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Press Release: VPA Helps Communities, Distributing $65,000 in Mini-Monies to VT Schools as Part of Community Navigator Pilot Program

MONTPELIER, Vt. (Apr. 8, 2022) – The Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) will distribute a total of $65,000 in mini-monies this month to 13 Vermont schools/districts for a variety of special projects. The mini-monies program is a part of the Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP) and the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA).

Funded (in part) through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the CNPP uses a “hub and spoke” model, with the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) as the hub, and VPA as one of nine spoke organizations that create collective impact throughout the state for targeted populations including BIPOC, rural, veterans, and women.

“There were 21 applications for the mini-monies program,” said Mike McRaith, Assistant Executive Director of the VPA. “The applications were submitted from all around the state and demonstrated incredible interest and commitment to innovation in our school communities.”

By distributing the mini-monies in increments of $2,500, $5,000, and $7,500, the VPA can help with a wider distribution of promising projects all over Vermont. The funding may be used during the 2021-22 or the 2022-23 school year.

With mini-monies ranging from $2,500 to $7,500, the recipients are:

  • Arlington Memorial High School
  • Burlington City School District
  • Cold Hollow Career Center, Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union
  • Champlain Valley Union High School
  • Hazen Union School
  • Hazen Union High School
  • Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union
  • Lamoille North Supervisory Union
  • Vermont Adult Learning High School
  • Milton Town School District
  • Mount Abraham Unified
  • Orange Southwest School District
  • Stafford Technical Center
  • Spaulding High School, BUUSD
  • Windham Southeast
  • Winooski School District

The mini-monies will fund a wide range of projects. To cite just a few:

Spaulding High School will continue their collaboration with Generator, Champlain Valley Educator Development Center (CVEDC), with their work-based learning partners with an emphasis on Design Thinking, Engineering and Entrepreneurship. The project will expose students to diverse workplaces and cultures, fostering a supportive community for women and BIPOC students.

Burlington’s BTC Culinary Arts will expand its pop-up restaurant sites. The “Champlain Café” will reach more women and BIPOC, as well as areas that are more rural. Locations to offer various themed meals via the pop-up restaurant would be towns such as Milton, Richmond, Hinesburg, Winooski, just to name a few. This would expand the awareness of the program to prospective students. Funding will cover vender permits, marketing materials, and compensation for a truck driver.

Orange Southwest School District/Randolph Technical and Career Center (RTCC) is working on a community outreach project involving the building of tiny homes. They plan to donate a tiny home to a worthy cause and sell another to have seed money to continue the project. This idea started out of a desire to help those in need, specifically those who are looking for affordable housing in rural Vermont with a focus on low-income populations and veterans.

Hazen’s Pathways program enables students to create and design their own IBL (Independent Based Learning) course. The mini-monies funding provides students, especially those living in rural areas, BIPOC, and young women with materials and tools to develop and produce a product for market. Each individual will have the opportunity to meet business owners who specialize in the individual’s area of interest. The Community Navigator Mini-Monies Program will introduce a minimum of 10-20 students to an authentic deep dive into creating, marketing, and promoting their individualized product.

“The VPA mini-monies program reflects the vision and the mission of the Community Navigator Pilot Program, starting with our next generation of Vermont entrepreneurs,” said Linda Rossi, State Director, VtSBDC. “We are excited to see these innovative projects begin as a result of teacher and student collaboration throughout our state.”

To learn more about the Community Navigator Pilot Program, please visit or

More about the Community Navigator Program (CNPP) As part of a national initiative introduced by President Biden and Vice President Harris, Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) was chosen as one of 51 grantees nationwide to be part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Community Navigator Pilot Program. According to the SBA, the Community Navigator Pilot Program is designed to “reduce barriers that all small businesses — including those owned by disadvantaged groups such as veterans, women and those from rural communities —often face in accessing critical support.”

The Community Navigator Pilot Program uses a “hub and spoke” model, with VtSBDC as the hub, and nine spoke organizations that create collective impact. Together, they leverage partnerships with deeply trusted community-based organizations to help small businesses navigate government resources and tap into critical resources, according to the SBA’s plan. The “spoke” partner organizations are: • Vermont Law School (VLS) • Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) Financial Futures Program • Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) • Center for Women and Enterprise (CWEVT) • Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation (CVEDC) • Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) • Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) • Vermont Professionals of Color Network (VT POC) • Main Street Alliance-Vermont (MSA-VT)

A link to the project and activities being planned and services available from each of the nine spokes is here: Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP) | Vermont Small Business Development Center (