Choosing a career in Early Childhood Education
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
Graduation season begins a time of opportunities and new beginnings. For those leaving high school, it is a major step towards a career whether into another level of education or directly into the workforce. It is exciting and scary to consider where your path might lead.
One career that benefits our community in multiple ways is early childhood education. Having good teachers makes it possible for families to participate in the workforce knowing their children are in a high-quality early learning environment. Having good teachers also helps give our youngest citizens the strong foundation they need to be ready for school and beyond. The earliest years are critical for brain development with over 90% of the brain being developed by the age of 5, before children even get to kindergarten. No wonder it is so important to have excellent teachers in early childhood education!
Strolling of the Heifers
Saturday’s parade was full of sunshine and smiles – thank you to everyone who prepared our float, joined our march and cheered us on from the crowds!
Click HERE to view more photos from Saturday’s parade
Early Learning Center News
As I watched the spring slowly unfold up here on the hill, it gave me a sigh of relief. That better weather and summer are on their way. My favorite time of year. It comes with longer days, swims on the lake, toasting marshmallow on the fire. As I watch the blossoms I think about the apples that will come in the fall. And the new fresh green leaves bring me back to summers, seeking comfort in the shade of those trees.
Last week I was observing our little ones during their uninterrupted play time in our infant play room. One baby spent a long amount of time looking up out at the window. She seemed so focused, mesmerized really. I became fully present in watching and actually got down on her level so I could see it through her eyes. And there it was! The leaves had just unfolded a few days before. Only a week ago where there were bare limbs was now a window full of bright green leaves, swaying in the spring breeze. She appeared so entertained and curious. By trying to see it through her eyes I realized this was her first experience with leaves, she was born in November and I was witnessing her first realization of spring . She was delighted and as the breeze picked up and the leaves danced in their glory she became animated and kicked her legs and swung her arms. What was she finding so delightful in watching leaves? Was it the movement and rhythm as they swayed back and forth in their spring dance? Was it the green color of the leaves as they reflected the sunlight? Or was it that she was inventing in her experience the definition of what spring is? Is this her first memory of tree and what it represents for her?
The next day another baby experienced a similar moment while on our morning walk. I stopped the stroller and sat quietly and watched as he looked up at the canopy of green leaves. These little ones don’t have the experience as I do to know and anticipate summer, fall and what’s yet to come. As they experience and create these memories and feelings I feel such delight and honor witnessing their first experiences, and memories. What a delight!
May has been another busy month for Maple Room. Our dramatic play area has turned into a farmer’s market and we are selling vegetables, fruits, and flowers. We also added a fairy garden and our fairy family is growing. We now have 6 fairies, and soon a few more. They will probably stay with us for the rest of the spring/summer. For Mother’s Day we explored real cut flowers from the store, and we made them into beautiful bouquets for our special “mom” in our life. We replanted some zucchinis and helped weed the big community garden. We really love finding earth worms, even if we’re afraid of them.
Activities we have enjoyed are endless, one in particular was spray painting a large sheet with different colors. We have the cloth in our room and will continue adding color to it this spring and summer. We also love our woods walks and this time we saw a scarlet tanager. We were so excited!
In June we plan to take a trip to Retreat Farm to see a farm in action and a guest will join us to help us Eat the Rainbow.
May has been an exciting month in the Birch Room! We welcomed 3 new students and have spent lots of time outside and learning about Spring. We have studied butterflies, and things that live in ponds. We watched 6 tiny caterpillars turn into big caterpillars and then each one turned into a chrysalis. The last week of May they all hatched into butterflies that we let go outside and watched them fly away. We also learned about the life cycle of a frog and played with plastic frogs, turtles and lily pads in the water table. Board games and the House Center continue to be the favorite activities during the morning play time. Trains have also become popular this month. We finished the month by studying Fairy Tales. We talked about classic fairy tales, like The Three Little Pigs, and the Three Billy Goats Gruff. We also talked about princesses and princes. We ended the unit by making magic wands and creating our own fairy tale story. We are looking forward to warmer weather and even more time outside.
This past month our children have been having a blast playing with one another both inside and out of the classroom. Washing baby dolls in soapy water with sponges at the sensory table, playing in our Oak doctor’s clinic dramatic play area, painting with watercolors and exploring hands-on about our community garden outside on the lower field are just a few activities our children have thoroughly enjoyed playing and learning about this month.
They have also been eager to practice their handwriting, gluing and scissor cutting skills and have made excellent drawings, collages and ladybug crafts with googley eyes!
It has been wonderful to watch most of our children venture outside their comfort zones when it comes to trying new foods this month. Ever since our ELC snack menu has been upgraded our children seem to approve and enjoy the new additions. Some of the snack items voted most popular by them were the orange slices, oatmeal and peaches, broccoli with ranch dressing and the green beans.
In addition, our friends always look forward to spending time with Alfred during our Friday woods walks. They have all worked very hard and had so much fun collecting natural materials such as sticks, tree bark, flowers, mosses, etc. in order to build their magical Oak Fairy Lodge, located on the blue trail.
It has been such a wonderful, fun-filled year so far for all of us and we can’t wait to share more about our upcoming activities with you next month!
Dates to Remember
- June 19 – Maple Room to Retreat Farm
- June 19 – Acorn & Willow Room Family Circle
- June 20 – Elm Room to Retreat Farm
- June 27 – ELC Graduation
- June 28 – ELC Closed for First Aid/CPR training
- August 3 – Prouty’s 50th Birthday Party
Play clothes in sizes 3T, 4T, 5T
6/1 – Happy Birthday, Bri!
6/5 – Madison E is 4!
6/6 – Charlotte is 3!
6/7 – Happy Birthday, Kyle!
6/16 – Happy Birthday Margaret and Alison!
6/18 – Dell is 1!
6/18 – Piper is 4!
6/18 – Oliver R is 4!
6/19 – Orin is 5!
6/22 – Happy Birthday, Kathy W!
6/23 – Delia is 2!
Resources & Events for Families
Stretch Your Food Budget in Summer
Summer is the most vulnerable time for Vermont’s kids. Vermonters are hardworking people, but the high costs of food, fuel and other necessities make it tough to get by. Applying for 3SquaresVT can help you stretch your food budget so you can put three healthy meals on you table every day. 3SquaresVT is much more than just food. If you qualify, your children can get free school meals. With school coming to an end soon, your child may be eligible for summer meals. For a list of summer meals sites log on to Hunger Free Vermont, an updated list will be available in June. A family of four earning up to $3,871 a month may be eligible for benefits. Read more
Winston Prouty’s 50th Birthday Party
Join us to celebrate our 50 years of service in the community on Saturday, August 3 from 4-7 pm. The party will included free BBQ dinner, bouncy house, hot air balloon walks, hay rides around campus, Prouty history tent, and more. Draft beer served by Hazel and Vermont Gelato will also be available for purchase.
Food trucks on campus this summer
From June – September, we will have two food trucks visiting campus from 11-2. Anon’s Thai Cuisine will be here on the 2nd Wednesday of each month and Whetstone Station will be here on the 4th Thursday. More info
Winston Prouty Podcast
Be sure to catch the latest episodes of our podcast, which you can find on your favorite podcast platform. Recent conversations include Kristy Rose, Alyssa Kelly and Angela Hoag.
Family Matters on BCTV
Jennifer Stromsten of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and Jennifer Jacobs of THRIVE, LLC speak with Chloe Learey of the Winston Prouty Center about the importance of child care in building a robust economy. They discuss their efforts as members of the Child Care Counts Coalition, whose mission is to maintain and increase child care capacity in Windham County, Vermont.