Program Accessibility & Scholarship Fund

Imagine (or remember!) the wonder of pulling a carrot from soil for the first time and discovering it is something you can eat!  Picture joyful kids circled around a fire in their outdoor “classroom” cooking food they’ve recently harvested. Connecting to place and to food helps us to understand the interconnectedness of the world.  We believe every young person deserves  life-changing learning experiences that empowers and inspires them to shape a bright future.

The Need

We are committed to making all of Shelburne Farms experiences accessible to children (educators, too) of all income levels.  To meet these needs, each year an increasing number of generous supporters make a special gift to support Shelburne Farms program scholarships.

The Approach

We never want finances to be a barrier to students experiencing our programs or to educators participating in our professional learning opportunities. And our scholarships are “blind” — neither participants nor our staff know who’s receiving assistance.  This keeps it simple. The student’s only job is to be a kid: to explore, discover, make new friends, and learn.

Summer Camp – Every year we seek to award scholarships to hundreds of campers, ranging from $25 to full tuition. Experiencing the beauty and freedom of the Farm in the summertime can be a life-changing experience, not to mention lots and lots of fun! Experience that fun in this video.

School Field Trips – Each year more than 4,500 schoolchildren and 550 educators come to the Farm to investigate agricultural and ecological themes – from farming to forest ecology. The average program costs approximately $15 per student. Schools generally pay only $5-$7, with the balance made up by philanthropic dollars. In addition, more than 20 schools are bused to the Farm at no cost thanks to generous sponsored support.

Early Childhood Education –  Each year, we offer under-served young children programming at no cost through long-standing collaborations with two Burlington-based agencies: the Sara Holbrook Community Center and the King Street Center.

The Result

King Street Center’s Executive Director Vicky Smith sums it up this way. “At Shelburne Farms senses come alive!  There are many wonderful things for children to see – animals, glistening lake, and trees galore; to hear bird songs; to smell fragrant mint and the sugar house; to touch chickens and wriggly worms; and even to taste raw veggies and sugar on snow. A community spirit emerges and learning improves in every facet!”

Contact: Sue Dixon, Special Gifts Coordinator: [email protected]  |  (802) 985-0322
Shelburne Farms, 1611 Harbor Road, Shelburne, VT 05482

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