Sunshine Silver Lining

Downtown Newport, Vermont is Bustling this July with Activities for All

Newport, Vermont – With a string of warm, sunny days alongside cool, rainy nights bringing us well into the summer months, Newport is bustling with activities for all ages. Coming off of the success of 4th of July festivities, this week residents and visitors alike can look no further than Newport City for art shows, educational classes, live music and even a pool tournament in addition to youth programming. There is truly something for all ages.

Wednesdays on the Waterfront (WOW) is back on July 10th featuring live music from the Funky Crustaceans with the Mudbugs Horns starting at 6PM just in time for a beautiful sunset.


Wednesdays on the Waterfront in Newport draws crowds to Lake Memphremagog 

In order to accommodate those heading downtown in Newport on Wednesdays this summer, the Memphremagog Arts Collaborative, also known as the MAC Center located at 158 Main Street, will be extending their usual Wednesday hours to 6PM in order for art lovers to check out their successful ‘Blue, an exploration of the Colour’ before heading to WOW. Curated by Victoria Mathiesen, this is not to be missed.

Resident and Artist Lynn Flint shared “The exhibit is absolutely breathtaking….one of the most visually stunning shows we have had at the MAC.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public during MAC business hours, Monday through Saturday from 10:00AM to 3:00PM with the aforementioned later hours on Wednesdays. More information on the MAC Center and the artists is available at

The Goodrich Memorial Library starts up their Family Movies on Tuesday from 3PM to 5PM with Mary Poppins on July 9th.  On Thursday July 11th, the Youth Summer Program opens with its first of four weeks of programming. From 10AM to 11AM youth ages 4 – 6 can participate and from 11AM to Noon children from 7 – 10 are welcome. This is a free program that will focus on fun, games and projects about the universe.

“As the Goodrich Memorial Library reaches it’s hundred and twentieth year of service, we are happy to join the nation in offering a Universe of Stories Summer Youth Program. Open to youth of our community, our summer program is a great way to make new friends, learn a little about the universe, and enjoy being a kid in a safe environment.” shared Librarian Katherine Zenel-Langlands

For the grownups, the Goodrich Library is offering a summer book club. July’s book is Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and copies are available to check out in advance of the discussion later on in the month. For details on events at the Goodrich, check out their events page at

Friday evening July 12 brings families to Prouty Beach on International Lake Memphremagog for Outdoor Movies starting with Space Jam at 9:00PM. Settling in under the stars, concessions are available for purchase. For more information click over to

Lastly, for those good with a pool cue and looking for a family friendly activity, the Journey to Recovery Community Center is hosting an evening pool tournament from 6PM to 8PM on Saturday, July 13 on Third Street in Newport. The J2RCC is a substance free community center with connections to many community services and supports. For more information give them a ring at 624.4156.

ReNEWport Events! is excited to share information on all of these amazing activities with our community. We hope to see you out and about!

Prevention Champion Awards 2019

On Thursday, May 1st members of the St Johnsbury and Newport Regional Prevention Partnerships received Prevention Champion Awards from Prevention Works! at the Vermont State House.

Below please find remarks from Sunny Naughton and Cheryl Chandler and a slide show of photos from the event!

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Northeast Kingdom Regional Prevention Partnerships (RPP)


My name is Cheryl Chandler, the Regional Prevention Partnerships Coordinator at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury.

Thank you to Prevention Works VT for this award and congratulations to our colleagues who have also received awards.  We are accepting this award on behalf of all with whom we collaborate in the Northeast Kingdom – covering Orleans, Essex and Caledonia counties and the Newport and St. Johnsbury Health Department Districts.

We represent the Regional Prevention Partnerships, otherwise known as the RPP of Newport and St. Johnsbury.  In St. Johnsbury, the RPP grant is held by Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH), a community not-for-profit acute care critical access hospital. In Newport, it is held by Northeast Kingdom Learning Services (NEKLS). NEKLS inspires and empowers learners from birth and beyond.

I would like to introduce the other members of our Northeast Kingdom RPP Team:

  • Sunny Naughton, Regional Prevention Partnerships Coordinator – Newport/NEKLS
  • Tennyson Marceau, Prevention Specialist – NVRH
  • Allyson Howell, Prevention Specialist – NEKLS

We want to offer a thank you to Governor Scott for all he does for Vermonters. You will be happy to hear, Governor Scott, that not only are we here today to represent prevention, we represent four Vermonters who either moved back or relocated to the Green Mountain State in the past five years and have been fortunate enough to have found work in human services.

Also, Sunny and I have been welcomed with open arms to the Opioid Coordination Council Prevention Committee to represent the NEK by Jolinda LeClair, Rose Gowdy, and Dr. Mark Levine.

We are so thrilled to be here with you all today.  In addition, we would like to acknowledge our legislators and the representatives for Senator Sanders and Senator Leahy.   We depend on you to help keep our youth safe and substance free.


We also work closely with our local offices of the Vermont Department of Health.

The RPP grant aims to reduce adolescent and young adult substance abuse while increasing the capacity of the state and local communities to provide prevention services. This work is close to our hearts, as members of our team and coalitions represent lived experiences in this arena.

Both NVRH and NEKLS hold a Tobacco Prevention Grant. This grant aligns with the Regional Prevention Partnerships Grants and aims to educate all on the risks of tobacco/e-cigarette use and advocate for policies to decrease tobacco initiation, secondhand smoke, and tobacco marketing exposure. Ally and Tennyson offer vaping and tobacco awareness presentations to our communities, including area schools, and work tirelessly to effect policy change in our communities. They have found certain communities to be especially ready for change, including The Village of North Troy, Lyndonville, St Johnsbury, and Danville.


In the Northeast Kingdom, we share many of the same services, so it seemed natural that we should combine our efforts to insure that there is no duplication of services and that we are covering our entire service areas.

We would love to share some examples of our collaborations and recognize our community partners.

We have built strong community coalitions. Community coalitions are known to be effective in building a community’s capacity to bring about population-level change. Their success is dependent on all sectors of the community becoming involved. Sectors include parents, students, schools, civic and volunteer organizations, youth-serving organizations, law enforcement, government, business, faith organizations, health organizations, media, and other organizations that address substance use/abuse.

Ask Coalition members to come and stand with us.

PITR (Sunny)

The PITR Collaborative, which stands for Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery, came together when members of the Newport Police Department, led by Chief Seth DiSantos, who is the PITR Chair, met with NEKLS, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, and the RPP, and realized we needed a combined community response. We looked to Project Vision’s Matt Prouty for guidance and DART in St. Jay to align services.


Northeast Prevention Coalition is a subcommittee of DART or the Drug Abuse Resistance Team in St. Johnsbury, and has been meeting since 2017. It represents Northeast Kingdom communities in support of healthy choices, and using a variety of strategic interventions, is dedicated to preventing substance use, misuse, and abuse for all ages.

The Coalition, 302 Cares is a group of individuals/organizations who agree to work together for the common goal of reducing substance use, misuse and abuse among youth and adults.  In November of 2016, a town meeting was held in Wells River to address the concerns of area residents as they relate to substance use, misuse and abuse. This led to the formation of our coalition which is a subcommittee of the Wells River Action Program.

 And coalitions do not exist without people, so we want to take a moment to highlight those from our communities that joined us here today:

  • Kelsey Root Winchester, Parent and School Board Member
  • Deputy Ken Schaefer, Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Law Enforcement Against Drugs Instructor
  • Michael Brandli, Substance Abuse Recovery and Trauma Coordinator from Little Rivers Health Care


  • Michelle Tarryk, PITR Treasurer and NEKLS Executive Director
  • Lisa Daigle Farney, NEKLS Director of Community Education and Outreach
  • Suzanne Legere Belcher, our NEK AHS Field Director
  • Sierra Ruth, Youth Empowerment Specialist and BBBS of Vermont Orleans and Northern Essex Coordinator along with Kimberly Diamond and the BBBS of Vermont Team
  • Tom Howell, PITR Steering Committee Member and Director of Safety and Risk Management at Jay Peak
  • An example of collaboration is the RPP’s work in bringing together BBBS of Vermont and Jay Peak. Jay Peak has come onboard as a founding partner for our local chapter and we want to extend a thank you not only to providing opportunities to the youth in our community, but also for recognizing how mentorship can be fulfilling for their staff members. Thanks to Tom Howell and Steve Wright.


Another example of collaborations is Mental Health First Aid. This is an evidence-based, in-person training program with proven ability to teach individuals how to recognize and respond to the warning signs of mental illness and substance use disorders and link people with appropriate treatment and support. We have partnered with Northeast Kingdom Human Services and Vermont Care Partners to train teachers, youth service workers, camp counselors, law enforcement, and 4-H leaders to name a few.  

Prevention Week. Last year during National Prevention Week, we delivered the same prevention messaging throughout the Northeast Kingdom. National Prevention Week will take place this year from May 12 through May 18.

We have only touched on a few of our prevention initiatives. We plan to be here for the entire day, so please stop any one of us if you are interested in any of the other work that we do.


Thank you to the Vermont Department of Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, and the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for providing the funding that allows us to do our work.

It’s incredible to look around this room and see all of our colleagues and friends and to think about the amazing amount of collaboration that has taken place in less than three years. We have a strong foundation in the Kingdom, and if you have not already done so, we invite others to take part in our efforts.  Thank you again.


Tea and Tales with ie facilitation – session two, May 11th

Thanks to ie facilitation for expanding upon what you can expect in our second session of Tea and Tales:

Free Write (stream of consciousness) or Writing to a Prompt are useful journaling strategies. During a workshop, I usually use one of these methods as a starting point.

What comes next is intended to produce a deeper dive into self-exploration and awareness.

On April 13th, we started with what I call Iceberg Write (stream of consciousness writing to find what is on the surface of our awareness). This moved us to finding a theme to our writing and produced a word to use for the Key Word exercise, (a technique that can reveal hidden thoughts and emotions). From that we were able to write with more focus.

We then used colored pens to create a self-portrait drawing (not of our physical selves), followed by writing to ourselves from a third person perspective. Wrap-up was about each person thinking of a word to describe “a moment in time” during the workshop and writing about that.

The techniques are simple. The validation generated through writing together and sharing insights and perceptions (only when individuals are comfortable doing so) is what can make the experience of a journaling workshop more powerful than when we journal in private.

On May 11th, the theme of “Relationship with Self” continues. The workshop is appropriate for people who attended the April workshop as well as those and who did not. Visualization and mindfulness will be included to inspire our writing and, the power of doodling and dialogue will support our journey of self-discovery. 

Check out a slide show of the event below!

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2019 Vermont Prevention Champion Awards

We are pleased to announce that the Regional Prevention Partnerships (RPP) of the Northeast Kingdom have been selected to be recognized as one of the 2019 Vermont Prevention Champions!

Thanks to Lori and Prevention Works! for this recognition!

This includes the RPP of St. Johnsbury, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) and the RPP of Newport, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services (NEKLS).  Together, these RPPs serve Orleans, Caledonia, and Essex counties.  The RPP grants are a customized regional response to reduce alcohol and drug use among adolescents, teens, and young adults in collaboration with the State of Vermont, Department of Health and local community partners.  NVRH Prevention Services and NEKLS Prevention Services also hold a Tobacco Prevention Grant, which has been aligned with their respective RPP grants and aims to educate all on the risks of tobacco/e-cigarette use and advocate for policies to decrease tobacco initiation, secondhand smoke, and tobacco marketing exposure.

Prevention Day will begin with a news conference with Governor Scott and the Prevention Champion Award ceremony recognizing St. Johnsbury and Newport RPPs on Thursday, May  2, 2019, at 9:00 am in the Cedar Creek Room at the State House. \


We are recognizing the NEK RPP because of how quickly and effectively you created capacity to do prevention in your region.  You went from 0 to 60 with your strategies and organizing.  Prior to the RPP there was no established coalition in the region (although many had tried) and you have established 3 new coalitions, did lots of policy work, have such a strong partnership with NVRH hospital, and much more that I am not aware of. Congratulations again and I am thrilled to be able to recognize your contributions to the prevention field and the health and safety of Vermonters.

– Lori Augustyniak, Coordinator, Prevention Works VT

NEK YPN April Activities

Photo Courtesy NEK YPN: (L-R) Ally Howell, Sunny Naughton, Patrick Sodums, Michael Hamiltonshire at Burke Mountain for the NEK YPN March Mixer after presenting at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns Conference on Young Professional Engagement in Communities

Northeast Kingdom: Fresh off a bustling March with committee meetings, networking events and conference presentations, the Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals (NEK YPN) welcomes further engagement from those young, and young at heart, looking for a professional network in the Northeast Kingdom in April as the snow melts and the sun comes out.

On Tuesday April 23, the NEK YPN will hold its monthly executive committee meeting including breakout time for subcommittee work regarding programming and development at the Barton Memorial Building. To join the meeting, please email for details.

On Thursday, April 25th the NEK YPN will collaborate with The Warehouse in downtown Newport for a night of networking and fun from 5:30PM to 8PM. The Warehouse has a full bar and food menu along with billiards and darts for those that want to test their skills. Come out to meet and network along with seeing friendly and familiar faces.

For information about the NEK YPN or to inquire about having members present about the network at your business or meeting, contact