Kirby Social Capital

Kirby participated in the Take Charge Program, a McConnell Foundation Grant. The UVM Extension Service provided materials and facilitators to bring local people together to discuss the community's future. They quickly recognized the physical limitations to economic development, since only a small sliver of Kirby's land has frontage on a state highway. Consequently, committees focused on trails, agribusiness, and holiday/tourism and decided to take actions to create opportunities for local residents. A fall festival, held for the second time in October 1994, provides exposure for local craftspeople and serves as a community social event. A Christmas Social, also in its second year, provides another opportunity for neighbors to get together while contributing to local fund-raising efforts. The trails committee developed a map of fourteen existing local trails. Local vendors participated in the Kingdom Farmers Market in Concord. Kirby's volunteers have incorporated as the Kirby Community Action Council. The Council keeps the community informed about local issues and events via the Kirby Chronicle, a local newsletter that distributed its fourth edition in December 1994. The group hopes to initiate new activities every year. "It's like little lights going on here and there throughout Town", says one volunteer. The town activities provide a community focus that was lost when the local school closed. Future plans include a scholarship program for community service for local youth.


The school children of Kirby are part of the Essex-Caledonia Supervisory School District. There are presently no schools in the town of Kirby. The town pays tuition for both elementary and secondary students to attend any state approved school. For the 1996/97 school year Kirby children attended the following schools:


Number of Children

Lyndon Institute (grades 9-12)22
Lyndon Town School District (K-8) 31
Concord School (K-12) 12
St Johnsbury School District (k-8) 8
St Johnsbury Academy (9-12) 6
Riverside School 6
Waterford 5
Danville 2
Bethlehem, NH 1

The Town of Lyndon is closest for many of the children and, of the surrounding towns, is the only one to provide a bus to transport the children to and from school.