DORSET - One of the most special fall traditions at Maple Street School is when kindergartners venture to Mad Tom's Orchard in East Dorset to pick apples.

Part of Maple Street School's curriculum for the younger grades includes opportunities to observe and be curious about nature, developing a healthy respect for the community and themselves.

The kindergardeners prepared for this trip to the orchard by learning a few types of trees native to Vermont, how apples bloom and grow, and reading books on apples. At the orchard, Tom showed them how to pick apples correctly to preserve the bud for next season's fruit. Tom also explained why there are so many varieties of apples at an orchard, and why some apples are ready sooner than others. The students said, "Thank you!" to Tom when they left the orchard, and when the students returned to school, they used newly introduced math skills to measure and make apple juice, apple crisp, and apple pie.

Maple Street School is an independent day school serving children in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade.

For more information about the school, call Admissions Director Jeff Barclay at (802) 362-7137 or visit on the web at www.maplestreetschool.com.