Using the child tax credit for those who need it most
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
The 2017 tax bill included a provision for an increase in the child tax credit. The amount per child went up to $2000, and families making up to $400,000 filing jointly were made eligible for the program. Unfortunately, recent media reports indicate that the increase has not helped those who need it the most. Continue reading
The Book Nook
By Sueño LeBlond, Early Education Outreach Specialist
This picture book is told through the eyes of an energetic, hopeful, and well-meaning dog named Plum who loves many things – sticks, snow, treats, and the neighborhood kids. But there’s no doubt that LOVE is her favorite thing. Her number one problem is that her joyful exuberance sometimes gets her into trouble.
We can all relate to Plum’s predicament of knowing all the rules, but still struggling to be in control all the time. On the day that we follow Plum and her family, she makes several naughty mistakes that, well, put her in the doghouse. Children are relieved to learn that despite getting in so much trouble, love and forgiveness do prevail.
Based on her real-life dog, Clark’s illustrations wonderfully capture an emotional range from ecstatic joy to profound regret. Her story is well crafted and speaks to children in a way that pulls them right into the big, scary feelings we all have when we’ve disappointed someone we love and whose love means the world to us.
Early Learning Center News
ELC Food Program Nutrition Corner
Check out our new ELC Program bulletin board outside our kitchen. Here you’ll find ELC menu updates and activities & recipes to try at home!
Save the Date! Sledding Party – Tuesday, February 18th 4:30-6:00 pm
Join other families for our annual sledding party with hot cocoa and snacks. Meet at the hill near the playground. Bring a sled if you have one!
Our Babies continue to grow and evolve. Some of our babies have been with us since the fall. We have been together as a group for 6 months. Many of our babies are on the move. They are no longer content to play flat on the floor. They are maneuvering and putting themselves in interesting and complex positions. They are inventing their own way to maneuver and move. Some babies are pulling their bodies across the floor , moving forward to manipulate and grasp a toy. Some are lifting their whole body up into a plank trying to figure out how to move forward. Some a rolling to reach a destination, others are getting up on their knees and rocking. Surprisingly some are pulling up to stand and then staying in the position because they haven’t figured out how to get down. Each child has their own unique way of inventing their authentic movement. This is a process. The struggle is real. Much of our discussion as teachers and educarers is, how much do we intervene when they struggle and what is our roles? The answer is we observe, we are not too quick to react, instead we support. If we are too quick to swoop in and change baby’s position how will he learn the positioning to move. We encourage, we watch, we respond. We may help move things out of the way or help suggest body mechanics and certainly empathize, but figuring out how to roll from front to back, or move hands forward, or take that step. It’s their job to figure it out and ours to witness their trial, their attempts, their fails and their success. We let them fully experience the success of evolving and learning. We do intervene when the baby goes from frustration to dysregulation. We are their when they fall and get hurt, we are their when they succeed and want to show us their new trick. These babies are taking huge risks and can only do so in an environment they trust and have built relationships that will support their development.
This month the Willows have had more opportunities to connect with their peers in the Elm room. We have been starting our morning in the Elm classroom, exploring cars, ramps, reading new books and interacting with the children and teachers. This new routine seems to have helped the children transition into school, as there are more children (and teachers) available during that time. Relationships between children of different ages and developmental levels allow children to be exposed to skills and capabilities that they are still growing into, and to have an opportunity to be models of skills they have already mastered. We have also started the all school sing on Friday mornings, which the children really seem to enjoy. We are hoping that the relationships that are being fostered with the teachers in each room will serve to create an environment where the children feel like they know and trust many adults throughout the center, not just the ones in their own classroom.
January was a fun yet busy month for the Elm room! We said our goodbyes to the tools that were in the dramatic play and reintroduced kitchen play and props! We also did a lot of sensory and art activities due to the cold weather within the last few weeks and not being able to go outside! Ian turned the big Two as well this month! Happy Birthday Ian!
Looking into the month of February, we will be doing more arts and crafts surrounding the day of love (Valentines) and hoping to change up our train table!
We had a beautiful January in the Maple room, enjoying both the cold, snowy conditions and a muddy, grassy thaw. Inside, we worked hard to learn how to put on snow gear, with a few children mastering the “flip trick” method to put on their coats. In circle time, we sang songs about our snowy world and broke out some of our rain songs during the thaw! We talked about what happens to the snow when it gets warm, and used white fingerpaint to create our own melted snowpeople. The changing conditions also brought many icicles! We took inspiration from the sparkly eaves outside our window and used liquid watercolor and pipettes to drip colorful icicles on paper. At mealtimes, Maples started to learn that it is courteous to wait to eat until all our friends are at the table. They learned to sing a song called “Dirt Made My Food” to signal when it is time to eat. Outside, we climbed the big hill across from Holton Hall during the grassy thaw, then took it on again after the snow came back. Everyone worked together to climb in the crunchy snow, calling encouragement and offering helping hands to friends who fell down. We are now spending the majority of the morning outside on Tuesdays, which has been beautiful. The Maples have been enjoying the extra time to explore the snow, mud, grass, trees, and frozen streams on campus. In February, we are celebrating Black History Month by learning about the many inventions, innovations, and creations that Black Americans have contributed to our modern world
January has been a month of science and exploration in the Birch Room. During vacation we changed the room to include a new Train Center. This center has been very popular with many elaborate train tracks built and used during Choice Time. We have also explored magnets and how to put a flashlight together and make it turn on. As always, the Magna-Tiles and blocks have been very popular also. Many days the blocks become airplanes or cars with one to several passengers and a driver. In addition, a change in Choice Time has resulted in greater use of the Math Center, which has led to lots of exploration and weighing and counting. Another popular center in January has been the Writing Table where students are working on writing letters, coloring pictures and creating their own artwork.
Our theme this month has been snow, ice, and what animals do in the winter. We explored the ice and snow and used them in the sensory table, coloring the ice and scooping snow. We also played games with ice, watched a science experiment and built igloos. We finished the month discussing animals and which animals migrate and adapt. We will begin February discussing animals that hibernate. We have read lots of books on the subject. We also spent a week talking about how to dress for the cold and snow. We read two versions of The Mitten and compared the animals and characters in each story.
We are looking forward to February and continuing to spend lots of time outside, exploring the snow and sledding.
The month of January we have been enjoying the snow and all the fun that winter brings. We have enjoyed exploring the sensory table, building new structures or tools with manipulative, playing with some new dress up clothes in dramatic play, and strengthen our fingers by cutting out different pictures for collage pieces. We have also started to add meditation practices to our daily circle and have enjoyed learning new ways to relax our bodies.
In the month of February we look forward to our ELC family sledding party. We also look forward to celebrating love and friendship with our valentines day class party and conversations around what it means to be a kind friend.
Dates to Remember
- Friday, February 14 – Center closes for All-staff in-service
- Monday, February 17 – Center closed for Presidents Day holiday
- Tuesday, February 18 – ELC Sledding Party
Par for the Cause
Save the date for our biggest fundraiser of the year – Par for the Cause! Saturday, March 28, 2020, 5:00-8:00pm. Come plan indoor mini-golf, enjoy delicious dinner by the Porch and have lots of chances to win prizes. We are currently building raffle baskets and are asking ELC parents to donate towards their child’s classroom theme. Please see your teachers to learn more!
2/2 – Happy Birthday La-Shaunda, Family Supportive Housing Coordinator
2/11 – Ryan is 2!
2/13 – Abigail & Bea are 1!
2/15 – Madeline is 4!
2/15 – Millie is 2!
2/16 – Navaeh is 4!
2/11 – Happy Birthday Kerri, CIS Intake Coordinator
2/17 – Happy Birthday Lisa Whitney, Director of Operations
2/21 – Madison is 2!
2/24 – Happy Birthday Paula, Finance & HR Assistant
Resources & Events for Families
The Mister Kris and Friends Band- Saturday, February 22
In this month’s edition of the Brattleboro Food Co-op’s Fun with Food & Art, Brattleboro Museum and Art Center’s Linda Whelihan and the Co-op’s Lizi Rosenberg will have everything you’ll need to make some presents using your creativity and some awesome art supplies and ingredients! December 10th – 3:30 pm. More information
Positive Solutions Parenting Class – starting March 10
Positive Solutions for Families provides information for families on how to promote children’s social and emotional skills, and use positive approaches to help them learn appropriate behavior. This program is designed for families with children ages 3-6. Child care and dinner provided FREE. Tuesdays, 5:00-7:00pm – March 10-April 14 at the Winston Prouty Center. More info
Winter Knitting Camp for 7-12 year olds – Feb 17-21
Knitting Camp will begin with making knitting needles from dowels, sandpaper, beeswax, and beads. On their own needles, young knitters will make treasure pouches, to be filled with surprise
treasures on the last day! Feb 17-21, 9:30-11:30am at The By Our Hands Craftroom. More info
In our most recent episode of Family Matters, Chloe Learey speaks with Groundworks Collaborative Executive Director Josh Davis and Vermont Agency of Human Services’ Sue Graff about community collaborations.