Three-day church lawn sale runs until SaturdayThe annual Fall Lawn Sale is back at Wesley United Methodist Church at 56 South Main St.

The sale raises funds to support the church and features an eclectic mix of household items, children’s gear and more donated by local residents. The sale starts Thursday and will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to noon.

Items for sale will be set up under the tent on the front lawn and inside the church dining room. Donations are welcome.

Mary Harris Girls Youth Soccer Day is Sunday

Harwood Girls Soccer hosts its annual Mary Harris Youth Soccer Day this Sunday, Oct. 3, starting at 10 a.m. at Mad River Park in Waitsfield.

All K-8 girls youth soccer players in the Harwood Union School District are invited to attend to run drills and practice games with the high school varsity and junior varsity players.

The annual event has for years been a way for the high school program to connect with younger players. Harwood Coach Mike Vasseur renamed it in 2017 for Mary Harris, a former Harwood soccer player who died in a car crash on Interstate 89 in October 2016 along with four other local teens.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to noon.

Mad River Chorale starts holiday concert rehearsalsAfter a delay to watch statistics for COVID-19 transmission in the area, Mad River Chorale has begun rehearsals for its fall/holiday term.

The community chorus started Monday rehearsals Sept. 27 to prepare for holiday concerts in Waitsfield and Waterbury on Dec. 11 and 12 featuring a program of varied holiday music.

The chorale’s conductor Mary Jane Austin and the board of directors have settled on a procedure for rehearsing which they hope will make singers feel as safe as possible while making choral music together. Rehearsals will be held in the chorus room at Harwood Union High School, starting at 7 p.m., and will last one hour for now. That’s shorter than a typical rehearsal.

The group’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies include requiring that all singers be fully vaccinated and wear a mask. The chorale will have available masks that are now required at Central Vermont Medical Center for those who would like to use them. Singers will be seated and distanced during rehearsal.

The chorus room has a ventilation system that surpasses recommended standards for singing groups. Any singer not feeling well in any way will be asked to stay home.

New singers are welcome and may still join the Mad River Chorale. Dues are charged and scholarships are available. There will be no charge for sheet music for the upcoming singing term, and a number of aids are provided to help singers learn the music. For more information, visit madriverchorale.net online or call 802-496-4781.

Oct. 9: Making art in and with nature in DuxburyThe Duxbury Land Trust hosts a special event Saturday, Oct. 9, with board member and teaching artist Rachel Mirus leading a workshop on foraged art at the land trust swimming hole in North Duxbury.

Participants will create art working with materials made from nature such as berry paint, lichen inks, and feather-dip pens. Mirus will have pre-made materials to share and will demonstrate how to make a few of them as well.

An accomplished and renowned illustrator, Mirus’ passion is using art to teach life sciences to all ages. Originally trained in biology, she has worked in research labs and museums across the country. “In my own art-making, drawing is always about looking deeper and learning more about my subject. I especially like up-close and personal portraits of the very small or the uncharismatic, like spiders or worms,” she said.

Mirus is a regular contributor to The Outside Story features by Northern Woodlands magazine.

Scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m., the event Oct. 9 will be held outdoors unless it’s raining. The swimming hole is the first of several properties conserved over the years by the Duxbury Land Trust. Find it 1.5 miles up Camels Hump Road from the intersection with River Road. Park along the roadside.

This event is free and open to all ages, particularly families. Participants are encouraged to wear masks, especially if not vaccinated. Questions? Contact Mirus at rachel.marie.sargent@gmail.com

Grant helps primary school buy new bikesBrookside Primary School recently was awarded a $3,400 grant by the American Heart Association’s school-based youth programs, Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge to purchase bikes for its physical education program.

The annual grants support schools with funding for wellness programs. The national nonprofit is using its grant programs to supply schools with more resources such as physical activity equipment, water bottle filling stations, and educator training opportunities.

“Bike riding is a fundamental recreational skill that promotes a lifetime of physical activity and heart health. With this grant, we are purchasing 10 high quality bikes from Waterbury Sports to ensure that all students have multiple opportunities to learn to ride while attending Brookside Primary School,” said Brookside PE Teacher Carol Baitz.

Another three bikes will be included in the purchase using $900 from school funds this year, she added.

Baitz said she hoped to have the bikes in time for students to do some biking this fall during PE classes and again in the spring. “Those that are learning stay on the pavement. The kids that are good riders turn the whole playground into an off-road course,” she said.

The Heart Association programs raise funds while challenging students to be physically active. It will award grants twice a year to schools across the U.S. Learn more about the programs online at heart.org/kids.

Virtual book club returns with memoir on opioid epidemicThe Children’s Literacy Foundation virtual book club returns on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. to discuss the new memoir, “unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal,” with Northeast Kingdom author Brett Ann Stanciu attending via Zoom.

A graduate of Marlboro College, Stanciu is a recipient of a 2020 Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant and her latest title follows her first book, “Hidden View,” a novel about sugaring and marriage.

Stanciu is a librarian who worked with the foundation in 2018 when the Woodbury Community Library received a CLiF Rural Libraries grant.

The book description of “unstitched” reveals how her real-life experience informed her writing: “A stranger, rumored to be a heroin addict, repeatedly breaks into the small-town library Brett Ann Stanciu runs. After she tries to get law enforcement to take meaningful action against him…he dies by suicide. When she realizes how little she knows about opioid misuse, she sets out on a mission, seeking insight from others, such as people in recovery, treatment providers, the town police chief, and Vermont’s US attorney.”

The virtual book club was created during the COVID-19 pandemic to support regional authors and connect readers. Erika Nichols-Frazer, the foundation’s communications manager, said the book focuses on an important issue to many communities in the region. “We believe it’s crucial to learn more about the [opioid] crisis and how we can help,” she said. “I expect that ‘unstitched’ will spark a conversation and build awareness around this complicated issue that impacts so many of the children and families we work with.”

Readers can purchase the book from Bridgeside Books in Waterbury for a 15% discount (mention the CLiF book club). Sign up to attend the book club session under Events on the Children’s Literacy Foundation website clifonline.org. The nonprofit Children’s Literacy Foundation promotes literacy among low-income, at-risk, and rural children in Vermont and New Hampshire with grants and book giveaways.

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