The challenge gives Vermont residents a way to stay busy, stay safe and help their communities this winter. Developed with a coalition of statewide partners, it’s filled with activities in four subject areas essential to a responsible citizenry: history, government, news literacy and community service.
Participants can get history and government credit for listening to episodes of VPR’s Brave Little State and But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. They can also earn news literacy credit by tuning in to one of the state’s bi-weekly COVID-19 press conferences, which air on VPR Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m.
Here's what participants have learned from those activities so far:
Government #4: Listen to But Why’s episode "Why Can't Kids Vote?”:
"We all listened to the podcast individually and learned a lot! It is still not fair!" - Team Pierce Peeps, a fourth grade class in Montpelier
History #8: Listen to the Brave Little State episode on French-Canadian ties:
"We learned that our French-Canadian grandparents and great-grandparents may have suffered discrimination when they arrived in Vermont. We learned that sometimes speaking French was discouraged and that language and names might have affected social class. We learned that the strong French communities where our grandmothers grew up were not unusual!" - Phillips Family, South Burlington
News Literacy #1: Listen to the governor's press conference:
"The press conferences are informative and one of our favorite ways to get information about what's happening in the state with regards to Covid. [Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark] Levine does a particularly excellent job of breaking things down in an easy to understand format." - Evergreen Woods Homeschool, Waterbury
In all, participants can choose from more than 40 civics-related activities. They're geared toward Vermont K-12 students, with activities appropriate for all ages, but young people and adults are encouraged to form teams and do activities together. Most of the tasks — such as making a poster to promote Green Up Day, playing Virtual Vermont Trivia, streaming documentaries, making cards and care packages for isolated seniors and reading a local newspaper — can be done from home.
The challenge launched last month and ends on Friday, March 5. Full rules and eligibility info are available here.