Afterschool and Summer Learning: Bellows Falls students attend advocacy day

BELLOWS FALLS — A select group of Bellows Falls Middle School students attended the Vermont Afterschool & Summer Learning Day in Montpelier last month where they represented the A.I.M. Afterschool Program as Youth Ambassadors in a day of action and advocacy at the Vermont State House. In attendance were Brodie Williams (7th Grade), Kevin Arend-Denko (8th Grade), Maddie River (7th Grade), Terra Carpenter (7th Grade) and Isabella Hammond (7th Grade).

"Summer at A.I.M. saved me and I found the joy of being outdoors. I got to try new things and connect with new friends," said Sapphire Joy, while testifying in front of the Senate Education Committee. "A.I.M. Afterschool is valuable because you can be yourself and choose what do with your own time."

I also had the opportunity to testify before the committee. At A.I.M., we are continuously serving the most vulnerable and at-risk population, while also committing to the notion that EVERY child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The Afterschool & Summer Learning Day took place on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Vermont State House, and brought together program providers, partners, and legislators to advance afterschool and expanded learning policy in Vermont.

Orianna Baez is the program director of the afterschool programs at Bellows Falls Middle School. She can be contacted at


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