8th Grade World Issues Project: Addiction

May 31, 2017

Dear School Leader,

We are eighth graders from The Riverside School and this year our social studies class has been about “world issues.” During the final quarter of the year we have taken the skills we developed looking a global issues to look at local issues. We decided to focus our energy on learning about addiction because of its relevance in northern New England, especially in the Northeast Kingdom. After learning about addiction we have decided that the best way to stop this crisis is to provide good information to students so we can make informed decisions as drugs become apparent in our lives.

In 2014, then Governor Peter Shumlin dedicated his entire State of the State address to the crisis of addiction in Vermont. This alone says that it is important, but some of the statistics he pointed to are staggering. For instance, overdose deaths doubled in just one year between 2012 and 2013, largely attributed to the fact that every week over two million dollars worth of heroin and other opiates are trafficked into our state. Another reason that addiction is such a problem is that there are hundreds of people wanting treatment just within the Northeast Kingdom. However, there has been a 770% increase in treatment and recovery since 2000. 80% of the people in Vermont jails are incarcerated because of their addiction, and the law enforcement is tightening, with five times the number of criminal indictments for drugs since 2013, when Shumlin really started addressing the problem.

There are a few things that really surprised our class when we were studying this issue, the first of which is that anyone you see can be an addict, no matter what they look like or where they are from. People can start taking drugs because of a variety of influences, including stress, depression, peer pressure, poverty, or over-prescribed medicines. Another thing that stunned us was that addiction can cost thousands of dollars a day, and this expense can drive people to steal or commit other crimes. The scariest thing to us is that one in ten Americans will develop an addiction of some sort in their lives, which means that someone in your classes will someday become an addict.

There is no one solution to this problem, but your school can do its part to stop this health crisis by educating your students. Inside this packet you will find plans and materials for a five lesson unit, appropriate for middle and high schoolers. We also have provided you with a list of people in recovery who would like to come speak to your classes, and a copy of the documentary The Hungry Heart, which is about addiction in Vermont. Please use this mini-unit to educate your students and yourselves and thus help fight this horrible disease.

Nelson Eaton, Sawyer Goodwin, Waverly Griffin, Clara Harrison, Austin Kapoukranidis, John Keenan, Holden Larsen, Katie Lyon, Claire Morgan, Ishika Patel, Lucas Patoine, Darwin Smyth,
Ruby Yerkes, and teacher Nelia Rath


Addiction Mini Unit

Preschoolers are Robotic Engineers

The Riverside School highly encourages parental involvement in all aspects of our daily activities. It is quite common to have parents as substitute teachers, chaperones, and even encourage them to teach classes at certain points in the year. This year the preschool took this to heart and invited Benny's dad in to instruct the little ones on how to build robots. The sounds of glee and excitement from the wood shop was audible all over campus and the results tell you exactly how happy the project made all the participants.  

Early Elementary Students Practice Spanish at Local Restaurant

Carmen Montague, a native of Columbia and resident of East Burke, joined the staff at Riverside to assist with the Kindergarten through 3rd grade Spanish classes. She has been teaching the students conversational Spanish through an immersion method where Spanish is spoken during the majority of the class. As an end of the year celebration, the students were invited to a local restaurant, Casa Aguilera, to practice ordering their meals in Spanish. 

Birch Buddies Celebrates the Pancake Challenge

The Pancake Challenge was the end of the year celebration for Birch Buddies. The students enjoyed a scavenger hunt style event where they had to find the ingredients of a fire and a pancake...the team to create an edible pancake using the materials and knowledge they had from the years class scored points to achieve the win.

You can see Koji and Henry putting together the fire with Cliona and Anaka offering advice and guidance on how to cook the pancake with the limited supplies and tools. They were quite successful, winning the contest and enjoying the tasty reward. 

The Carriage House Kids are Scientists!

We have 5 chicks now and more to come...

On Day 21, the eggs started to crack!

The students illustrated their new found knowledge even documenting the temperature and conditions within the incubator. 

They continue the journey of egg incubation with journal entries of facts about the development of the embryos.

Carriage House Kids are amazing scientists studying the chicken life cycle!  This is their first "data day" as they collect information, take notes, and draw a sketch with labels.

Mrs. Toney introducing the students to the eggs was a true delight. Each student got to choose a name for an egg. They were thrilled!

Riverside "Now & Then" by the 5th Grade

Most of January, the class of 2020, or the 5th grade has been studying when Riverside wasn’t a school but when it older and people lived in it. It has been a fun unit and now we want to share our knowledge.

In some of these paragraphs you might see the name Annie Gibovic. She is one of few people that has lived in the house and is still alive. She came and visited and talked to us about Riverside’s history. She also told us some stories, one was about the solarium. We have a solarium now except it is different kind. She was very helpful and deserve’s a big thank you.  

We have learned a lot of things about Riverside these past few weeks.  We have learned about the house, the barn, the granary, fields, and lots of stories about Riverside and what it was like back then. We hope you learned something about The Riverside School and we hope that you had fun learning about the past of  Riverside!

All this information has a picture to go with it so you came see what it was like back then.






Teagan Desrochers

This picture is not Riverside, it is the Lincoln Estate. This was taken from the lower fields. The road in the back was a dirt road, but now it’s pavement. There were carriages. The Lincoln Estate is now called The Pines. The Pines is a nursing home. This picture has cows in it. The visitor that came, told me that she didn’t even notice that there were cows. The farm was known as a horse farm. The horses at Riverside were Morgens....wait we are getting off topic. Now we have; Hopeful a bunny, Earnie a dog, and Squirmy a bearded dragon lizard    

Henry Griffin

This picture was taken in 1930’s before the barn was sided. If you look to the right side  there is an additional building that isn’t here now. In the picture Charlotte, the girl in the picture bottom of the picture and her friend are going out to rake the field with a horse called Tony. Now, we don’t use real horse power. Sadly today we don’t have Tony around any more.

Donovan Randall

This is a picture of a fireplace which is now in the room that is now the front office. There is a door on the right, which leads into what is now the computer lab. The fireplace itself is a heater. There was a fireplace that the wood went in and burned the wood, but now it is covered up. Back then, it had a nice coat of paint, but now it has a lot of places where the paint has chipped off. The room it is in was a library, but now the library has moved over a room. I know that it was a library because Annie Givobic came in and answered all of our questions and told me that it is a library.

Lacey Patoine

Riverside is a nice place to live and a nice place to learn but, do you think that the Granary is a nice place to pick up and take with you? If you want to learn more about the Granary then keep reading. Some say the Granary has unicorns, greek gods, a pool, a bowling alley, and a bike tire pump in the mystical attic of the Granary. Peter is the fun and very nice English teacher of the class. There is sadly a very strict rule that Peter made: ONLY 8TH GRADE CAN GO TO THE ATTIC.  In the past there were 3 trees that got cut down. There was also a lot of free space behind the Granary. Now the free space is separated from the school grounds by a small forest. A storage building is in the background of my picture. A really nice lady named Annie Givobic came and told me and my class that when she lived here she played in the attic. She even wanted to pick up and take the Granary with her to her house now to live in. The Granary was used to store grains when Riverside was a farm.  

CJ Hunt

Want to know a difference between our library now and the original Hall’s library? There was a fire place, and now there is only a pocket you can hide in. This room wasn’t actually the library even though there is books in the back of the picture. There were books in pretty much every room. This was the parlor and Krystal’s office was the library back then. If you look at the wallpaper right behind the huge mirror you can see the wallpaper was flowers, but now it's just a solid blue. Something similar about that time and this time is that you hang out in there or gather a group of people to just talk.  

Cliona Balcom

Does this flowery place still exist? At first I  had no idea where this picture was, but taking a closer look I saw a wall of ivy, now we don’t have a wall of ivy. Also the solarium (conservatory) was bigger but in  the picture you can’t see it. This picture actually is where the solarium is but it is at a really odd angle. The only thing that’s really changed is the size of the solarium.

Maaike Dam

Before it was a school, Riverside looked like a very nice place, and it was. There were steps leading up to a beautiful vine-covered porch, a small semicircle of cedar trees, a sunny lawn with a large elm tree, and a many paned solarium. Also, in the corner of the picture there is a weird stump covered with vines, that was taken out later when, I’m guessing, the people didn’t want it any more.
Now, Riverside is still a very nice place, but it is a LOT different. For one, it is a school. The vines are gone, and the steps were replaced with railing when they redid the solarium. Yes, the many paned solarium was taken out and replaced so it was a lot larger and now has windows that open. The big tree was taken out because it got old and died. The lawn got smaller and now cars can go through more easily. As a last thought, in the now picture, there is a small tree, in the place where the big tree once stood. Maybe 80 years from now, it will be as big as the old one.  

Cameron Clark

This is a picture of Aunt Dorothy, who had the idea to turn Riverside into a school. She loved to read so much she wanted to teach  kids how to read. Back then there were books everywhere! But there are still lots of books. All the classes have a book shelf. All the books on that shelf were  her “vermontiana” collection. Now it’s used once a year  for our egg drop.  

Yofta Larocque

In my picture you will notice the differences between the present and the past. In the old picture it was snowing and the driveway was lower down then it is now. The drive that goes up the road and around has a cut-down tree in it that in my old picture was very small. The cedar circle was smaller  than it is now.  And the picture is taken from were the Riverside heron sign is now. Global warming hasn't affected Vermont too much. It's still snowing.  

Josie Rowell

You may be wondering why was this family moving? The answer is that the family did not have enough money to keep the house but not all people were happy with this decision Annie Gibovic was one of those people.  Although some people were not happy that they sold the house maybe if they did not The Riverside School might not be a school. 

This picture shows how it would be advertised if it was for sale now. "The Riverside School" A 4 classroom house with a kitchen, computer lab, and office space. There is a large barn with 3 classrooms, 2 bathrooms, storage area and a stage. $700,000. Shown exclusively by 5th grade.

This picture shows how it would be advertised if it was for sale now. "The Riverside School" A 4 classroom house with a kitchen, computer lab, and office space. There is a large barn with 3 classrooms, 2 bathrooms, storage area and a stage. $700,000. Shown exclusively by 5th grade.