Vermont Life -- young writers' pieces
Vermont Life has devoted SEVEN, count 'em, seven pages to the Young Writers Project and young writers. Please buy their magazine. It's far more beautiful in person than on this or their Web site:http://www.vtlife.com/?wPage=p50
Thanks to the students who participated and hope you like their work. Comment below. And check out the related post on the story about YWP: http://youngwritersproject.org/node/48895
We can’t go far in Vermont without seeing the farms that beautify our landscape and feed our families. Yet they also feed our souls. They move us, they inspire us, they speak to us.
Every farm has a story to tell, if you just ask, and when the Young Writers Project — an innovative kids-and-literacy organization — asked Vermont farm children to write about their lives, the kids responded.
The Young Writers Project uses the digital domain to reach kids in the language they speak (see page 49). But as you can see in the stories and photographs that follow, their hopes and dreams are down to earth, and timeless.
Written: Grade 3
Ferrisburgh Central School
Nora lives on the farm her family has owned since 1796 with her mother, Jennifer, father, Jason, and sisters, Claire, Sophie and Hannah. Sometimes she likes to play in the skid steer, which is used to clean the barn and push up feed. She does know how to drive it herself, but today she is just playing.
Nora also likes to sit in the garden and write in her journal. “My third-grade teacher, Miss Downing, loves to write and she got us into writing,” she says. “That’s how I started.”
Written: Grade 11
Oxbow High School
Johnathan has been sugaring for about 10 to 12 years with his father, Brad Calhoun. They don’t make enough to sell yet, just to use for themselves and to give away to family and friends. They really enjoy working together.
“I’ve been working with dad since I was old enough to walk, so I’m following in his footsteps,” says Johnathan. “I try to remember what he’s teaching me. I’m having fun and getting stuff done. He’s teaching me some good life lessons. But don’t tell him I said that.”
Written: Grade 8
Enosburg Falls Middle School
Rachel lived on a farm in Fairfield until she was 8, but still visits the farm of a family friend who lives about a mile from where she grew up.
Rachel’s English teacher encouraged her to send the writing she had done for class into the the Young Writers Project. Her $50 award was “exciting and surprising” — the first she’s won for her writing. She says she is now considering journalism as a career choice, but regardless of her career path, “Someday in the future, I’d like to write a book on the side.”
Conner St. Pierre
Written: Grade 9
Cold Hollow Career Center, Enosburg Falls
Conner is a third-generation farmer. His grandfather farmed Center View Farm, a Dairy of Distinction, for 40 years. He sold the farm to Norm, Conner’s father, 11 years ago.
The St. Pierres milk cows, sell maple sap and firewood, and hay the fields. The day I photographed Conner, he was taking over the duties of the farm while his dad and older brother were away on a hunting trip with friends in Arkansas. They were gone for the week.
Was he disappointed that he wasn’t on the trip? “Nah, I’m not much of a hunter. Maybe someday.”
While his father is away, Conner drives the feed cart with the haylage (fermented grass that is more nutritious than hay) twice a day. The haylage is mixed with grain for feed, and he drives a skid steer to scoop up the feed.
Here he is “dry treating” the cows. After their lactation is over, he injects a liquid antibiotic into their udder to keep out the bacteria.