Sunday, December 2, 2018

Early Winter!

What a trying time most of us had last week! I hope that everyone was safe through it all. We used some of the examples of people melting snow to wash up, carrying buckets of water from a nearby stream and cooking on wood stoves to talk to our students about unexpected hardships and how we find the strength and inner resources to deal with them. We also stressed the importance of helping others who may be in a worse situation than ourselves. Children were full of their own stories, some of them a bit exaggerated, which made us laugh, something we all needed at the end of that week.

Hopefully, next week we will be able to fully launch into our new session with the following programs: “Indoor Soccer”, L.E.A.D., promoting positive, pro-social attitudes and behavior, “Clay and Kids”, “Woodworking II” and “Forest Stuff”. And as always, we promote physical activity in all kinds of weather. Last week, our students took advantage of the latest snowfall to make igloos - they all came back in pink cheeked and happy.

It is never too late to enroll so please email the site coordinator at or see the Office for a registration form.

We are pleased to say that we are collaborating with the tutoring program by having students join us before or after their tutoring session. Also, we would like to extend an invitation to all 3/4 grade students to come to us right after school, have snack, help with homework and then be walked over to practice. And the cost is only $2 per day.

Last but not least, we are proud to announce that we were just awarded 4 stars from for the quality of our program, so exciting! We are here to serve all families so please never hesitate to let us know how we can help.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Fall and Session I almost over

Ready or not (hope you all got your snow tires on), winter weather is here.

Here, at One Planet we like to be outside as much as possible and so before we get too much snow and it will be time for sledding, our students like to take our scooters out for a spin, play "capture the flag" or kickball as much as possible. We also have Friday Forest program, a great end of the week activity.

The highlight of our Fall Session was the Halloween Carnival attended by over 40 children and some parents. We were honored to have a representative from Senator Bernie Sanders' Office attend this event. The Senator wrote us an email telling us that when he was the mayor of Burlington, he started the first afterschool program there and now votes for keeping and increasing federal funding of these programs.

As it gets darker earlier, our enrichment programs are usually held inside. They are truly enriching and captivating. The last half an hour feels like family time. Students pick an activity from arts, Lego, STEM and game stations. We like to stay close, building up teamwork and good relationships.
I am proud to say that our students are great friends, the older ones helping the younger ones and the younger ones looking up to the older ones.

Everyone is welcome and please remember that most children could attend for free - we are always available to explain how this can be accomplished - just give me a call or send an e-mail. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

One Planet settling in...

Like always, the beginning of every school year is pretty hectic for all.
It was not different for One Planet staff and students. We have the same Site Coordinator but two new Head Teachers: Cynthia McPhetres, who is also one of our Program Leaders ("Of Books and Kids") and Lauren Booth who has been working in Bethel for a couple of years and now is also here part time.

As for students, we are happy to have a bunch of our "old timers", who we have been happily watching grow up and also some new faces, so much welcomed! We have room for more and it is never too late to sign up so please contact me, Jola Labejsza ( or come visit us anytime to see what we are doing. And we do a lot of fun, physical and enriching things. You can send your child here for free if you apply for subsidy or talk to us about scholarships - we are here to work with you. We really believe that children can benefit from spending their after school time in a safe, caring setting where they can spend time with their friends, playing and learning.

We also plan exciting field trips on the early dismissal days. This year, we have gone to the Corn Maze and everyone "got lost" having fun!

The weather has changed quickly so we will be active in the gym on rainy days but still spend as much time outside as we can. Stay warm and we are looking forward to seeing you at our Halloween Festival, October 30th and on other days as well!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Hard to believe that there's only less than 3 weeks left of school and it feels like it, finally!
One Planet children want to stay outside as much as possible and we are happy to do just that. The playground is the old favorite but the boys also like to shoot baskets while the girls like to build fairy houses. For the last couple of weeks, our students liked to adorn us, the staff, with dandelion necklaces, braces and hair ornaments. We also learn about the nutritional value of all kind of wild growing plants.

We all kept our fingers crossed while planning our last field trip to For-U mini-golf. And we got lucky with a beautiful sunny weather. Bethel Afterschool joined us and all the kids had a lot of fun. Afterwards, we all walked to to the ice-cream stand to choose our treat - tasted so good after the exercise we got. It doesn't happen often that all the children wanted to sit still for longer than a few minutes - that way they could finish their ice-cream without having it drop to the ground while being their busy selves:)

And now onto the countdown to the first day of summer vacation!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

So, it's Spring according to the calendar but of course it doesn't look or feel like it yet. At least, we dodged the snow storm that hit the East coast again today.

A sure sign that we need spring weather pronto is when the children are tired of putting on all the snow gear to go play in the snow. Recently they started navigating towards the play structure instead of sledding. They also ask to play in the gym which we do during inclement weather. There, they play basketball, catch the flag, dodge ball and other games.

Our new session started on March 7th and comprises programs like "Make Your Move" with Kate Truini, who is our wonderful and energetic new Head Teacher, "Nature Art" with Anne Stiebing, "Let's Move" with Holly Mugford, "Let's Dance" with Susan Rule and "Famous Artists" with Cynthia McPhetres. It's still not too late to sign up for one or all of our programs! 

On some half-days we organize field trips, our latest one took us to Head Over Heels Gymnastics in Rutland - all the students had a great time! Next Friday we are going to the movies!

Happy Spring!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Some of us are already tired of this year's winter but children love ice and snow but not the children!
They are just enjoying sledding, ice skating or simply rolling down the snowy hills behind Rochester School.

We go outside almost every day. On those days that we had subzero temperatures, we spent at least half an hour playing in the gym and children enjoy that as well - it lets them run around and have some physical activity after a long school day.

Just before winter vacation, our Director Carrie (thank you!) baked close to 20 huge gingerbread cookies
and provided all kinds of yummy decorations which our students were all too happy to put on top of the gingerbread people making them into delicious pieces of art as you can see on the photos attached.

As we all know, this winter has been quite a challenge with icy roads, snow on top of ice and rain mixed in. One would say, a typical New England weather.

One Planet has been trying to adopt daily to this kind of unpredictable conditions. And I am happy to say that we finally have been able to start using our ice skating rink, which we are lucky to have thanks to our wonderful local Fire Department. All are invited to join us, we have quite an assortment of ice skates on site but if your child has his/her own they are more than welcome to bring them.
Taking a rest!

Our usual day for skating is Monday but we do try to take advantage of this fun activity loved by all children as often as possible, weather permitting.

Once inside, we offer a myriad of fun and educational programs to keep the children happy, occupied and learning new skills.

On school's next half-day, Friday, February 9th, we are planning to take children swimming at UVAC - details to come.