Vermont Press Releases

COTS celebrates service learning project and longtime family volunteers

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Becky Holt, Director of Development and Communications,
(802) 540-3084, Ext.204

Burlington, VT – The Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) proudly recognizes two groups of volunteers who were selected to receive the 2012 Governor’s Award for Outstanding Community Service. The awards were presented June 9 at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier.

· Jacquie Bolster, along with her two adult daughters Jessica and Stephanie Bolster (Essex Junction, VT) and their grandfather, Jack Mood (Williston, VT) were recognized with a Family Service Award. The family has organized an Easter Basket drive in conjunction with the Saint Michael’s College Chapel’s worshipping community for families in shelter for the past 18 years. The family works hard to make sure that the baskets are individualized for each child staying in the shelter. In 2009, when the COTS Family Shelters increased its capacity from 15 to 25 families, the Bolster family took on the challenge of ensuring that every child continued to receive an Easter basket. Additionally, Jacquie, Stephanie, and Jack have volunteered for more than a year with the Family Shelter’s Book Buddies program each Thursday night, bringing a multi-generational approach to the program.

· Professor Valerie Bang-Jensen (Burlington, VT) was recognized with a Service Learning Award. Professor Bang-Jensen is a professor of Education at Saint Michael’s College. For three semesters her Children’s Literature Class has volunteered at the COTS Main Street Family Shelter, sending two students each week to participate in the Book Buddies program. The students are expected to select a text set that would be appropriate for a wide range of ages as well as develop techniques for reading aloud effectively. This program introduces COTS children to a range of children’s literature, supports learning that is happening in schools, and exposes college students to a non-traditional learning environment.

Founded in 1982, COTS provides emergency shelter and homelessness prevention outreach to families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. COTS also offers case-management and referral services, transitional and permanent housing to low-income families and individuals.


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