Burr and Burton Academy, an independent school that serves as the public high school for eleven towns in southern Vermont's mission is to educate students intellectually and morally for a life of responsibility, integrity and service. The Mountain Campus program which will launch in September 2012, will engage a small group of motivated students in a semester-long study of the mountain landscape: the earth and climate, plants and animals, people, history and culture. Students will receive credits in English, social studies, science, physical education and service learning.
The place-based, interdisciplinary curriculum includes active, field-based learning, adapted to fit with modern research findings on adolescent neurology, attention and memory. The curriculum also includes real work, developing professional skills and building a strong community based on interaction with each other on site and outreach to the greater community around us. Wilderness expeditions are also part of the program. During these trips, the emphasis will be on learning wilderness skills, risk management, emergency medicine, team building and leadership, while exploring natural history, reading, journaling, and of course, having fun. The
Peter J. Lafayette, Executive Director of Berkshire Bank Foundation said "Berkshire Bank Foundation has a long history of support of Burr & Burton Academy. This grant award will help students that otherwise could not afford to participate in this new and innovative educational program. This experience will help these students learn valuable skillsets that will help them succeed in college and life. We are excited to continue our commitment to Burr & Burton Academy."
While Berkshire Bank Foundation's priorities are education and community/economic development projects, it also donates to youth, cultural and human service organizations. A complete list of Berkshire Bank Foundation supported organizations in 2012 can be found by visiting www.berkshirebank.com/foundation.
In addition to financial support, the Foundation also administers the bank's growing Employee Volunteer Program that carries out group community service projects benefiting schools, nonprofit organizations and communities within the bank's service area. In 2011, Berkshire Bank employees completed 67 volunteer projects in which over 50 percent of the bank's employees participated donating over 26,000 hours of service through both company-sponsored and individual volunteer efforts to help their local communities. Berkshire Bank received National Recognition from the American Banker Association for its community service efforts through the Employee Volunteer Program this past February.