Series And Specials

Daniel Fishel for VPR

The student population in Vermont is trending decidedly downward. Since peaking at 107,000 students in 1997, the number of students in the Green Mountain State has fallen to around 88,000 today.

Yet, it's been pointed out that the number of teachers and staff in the state remains the same. While some small schools have closed over the last few years, many are still operating with fewer and fewer students.

Looking back at history taught before the 1970s, the stories of men who ruled the world were what mattered. Unless you were a queen and ruled an empire, you didn’t fit into the military, economic, social and political history being taught in schools across the globe. The stories of less prominent women were simply thought to be worth less.

Aaron Shrewsbury

As the Vermont Legislature works to overcome a $100 million budget gap for fiscal year 2016, one of its largest fiscal liabilities remains outside the reach of the annual budget bill. The state gives up about $1 billion in tax breaks annually through policies that have remained largely unchanged in recent years, even as lawmakers struggle to balance budgets.


Photos courtesy Peter Brown, Ariel Brooks, Alex Shevrin, Dan Marchetti, Ben Bonaccio and Maureen McElaney

For VPR's Choosing Vermont series, young professionals from across the state shared their thoughts on living in (or leaving) Vermont. Eight voices were heard on-air, but countless more wrote in to tell us their stories.

We asked that interviewees simply share their individual experiences. We followed up the series with a conversation with Economic Development Commissioner Lisa Gosselin.


Beginning June 28th, VPR presents a five week series of State Of The Re:Union, Saturdays at 1 p.m. Our regularly scheduled program, Spark, is on summer hiatus. State of the Re:Union, hosted by Al Letson, takes us to American cities to meet the people, explore the culture and find out what makes their community unique.  During this series, State of the Re:Union goes to places that we may have a predetermined vision of to find out what they are really like. 

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Fewer than half of the state's preschoolers are ready for kindergarten, according to a recent report. So the state of Vermont is trying to prepare them better. 

Holiday Specials

May 23, 2014
flickr: maf04 /8829571358

Our broadcast of Storytellers on a Mission on May 26th was cut off at the end due to human error with our computer system. We apologize for this error. Attached is the audio for his story, "Love Affair With "Mother-In-Law in two parts.

VPR presents two special programs on Memorial Day.  Teenage Diaries Revisted at noon and Storytellers On A Mission at 7 p.m.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Vermont's Department for Children and Families has come under intense scrutiny following the death in February of 2-year-old Dezirae Sheldon.

Library of Congress

The names of the places around us often tell the unique story of Vermont’s history. Our guide is Vermont Place Names: Footprints of History, by Esther Munroe Swift.

LAMOILLE-Eden

Swift wrote the town “was chartered to some of the Green Mountain Boys’ officers and men and to the heirs of other men who had been killed during the revolution. …The town was chartered to the veterans in the hope that it would be a post-war Eden for them; however as far as can be ascertained, none of them ever settled there.”

In recognition of Women's History Month, VPR again collaborated with the Vermont Commission on Women in March, 2014, to present a series of stories about women from our region who achieved significant success in the arts.

We heard from women who are notable in their own right about innovators and trail blazers in the fine arts, from writers to painters, and designers to photographers.

A recent law offers legal protections for pregnant workers who ask employers for "reasonable accomodations." State agencies produce two new videos to promote the law.
Jupiterimages / Thinkstock

There are many different aspects to the drug problem in Vermont, but perhaps none is more challenging – and emotional – than the issue of addiction and pregnant women.


AP Photo

Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up listening to and singing church songs, and saw gospel and folk music as natural tools to further the civil rights movement.

In this hour-long special from WQXR and WNYC, "A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood: A Musical Journey in the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.," host Terrance McKnight interweaves musical examples with Dr. King's own speeches and sermons to illustrate the powerful place that music held in his work. He also examines how the musical community responded to and participated in Dr. King's cause.

Flickr: benchilada 2467405983

There's been a spotlight on Vermont's mental health care system since Tropical Storm Irene slammed into Vermont and flooded the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury. All of the patients at the hospital had to be evacuated immediately and the facility was never reopened. The State Hospital had been funded entirely by state dollars for most of the last decade after safety and security issues caused the federal government to pull its certification. "Let's be candid," says Governor Peter Shumlin, "it was a dump. And we should have been out of there years and years ago."

VPR

Each school year, thousands of Vermont students read the books nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award. Thirty books make the annual list, and fourth through eighth graders vote for their favorite title in the spring.

VPR/Ric Cengeri

The iconic U.S. Route 66 stretches over 2,400 miles from Grant Park in Chicago to the Santa Monica Pier in California. Vermont Route 66 is a little shorter and has inspired far fewer songs and folklore. It’s a little less than 10 miles long, running from East Randolph to Randolph.

In this special series, VPR's Ric Cengeri set out to get some kicks on Vermont Route 66.

Part One: Farms of Orange County

Kingdom County Productions

In the summer of 2012, documentary filmmaker Bess O'Brien invited producer Erica Heilman to conduct a series of  workshops in St. Albans in which various artists encouraged people recovering from opiate addiction to document their experience in words and images.

AP/Toby Talbot

Every year, according to the Fire Marshal’s report, fire strikes at least 2,000 buildings in Vermont. While the majority of these fires damage single family homes, about one fourth of the blazes rip through apartment buildings. Unlike private homes, those public spaces are subject to inspection by the state or the municipality.

When Tropical Storm Irene raged through Vermont it shattered homes and businesses, roads and bridges. 1,400 households were displaced.  Many people were left with nothing, except the muddied remnants of their belongings. Some lost their homes and their jobs. The storm had eroded the foundations of many people’s lives. But others reached out to help.

Interactive Map Of FEMA Funds Distributed/Allocated In Vermont

Steven Kovich

The former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins wrote that high school is “all too often the place where poetry goes to die.” He set out on a mission to collect short, clear, contemporary poems, with the idea that teachers could read one per day, for the 180 day school year, and allow students to simply hear and absorb the poetry, with no discussion, explication or quizzes.

VPR/Ric Cengeri

The names of the places around us often tell the unique story of Vermont’s history. All next week on Morning Edition, we’ll be taking a look at some of those names.

Our guide is “Vermont Place Names: Footprints of History,” by Esther Munroe Swift.

Let us know if you have a question about a place name below, and we’ll see if Vermont Place Names has the answer.

Vermont Place Names, Footprints of History was first published in 1977. The copyright is held by Esther Munroe Swift’s estate, which granted permission for its use. 

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