While partisan politics pollute the national scene and odds a former president being criminally indicted seem likely, it’s easy to lose track of the fact that good things are also happening.
To balance national and international news with failing banks and Russia’s unwarranted war on Ukraine, let’s look around our state and our own community.
The Legislature is currently considering a bill that would permanently fund universal school meals through the state’s education fund. That’s great news. The Legislature passed and Governor Scott signed legislation in July 2022 making universal free school meals available to all Vermont students for the 2022-2023 school year.
Meanwhile, our middle and high school students and their teachers/coaches and advisors are racking up the wins. We’ve got Crossett Brook Middle School students winning Junior Iron Chef awards. We’ve got Harwood Union Middle School students who have won the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM challenge in Vermont for the second year in a row, winning $12,000 for the school.
The competition requires a proposal and video defining the problem the students seek to solve with STEM, focusing on how the project will make an impact on the community.
These kids watched all the wood being removed from the damaged gym floor and are repurposing it to build bird, bat and bee houses to help slow population lost among bats, birds and bees. They’re doing what they can to help biodiversity and also keeping the old flooring out of the landfill.
Meanwhile, community organizations like the Mad River Ridge Runners are building themselves a home and the Mad River Valley Dog Park committee is working on The Valley’s first dog park while Three Peaks Medical Clinic at Lincoln Peak has kept 300 people from having to go the emergency room or urgent care. Local citizens are forming a citizens climate change group to educate the community.
Yes, certainly, bad things are happening in Vermont (homelessness and lack of defined state policies) and beyond. But good things are happening too. It’s way too easy to doom scroll on your phone or tablet or computer, newspaper or television, reading only the negative news. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and ignore bad news, but we don’t have to wallow in it.