The Berlin Elementary School Ambassadors, made up of thirteen 3rd, 4th and 5th grade Mountaineers, meet every other Wednesday to discuss how they can make BES a better place for their peers and the community.  

This year the BES Ambassadors took on a community-building project. The goal was to share stories and build relationships that span the generations. 

They were inspired by Ms. Brenda Demagistris, a retired 5th grade teacher and community member, who has long wanted to bring back to life a project she created while pursuing her teaching degree.  

Mrs. Demagistris has made some new connections at the Grafton Senior Citizen Center this year, and it renewed her project.

Teaming up with BES Ambassador Advisors Ms. Tracy Peter-Hoen and Ms. Gretchen Rubel, Ms. Demagistris brought a group of local elders to the elementary school to be interviewed by the BES Ambassadors.

This was an opportunity for learning and community building, as Ms. Demagistris said:

 “Students gained an understanding of oral history, built listening skills, practiced effective interviewing and note-taking techniques, and at the culmination of the project, demonstrated effective presentation methods.”

In May, Ms. Peter-Hoen, Ms. Ruebel and Ms. Demagistris brought the group back together to celebrate their new community over cookies.  

Ms. Ruebel and Ms. Peter-Hoen prepared the Ambassadors to share presentations they had created from their interviews. It was a great experience for the students and elders to see what they had learned from each other, discovering many similar interests across the generations.

Thank you to community members: Ms. Pat Casavant, Ms. Diane Paine, Mr. Jeff Paine, Ms. Rose Kaschak, Ms. Sally Statile, Ms. Phyllis Craib, and Ms. Carol Hovland, who opened their hearts and made space for this project. 

The hope is that the project continues to grow, creating long lasting bonds between the generations.

Thank you to the vision and hard work of Ms. Demagistris and the collaboration and guidance of Ms. Ruebel and Ms. Peter-Hoen for making this learning opportunity such a great one for all involved.

Please find below presentations from student Ambassadors: Quinnrose Hastings, Otis Corbett, Erin Stott, Lianna Bolt, Khalani Gonzalez-Caban, Julia Turetsky, Duncan Thompson, Savannah Schrump, Emma Hunt, Madeline Clark, Caraline Webster, Ryan Sausville, and Luke Stott.

Great work, Mountaineers!




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