Opportunity for a Change in the Educational World

Posted September 28th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Events, Insights, latest, Uncategorized
Comments Off on Opportunity for a Change in the Educational World

Rise Richardson, Director of The Village School in Royalston, Massachusetts, talks about Philanthropic Investing, saying,

When they give to the Village School, high net worth individuals are investing in the future, both in terms of the opportunity for ‘normal’ childhoods, and in terms of changing the educational world.”

The Village School

The Village School is a wonder. In 1989 a group of parents, farmers, scientists, writers and local business people gathered and over time created a new kind of school.

It was designed to be a “…model for people in rural areas to give opportunities for community and kids to achieve,” according to Richardson.

village-school-kids-1Serving preschool through 6th grade, the school recognizes the need for children to be part of a community and to be connected to the farming, forestry, stewardship and conservation with the land around them. This is facilitated by bringing balance to the student’s physical, emotional, and mental capabilities.

Using mixed-age classrooms, the school take advantage of the fact that “kids learn from other kids,” she said.

From the start – their students are told they are leaders & held to a high standard, Richardson continued. “Our kids have a strong sense of confidence and know who they are and are eager about learning… they do not just study to get a good grade. The students are actually interested in the material and want to learn more.”

The first graduates from The Village School are now 26-27 years old. Most have gone off to the college of their dreams and have succeeded in their fields – they are leaders, according to Richardson.  “They take ownership and responsibility,” a skill taught at the school, she commented.

Funding and building

When the school was established it was housed in an old town-owned schoolhouse, nicely melding tradition with new ideas. However, the city has developed a need for that property and has set a tentative deadline of September 2017 the village school planfor the school to vacate.

Back in 1998 the school was able to buy some 55 acres on which to build a new, expanded school (in May 2017), and eventually, a future campus for adult learning.  The city’s needs created the opportunity for The Village School to start planning how to use their property.

Now the plans are in place, permits just issued, and groundbreaking for the new school is scheduled for Spring, 2017.

Funding and financing is in place, but subject to some strict deadlines. Richardson said,

Good news, we just raised another 200K!  We need 200K more to get to the total of 500K that the bank wants to see before their loan of 750K kicks in and we can break ground and start building. We are building the complete five classroom school for the low price of $1,800,000 (!) using local contractors and skilled volunteers.”

The sooner that additional $200,000 + can be raised, the sooner they can actually start building, subject to Massachusetts weather of course. Larger contributions can help free the school from the burden of a huge bank loan with large payments, so the school can focus energy and resources on children and developing programs for them.

Why we love this project!

We love what’s been done at The Village School. Even more impressive are their plans for the new campus. We support their goals of connecting kids to the land and teaching meaningful conservation and are impressed and delighted with their goal of endowed scholarships.

We were delighted to make an initial contribution of $15,000 to The Village School!

In many ways our commitment and support of both the Caroline County Public Schools and County Economic Development Department to assist in training and providing resources thorough their AMP program for high school students are similar because of their focus on The Village Schoolstudent achievement. Each one invests in our youth’s future and the future of our communities.

That’s why we are standing behind The Village School and encouraging everyone to speak with Rise Richardson to learn more about their efforts at 978 249 3505.

There is also the possibility of naming rights to their new school with the right contribution. Imagine the whole school named for someone you love and respect, or highlighting your company’s vision.

Discover more specifics about The Village School building plans here. You can also make a tax deductible donation on that page. For setting up substantial donations and pledges, contact the school directly.

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