Mollie Sprague, 5th and 6th grade teacher at Lincoln Community School, just sent me the fabulous Google Slides slideshow of the TIC quilt squares that she, her co-teacher Mikaela Frank, and their students created. Here's the opening screen. Below you can see the whole slide show.
You may remember the way the TIC quilt project works. Any school that wants to participate signs up. (This year's deadline was February 1.) Then each student (and apparently sometimes the teacher) makes a quilt square. When the squares are finished, the teacher sends one to each of the TIC schools across the country that are participating in the quilt project. Finally, when all the quilt squares have been received, the school turns them into a quilt, which they get to keep.
Those of you who attended our November training workshop will recall the beautiful quilts displayed by Jessica West, of Shelburne Community School, and Melissa Rice, of Manchester Elementary and Middle School.
The TIC quilt project not only allows students to express themselves artistically but also provides an excellent opportunity for pulling out a map and learning about the places these other squares are coming from. Inevitably, these squares will represent a broad and diverse portion of our country's physical and cultural geography.
In addition, some teachers turn the project into a writing assignment and have each student send his or her square to a specific school with a personal message.
In the end, once hung, the quilt becomes an attractive school icon and one that symbolizes the ways in which their school has made continent-wide connections to other similarly dedicated schools, their students and their teachers.
Here's the great letter Mollie, Mikaela, and their students used in transmitting their quilt squares:
March 3, 2016
To the Schools Receiving Our Trout Quilt Squares,
Greetings from beautiful Lincoln, Vermont. We are a multi-age 5th/6th grade class. Our little school is nestled in along the western slopes of the Green Mountains. The New Haven River, where we will release our fingerlings in the springtime, runs right by our school and through our town. Many of us chose to create quilt squares featuring the mountains and rivers that surround and define our community. We all share a love of outdoor activities from sports to walking, snowmobiling to skiing, hunting to biking. Hiking in the mountains and swimming and fishing in the river are activities that bring people here together. As one 6th grader wrote, “We all see the sun rising and setting, we share adventures up and down the mountains.” Another student wrote, “I showed parts of life here: an owl home in a tree, a fish splashing in the water.” Many students chose to represent the natural beauty of Lincoln and wrote about the peace we find in the rivers and mountains of western Vermont.
We are having an excellent time raising brook trout in our classroom and feel lucky to be able to eventually release the fish into our home waters. We are looking forward to receiving quilt squares from other schools and we truly hope you enjoy the ones we have made. We had a lot of fun creating these pieces as they express some essential elements of our community and the place we call home.
The 5th and 6th graders of Lincoln Community School
(and our teachers, Mollie, Mikaela, Anne Marie, and Peter)
Nice job, Mollie and Mikaela!!
Joe Mark, Lead Facilitator, Vermont Trout in the Classroom
In June 2012, I retired after 40 years in higher education, having spent the last 32 years of my career as dean at Castleton. One of the first things I volunteered to do in retirement was to work with Jim Mirenda to help the Dorset School, where his kids and my Vermont grandkids attend, start a TIC program. Gradually that commitment grew into my current role, which is both demanding and highly rewarding.