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Learning Matters Blog Archive

Introducing VAL’s New Executive Director, Tara Brooks!

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Vermont Adult Learning has welcomed Tara Brooks as our new Executive Director! Tara, a lifelong Vermonter from Addison County, is dedicated to being a compassionate leader who focuses on building community and creating a positive and productive work environment that inspires people to be their best selves. Tara believes in leading with kindness, humor, and

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Pride Month Reflection on Student and Educator Rights

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Did you know it is not uncommon for older high school students to leave the traditional school system due to bullying or harassment, unaddressed learning difficulties, and/or an increased need for social/emotional support? LGBTQ+ students are no exception, often navigating both overt forms of bullying and more insidious microaggressions from others such as intentionally using

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Fitness Reflections: How VAL Students Benefit from Physical Education

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Adult learners are no exception when it comes to getting those PhysEd credits! High School Completion students from our Springfield Learning Center recently shared some reflections on physical education and how learning about health and fitness has benefited them: “Focusing on my personal fitness has made me realize (more than I already knew) how out

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Student Writing: Nicole

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Nicole was first profiled in 2022 as a participant in our Energy Works training program. The opportunity ignited a passion for weatherization work and she now helps train new Energy Works participants through our partnership with BROC Community Action in Rutland. Read about Nicole’s weatherization career journey in her own words below! My background prior

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Brattleboro Learners Explore Art, Space, and More!

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Earlier this month, students and staff from the Brattleboro Learning Center enjoyed a field trip to Springfield, MA where they enjoyed visiting different museums and cultural attractions. Math Instructor Kavya Ganesh Reisig recounts their adventures below, providing insights into their exploration of art and science: A few days after the eclipse, on April 12, 2024,

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Staff Profile: Tara

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Meet Tara, the newest addition to VAL’s Leadership Team, in our latest staff profile! Name: Tara Farrell Role at VAL: Director of Human Resources Where were you born? Burlington, Vermont. But I grew up in Jericho, and consider Richmond my second hometown. What is your educational background? I graduated from Rice in South Burlington and moved to

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Amanda: The best thing about all of this is wanting to do it

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As a student in grade school, Amanda excelled at math and working with her hands. Reading and writing, however, always posed a challenge and she ultimately graduated with a low reading level. “I’d been out of school for probably 34-35 years and I had not yet gotten above maybe low fourth-grade level,” Amanda shared. Over

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Staff Profile: Nina

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Name: Nina Halsted Role at VAL: Student Support Specialist at Springfield Learning Center and Educational Advisor at White River Junction Learning Center Where were you born? I was born in Chicago, Illinois. I was actually born on N Halsted St believe it or not. From the time I was two years old and onwards, I grew

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English Language Learners Enjoy Immersive Opportunities Across Regions

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Learning a new language can be a challenge, but with the support of VAL’s compassionate English Language Learning (ELL) instructors, it becomes a journey filled with exciting discoveries! Students in our ELL programs have enjoyed several opportunities over the past year to dive into immersive experiences that bring the English language to life. Last summer,

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