A Time for Giving
There is a saying that has been circulating on social media and other forums that is particularly striking this time of year: “If you are more fortunate than others build a longer table not a higher fence.”
The consumerism of our culture is especially apparent during the holiday season, highlighting a variety of issues that arise with the prevalence of “stuff” in our society. Many people do not have enough, others have more than they will ever need, and it is difficult to understand the complicated interplay of systems and values that lead to these challenges.
There are also mixed messages we get about giving and receiving. Our culture, while sometimes anxious to give and donate, also has strong messages about “making it on your own” and “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” and “not being a drain on society.” This can make it hard to be comfortable being on the receiving end of giving as well. We give accolades to those who give time or money or stuff while judging those who take. It seems worthwhile to find ways to value both giving and receiving without negative judgment on either side. When we find ourselves making assumptions about why and how people are part of the equation maybe recognizing the beauty that the equation exists at all will be enough to remind us to value it as it is…. Continue Reading
Welcome Board members
Katherine (Kate) Trzaskos and Charlotte Traas are the most recent members to join our Board of Trustees. Charlotte is the Director of Sales & Training at New Chapter, Inc. She has over 10 years of teaching and curriculum content development and brings her varied skills of fundraising, human relations and event planning to the Board. “I bring with me an optimistic attitude, a collaborative spirit and a true desire to serve our community.” She is mom to Ollie, age 2. Kate is the Assistant Dean of Career Education as well as an instructor at Marlboro College. She has served on numerous leadership committees at Marlboro College and Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania where she was employed as the School & Youth Programs Coordinator for 7 years. Kate has three children: Ingrid, age 13, Cortland, age 3 and Fern, age 1. “I believe in the work that Winston Prouty does and feel this organization is vital to building a healthy community that supports children and families.” Welcome Kate and Charlotte!
Early Learning Center News
Child and Adult Care Food Program start up a success!
This school year we began participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The program, which is part of the US Department of Agriculture, reimburses child care centers for serving nutritious meals and snacks. We invested a lot of time and thought to get the program up and running and are happy to share that it has been success. Following our first month, we were reimbursed $645.35, which covered our food expenses! In October, we served 695 breakfasts and 716 afternoon snacks to 56 children. To learn more about the program, including the food patterns we are now following, click here.
The Acorn Room has packed the autumn décor away and we are beginning to turn our room into a winter wonderland. We will focus on the season of winter. We will play with snow in and outside. We will go on winter walks, sing our winter songs and enjoy this season together. We would like to welcome the Patari family to the Acorn Room!
So what do the holidays mean for the Acorns? It may mean travel, disrupted schedules, and strange relatives holding and handing off our babies, dysregulation, poor sleep…. but it is also an enchanted and special time. Nothing is more magical as watching the holidays through the eyes of a child. And as a new family you get to create your family traditions around the Holidays. Some traditions may be the same as parents had when they were little. Some may be completely new! It’s the beginning of many seasons to follow and it’s about being a family and sharing and giving to each other. My holiday wish to all families is to not worry about presents but just be present, observe and revel in the time with your baby this holiday, focus on the present you got this year, and enjoy the day as a new family! Happy holidays to all our families!
November was our month of birthdays in the Maple Room! Happy birthday to Rue, Alex H, Payton, Cortland, and Alex D. Before the ground was covered in snow, we enjoyed a woods walk to the frog pond and then we ran down the big hill as fast as we could. We put corn kernels in the sensory table along with spoons, a muffin tin, and bowls. One friend scooped corn kernels into the muffin tin and said, “I made corn muffins!” We finger painted on the table and then put our handprints on paper to make turkey handprints for our Family Feast poster. We also took pipe cleaners that were shaped like turkey feet and dipped them in black paint and walked them along a big piece of paper to make it look like turkeys had walked along the paper. For our Family Feast we made pumpkin pie and our friends were very excited to help make the pie. Special thanks to Rue and Madison’s family for bringing in ingredients for the pumpkin pie. We appreciate it and our pumpkin pie would not have been nearly as tasty without those ingredients! We also have had a lot of fun playing in the snow, and practicing putting all of our snow gear on. We made two snowmen, snow angels, and slid down a small hill. We had a busy and fun month in the Maple Room!
We have been working on patterns, measurement, and shapes this month for our math. Dramatic play has been turned into a puppet show and the children have enjoyed performing in shows and cheering their friends on. In the art area we have worked hard on learning to use scissors safely. We have also been learning more about rhymes by singing many different rhyming songs and reading a variety of books. We have also enjoyed working on a new project called loose parts. Teachers have been collecting a variety of repurposed and recycled materials such as; paper towel tubes, strings, beads, and nature items. The possibilities are endless for what materials will work well for this project! Then we present a collect of these items on a tray and allow the children to create a unique piece. It has been fun to see the creativity emerge through each child. Some children enjoy working independently and some like to work in pairs. We look forward to seeing how these can grow in the weeks ahead
Dates to Remember
Wednesday, December 5 – ELC closes at 3:30 for ELC Staff meeting
Monday, December 24 through Tuesday, January 1 – Center closed for Winter Break and New Years holiday
Monday, January 21 – Center closed for All Staff in-service
Celebrations & Recognitions
12/3 – Happy Birthday, Luisa
12/4 – Sadie is 5
12/10 – Solveig is 1
12/13 – Desiree is 5
12/15 – Brayden is 2
12/16 – Happy Birthday, Kathy H
12/18 – Molly is 4
12/19 – Happy Birthday, Starr
12/26 – Luna is 5
12/31 – Molly is 4
Resources & Events for Families
Parenting in Your Pocket Resource Guide
This helpful guide includes resources for parents and includes services available in the 19 towns in the Brattleboro Agency of Human Services (AHS) District. The Brattleboro AHS district covers most of Windham County, Vermont. Published by Early Education Services with the support of Parent Express. View and print the guide.
Beyond Bossing, Begging, and Bribing workshop with Jeanine Fitzgerad
Monday, December 10th, 6:30-8:30 at the Brattleboro Retreat Education Conference Room, free for parents; child care provided. Click here for more information
Fundraiser at Hannafords in December
Throughout the month of December, the Winston Prouty Center will receive $5.00 for each fresh Cookbook purchased at the Hannaford located at 896 Putney Road, Brattleboro VT. Every Community Bag sold will generate a $1 donation for us as well. Click here for more information
Two iPhone 4 or iPhone 5s for ELC classroom cameras
Adult size sleds or snow shoes for our Wellness Committee