MAKE THIS SUMMER COUNT WITH A.I.M. – Visit a state park, swim at Echo Lake, or learn about glacier ice at the Polar Caves. Enjoy learning outdoors! A.I.M.’s summer learning camp is an expansion of our afterschool program with activities available toall BFMS students from July 5 to August 3. Camp hours are 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. For more information, please visit our website or contact the A.I.M. Afterschool Program Director, Ms. Orianna Baez.
On Wednesday, March 21st, the Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VKAT) group made their mark and “chalked the walk” during Kick Butts Day. VKAT students wrote messages to share with their peers about prevention and the dangers of tobacco use.
Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against tobacco, generating more than 1,000 events across the United States and on military bases around the world. Each year, thousands of young people plan and conduct events that focus attention on the deadly dangers of tobacco use, proven solutions to the problem and tobacco industry marketing that targets youth.
On Thursday, March 15, Bellows Falls Middle School hosted a Student Town Hall Meeting centered around school violence, gun control, and the second amendment. This event was organized with the intent of providing students with a forum in which they could express their feelings around these important and relevant topics. Originally scheduled to coincide with the March 14th National Student Walkout Event, students worked with their Social Studies and ELA teachers on journaling and reflective activities prior to the Town Hall Meeting. The event provided an alternate and safe space for BFMS youth to express themselves, while also being fully immersed in the Vermont tradition of Town Hall Meetings.
The assembly was led by a selected group of eighth graders and started with a moment of silence for the victims of all gun violence across the country. Afterwards, rules and norms were established to ensure active participation and respect from members of the audience. Students were asked questions such as, “In what ways do you feel safe at school”, and “Why do you think some students resort to anger?”. The conversation was lively, thoughtful and deeply engaging – BFMS youth from all grades shared their thoughts and opinions on the second amendment, gun control, and how to make schools safer. Opinions from both sides were heard with respect and students acknowledged each other in a very supportive manner.
Click here to read the latest edition of our student publication, The Terrier Times.
The Bellows Falls Middle School hosted a Winter Showcase Night on Thursday, February 8th featuring student poetry, individual research projects, personalized learning plans, and various opportunities for family engagement. Principal Karen Bukowski said, “Winter Showcase Night continues to be one of the highlights of the school year! It was great to see so many of our families.”
The focal point of this student-centered event was the eighth grade anchor project, an immersive learning experience that challenges students to find and research a topic of interest while utilizing skills they’ve acquired and practiced throughout the school year. In a process that included weeks of preparation, students conducted research, interviewed experts, and built visuals/interactive aides to help explain their learning to audiences. “The impetus behind the anchor project is to make school relevant to students by giving them a choice in what they learn about.”, said Dana Aquadro, eighth grade English Language Arts teacher. The anchor project topics were varied and ranged from themes like climate change, sports, maple sugaring, music, history and mental health.
With over 150 families in attendance, this event was a success for all involved.
Last week during a combined Health and Physical Education class, Barbara Hodgkins RDH, from Children’s Dental Health Care Project made a special presentation to fifth and sixth grade students about the importance of oral health and its relation to the kinds of food and beverages they consume. Bellows Falls Middle School has partnered with the Springfield Medical Care System to offer dental services to students while at school – dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments and oral health education is available at no cost to all students whether or not hey have dental insurance and whether or not they have a regular dental home! The opportunity for improving dental health is made possible through Springfield Medical Care System’s grant from the Holt Foundation.
Oral health and learning about is is important! Multiple exposures to services and education are valuable tools in preventative care for a healthy smile. For more information about this program, please read this Parent Letter. If you’re interested in your child receiving dental services, please fill out these forms.
Congratulations to the BFMS Girls Purple Team for their win at the Keene tournament on Saturday, December 2!
Extra, extra, read all about it! The November 2017 edition of the Terrier Times Student Newspaper is now ready. Click here to read!
During the week of October 23rd, students at the Bellows Falls Middle School celebrated the spirit of being drug-free by participating in “Red Ribbon Week” activities. Sponsored by the National Family Partnership, the Red Ribbon Campaign has touched the lives of millions of people around the world for over thirty years.. In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the destruction caused by drugs in America. The Bellows Falls Middle School’s “Above The Influence” (ATI) group meets weekly with Student Assistance Program counselor, Heather Waryas, and focus on delivering an intentional message about the risks and consequences of drugs and alcohol, while also educating their peers on healthy alternatives. The ATI members, comprised mostly of 5th and 6th graders, led a 40 minute school assembly on Monday morning that concluded with every student in the school receiving a water bottle that read, “The power lies within me to be drug free.”
The ATI members developed and promoted “Spirit Days” for Red Ribbon Week that featured a different message each about living a drug-free life. Students and staff members alike dressed up for the Red Ribbon Week spirit days! Mrs. Waryas said, “the enthusiasm for our Red Ribbon Week spreads throughout the school because it is student-led.” The ATI members chose the themes, voted as a group on spirit days, and did all the promoting and sharing of the drug-free message. The ATI motto is, “Anything that makes me less than me, is not for me, especially drugs or alcohol.” Mrs. Waryas says that throughout the year, ATI conducts many school-wide activities and campaigns, but the support for Red Ribbon Week is always a highlight. She also noted that it takes a very brave student to stand in front of the entire school and present a school assembly and that this ATI group did so with poise, confidence and FUN!