Quarterly E-Update

March 2023 

Dear Friends of VMS,

2023 is off to a strong and promising start for us. In February, our 26th annual BIG NIGHT OUT was a fun and fruitful event, raising over $35,000 for our school. Participation with our Annual Fund is at 100% among our Board of Trustees and our staff, meaning everyone within those groups has donated. Our family participation is currently at 80%. And we are 75% toward our total Annual Fund goal.

But we're not done yet! We have new ambitions on the horizon, including the addition of a fourth primary classroom; VMS staff housing; playground renovations & upgrades; and granting working families 3-year scholarships to provide equitable opportunity and build a stronger island community.

We are grateful to those who have helped us get this far, and we need everyone to push us over the finish line. Can we count on you to commit today to the Island's largest provider of early childhood education and care, and the Vineyard's only independent school serving toddlers through grade 8?

In gratitude,

Aela Mass

Advancement Director

Make Your Donation Today

2022-23 Grant Awards

VMS is the proud recipient of the following 2022-23 grants for our Strong Start Scholarship program, and we are grateful to the following foundations for recognizing the need for scholarship funding. Since 2017, VMS has awarded over $147,000 in scholarships to working families.

Martha's Vineyard Community Foundation: $10,000

The Couch Family Foundation: $25,000

Welcome to Our New Trustee!

Christina Simmons

VMS Alum & current VMS parent

"I volunteer at VMS because I love being able to support and give back to a place that offers so much to the community, and to be a part of my children’s learning. VMS has been an integral part of my children’s lives and because of their nurturing and dedication to students my children have gained a sense of independence, curiosity, and a love of learning. Early childhood education is such an important and formative part of a child’s life and VMS is an incredible place. I am so happy to be able to support the VMS community and give back."

The Board of Trustees is responsible for governance of the school, ensuring adherence to the school’s mission, and supporting the Head of School, though - perhaps even more than that - our Trustees dedicate their time & talents to ensuring our school remains an educational leader in the Island community. Visit our website to see all our trustees.

Enhancing Excellence Through Partnerships

From December through March, VMS students enjoyed numerous enrichment activities made possible, in part, by our generous donors and Business Partners. We look forward to providing additional offerings throughout the school year.

Students enjoyed learning to ice skate at the MV Ice Arena. The older students in both primary classes, and our Kindergarden, Elementary I, and Middle School kids all took to the ice with the experts. The younger children enjoyed special baking lessons in the classroom as they await their turn on the ice next year.

Island Grown Schools continued with us this season, and shared such lessons as wool carding (pictured here); wool washing; learning about compost; painting with paint made from cabbage; and so much more. These experiential, hands-on, garden-based learning opportunities for our kids help connect and engage them with the greater natural environment of our island.

Students in our Elementary II and Middle School programs have been busy expanding their knowledge through unique experiential-learning field trips. Most recently, they studied Marine Ecology during a field trip to Chappaquiddick (pictured here) and the Woods Hole Aquarium. This quarter, they have also: partnered with the Boys & Girls Club for fitness opportunities; visited the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA; practiced ice skating at the MV Ice Arena; visited the MV Museum, once to study the timeline of slavery abolition and again to learn about the tools, clothing, and food of the Island during the Archaic Period; and successfully completed their Asia-unit presentations to visitors of the classroom.

We were fortunate to have Claire from Dance The Yard to keep our Primary kids moving and warm inside during the cold months with creative dance each week. These classes help to strengthen the children's imagination and enable them to experience the beauty of life with a greater meaning. Their visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile senses were engaged as they learned about their body and the space around them.

VMS hosted a Business After Hours with the MV Chamber of Commerce in March. We were delighted to welcome nearly 100 members of the Island's business community — and many of our own Business Partners — into our Toddler Building. Most of those in attendance hadn't yet visited our 2600-sf facility, which opened in 2021, propelling VMS to become the largest provider of early childhood education & care on MV.

2023 VMS Community Events to Add to Your Calendar

Saturday, May 20, 2023 - VMS FAMILY NIGHT at Noman's

Unique raffles to support VMS; Open to the public

Week of June 26, 2023 - World Peace Game Camp at MV Boys & Girls Club

Hosted by VMS; Registration is OPEN

Thursday, August 3, 2023 - NIGHT UNDER THE STARS

Summer Gala at the VMS Campus

Enrollment Update

Our summer camp is full for 2023. We continue to search for summer housing in the hopes that we can hire additional counselors and accommodate more children on our long waitlist.

Enrollment is full for the upcoming 2023-24 school year, with the exception of limited space in our Kindergarten classroom. Learn more!

We are nearly full in all classrooms for the 2024-25 school year.

At the time of this newsletter, our admissions wait pool currently has 113 Island children.

The work we continue to do to meet the needs of working families grows each year with our enrollment. Your financial support and commitment to our community is as important as ever.

VMS Family Association

Our Family Association & Classroom Ambassadors have been well engaged in planning our school-wide Fun Fridays. This quarter, those included: music & creative movement with ice cream sandwiches inside; drumming circle with our own Miss Lisa & make your own sundaes; and just this month, we returned to our outside gatherings when we welcomed Spring on the playground with cotton candy. Our Fun Fridays are a well-attended opportunity for VMS families to connect with each other. They have proven to be so fun that the Family Association hosted an additional get together for families of our school on a sunny Sunday. Parents and kids alike enjoyed their time together.

Thank you, Business Partners!

We encourage you to support those who support us! Our Business Partners make an immediate impact providing essential funding for high quality and affordable education and childcare programs.

Learn more about becoming a Business Partner.


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