Thursday, September 1, 2016

CHS Briefs: September 1, 2016

This is a special “back to school” edition of the CHS briefs. 

In the fall of 2009, CHS launched a once a week half hour program for students in grades 3-6 at the Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) who might have an interest in “hands on history.”  Using volunteers, students had a chance to try all sorts of activities. Because of the “great recession,” that first school year we focused on the Depression Era and the kids did everything from making hobo stew for the entire school to learning how to “Lindy,” thanks to a demonstration by Gloria and Seymour Leven.

Today, programing is offered to all grades as part of the classroom activities. In August, we met with the teachers, discussing curriculum and programs that meet both the school’s standards and CHS’s learning objectives.

CHS has five areas of town history that we think are important to impart:
• 1st peoples (Native Americans)
• Where people came from and why
• Civics) & stewardship (role of Town Meeting, the importance of being involved in one’s community
• Cavendish’s role in world affairs (for a tiny town we have a big history)
• The evolution of the town from agricultural to industrial to digital.

2015 6th Grade RiverSweep
Programs differ from grade to grade. Some of the activities planned for September include:
• RiverSweep for 5th and 6th grades. They will be cleaning a portage and swimming hole on the Black River that appears on Cavendish maps in 1870. In addition to clearing debris, they will be pulling invasive plants that can damage the river. 

• Museum Scavenger Hunt for the 4th Grade

• One Room Schoolhouse: 3rd Grade

For our homeschoolers we will be doing a civics project where they will build a Free Tiny Library and a Free Tiny Pantry. The “library” will be set up next to the Museum while the pantry will be placed at the Cavendish Baptist Church.

For the holidays, CHS picks a country that Cavendish residents have come from and uses their various traditions as a teaching tool. In previous years, countries have included England and Russia. No pinecones or greens this year as we will be featuring South of the Border Christmas, complete with piñatas, poinsettias, and tropical fruit ornaments. 
CTES 4th graders making stars as part of Christmas 2015

Bruce McEnaney, with volunteer Sandra Russo, at Sturbridge Village
Thanks to Bruce and Betty McEnaney, who donate money from the sale of their blueberries to the CTES program, we can now take students on field trips. Last year, a group of dedicated volunteers, drove the 6th grade to Sturbridge Village. This same trip is planned for the coming year but we hope to also include the 4th graders.

Leavanna Point found at dig site.
This summer, CHS volunteers have been working on an archeological dig in West Haven, VT on what appears to be a very rich site from the Paleo-Indian period (11,000 years ago) through present day use as a farm. Not only will some of the grades be visiting the site, and have an opportunity to participate in a dig, but the archeologists will be meeting with students to discuss their findings from a dig in Guatemala. The latter fits with the 5th curriculum.

We post pictures of the school program at both the CHS blog and the Cavendish Facebook page so that you can follow along with what we’re doing.

• Blueberries are still available for the picking:  Berries continue to ripen, even if it is September, so take advantage of it before it’s too late. Thanks to Bruce and Betty McEnaney, half the proceeds from picking their organic blueberries, ($3 a pint) goes to the CHS program at CTES. Located at 354 Miner Rd, just over the Cavendish line in Chester off of Smokeshire (part of Cavendish at one time), lock in your GPS and head for some of the best blueberry picking ever. 

• Stone Church: It looks like Bruce has found someone who can do the belfry repair. We had to stop looking at the restoration companies, since none of them wanted to do (or for that matter needed) the work.

• Cleaning the Civil War Monument: We met in August to look over the War Memorial and it appears there is some “spalling” taking place. Acid rain” speeds weathering, resulting in stones being permanently damaged, as it leaves a rough, pitted surface, making writing and art harder to distinguish. Before we take on the cleaning of the entire monument, we will be doing a test patch as soon as the temps are cooler and the weather is cloudy. Actually, rainy days are idea for stone cleaning.  

• September/October Activities:
-       Sept. 10 (Saturday) VT Golden Honey Festival  at the Golden Stage Inn off Depot Street Proctorsville. We’ll be running a day-long candle dipping workshop. 
Sept 11 (Sunday): Phineas Gage Annual Walk & Talk at the Museum 2-4 pm.

-       Oct. 7 (Sunday): Cavendish Ghost and other eerie stories. 2-4 pm. We’d love to hear your stories. This is the last day the Museum will be open for the season.

For any of the items below, please e-mail or call 802-226-7807.

• Strange, Ghostly and Eerie Cavendish Stories: We're collected stories about all things spooky, eerie, strange and ghostly in Cavendish. If you have a tale to tell, we want to hear it.

• Tiny Library and Pantry: Do you have an old cabinet or something else that would be could be used for this project? Have carpentry skills that could assist the kids in building? 

• Marketing Assistance: Do you have experience in marketing? We could use your help with book distribution.

• Board Members/Volunteers: Want to have a more active role in CHS? Become a board member. There are also numerous volunteer opportunities.

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