’ve been through trauma, and I encourage their power,” she said. In her basement home studio, large paintings from “The Giantess” lean against a wall. She unrolled works of art from one of her earlier series, called “Inner Struggles Fought on Paper,” which depicts a mother and child’s hair intertwined. “These ones are the ones that helped me when I was recovering my past memory,” she said, encircled by pieces of artwork that span more than a decade of her life. The most important message she tries to convey to her students is, “Don’t be afraid to make art … Nobody’s judging you. Be excited about making mistakes,” she said. “That’s the fun part of being an artist: That you’re making something that you had no idea that you [would] make.” K Misoo’s “The Giantess” work is currently on view at Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Gallery in Burlington. For more, visit misoo.org.



any of us have talked about 2020 as if this year was a curveball-throwing creature that we all collectively hate. I assume we all know that the year has no mind of its own. Yet, there lingers a silent anticipation that something will drastically change when the new year arrives. I am cautiously hopeful that in 2021 vaccines will arrive and eventually we can stop social distancing. But I know that when I wake up on January 1st, there is still a long way to go. My 3-year-old daughter’s understanding of time is still free from numbers and learned cultural expectations. For her, there are really just two concepts: “Now” and “Other Day.” Now is this moment. Other Day is any day after Now. Sometimes, it is important for her to know that – although something is not happening Now — it will happen on an Other Day. Sometimes, we even make calendars to track time and to understand when the Other Day is here. But that is mostly just for fun. Everything that really matters happens in the Now. So, when 2020 ends and 2021 begins, I will do my best not to focus on the numbers, or to feel the need for immediate change. Instead, I will try to see my days as a series of Nows, because that is where everything truly important takes place. K



The Show Must Go On The stars of this year’s ‘Spectacular Spectacular’ on WCAX-TV COMPILED BY ALISON NOVAK


ids and teens have felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in inummerable ways. For those who are natural-born performers, one thing they’ve surely missed is the opportunity to entertain an audience. At Kids VT, we wanted to find a way for those young people to shine. Luckily, our marketing and events manager Corey Grenier had a spectacular idea. For the past six years, we’ve hosted a talent show for Vermont’s youth at Higher Ground in South Burlington every December — the Spectacular Spectacular. But in September, when we usually start planning for the event, it became clear that we wouldn’t be able to safely hold auditions, let alone put on a live show with hundreds of spectators. So, we decided to adapt. Grenier came up with the idea of partnering with local television station WCAX-TV to hold a virtual talent show, and they were just as excited as we were. We asked kids to send us two-minute audition videos recorded from the comfort of their homes — which opened up the process to those from all parts of the state. In normal years, we usually have 20 to 30 acts audition for the show. This year we had almost 50! A panel of judges from Kids VT and Seven Days had the very difficult task of choosing just 15 acts for the small screen. “I definitely cried at least three times while watching the videos,” said Grenier. The chosen performers are being featured on WCAX’s weekday news broadcast, between 4:30 and 5 p.m., from November 30 to December 18. Said Grenier: “Watching these kids perform is the type of positive, heartfelt content we need right now.” We hope you agree. Read on to learn some fun and funky facts about of all of this year’s performers, and find the full lineup at kidsvt.com/talentshow. K

Charlie Schramm, 12, Shelburne, Shelburne Community School Singing and playing the guitar to


an original song Who is your favorite performer? I like musicians that I can relate to. Some examples are U2 and Ed Sheeran. What’s your favorite Vermont destination? Bolton Valley What’s your favorite food? Sushi If you had a free day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? Ski or mountain bike



Lily James, 16, Monkton, Mount Abraham Union High School Singing and playing the guitar to

“APOCALYPSE,” an original song

Who is your favorite performer? Probably Freddie Mercury of Queen. Sadly, I will never get to see him live, but his legacy speaks for him. I really love the different musical influences in his songs and try to replicate his energy on stage that made him fantastic to watch. What’s your favorite Vermont destination? I love being in Burlington. The bohemian atmosphere of the city really resonates with me. Whether it’s walking down Church Street with my guitar or down by the waterfront, it’s just a great city. What makes you laugh? My friends. They are such goofs. I love them all. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Out in the world, hopefully. I don’t know exactly where I’ll go yet. But I plan to pursue a career in acting, while keeping up with my music. Wherever I am, I’ll be trying to hone my craft.

Adowyn Byrne, 16, Essex, Essex High School Singing and playing ukulele to

“SOME KIND OF LOVE,” an original song

What inspires you? My family and friends inspire me every day. My songs are all created when I feel a really strong emotion or want to tell a story about something in my life. Anything that makes me feel strongly is fair game. Who is your favorite performer? Ed Sheeran is my favorite performer, hands down. He writes meaningful songs that touch a lot of people. He also plays entire concerts with just his guitar and loop pedal. Itzhak Perlman is a close second though! What’s your favorite Vermont destination? Any field hockey field Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I might be a professional musician, get my PhD in classical mythology, go to medical school, or maybe reform the school system. I like to keep my options open!

Eliora Raiche, 5, Fairfax, Homeschool Singing


with piano accompaniment Who inspires you? Mommy and Daddy What’s your favorite food? Chicken fingers Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I would have a job, maybe a marine biologist. If you had a free day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? I would play games, eat shrimp lo mein, go to Grandma and Grandpa’s, and eat cake.

Judah Kol, 8, Post Mills, Open Fields School

Sam Acus, 13, Richmond, Camels Hump Middle School


Singing and playing the mandolin to

DJEMBE DRUMMING Who inspires you? Patrick and Megan, my music teachers What’s your favorite Vermont destination? The Post Mills airport Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Driving a Tesla in New York City. If you had a free day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? Go sledding and skiing

Rowan and Wilson Goldblatt, 10 and 7, Montpelier, Union Elementary School Piano duet to

“RUSSIAN SAILOR DANCE,” a traditional Russian folk song

Who inspires you? Cam Newton from the Patriots and Feliks Zemdegs, an Australian world-record Rubik’s Cuber What’s your favorite food? Rowan: Rice Krispies Wilson: Lobster What’s your favorite Vermont destination? Walking in the woods near our house with our puppy and swimming in Lake Champlain in the summer Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Rowan wants to buy land and build a giant mansion with lots of puppies and pools. Wilson wants to live in the same house and be cool and pat all the puppies.

Sabrina Cyphers, 9, Colchester, Malletts Bay School Singing

“TAKE ME THE WAY I AM” Who is your favorite performer? My favorite television performer is Madison Reyes in [the Netflix series] “Julie and the Phantoms.” My first live show was Max Weinberg at the T-Rex Theater in Essex. It was so much fun. They played requests, and at the end we got to dance on stage. What is your favorite Vermont destination? My cousin Josi’s farm in Newport Center What’s your favorite food? I can’t decide between my Aunt Jenn’s mac and cheese, my neighbor Sarah’s cornbread, Koto’s noodles, or the East Side Restaurant’s chicken and biscuits. If you had a free day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? I would go to Jay Peak Waterpark or the Champlain Valley Fair.



What inspires you? Anything in the styles of the ‘30s to the ‘70s! I particularly like Benny Goodman, the Beatles and Pink Floyd What’s your favorite Vermont destination? In Tunbridge there is a festival yearly called Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival. I would go there if I could go anywhere in Vermont. What’s your favorite food? Can’t get me nothing better that a good ol’ hamburger! If you had a free day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? I would go to Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival [in Oak Hill, N.Y.] and play a show on the main stage, jam with everyone and generally have a great time with my mandolin.

Cailin Clare Fitzgerald, 9, South Burlington, Homeschool Playing

HANDEL’S VIOLIN SONATA IN D MAJOR What inspires you? Stories with fantasy and adventure What makes you laugh? My dog Zelda What’s your favorite Vermont destination? Overlook Park If you had a free day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? Skydive with my dog

Evan and Adim Benoit, 12 and 8, Montpelier, Homeschool Playing piano to

by Ingrid Michaelson

SINCE 1907

“AUTUMN LEAVES” by Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prévert and Johnny Mercer

“PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN” Who inspires you? Our piano teacher, JD Williams, and each other What’s your favorite food? We like homemade pizza and tacos made by our mom. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? We will be performing at Carnegie Hall. If you had a free day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? Evan would mountain bike and Adim would metal detect.







The Show Must Go On

Lucas Moran, 11, Colchester, Colchester Middle School



“YOU’LL BE BACK” from Hamilton: An American Musical

Elijah Duhamel, 13, St. Albans, Homeschool Playing the guitar to

“STRANGE DÉJÀ VU” by Dream Theater Who inspires you? I was inspired by my parents to try and play such a difficult piece. The clip is a two-minute section of a hourlong metal song. My guitar teacher, Brian Maple, introduced me to this band and is still helping me to master this song. What makes you laugh? Almost everything. (I have a peculiar sense of humor.) What’s your favorite food? I love jelly donuts. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I see myself owning a fishing charter business while working on a PhD in marine biology.

Paris Schoolcraft, 8, Duxbury, Thatcher Brook Primary School Singing

“DIAMONDS” by Rihanna

Phin Holzhammer, 16, Middlebury, Homeschool

Andre Redmond, 9, Essex Junction, Founders Memorial School

Singing and playing keyboard to



Who inspires you? My dad and Lin-Manuel Miranda What’s your favorite Vermont destination? Smugglers’ Notch What’s your favorite food? Tofu If you had a free day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? I’d go to a Hall & Oates concert

Arunique learning experience who Fo kids w hoFoar rke wild abofor ut children animals ! share ids who are wild about animals! one thing in common: their love for animals

Animal Adventures AnimalKids Adventures (ages 7-9) (ages 7-9) Ages 5-6: $200 Afternoons only still available!


Afternoons still available! Week only 1: Monday-Friday July 13-17 ● July 20-24 July 5-9 • 8:30AM - 12:30PM July 13-17 ● July 20-24 Summer Safari (ages 10-12)

Tara, CPES

Full-day camp: A few slots available


Summer Safari (ages July10-12) 27– July 31● Aug 3-7 ● Aug.10-14 Kids Ages 7-9: $390 Full-day camp: A fewRegister: slots available (802) 862-0135 x 12 Week 2: Monday-Friday Or visit chittendenhumane.org. July 12-16 July 27– July• 8:30AM-3PM 31● Aug 3-7 ● Aug.10-14

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Week 4: Monday-Friday

Register: (802) 862-0135 x 12 July 19-23 • 8:30AM-3PM OrWeek visit chittendenhumane.org. 4: Monday-Friday July 26-30 • 8:30AM-3PM

Bringing calm to new mothers in Vermont


k6h-HappyBellies1220.indd 1

from Hamilton: An American Musical

Who is your favorite performer? Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys What makes you laugh? John Mulaney, my weirdo friends, random old Vines nobody remembers and my Uncle Kenny What’s your favorite Vermont destination? Stone Leaf Teahouse Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Either an artist/writer of some sort or the leader of a cheese cult.

Placenta Encapsulation



an original composition

Who is your favorite performer? Alicia Keys What makes you laugh? Jokes and both my brothers What’s your favorite food? Strawberries, or any kind of fruit Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In 10 years I see myself being a famous singer and a senior in high school. I will be getting ready for college, and I will study how to be a famous gymnast and songwriter.


Who is your favorite performer? Right now I really enjoy watching Hamilton, and of course Jonathan Groff is really funny and a great performer. I also love Jeremy Jordan in Newsies. Locally, I’d have to say everyone at Lyric Theatre Company. What makes you laugh? When I am backstage at shows and silly things happen or someone makes a funny mistake on stage. I also really like silly cat videos! What’s your favorite Vermont destination? I really love my Treewild Forest Classroom and being on the lake. If you had a free day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? I would go to New Hampshire and Florida and Massachusetts and Montana to see my family, because I really, really miss them. I’d also give hugs to everyone I can’t hug right now. I’d want to have all the Matilda cast together again, too.

12/4/20 1:58 PM

k6h-HumaneSociety1220.indd 1

Before & after care hours are available. Scholarships funded by Redducs Foundation

Before & after care hours are available.

Kids Ages 10-12: $390 Scholarships funded by Week 5: Monday-Friday Redducs Foundation August 2-6 • 8:30AM-3PM

Week 6: Monday-Friday August 9-13 • 8:30AM-3PM 12/3/20 4:34 PM

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11/19/20 2:12 PM




Lift-line distancing, grab-and-go food, and rental reservations are the new normal

5-year-old Ronin White of Jericho masks up fo r a day of skiin g.

Burke Mountain


hile COVID-19 creates considerable uncertainty this winter, Vermonters can count on these tried-and-true things: It will snow; we can ski and snowboard; and happy children will glide down local mountains. Skiing and snowboarding are among the safest activities during the pandemic, just as long as people from different households stay six feet apart. “Outdoor activities that can be performed with physical distancing are inherently safer than indoor activities of any nature. Skiing and snowboarding would certainly fall into this category,” says Benjamin Lee, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease specialist on the faculty of the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine. “Transportation to and from the slopes is a concern. Carpooling should be avoided if at all possible, or, if vehicles must be shared, everyone should wear masks and the windows should be cracked.” This winter, Vermont ski resorts enacted new measures in accordance with state guidance to help reduce the risk of infection. That includes creative solutions such as food trucks, fire pits, outdoor


seating, and heat lamps at base areas. As of early December, Vermont’s 20 alpine ski areas plan to welcome guests, but the experience will feel very different. Here’s what you need to know to enjoy safe and fun skiing and riding this winter. Be Informed: The best way to have a great day on the mountain is to plan ahead. Ski Vermont has organized the Know Before You Go: Ski Trip Planning and COVID-19 web page, with links to each ski area’s safety policies. Read the policy of the resort you plan to visit and adhere to the individual rules. Sign up for your favorite resorts’ newsletters and follow them on social media. Things can change quickly, so check back often. Lift Tickets/Reservations: Capacity restrictions require resorts to limit single-day passes. Buy tickets online for the date you intend to go. Many resorts require guests to purchase and pick up reloadable identification cards ($5 plus tax), which you can refill with new tickets online. If you travel to a resort without buying tickets in advance, you may find no tickets available that day.


Season passes are the most reliable way to ensure access to skiing and riding this winter. Middlebury Snow Bowl offers the “Shared Parent/Guardian Pass,” designed for parents to swap while taking turns watching children. Some resorts, including Middlebury Snow Bowl, Stowe Mountain and Okemo, require guests with season passes to make reservations before arriving. The state has advised resorts to offer lenient cancellation policies in hopes of discouraging people from hitting the slopes if they are sick. Lift Riding: Those waiting in lines will be required to maintain six-foot distancing and wear masks. Guests should ride lifts only with members of their household or sit at least six feet apart. Lift attendants will support this practice and allow people to ride solo. On enclosed lifts, windows will remain open. Masks: Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth everywhere at ski areas, except when seated with your family while eating or drinking. If you choose a neck gaiter for your face covering, make sure it is thick material

with a tight weave, such as polyester fleece, and it fits snugly over your nose. “Any material that has a loose weave is insufficient, even if the material itself is thick. For example, loose-knit scarves made of heavier wool or cotton still may be insufficient,” says Dr. Lee. “If in doubt, wear a cloth facial covering under the gaiter.” If wearing a mask with ear loops under your helmet feels uncomfortable, carry the mask in your pocket to put on when you take your helmet off, to go to the bathroom, for example. Equipment Rentals: Most resorts have shifted to online equipment rentals that allow visitors to fill out forms and pay before arriving. Bolton Valley and Sugarbush resorts require reservations for equipment, with specific pickup times for each reservation.

Lessons: Some resorts have suspended group lessons and multi-week programs this year but continue to offer private and semiprivate lessons with advanced reservations. Smugglers’ Notch, Bolton Valley, Mad River Glen and Stowe will offer youth group lessons with reduced class sizes, but kids will eat lunch with their own families. Smugglers’ also offers a five-week Mom & Me, Dad & Me program for kids of all ages with their parents. The Burton Snowboards Riglet Park and Treehouse, an on-snow play area designed to introduce young children to snowboarding, will be open and staffed, with hands-on tools sanitized between uses. Childcare: Some resorts, including Bolton, Stowe, Sugarbush and Smugglers’, closed their daycare facilities for this season. Jay Peak and Mad River Glen provide daycare for children 6 weeks to 6 years old at reduced capacity, with a reservation in advance.

A "KID'S BOOK" FOR ALL AGES AND FOR THE TIMES. Just in time for your stay-at-home holidays!

unavailable. All resorts’ bathrooms are open with capacity limits. Staying Warm: Invest in quality winter gear so you can remain comfortable longer outdoors. Carry snacks and water in a daypack, and turn your car into your personal base lodge. Here’s how: • Suit up in the car and head straight to the lift. Shuttles will run at some resorts, with reduced capacity. Invest in ski boot protectors that fasten to the soles to prevent falls and protect plastic bottoms while walking. • Stash sandwiches and fruit in insulated bags to prevent freezing in the car. Keep chili and soup hot in a Thermos or Crock-Pot. • Bring blankets to snuggle in during breaks. • Keep extra hand warmers and foot warmers in the car. • Avoid tailgating parties with other families. Staying physically












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Make Lots of This Season!


Food: Resorts are offering more prepackaged meals this season, with some restaurant dining by reservation. Sugarbush requires advanced online ordering for grab-and-go items with pickup times provided. Food trucks, snack shacks and outdoor pubs will be operating at many ski areas. Base Lodges and Bathrooms: As of early December, state mandate requires that base lodge capacity be reduced to 50% of fire occupancy, with a cap of 75 people. Fewer tables and chairs will facilitate six-foot spacing between patrons. Boot rooms and bag storage are

distanced will help ensure that we can continue skiing and riding all winter. Off the Hill: Resorts plan to open some off-slope amenities, including spas and pools, but check ahead. Jay’s Pump House Indoor Waterpark is open, with a limit of 75 people. (The space normally accommodates 900.) Ice-skating rinks at Jay and Stowe are open. The Bolton Valley Sports Center and Smugglers’ FunZone 2.0 anticipate opening with social distancing and advance reservations. K

winter hikes snowshoeing sledding ice ska�ng XC skiing We’ll be offering pop-up events and youth snow shoes & skis to borrow! Find out more on our new and improved winter ac�vi�es web page:

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12/3/20 12:31 PM

JUST FOR KIDS Coloring Contest! Three winners will each receive an annual family membership to the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium. Send Kids VT your work of art by January 15. Be sure to include the info at right with your submission. Winners will be chosen in the following categories: (1) ages 5 and younger, (2) ages 6-8 and (3) ages 9-12. Winners will be named in the February issue of Kids VT. Send your highresolution scans to art@kidsvt.com or mail a copy to Kids VT, P.O. Box 1184, Burlington, VT 05402.



Birthday Club .....................................29 Coloring Contest Winners .........29 Coded Message Puzzle ................ 30

Title _______________________________________ Contest sponsored by

Artist _____________________________________ Age ______________ Town __________________ Email _____________________________________ Phone _____________________________________


Birthday Club



to these December/January Birthday Club winners!

Join the Club!

To enter, submit information using the online form at kidsvt.com/birthday-club Just give us your contact info, your children’s names and birth dates, and a photo, and they’re automatically enrolled.

Our judges were charmed by the fabulous submissions mailed in as part of this month’s coloring contest. Valia, 5, filled her llama in with bold colors and added some friends in the background to form a farm. Seven-year-old Haley created a colorful pet party, full of patterns, that we’d like to be invited to. Ruby, 9, packed her page with a detailed scene of a busy, far-away market and moutain peaks. Thanks to all who entered! We can’t wait to see what you have in store this month.


DANIELLE lives in Springfield and turns 7 on January 3. She loves to draw and would like to be a veterinarian when she gets older.


Elliana Milisci, 9 S. Burlington

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

“The Llama Farm” Valia Chiperi, 5

5& under



Oona Russel-McDade, 6 Woodbury “LLAMA GOES OUT TO PLAY”

Danielle, Mille Grace and Bailey each win a special prize.

Seraphina Leafe, 8 Lyndonville


Calvin Miller, 10 Northfield “LLAMA LAND”

Olin Henry, 6 S. Hero


Gretchen Mier, 8 Barre

MILLIE GRACE lives in Sutton and turns 9 on January 17. She is a fun-loving, kind-hearted girl who loves to cook, bake and create. She enjoys being in nature, loves animals and is always willing to help a friend.


Shaley Gingras, 7 Milton

“The Pet Bash” Haley Cadoret, 7 ESSEX

6 to 8


Follow us on Instagram at


BAILEY lives in Richmond and turns 8 on January 26. She enjoys singing and dancing, swimming, playing soccer and scrapbooking. She loves all animals, especially her two dogs, Jasper and Lola. She wants to be a singer when she grows up.

Avery Fastman, 6 Stowe


Hazen Copans, 7 Montpelier


Gilbert Evans, 6 S. Burlington

Share your photos with us using #instakidsvt


Indy Roberts, 11 Montpelier

“Spanish Llama Market Day” Ruby Sowder, 9 N. FERRISBURGH KIDSVT.COM DECEMBER 2020 / JANUARY 2021

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JUST FOR KIDS TALK IS “CHEEP” BY MARC NADEL Sylvester McNester, with chihuahua chum Chester, Went walking along Warbler Way. They saw wings a-flittering, And heard songs a-twittering, But what did those wacky birds say? Using the code, write in the letters above their pictured birds for a special message.

ANSWER P.11 30




Road to Somewhere Teaching my daughter to drive amid a pandemic


his fall, my 15-year-old daughter Gabriela was at the wheel of my Subaru when I panicked. For the first time, my baby was driving through the dark at 50 miles per hour. What if a deer dashed in front of her? “Why don’t you pull over and let me drive?” I offered. “I got this, Mom,” Gabriela said calmly. She clicked on the turn signal and pulled into her former elementary school parking lot. We were there for a jack-o’lantern walk. I got out and walked behind the school, while she hurried off with a friend. Fists clenched in my coat pockets, I breathed deeply, trying not to cry. * Gabriela celebrated her 15th birthday in May 2020, with three friends, around a campfire in our backyard. Much of the state was shut down to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and sleepovers were not advised. Like so many Vermont teens, my younger daughter had dreamed of getting her learner’s permit. In rural Vermont, where public transportation is essentially nonexistent, a permit is a major rite of passage to adulthood, the ticket to a job and a social life that doesn’t depend on parents. Although the Department of Motor Vehicles was still closed due to the pandemic, Gabriela received one of the first learner’s permits through an online portal. I had her begin on backroads, winding around ponds and through farmyards. As she drove, I talked, instructing her that dirt roads slick up after a rain. Be vigilant at every intersection, I told her. Never trust another driver. Black ice is treacherous. We talked through my fears, as if sharing the scary things I had experienced would somehow protect her. She listened, far more patiently than not, keeping her eyes on the road and her mirrors. All summer, she was home alone while I was at work. When I returned in the late afternoons, we went driving, the sugar at the end of the long and lonely days. We drove with no particular destination. She talked about plans for a summer job when she was 16 and shared her dreams about going skiing with her friends in the winter. During all those hours and miles, I remembered my own young adulthood, and what a driver’s license had meant to me. In my early 20s, on a whim, I had driven one April from Vermont to Florida

with friends in an old Volkswagen bus. When it broke down, we camped in a church meadow in Georgia and borrowed tools from a local mechanic. The church members brought us aluminum foilwrapped plates of pork chops and sweet potatoes for dinner. Those years seemed a universe away from the summer of 2020. I’m sure my parents worried about me, but my travels seemed tame, nearly run-of-the-mill, compared to what loomed before my daughter. As Gabriela widened her circle from dirt roads to I-91, my mind churned with pandemic worries. Would school reopen in the fall? How secure was my employment? When would I see my parents, who live in New Mexico, again? As it has with so many others, the pandemic had revealed fissures in my life and how deeply I rely on a network of school and community connections to keep my soloparent, paycheck-to-paycheck family life duct-taped together. From the passenger seat, I knew my tough and kind-hearted teen would remember this time as the spring when her high school was abandoned. The months when our two cats were her main companions. The August she froze green beans and tomatoes from the garden, and I stockpiled bags of rice and beans and crammed our freezer with beef from a local farm. The summer we admired the freshly painted Black Lives Matter words on the pavement in front of the Statehouse. The summer when we asked — in our family and, collectively, as a nation — what really matters. * I had always known my baby would set sail on her own adventures, but what I hadn’t expected is that the world she would launch into would be so troubled and frightening. When I imagine the future she and her generation face, I know they will live through our ailing planet’s devastating changes. They will endure social tumult as our nation struggles with centuries of unresolved racial and class divisions. The oyster we have offered our children is not particularly sweet. But despite all this, the intersection of the pandemic with my youngest growing up made me realize, over and over, how dear and fleeting our lives are. Those hours in the passenger seat opened up space for me to pause from the rush of

We talked through my fears, as if sharing the scary things I had experienced would somehow protect her.

A young Gabriela at Lake Caspian

working days, take a long breath, and reflect. I reminded myself I had become a mother because I wanted my children to experience the pleasure of summer grass beneath bare feet, the delight of fireflies around a campfire with friends at dusk, and the exuberance of falling in love. Gabriela drove us through the lushness of summer, into the painted beauty of autumn and through the first pristine snowflakes. In those hours, I realized I had become a mother so my daughter could relish her own unique journey. Just as my life had turned through mundane and terrible and marvelous bends, hers will, too. Shortly after Halloween, we drove to nearby Greensboro and circled Lake Caspian as the early winter twilight drifted down. Gabriela pulled into the empty beach parking lot. We got out of the car and walked along the sand. We had celebrated her first birthday on this beach. Not yet walking, she had crawled over our picnic blanket to dip her tiny fingers into a bowl of watermelon wedges. Delivered by Caesarean, her birth

marked my own body with a scar I wouldn’t trade for the world. As I walked beside my girl, the car keys zipped in her coat pocket, not mine, I realized that coming of age in a pandemic will mark her — and her generation — with their own unique scars as they grow up in a world that was broken apart, seemingly overnight. As the sky blackened, the stars brightened one by one. Under their silvery light, my fears yielded to curiosity about the woman my daughter is becoming and the world — filled with watermelon and disease — she and her generation will greet. In the parking lot, we both headed for the driver’s door. Gabriela unzipped her jacket pocket and held up the car keys. They glittered in the starlight. “I’ve got this,” she said. I paused for a moment, thinking of leaping deer and the innumerable dangerous things lurking in the shadows. Then I walked around the car and buckled into the passenger seat. My daughter started the car and pulled onto the road. 



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Profile for Kids VT

Kids VT — December 2020/January 2012  

How to Ski safely This Winter; Music for Mood-Boosting and Relaxation; Nature Films for the Whole Family; Comfort Food Recipes;Good Citizen...

Kids VT — December 2020/January 2012  

How to Ski safely This Winter; Music for Mood-Boosting and Relaxation; Nature Films for the Whole Family; Comfort Food Recipes;Good Citizen...

Profile for kidsvt