On October 23, 2015

Mettawee Community School offers caring blankets and caring words


Mrs. Robertson’s 4th Grade of the Mettawee Community School led a fall bulbs fund-raiser to benefit the You Are Never Alone Foundation’s Caring Blankets effort.

WEST PAWLET—On Wednesday, Sept. 30, the Mettawee Community School launched its 2015-2016 Books and Beyond Program at All-School Meeting. This year’s theme, Blanket Ourselves with Words, was chosen based on the Mettawee Community School’s support of the You Are Never Alone Foundation and its Caring Blankets effort on behalf of the homeless.

Third graders and MCS reading leaders Mrs. Donaldson, Mrs. Ahlfeld and Ms. Kelly led the Books and Beyond kick-off event. The third graders read words and quotes that were important for the school community to know. Their words were placed around a quilt to give the school a visual of what this year’s themed Books and Beyond bulletin boards will look like.

Salley Gibney, founder of the You Are Never Alone Foundation, attended the All-School Meeting, along with other foundation members. Gibney said that the Mettawee Community School had previously participated in the foundation’s I Matter, You Matter program, which reminds us all that each person matters. Gibney added, “The foundation inspires caring connections in our community by offering hands-on opportunities to be kind.”

According to Gibney, this year the You Are Never Alone Foundation (YANAF) has partnered with the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless to bring awareness of homelessness through the Let’s Talk About Homelessness Program. After a discussion about homelessness, school students are offered the opportunity to sponsor a woolen Caring Blanket with the “I matter, you matter” message for someone without a home or in transition. This may be a child, an adult, a veteran. Each Caring Blanket will have a card with the names of the students who sponsor the blanket as a reminder of their personal caring connection.

MCS Principal Brooke DeBonis said, “Our Mettawee students, faculty and staff will be supporting the You Are Never Alone Foundation’s Caring Blankets effort all year long. Mrs. Robertson’s fourth grade kicked off our school’s participation with a Fall Bulbs fund-raiser. All students had the opportunity to take part and try to raise money for the Caring Blankets.”

Robertson said, “The project has been about building confidence, self-esteem, leadership skills and most of all it is about teaching children to be grateful for what they have. Our school community raised over $800 for the foundation to purchase Caring Blankets. Between the 50 percent profit from the fall bulbs sales and the donations, we’ll be able to purchase 32 warm blankets for the homeless. I’m so proud of my students and the Mettawee Community School, and its community, for supporting this amazing cause.”

DeBonis explained, “The You Are Never Alone Foundation’s focus, Let’s Talk About Homelessness, has provided our school the opportunity to be involved with a service project to support homeless families within our community. It was amazing how much our community was able to raise in just a few weeks!”

Gibney concluded, “We have always been and continue to be touched by the caring that is so apparent when you enter the Mettawee Community School. Principal Brooke DeBonis, the faculty, staff and students embrace the principles of caring and respect for self and others by continually reaching out to their community.” Gibney added, “We were especially impressed when the third graders shared words and quotes important to them based on caring and respect as part their Books and Beyond Program for 2015-16. Thank you Mettawee Community School for all you do. You are an example to us all. We love you!”

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