Goddard College and WGDR Radio Receive Vermont Community Foundation Grant

PLAINFIELD, Vt. – Goddard College today announced the receipt of a competitive, $20,000 Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) Innovations and Collaborations grant.

The grant, co-funded by the Lyman Orton Fund and an anonymous donor-advised fund of the VCF, will support the work of its licensee WGDR/WGDH Goddard College Community Radio, to grow their new media education project, Indie Kingdom: A Youth Radio Curriculum and Partnership.

Indie Kingdom provides the tools for students to work with WGDR staff to write, produce, and perform broadcast-quality radio segments on a subject of their choosing. It has evolved from an existing “open door” policy of youth programming and broadcasting to a formal partnership between WGDR and local schools and teachers. The partnership ensures Indie Kingdom’s curriculum—which meets state standards, offers uniform assessment tools, and enhances existing technology curricula—is integrated into the school curriculum.

“Indie Kingdom will help students become producers, and not merely consumers, of media,” said Kris Gruen, director of WGDR.  “Additionally, local educators will have the resources of a radio station, and collaboration of its professional staff, when building curriculums that succeed in meeting state standards and Common Core goals. Project-based learning like this, through experimental, listener-service oriented media production, is state-of-the-art in education, and I believe this project will develop participatory models for similar stations and schools regionally, and possibly, nationally.”

WGDR will be sending station staff to schools in Cabot in a pilot program to develop co-curricular initiatives with teachers that prepare students to travel throughout their communities and collect stories to broadcast on WGDR/WGDH radio, and online at www.wgdr.org.

“We are delighted that this grant will allow WGDR to strengthen partnerships with local high schools, and tell the stories of our neighboring communities,” said Robert Kenny, interim president of Goddard College.  “WGDR has been a bridge to those communities since its founding in 1973.”

The Indie Kingdom curriculum will also be introduced to Montpelier High School, Twinfield School in Marshfield, Northfield High School, and U-32 School in Montpelier, through a partnership with the Center for Sustainable Systems; the People’s Academy High School in Morrisville, through a partnership with River Arts; as well as Hardwick’s Hazen Union High School.  WGDR will continue a partnership with the Central Vermont High School Initiative, housed on the Goddard College campus.

For more information about WGDR and Indie Kingdom, contact station director Kris Gruen at kris.gruen@goddard.edu or 802-322-1721, or visit www.wgdr.org. For more information about the Vermont Community Foundation’s Innovations and Collaborations grant to Goddard College, please contact Gerard Holmes at gerard.holmes@goddard.edu or 802-322-1767.


About WGDR
Now broadcasting from 91.1FM Plainfield and 91.7FM Hardwick, WGDR was established in 1973, as a unique, college-based community radio station serving the Central Vermont region from the campus of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. WGDR/WGDH operates as a true hybrid radio station, supported both by its licensee Goddard College and surrounding communities. Over 60 local volunteers contribute to each week’s broadcast, providing music and public affairs programming that reflects the unique and independent spirit of the Central Vermont community. 

About Goddard College
Initially founded in 1863 as the Goddard Seminary in Barre, Vt., Goddard College moved to its current Plainfield campus and was chartered in 1938 by founding President Royce “Tim” Pitkin. In 1963, Goddard became the first U.S. college to offer low-residency adult degree programs. Now offering accredited MA, MFA, BA and BFA degree programs from its main campus in Plainfield, Vermont and sites in Seattle and Port Townsend, Washington, Goddard’s low-residency education model offers the best of on-campus and distance education, with experienced faculty advisors, rigorous on-campus residencies, and the freedom to study from anywhere.


Gerard Holmes, Senior Development Officer
802.322.1767 | gerard.holmes@goddard.edu

Important Announcement

The Board of Directors for Goddard College have made the difficult decision to close the college at the end of the 2024 Spring term.  


Current Goddard students will have the opportunity to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate through a teach-out with like-minded institution, Prescott College. Updates and scholarship funds will be available in the coming weeks and months. Information will be posted to www.goddard.edu

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