Barre, VT--Mentors, authors, friends and fans of Ellen Miles came to the Old Labor Hall on Saturday, November 8, to honor the children’s author and to celebrate the work of Everybody Wins! Vermont (EW! VT), a children’s literacy and mentoring program.
Over one hundred parents and children attended the afternoon Puppy Place Party (named in honor of Ellen’s book series) which featured a costume contest, agility dog demonstrations by Lisa Barrett and her dogs, a reading by Ellen Miles, and free books for the children courtesy of Scholastic Books.
At the evening gala, Amy Cunningham, executive director of Everybody Wins! Vermont, presented Ellen Miles with the second Everybody Wins! Vermont Jeffords Award, named in honor of two of EW! VT greatest advocates, Senator Jim Jeffords and his wife, Liz Jeffords. She spoke of Jim Jeffords’ commitment to children’s literacy and to his devotion as an EW! mentor in Washington D.C. In 1995, Senators Jim Jeffords and Paul Simon, helped launch Everybody Wins! D.C. A few years later, the Jeffords were instrumental in bringing the program to Vermont where it is now the largest mentoring organization in the state.
Betty Miles, author of more than 20 books for children, a longtime EW! mentor in Shelburne, and Ellen’s mother spoke about the qualities that made Ellen so well suited for participation in Everybody Wins! Vermont: her passion for reading, her compassion and listening skills. Ellen Miles thanked EW! VT for the award and regaled the crowd with copies of funny and touching fan letters that she has received from all over the world.
The event was sponsored by FairPoint Communications, with support from Fed Ex Kinkos, the Ward family, and Scholastic Books. More than thirty Vermont authors and illustrators donated signed books for silent and live auctions.