Bridge Receives Otter Creek Audubon Society Grant!

We are thrilled to share that Bridge received an $800 grant from the Otter Creek Audubon Society! This grant money will go towards funding field trips for our Trout in the Classroom project.

This is our second year participating in Trout in the Classroom, and this year we will expand the field component of the project to a series of three spring hikes with all of our students. These field trips will help students connect the small tank of trout in our classroom to the real-world habitats of brook trout. We will visit a range of freshwater settings throughout the New Haven River watershed. Students will have the opportunity to see first hand the interconnected food webs that impact brook trout.

In his book Mapmaking with Children: Sense-of-Place Education for the Elementary Years, David Sobel implores that elementary children are not ready to learn all of the plights of the natural world. Instead, the most meaningful environmental education we can provide to develop a conservation ethic amongst youth is to help them create a sense of place.

Our field trips will give students meaningful experiences in the ecology of our shared place. The memories of these hikes combined with the specific learning they will undertake in the classroom about trout ecology will help foster responsible citizens of our shared, community waterways.

Many thanks to Otter Creek Audubon!

Spotlight on Traditions: Skiing at Rikert!

Each year, the Fall term ends with a flurry of energy poured into The Big Show. Both students and teachers give all their energy into each year’s masterpiece. Thus, arriving back from winter break can feel a little melancholy. The oldest students begin working on the script in early September, and we can all feel a little lost without the focus of the show.

Thankfully, the winter months at Bridge School are full of outdoor activity and traditions to fight the January blues. One of these traditions is weekly field trips to Rikert Nordic Center to go skiing and snowshoeing! All students and teachers suit up in warm gear and make the most of Vermont’s winters. We are lucky to not only have the privilege of skiing, but also the guidance of Rikert’s expert ski instructors. Many students go Nordic skiing for the very first time on these field trips!

These field trips are both pure fun, as well as a rich opportunity for learning outside of the classroom. Students practice working through feelings of frustration and excitement as they try something new—skills that are essential and transferable to the feelings of learning a new concept in math class, or practicing new vocabulary words in Spanish class. Furthermore, we come together as a community and practice kindness as we encourage each other, cheer on each other’s successes, and provide a helping hand when someone inevitably loses their balance. By the time skiing is over, and before we can get too blue, we’re already looking forward to Winter Week, another Bridge School tradition!