Bridport Central School

Changemaker School

At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, Bridport Central School partnered with Middlebury College to find a way for everyone in the town to be a changemaker within the context of their school. Bridport Central and Middlebury students designed a survey that went out to all taxpayers in Bridport to survey everyone about their time, talents, opportunities, and ways they can support the school, emphasizing that people did not have to be in the building from 8 AM to 3 PM to help. Bridport Central’s principal, Kathleen Kilbourne, emphasized that the person who can help change the oil in the bus is just as helpful as the person who can tutor, showing how intentional they were about bringing the community into the school based on interests and strengths. The Middlebury students collected these surveys and worked with Bridport Central to create a volunteer resource manual – a book of people for teachers to call and ask for help. Now they are not cold-calling people or fishing for interests, the information is readily available. For example, two volunteers called in sick for the school’s Iron Chef competition. The school called some volunteers who noted that they were interested in cooking, and the first person they contacted said she would be there in half an hour.