Stones and Bones

An Educational Approach to Cemeteries for Teachers

Reading from the Introduction to Stones and Bones: You have in your possession the Vermont Old Cemetery Association "Stones and Bones" packet. Enclosed you will find a variety of materials related to using cemteries as educational tools. As members of VOCA, who have classroom experience, and have used cemetery related material in schools, we have put this packet together with teachers in mind.

Students of all ages are fascinated with cemetery related material. We should also add that the general subject of death and dying is a subject pre-adults have an interest in but don't have much training in expressing that interest. Perhaps a unit using cemeteries as an educational tool would help deal with that inquisitiveness. It might also bridge the gap to other areas as well.

We are hoping that you will encourage the use of cemeteries in your community as a resource for your classroom activities. All of us who have worked on this project welcome your questions and comments. There is an opportunity here to cross over many disciplines and involve a large number of students and community members in a worthwhile study area.

VOCA orginally developed this packet in 1996. Because it was so succesful (two printings), we updated it and are now ready to take it on the road. Some of our team are available to do in-school programs for staff and students. For the time being, contact Larry Coffin or Charles Marchant (listed below) if you are interested in one of these programs.

VOCA is continually looking for new members. We are also interested in summer restoration projects. In the past, VOCA has had a working relationship with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. We would like to discuss how to establish a similar program with any community. Vermont is a state where more than half of the cemeteries need some sort of restoration work. This is probably true for most areas of the country. Please consider joining VOCA either as an individual or as a school.

Contact any one of us for an update on VOCA membership and programs.

Joan Alexander
2513 Glover St., Glover, VT 05839
Irasburg Village School Special Education K-8
Larry Coffin
Box 490, Bradford, VT 05033
Oxbow High School Social Studies 9-12 (retired)
Charles Marchant
Box 132, Townshend, VT 05353
Leland and Gray Union High School Social Studies 9-12 (retired)
Andersen Thorp
Box 194, South Strafford, VT 05070
Hartford High School Art/Humanities 9-12