Local United Way Donates to NCH and Umbrella

NCH donation Jan '16 (2) Zutano G&S Umbrella Jan '16 003


(Photos #NCH Donation Jan ’16 and Umbrella #3 Jan ’16)







Local United Way Donates to NCH and Umbrella

The Vermont company Zutano, Inc. of Cabot recently made a donation of new children’s clothing to Green Mountain United Way to be distributed throughout its five-county region for families in need.  In Orleans County, some of that clothing was donated to North Country Hospital’s Maternal/Child Health Department and to the Umbrella office in Newport.  “The Maternal/Child Health Unit staff of NCH are extremely grateful to the Green Mountain United Way for choosing us to share their generous gift of beautiful, colorful, new infant and toddler clothing.  The clothing will brighten many of our pediatric families’ day and hospital stay,” said Director Ann-Marie Dohn.

Pictured left to right are Ann-Marie Dohn, Madeleine Roy, Marketing Director for GMUW, and Wendy Franklin, Director of Development & Community Relations at NCH.  Also pictured are Roxie Rivard of Umbrella and Madeleine Roy.

For more information about Green Mountain United Way, please visit www.gmunitedway.org or call their Derby Line office at 802-647-2148.

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Keep More of What You Earn? Yes, Please!


Today we’re celebrating. We’re celebrating a proven tool that helps thousands of workers in STATE keep more of what they earn to pay for things like reliable transportation to get to work, child care, housing and food.  We’re celebrating that Congress took action at the end of 2015 to save this resource.  We’re tipping our hat to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and what it means to working families in CITY/COUNTY.

Research finds that the EITC encourages work, supports family financial stability and leads to long-term gains in child health and academic success.

Beyond the data, we see the power of the credit firsthand because Green Mountain United Way, our community partners, and hundreds of volunteers each year take action to connect hundreds of people to the EITC.  And just last tax season, Green Mountain United Way, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, helped connect hundreds of local people to receive tax refunds – money coming right back into our community and being spent at local businesses.

We’re thankful that Congress took action at the end of last year to save this vital resource for millions of working Americans.

And as tax season kicks off, we want to make sure that our community connects to the credits through VITA and MyFreeTaxes.com, a site where individuals or families earning $62,000 or less in 2015 can file their state and local taxes for free online.

So celebrate with us today. Thank Congress, check out MyFreeTaxes.com, and spread the good word online (#EITCAwarenessDay). Cheers!


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Mobius and Supporters Celebrate National Mentoring Month at the Vermont Statehouse

Wed, 01/27/2016 – 12:19pm


Mobius hosted its annual Mentoring Celebration at the Vermont Statehouse on Thursday, January 14. Nearly 100 adult volunteer mentors, youth mentees, program staff and supporters from across the state gathered together to officially recognize January 2016 as Mentoring Month in Vermont. The celebration was made possible through funding support from lead sponsor Redstone Commercial Group, and other local business sponsors.

This year’s celebration featured Comcast’s presentation of the Vermont Mentor of the Year Award to Bob Wheel, a resident of South Burlington and a mentor through Spectrum Youth and Family Services. The event also included remarks by 2016 Vermont Mentoring Month Spokesperson Michael Schirling, Vermont Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe, and Katarina Lisaius, outreach representative from the Office of Senator Bernie Sanders.

“It truly was an honor to be awarded the Comcast “Mentor of the Year” award,” said Wheel. “I prefer to think of the award as “Mentor Pair of the Year,” as the success of the mentoring partnership that Ryan and I enjoy certainly belongs to my mentee as much as it belongs to me, if not more so. And as Ryan’s mom put it, congratulations to all of Vermont’s mentors, for in her opinion we are all winners.”

Sarvesh Sharma, a 13-year-old mentee through the Girls/Boyz First mentoring program, read aloud a proclamation from the Governor recognizing January as Mentoring Month in Vermont. Later in the afternoon, Representative Leigh Dakin (Windsor-3-1) of the Vermont House of Representatives led the reading of a resolution approved by the House and Senate also marking January as Mentoring Month.

Schirling and the other participating legislators and supporters publicly recognized the adult mentors, youth mentees, and mentoring supporters in attendance, as well as the year-round service of the more than 140 mentoring programs and 2,300 volunteer mentors throughout the state. Mentors and mentees were also treated to lunch in the statehouse cafeteria, and complimentary tours of the Vermont Statehouse.

In addition to this event, Mobius and mentoring programs around the state are organizing a wide variety of activities throughout the month of January to promote the mentoring cause, including mentor recognition events, mentor pair activities, and benefit dinners at local restaurants.

Mobius’ 2016 Vermont Mentoring Month campaign is made possible through the continued support of Lead Sponsor Redstone Commercial Group and Mentor of the Year/Media Sponsor Comcast/NBC Universal, Statehouse Celebration Sponsors KeyBank, Green Mountain Power, and Cabot Creamery Cooperative, as well as Vermont Mentoring Month Sponsors Heritage Aviation, Local Muscle Moving, Hunger Mountain Coop, 802Cars.Com, and New England Federal Credit Union.

The theme of the 2016 National Mentoring Month campaign is “Mentor In Real Life,” which encourages mentoring supporters and mentors to talk about the real-life benefits of mentoring. Nationally, the campaign is spearheaded by the Harvard School of Public Health, and MENTOR (The National Mentoring Partnership), with support from the Highland Street Foundation.

About Mentoring: According to the “Mentoring Effect,” a study released in 2014 by MENTOR (The National Mentoring Partnership), one in three youth in Vermont will enter adulthood without having a formal or informal mentoring relationship with a caring adult. Based on an abundance of national research, having a mentor can enhance a young person’s learning skills and help him or her build resiliency and pro-social skills. Youth with mentors are less likely to engage in risky behavior with drugs and alcohol, and are more likely to develop positive relationships with peers and adults, and to grow up to become productive members of society.

About Mobius: Now in its fourth year as Vermont’s Mentoring Partnership, Mobius supports more than 140 adult-to-youth mentoring program sites that serve 2,300 mentor pairs throughout the state. In addition to spearheading the Vermont Mentoring Month campaign, Mobius also provides grant funding to mentoring programs (around $340,000 for the 2015-2016 grant year), offers technical support to program staff, maintains an online program directory and referral system for volunteers, manages a quality-based program management database, and works with programs to lead other statewide mentoring initiatives. For more information about Mobius, and mentoring programs and initiatives in Vermont, visit www.mobiusmentors.org(link is external).

Photo caption:

South Burlington resident Bob Wheel (center), a mentor through Spectrum Youth and Family Services, was honored as the 2016 Vermont Mentor of the Year by Comcast V.P. of Government and Regulatory Affairs John Sutich. Wheel was joined on stage by his 16-year-old mentee Ryan Wallace.

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Celebrate Data Privacy Day – January 28th


Common Good Vermont Logo


Celebrate Data Privacy Day
January 28th

Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust is the theme for Data Privacy Day (DPD), an international effort held annually on January 28 to create awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information. This week’s issue will be focused on all things data and technology!


Learn how connectivity impacts your work by registering for the “The Internet of Things” with Steve Shepard on 2/5

Watch: Steve Shepard on Technology & Creativity


Why Does Data Privacy Matter? Privacy Is Good for Business Infographic


Lucy Bernholz isComing to Vermont This Spring! Until Then, Read Her Thoughts on

Data Privacy and Nonprofits


TechSoup Explains…
What Cloud Security Really Means: Confidentiality and Privacy


Know The Risks!
Data Privacy and Cyber Liability: What You Don’t Know Puts Your Mission at Risk

Register for Vermont Nonprofit Legislative Day 3/11

Upcoming Events & Trainings:


Common Good VT Helps Nonprofits to Connect, Learn & Thrive.

Common Good Vermont | Copyright © 2014 | All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is: 294 North Winooski Avenue | Burlington VT | 05401-3680

Contact Us! coordinator@commongoodvt.org | 802.862.1645 x21

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Embrace Winter!

Green Mountain Club

Embrace Winter!

GMC’s 20th Annual Winter Trails Day, Saturday, February 6
Grab your snowshoes or microspikes, gather your friends, embrace
your adventurous spirit, and get ready for Winter Trails Day!

GMC is teaming up with CCOutdoorStore.com to
offer nine FREE guided hikes on a variety of trails in and around Waterbury including two ideal for families.  The festival is part of Waterbury Winterfest, an annual
event celebrating outdoor winter recreation.

This year’s event will be based from CC Outdoor Store on
Route 2 in Waterbury and all hikes will meet at and leave from the store
between 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Camel's Hump_Easter.jpg

Ski and Play!

Family Fun Race & Backcountry Scavenger Hunt,
Saturday, February 13

Spend a day in the Bolton woods participating in the family fun race and
backcountry scavenger hunt followed by an après ski award ceremony, raffle and
auction, all to support the Green Mountain Club’s work to restore Bolton Lodge and
Bryant Camp!

Race registration starts at 9:30 a.m.; Race at 11 a.m.; Backcountry scavenger
hunt 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Après & Awards at 3 p.m.

Botlon image.jpg


3rd Annual Bolton Celebration Tours & Après Ski on Sunday, March 6

Plan for an afternoon of adventure on
Bolton’s conserved land.   The organizations that worked to conserve
this property, Vermont Land Trust, Catamount Trail Association, Friends of
Bolton Valley Nordic & Backcountry
, and Green Mountain Club, will lead you
on snowshoe and ski tours across this unique landscape.

Register online: (Note: all participants who do not have a
season pass will also need to purchase a $5 Bolton Nordic day pass.)

Join GMC’s Publications Committee

This is a fun and energetic group whose collective talents help GMC publish essential hiking guidebooks and maps like the Long Trail Guide, Winter Hiking Guide, and Vermont’s Long Trail Map.  If you have a creative approach and skills in either print or electronic publishing we encourage you to contact GMC Operations and Publications Coordinator Matt Krebs, mkrebs@greenmountainclub.org.


Get Ready to Hike!
2016 Outdoor Skills Workshops

Spring Schedule

Prepare for the hiking season ahead and learn from the

Workshop topics this season include:  wilderness first aid, ultralight
hiking on a budget, introductory backpacking and intro to backpacking for women, and the popular Long Trail end-to-ender panel discussion.

Sit Back and be Inspired!
James P. Taylor Outdoor Adventure Series

Winter and Spring Schedule

Next Show:  Friday, February 19, 7 P.M., GMC Visitor Center, Waterbury Center

Climate Run: Iceland
Join us for an evening of
stunning images and stories about Pavel Cenkl’s solo run across Iceland
from the Atlantic to the Arctic Ocean.


Cool Pic!
Spectacular Ice on the Long Trail to Laraway Lookout
Photo courtesy of Alan Paschell


If you are inspired by what you read, you can donate here to support our trails.

Green Mountain Club. © 2010 All rights reserved.
Green Mountain Club ~ 4711 Waterbury-Stowe Rd. Waterbury Center, VT 05677


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Eighth Year For ‘Blue Socks For Kids’ Collaboration Helps Thousands

Sun, 01/24/2016

Vermont Business Magazine

For the eighth year, thousands of Vermont youngsters in need will be able to enjoy warm, high-quality socks again this winter. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont’s “Blue Socks for Kids” project volunteers delivered 8,400 pairs of premium, Vermont-made merino wool socks to the state’s community action agencies and homeless shelters in December for distribution to children in need of warm clothing just before the holiday season. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, Cabot Hosiery Mills/Darn Tough Vermont, and the state’s community action agencies and homeless shelters again joined forces to improve the health and comfort of Vermont children. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, through its charitable foundation, the Vermont Caring Foundation, provided $21,000 to finance 8,400 pairs of the wool socks made specifically for “Blue Socks for Kids” by Cabot Hosiery Mills of Northfield, the state’s (and Northeast’s) only sock manufacturer.


Ric Cabot, left, and Don George listen last December to Governor Shumlin during the annual “Blue socks for Kids” announcement. Courtesy photo.

“Blue Socks for Kids” has now distributed over 73,000 pairs of socks at a cost of nearly $200,000 over the eight years the project has operated. The funding through the Vermont Caring Foundation uses non-premium sources to generate funds to benefit Vermont children. “Every year we receive heartwarming notes of thanks from children who have received their socks,” noted Don George, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont’s President and CEO. “Their notes reinforce for us just how much the socks are needed and the positive impact our program has had on many Vermont childrens’ health and comfort.” Research from Canada and the United States indicates that warm underclothing is high on the list of needs among the low income and homeless living in cold climates. An Oregon summit on the needs of low income folks and the homeless in winter came up with two priorities – socks and healthcare.

“For nearly 40 years Cabot Hosiery Mills has proudly called Vermont home, with the Darn Tough brand also having been established over a decade ago in the beautiful Green Mountain state. With this honor comes a responsibility to take care of its residents, especially those who cannot afford necessities such as quality socks for colder months,” added Ric Cabot, Darn Tough president and CEO. “The Blue Socks for Kids program is an amazing way for Darn Tough to give back to the community that continues to support us. We view it as a privilege to bring comfort and joy to our youngest fans this holiday season.”

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest health insurer, providing coverage for about 250,000 Vermonters. It employs about 400 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and its Information and Wellness Center in South Burlington’s Blue Mall, and offers group and individual health plans to Vermonters. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available on the Internet at www.bcbsvt.com(link is external) Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

About Darn Tough Vermont:

Darn Tough Vermont is an American manufacturer of premium, all-weather outdoor and lifestyle socks with headquarters in Northfield, Vermont. The company offers both Specialty and Tactical product lines. Darn Tough Vermont’s Specialty Collection includes performance socks in six active wear categories including Ski/Ride, Hike/Trek, Run/Bike, Lifestyle, Hunt, Work as well as Junior styles – all of which carry the industry’s only unconditional lifetime guarantee.

Source: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont 12.2015


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Winter Cold Brings Cold Weather Exception

Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Update


 Vermont 2-1-1

New Specialized Call-line at Vermont 2-1-1

Vermont 2-1-1, a program of the United Ways of Vermont, is now hosting a Help Me Grow Vermont call line to answer parent and caregiver questions about children’s behavior and development and connect families to resources and services in their community. Trained Help Me Grow Vermont Child Development Specialists staff this line. You can reach the Help Me Grow Vermont line by dialing 2-1-1 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. You can leave messages for the Child Development Specialists after hours, as Vermont 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Help Me Grow Vermont 2-1-1 services are confidential. Dial 2-1-1 today!


Read this sample call made to a Help Me Grow Child Development Specialist here. *Names and identifying information were changed to protect confidentiality. 

Vermont 2-1-1
Monthly Call
Volume Report

A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl

December has brought a challenging 2015 to its close and Vermont 2-1-1 call numbers have once again shown clearly that there are many in our state in need of assistance. Our Information and Referral Specialists responded to over 38,000 calls and provided direct personal responses to 35,683 calls throughout the year.  During those same twelve months Vermont 2-1-1 received close to 23,950 visitors to our website. Information and Referral Specialists provided direct personal responses to 35,683 calls.

A warmer than usual December gave Vermonters a short reprieve from winter’s high heating costs.  The recent low oil prices, positively impacting all Vermonters both at home and at the pump, has allowed low-income Vermonters who qualify for fuel assistance to manage their budgets with a bit less stress this winter.  Fuel assistance is a limited, but extremely valuable resource for over 16,500 eligible Vermonters.

Capital investments by the State of Vermont intended to alleviate homelessness, the collaborative efforts of local communities around the state to keep Vermonters sheltered, and the milder winter weather contributed to a 28% decrease in after-hours calls for the GA Emergency Housing program at Vermont 2-1-1 during 2015.   

This year’s caller demographics show that the majority of our callers continue to be female (62%). The average age of callers is 21- 40 years old.  Burlington, Rutland, Brattleboro, Barre and Bennington are the cities, in that order, from which most calls to the 2-1-1 call center originated in 2015.

Vermont 2-1-1’s 2015 statistical reports reflect a sobering reality when among the top needs recorded  consistently  continue to be  requests for homeless motel vouchers, temporary financial assistance, housing support, and help with payment for utilities. In 2016, Vermont 2-1-1 will continue to fulfill its founding mission of connecting all people in Vermont to the agencies, organizations, services, and resources that provide the help they need. Our Information and Referral Specialists, trained to respond with compassion, are answering 24 hours a day, every day of the year and the Vermont 2-1-1 website is available for individuals who are not quite ready to make the call.  

As we begin anew in 2016, may we all remain firm in our belief that our collective efforts will improve the health and well-being of every member of our Vermont communities.

Read Vermont 2-1-1’s monthly call volume report here.

File Your Taxes for Free

Vermont 2-1-1 Resource Specialists are in the field learning about community resources all the time. Check out this resource corner to learn about the latest updates, timely information and stories from the field.

Tax filing season is here!  Vermont 2-1-1 partners with our local United Ways, many Community Action programs, and private non-profit agencies to help connect Vermonters to free tax preparation across the state. Individuals must meet income eligibility guidelines to access the services offered by the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which serves thousands of Vermonters annually; while MyFreeTaxes  is “Easy, Safe, Secure and 100% Free” as long as your 2015 household income was $62,000 or less.

Whether you need information about Vermont Renters Rebate, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Federal IRS offices in VT, or where to find online tax preparation programs simply call Vermont 2-1-1 or search our website using the following taxonomy terms:

Winter Cold Brings Cold Weather Exception

Through a partnership with the State of Vermont’s Economic Services Division, Vermont 2-1-1 administers the After Hours Emergency Housing Program beginning at 4:30pm weekdays, throughout weekends and on state/federal holidays. Housing in Vermont has reached a critical need.

In December, Emergency Housing Specialists authorized 125 requests for housing through the Emergency Housing Program, a six-month total of 582 authorizations. While the mild weather has provided fewer cold weather exceptions to program guidelines, emergency housing needs remain as the temperatures drop and the harsh cold of winter sets in. Learn more about the Economic Services cold weather exception rules here. See Vermont
2-1-1’s Emergency Housing Report for December 



Vermont 2-1-1 · PO Box 111 · Essex Junction, VT 05453 · USA

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GMUW Encourages Taxpayers to File for EITC

Tax season is now upon us and although many of us dread having to prepare and submit our annual taxes, there are some advantages to doing so, one of them being the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Green Mountain United Way (GMUW) encourages taxpayers to make sure to file for credit in order to receive money that is due them. The 1040-EZ form does not ask the necessary question regarding EITC, so be sure to file the long form.

EITC is a federally-funded program that rewards people for working. It is a way for many to not only reduce their debt but to start and/or increase savings. To qualify for EITC, your earned income must be less than:

  • $14,820 single, head of household or widowed (or $20,330 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children or,
  • $39,131 ($44,651 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child or,
  • $44,454 ($49,974 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children or,
  • $47,747 ($53,267 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children.

The 2015 Tax year maximum credits are:

  • $503 with no qualifying children,
  • $3,359 with one qualifying child,
  • $5,548 with two qualifying children,
  • $6,242 with three or more qualifying children.

There is a limit on the amount of investment income (such as interest) that you can have. Your filing status cannot be married filing separately.

GMUW in concerned with the financial stability of the people in its five county region and the EITC is one way of increasing income and becoming more financially stable. Last year, 44,000 EITC claims were submitted by Vermonters bringing 85 million dollars back into our VT economy. Unfortunately, approximately 20% of eligible Vermont taxpayers do not claim EITC.

In addition, those who qualify for EITC also qualify for free tax return preparation at a VITA site (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), 3Squares Vermont and other benefits. Vermont 2-1-1, a free statewide referral service operated by the United Ways of VT, will refer taxpayers to their nearest location where they can access these benefits.

For more information about Green Mountain United Way and EITC, contact their Barre office at 802-622-8056 or visit them at www.gmunitedway.org.

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Central Vermont Medical Center and Vermont Foodbank Team Up to Provide Mobile Food Shelf

Tue, 01/12/2016 – 3:56am 

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Foodbank’s Veggie VanGo, a mobile food pantry, will deliver its first round of healthy groceries to the University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center in partnership with Hunger Mountain Coop on Friday, Jan. 22. All families and individuals in need are invited to pick up free, fresh produce and other groceries from 9 to 11 a.m. in Conference Rooms 1 and 2 on the lower level of the hospital in Berlin. Veggie VanGo will distribute food at the hospital on six Fridays throughout the winter and spring: Jan. 22, Feb. 26, April 1, April 29, May 27 and June 24. In addition to the Veggie VanGo distribution, Hunger Mountain Coop representatives will be available to provide nutritional information and sign people up for their Coop Cares program, a 10% discount supplemental program for patients receiving 3SquaresVT (formerly Food Stamps) or who participate in WIC. The Vermont Foodbank will also have representatives available to help patients apply for 3SquaresVT.

“We believe that all members of our community should have access to healthy food,” said CVMC Chief Operating Officer Nancy Lothian. “If we collaborate with our local partners to support the nutritional needs of the people in our community, it makes a real difference in their ability to stay healthy.”

The partnership is an extension of the medical center’s Health Care Share (HCS) program, a farm fresh food assistance collaboration with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) farm, created to bring healthy food and nutrition education to those in need. During the summer “food shares” are distributed weekly and provide more than 10 pounds of freshly harvested vegetables to food insecure families for three months.

The Vermont Foodbank’s Veggie VanGo will allow the HCS program to expand during the non-growing season to fill the gap for families when the VYCC farm is closed. Last year more than 150 families and nearly 600 people were helped by the program.

The University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center is part of a four-hospital system established to deliver high quality academic medicine to every community we serve. Our partners are: The University of Vermont Medical Center, The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, The University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital. For more information and to connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and our blog, visit UVMHealth.org/CVMC (link is external).

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Hunger Council Monthly Update


The Snelling Center for Government is happy to announce that the application process is open for the Early Childhood Leadership Institute (ECLI). Initiated in 2014, ECLI seeks to stimulate enthusiasm for and effective collaboration around childhood issues in Vermont. The Snelling Center for Government will accept applications through January 14.

The program will run from May through October and will include twelve seminar days and 6 overnights. Associates will gain leadership skills and a deeper knowledge and understanding of the science and landscape of early childhood issues in Vermont. ECLI will give participants the information, tools and inspiration to make greater contributions in their organizations, their communities and Vermont toward early childhood issues. Upon completion, graduates of the program will join a network of over 700 Vermont Leadership Network Alumni.

Suzanne Trahey, ECLI Director at the Snelling Center for Government says, “We are thrilled to begin working with our second cohort of 25 dedicated Vermonters. ECLI is a unique and potent opportunity for leaders and aspiring leaders to deepen their vision of leadership and their impact.”

The Snelling Center for Government is a sub-recipient of a statewide Early Learning Challenge — Race to the Top Grant (ELC-RTT), which will reduce the cost of tuition for Vermonters. To learn more about ECLI, visit the Snelling Center for Government’s website: http://snellingcenter.org/early-childhood-leadership-institute/ or contact Suzanne Trahey at suzanne@snellingcenter.org

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