Aurora School wins $2K grant from ING

MIDDLEBURY — Aurora School in Middlebury has been awarded a $2,000 grant by the 2012 ING Unsung Heroes Awards Program to help fund a program called “Year of You.” Aurora School’s program was one of 100 programs across the country chosen to receive the grant and was the only one selected from the state of Vermont. The grant will be used to fund the program with science equipment and community-building field trips.
“Year of You (Empowering the Individual Through Community)” focuses on how individual elements within a system work together to make a whole. The program starts with a study of the students themselves being components within the whole that is their community. The focus then zooms in to the individual student as the whole in a unit on the human body. The final segment brings the study to the microscopic level, examining the cell as the whole.
Teacher Danielle Levine explains, “This project links academic and social learning in a powerful way. It creates for students a pattern that pervades all they see and empowers them to view themselves as important components in many different and vibrant systems. Our kids have been totally engrossed so far.”
This is the third time in three years Aurora School has been recognized for its science programs. First, in 2011, students were finalists in a nationwide NASA science challenge. In 2012, Aurora School received a Bentley Award to fund and support its integrated STEAM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). About winning this ING grant, school director Susan Vigne says, “Aurora School is honored to have been selected and excited about all the opportunities these funds will make possible.”
Since 1996, ING U.S. has awarded nearly $4 million to 1,700 innovative educators across the United States. Each project is judged on its creativity, innovation and ability to positively influence students. ING hopes to encourage and support teachers to use new teaching methods and techniques that improve learning. At least one grant is awarded in each of the 50 states and they are selected by Scholarship America, a national nonprofit educational support and student aid service organization. For more information about ING and Aurora’s Year of You program, visit the ING website at ing.us/about-ing/citizenship/childrens-education/unsung-heroes/danielle-levine.
Aurora School is a state-recognized kindergarten-through-6th-grade independent school on Peterson Terrace in Middlebury. With an enrollment of 30 students, Aurora focuses on interdisciplinary, experiential learning with a hands-on, multi-age approach.

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