Author Archives: J. Ashley Laux

Middlebury Volunteer Tutors

Middlebury Volunteer Tutors is a network of Middlebury College students looking to support staff and faculty with volunteer tutors for children K-12. Midd V.T. arose during the COVID-19 pandemic in response to a direct request from staff/faculty and was an expression of solidarity and gratitude for the deep care staff/faculty members have always given to the students. It is volunteerbased and we coordinate pairings between the Middlebury College students and children based on selected subject areas/skills. Visit go/middvt to learn more and fill out the application for your child to be matched with a volunteer tutor. Questions? Contact Center for Community Engagement advisor Tenzin Dorjee, tndorjee@middlebury.edu.

Community Friends mentoring program for children ages 6-12

Community Friends is a one-on-one mentoring program that matches Middlebury College students with children ages 6-12 in Addison County.  The program was started in 1960 and is currently in its 61st year of operation. After getting matched with a student, mentees begin to meet regularly one-on-one with their mentor for about two hours each week. The mentor and mentee coordinate the timing of that meeting, based on mutual availability. 

In non-pandemic times, mentors and mentees often play games, construct crafts, and attend group events. This fall, mentoring will happen virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Parents, teachers, guidance counselors and other service providers can fill out the mentee referral form here to start the application process. For questions or inquiries about Community Friends, please contact Lead Student Coordinator Maddie at comfriends@middlebury.edu, or Mentoring and Outreach AmeriCorps VISTA member Tenzin Dorjee, tndorjee@middlebury.edu, 802.443.5082.

Tiffany Nourse Sargent ’79 Retires, Leaving Strong Community Engagement Legacy

Please visit this post on the Center for Community Engagement blog as we celebrate some of Tiffany’s major career accomplishments, announce the new Public Leadership Award created in her honor, and share reflections from colleagues and from Tiffany herself during this time of transition.

United Way of Addison County Emerging Leaders Program

Shared on behalf of United Way of Addison County

Come watch the Super Bowl this Sunday with the Emerging Leaders of Addison County on the 13 ft screen at the Marquis Theater and learn about the VT Brew Arena Football team coming to Middlebury! Kick off is at 6:30 PM. Come early as the kitchen will be open and participate in the Pool. We will be offering two different Super Bowl pools for you to participate in.  Both will offer great prizes for you, which includes drinks, passes and more!

Please RSVP on Eventbrite to this event as there is a space limit. (don’t worry….it is free to attend!) Contact Linnea at the United Way of Addison County for more information: Linnea@unitedwayaddisoncounty.org.  

2020 Decennial Census is Coming

Sharing this information for faculty and staff on behalf of the Middlebury Complete Count Committee:
Every ten years, the U.S. Constitution requires an enumeration of
all persons in the United States, commonly referred to as The
Census. The count produced by this effort will help determine how
more than $675 billion will be distributed to states and localities
annually for the next ten years through more than 65 federal
programs. These programs include special education funding,
school lunch programs, meals on wheels, fuel assistance,
Medicare, housing rehabilitation, community economic
development and revitalization block grants, early childhood
education and cooperative extension offices.
Vermont relies on federal money for roughly one-third of its
annual budget. George Washington University’s GW Institute of
Public Policy estimates that, in 2016 alone, nearly $2.5 billion in
funding flowed to Vermont via 55 large federal spending
programs. The potential impact of a Census under-count,
therefore, can be significant.

April 1, 2020 is Census Day
This year, for the first time, you will have three options for
participating in the Census: online, by telephone, or with a
traditional, short-form written response. Look for your invitation to
respond in the mail or at your door.
It is critical that everyone
participate and that all household members be counted. The 2020
Decennial Census will be available online in mid-March.
Please do your part to make sure that Middlebury and all of
Addison County counts!
For more information, check out the
2020 Decennial Census page
on the Town of Middlebury website!

HOPE Holiday Shop

Each year HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects) hosts a Holiday Shop that helps families who could not otherwise purchase new gifts provide something special for their children  for Christmas. At the shop, families pick out an outfit, two toys, art supplies, and two books for each child. In 2018, the Holiday Shop helped nearly 600 children have a happier holiday.

Sign up here, either individually or with others, to bring in a gift ($25 suggested value, suggestions provided in the sign-up form). Then, bring your unwrapped gifts to the Center for Community Engagement (20 Old Chapel Road – the DKE House next to Axinn) Monday-Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. by Tuesday, December 10th. Be sure to sign in when  delivering your gifts so we know who has delivered gifts and their estimated value. Contact Ellie Dickerson at edickerson@middlebury.edu with questions. 

NESCAC Votes Summit

Over 30 students, staff, faculty, and administrators from eight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) convened at Bread Loaf Campus for a weekend summit as part of the NESCAC Votes initiative. NESCAC Votes aims to tackle the issue of low college student voter turnout by advancing nonpartisan civic learning and voter participation on each of the 11 campuses. NESCAC campuses set a collective goal to increase the student voter turnout rate by at least 11 points across the 11 campuses in the 2020 general election, from an average of 53% to 64%.   

Ashley Laux in Middlebury College’s Center for Community Engagement and Andrew Lardie in Bowdoin College’s McKeen Center for the Common Good along with the ALL IN Democracy Challenge coordinated a series of conference calls this fall for stakeholders across NESCAC campuses. They also co-coordinated the summit, which was designed to deepen relationships and share knowledge about electoral engagement across institutions. Tiffany Sargent, director of the Center for Community Engagement welcomed attendees at Bread Loaf. Tiffany said, “it is wonderful to join our NESCAC colleagues to share knowledge and best practices in support of civic action. Providing students with encouragement and opportunity to engage in democratic practices is fundamental to our shared liberal arts identity and helps foster the kinds of lifelong habits to which we all aspire.”

Campus teams spent 24 hours together building democratic action plans and sharing strategies for deepening civic learning on campuses with a focus on the 2020 presidential election. After returning from Bread Loaf, schools will finalize their action plans and submit to the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge in December 2019. Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, says initiatives like NESCAC Votes “focus collective energy on adopting data-driven practices and institutionalizing campus efforts to help students develop the skills needed to be active and informed participants in our democracy.” According to MiddVote student organization leader Nora Bayley ’21, the peer-to-peer components of the Summit were a highlight. Bayley shares, “I learned so much from our peers at the other NESCAC schools and came away with lots of exciting ideas for how to build up to the 2020 election.”

See more coverage of the summit at VT Digger .