PACT Kicks Off School Year

South Burlington parents, adults, children and teens and joined for the PACT Retreat to start the new school year.

“I’m so glad for PACT. Where else would we all be talking to each other?” ~ South Burlington community member.

Whether overlooking Lake Champlain at the PACT Retreat or sharing a meal at a community dinner, PACT participants have jumped into the 2013-2014 school year with one common theme: the importance of sharing stories.

PACT (Parents and Adults Celebrating Children and Teens), which celebrated its fifth birthday in January 2013, is dedicated to its mission of building and sustaining a community of respect, compassion, and equality. The organization holds regular events, each one led by teenagers in South Burlington High School and Big Picture South Burlington. Upcoming events this year include monthly community dinners, a visit to the Allenwood Senior Living Facility, South Burlington High School (SBHS) Dialogue Night, and the PACT Community Awards dinner.

Maraika Lumholdt, SBHS senior and PACT Advisory Board member, explained, “To me, PACT is a completely unique organization that encourages multi-generational dialogue. I absolutely love PACT because it opens doors to me that have not been opened anywhere else. I continually meet and make friends with new people, all while helping my community.”

“What PACT does for the community may not be hugely known,” added senior Courtney Wright, also an Advisory Board member. “PACT reaches out to all members of the community to offer a safe place to talk and come together. PACT is able to make a difference in the community simply by caring and showing it.”

Resident and parent Holly Baker, South Burlington Recreation program supervisor, values teenagers leading all events: “I am always taken aback by the maturity and courage of these students -- what an inspiration. I am thrilled to make PACT part of my life.”

As PACT prepares for its next community dinner November 7, SBHS sophomore Patrick Ryan, a new member of the Advisory Board, noted, “PACT’s value in our community is the time taken to listen to what your community has to say. It’s important that a community has a powerful sense of openness and trust, and dialogue among all generations of people is very inspiring.”

If you live, work, or go to school in South Burlington, you are a member of PACT. Please join us for our next PACT Community Dinner Thursday, November 7, 5:30-7 p.m., in SBHS’s Cafeteria 2. All PACT events are free and open to the public. For more information, please call 238-1054.

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