One Way to Combat Childhood Hunger
Winston Prouty is celebrating it’s 50th year in 2019! Throughout this anniversary year, we want to share stories of people whose lives have been impacted by the Prouty Center as we celebrate and think about the next 50 years.
One of the major sources of support for providing nutritious food to young children is through a program that is not well known. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is funded through the USDA Food and Nutrition Services and is part of the safety net to improve access to food and a healthy diet to at-risk populations. Nationally more than 4.2 million children benefit from the program through their child care providers, and we are fortunate to have access to the program in our region.
The Winston Prouty Center began sponsoring CACFP regionally in 2017 after merging with Windham Child Care Association. Last year 239 children received 115,867 healthy meals and snacks locally through 29 home-providers who participate. As a sponsor WPC provides support, training and oversight to child care providers who want to use the resource. Providers who follow the food guidelines and document what they are doing get reimbursed for the food they buy each month. Continue Reading
Early Learning Center News
Children’s Bazaar and Sledding Party
Thank you to everyone who made this special day of winter activities so much fun for all! The day started in our Great Room where classroom teachers and other Prouty staff offered various activities for the children, including stamping with food, weaving yarn, making and baking (cardboard) pizza, open ended creativity with nature parts and so much more. The day ended with a fun-filled afternoon of sledding behind Vermont Hall.
With our new group of infants we are beginning to introduce solids. This is a tricky endeavor. There are different cultures and beliefs around food and what’s best for baby to start. As I have been investigating the latest trends on infant food and feeding I came across a book called Baby Led Feeding by Jenna Helwig which marries well with the RIE Approach. As I read, the best food is the whole food; the veggies and fruit that can break down easily or be roasted or steamed and fed to baby in small pieces. As I look out our infant room window, I continue to watch our garden still snow covered. Spring promises to be on its way, so I have begun thinking and dreaming about what we may grow and what we can offer our infants right from the garden. Our seeds have arrived and will be planted inside in the next few weeks which is exciting! How great it will be to walk outside and pick our ripe veggies and offer it to our infants for our breakfast and snack. I look forward to being outside in the warm weather, and planting and watching our food grow. This is an important time for infants as the food we introduce now will influence the food they eat throughout their lives!
The Willow Room is settling into their new space and new routines with teachers Kayla & Jamie. We welcome Ian and his family to the Prouty community!
February is the shortest month, but it was full of excitement for the Maple Room. We turned our baby area into the Prouty Post Office and delivered mail to our friends. We made hearts and “carried” them to our friends in our little Valentine mail boxes. Using stickers was very exciting this month and we made a giant heart for our story board. We colored it with markers and stuck hundreds of stickers on. It was great for our fine motor skills and fun too.
We had our first Valentine Celebration with “red fruit” and “pink yogurt” for breakfast, and red vegetables for afternoon snack. We even made sugar cookie dough from scratch and rolled out our very own heart cookies. Everyone was surprised at how “hard” our dough became after being in the refrigerator overnight. It was wonderful to see the surprise on their faces when we said that they had to hold and squeeze their piece of dough and it started to soften. Rolling the dough and pushing the cookie cutters was hard work but it was exciting eating the cookies at snack time.
We ended our day with a Valentine exchange and the children were so excited to look at their cards and there may have been a little candy involved (a lollipop and some fruit snacks).
We are loving our woods walks with Alfred on Thursdays. Climbing through the deep snow is hard work for us, and typically a new experience for toddlers. We love playing in the snow now, and also like eating it too.
We will end our month by mailing a special letter. Maybe we will even receive a letter in the mail at school.
The children in Birch have been enjoying the great outdoors: fresh snow sledding and walks around the campus to the snow “swimming pool” (a depression around a large tree), and digging for “Rick’s Hair” (a beloved mounded spot with straw under the snow) near the bottom of the trail hill. They are also loving indoor door play: individually exploring, experimenting, and making discoveries, as well as pairing up or in groups of friends. And of course eating (!): helping themselves to family style meals, chatting, listening to stories and cleaning up their spots once finished.
Dates to Remember
- Saturday, March 9 & Sunday, March 10 – 5th annual Par for the Cause mini-golf fundraiser for Winston Prouty
- Friday, March 22 – ELC closes at 12:30 for Parent conferences
- Monday, March 25 – ELC closed for Parent conferences
- Wednesday, April 3 – Center closes at 3:30 for All Staff Meeting
- Monday, April 15-Friday, April 19 – ELC Closed for Spring Break
Celebrations & Recognitions
Congratulations to Alyssa Kelly on her completion of Vermont’s Child Care Apprenticeship Program
Alyssa Kelly, Assistant Teacher at the Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development, recently completed Vermont’s Child Care Apprenticeship Program. Kelly completed her apprenticeship at the Winston Prouty Center in Brattleboro, where she was supported by her mentor, Kim Paquette.
The Child Care Apprenticeship Program combines on-the-job mentoring with formal classroom instruction in the field of early childhood education. Kelly documented over 4,000 hours of supervised work on the job; completed a sequence of six college courses; and attended over 30 hours of training designed to broaden her knowledge and skills in the field. Continue reading the press release
3/11 – Happy Birthday, Amy F!
3/14 – Happy Birthday, Michelle
3/20 – Happy Birthday, Alfred
3/22 – Happy Birthday, Angela
3/27 – Happy Birthday, Laurie
3/28 – Happy Birthday, Sueño
Resources & Events for Families
Par for the Cause – this weekend!
We hope to see you on Saturday or Sunday for our annual 5th annual Par for the Cause mini-golf fundraiser! The evening event will be catered and includes a cash bar and silent auction, while the kids event on Sunday will have a snacks, face-painting and crafts. Please join us!
April is Month of the Young Child
Winston Prouty co-sponsors our area’s Month of the Young Child activities, which as a celebration of young children and their caregivers. The month of April is filled with free, family-friendly activities throughout Windham county, including art classes, nature walks, performances, and so much more. MOYC booklets are in family mailboxes and available at the front desk. Events details, photos and updates are at the Month of the Young Child Facebook page.
FREE Art Workshops for Caregivers
With the support of generous grants from the Thomas Thompson Trust and the Kahn-Mason Foundation, River Gallery School is offering a series of free workshops for area caregivers. These accessible art sessions are designed to provide a relaxing, fun, and creative break for people who spend much of their time and energy caring for those in need, be it children or adults with special needs, aging parents, or partners with failing health. Topics include: Meditation and Art, Watercolor Painting, Screen Printing, Collaged Postcards, Needle Felted Angels and many more. More information
Winston Prouty Re-launches Family Matters show on BCTV
As we celebrate our 50th year, we’re filming a special series of our Family Matters show on Brattleboro Community Television. Each month, we’ll speak with community members about their experiences with Prouty and how our services have impacted them. In February, we talked with local mom Marion Major about the support she received from Maternal Child Health Nurse & Lactation Consultant Sally Pennington following the birth of her daughter. Keep your eyes peeled for some ELC children in the opening and closing scenes!