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Community and Business News in Brief


Vermont Narratives for Change

Unveiling a Storytelling Campaign to Combat Harassment, Hazing and Bullying in Education

A diverse coalition of Vermont organizations, including the Vermont Human Rights Commission, Outright Vermont, Neighbors for a Safer St. Albans, The Root Social Justice Center, ACLU of Vermont, the Rutland NAACP, the Education Justice Coalition, the Vermont Center for Independent Living, All Brains Belong, Youth 4 Change, the Network against Domestic Violence, and the Vermont Student Anti-Racism Network, is announcing the launch of a new storytelling project to illuminate, document, and address the pervasive issue of harassment and bullying in Vermont’s Pre K–12 education system.

The coalition is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive platform for students and their parents/caregivers to share their personal experiences of hazing, bullying, and harassment. By capturing these narratives directly from those affected, the project will support ongoing efforts to advocate for change both at the local school level and across the entire state. The goal is to ensure the implementation of policies that protect the well-being and dignity of all students, regardless of their backgrounds and identities.

The recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey results have illuminated the concerning prevalence of bullying and harassment among our youths, with far-reaching implications for the mental health, academic performance, and school engagement of students. Furthermore, the inaccessibility of data from the Agency of Education to our community members prevents a complete understanding of the extent of this problem in our state. Urgent action is imperative to address this issue and create a safer, more supportive environment for our students.

The coalition’s “Vermont Narratives for Change: A Storytelling Campaign against Harassment, Hazing and Bullying” invites students and their parents/caregivers to share their stories through a secure and confidential form, an interview with one of our members, or small group discussion. Participants will have the option to decide how their information is used at the end of the survey, ensuring utmost privacy and data security.

For additional information contact Amanda Garcés, director of policy, education, and outreach with the Vermont Human Rights Commission, 802-461-6322; Amanda.garces@vermont.gov; vtnarratives4change.my.canva.site

—press release

Wheels for Warmth Shows No Signs of Tiring in Eighteenth Year

In a year when Vermonters are facing unprecedented losses, damages, restoration, and recovery, the annual Wheels for Warmth event needs every tire people can spare to continue the work of driving safely and living warmly in Vermont.

The annual tire recycle and resale event collects tires to be either recycled or sold at two area events on Saturday, Oct. 28. Proceeds go to emergency heating assistance throughout Vermont provided by Capstone Community Action, BROC Community Action, and the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity.

In 18 years, Wheels for Warmth has raised $670,000 for emergency fuel assistance, sold 25,000 safe donated tires, and recycled 50,000 unsafe tires. We have also seen over 1,100 volunteers contributing time from over 120 companies or organizations, resulting in over 25,000 volunteer hours.

Tires will be collected Thursday, Oct. 26, and Friday, Oct. 27 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre; Casella Waste Systems, Williston; and Casella Construction, Mendon, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Stowe Events Field in Stowe.

The tire sale will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in two locations: the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre and Casella Construction in Mendon.

—press release