Arresting young children is not an answer
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director. Published in the Brattleboro Reformer, October 10, 2019.
Could a first grader be handcuffed and arrested from one of our local elementary schools? A horrifying thought. Yet this was a reality in Orlando, Florida where it happened to two students last month. While the police officer was fired for not following department policy and any charges against the children will be dropped, this does not address the systemic issues that contribute to such an event occurring or further understanding about the importance of practices in early childhood that support healthy social emotional development. Continue reading
River Valley Kids Fair
In September, our Early Learning Express bookmobile attended the River Valley Kids Fair. Children and families got to explore the bookmobile, while staff and board volunteers giving out free books and information to visitors.
A newly-housed family with 5 young children are in need of the following items to make their home a safe and comfortable place to live: large dining table and chairs, lamps, twin beds, end tables, dressers, bedding, alarm clock, hangers, curtains, vacuum, bath mat, shower curtain and caddy, waste baskets, flatware, glasses, oven mits, microwave, TV/DVD player, toy box.
If you have any of these items to donate, please contact Evon Valentine: firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Learning Center News
Come little leaves, said the wind one day
Come over the fields, with me and play
Put on your dresses, of red and gold
The days grow short, and the nights grow cold
Grow cold Grow cold
This is one of the many songs we are singing with the babies as we experience Autumn together. The Acorn Room’s curriculum follows the baby’s developmental milestones and uses the seasons and nature as our themes. We will be singing about leaves, and pumpkins, stars, moons and perhaps a witches brew song. Our singing time is informal, no one is required to come and sit with us. We take out instruments to shake and rattle and sing songs that may be sung at home as well as our themed songs. Singing is a great way to teach language, a time to come together and celebrate. Babies seem to like the melodic sounds. They shake instruments, clap and dance. It is always a joyous and fun time. We follow up with sensory activities, stories and experiment with natural objects and bring them into our room
Fall is a wonderful time in our room. The babies are getting settled into their routine, and everything is feeling familiar. The walks up on the hill during autumn are beautiful, as are the sound of crunching leaves and the feel of the crisp fall air on our cheeks. We begin to experience the shorter days and earlier evenings, which can throw off a baby’s rhythm. Babies begin to see night fall and the moon. They are also slow to wake up as it’s still dark in the morning. We are also beginning to bundle baby up and dressing in layers, and wearing booties, which can be restricting and take time to acclimate.
The Acorns recently hosted their first Grandparents Day! Grandparents were invited to come celebrate a day with their grandchildren. Grandparents were taken on a hike (with grandchildren in tow) led by Alfred as he took us all on a cranberry adventure through the woods here on campus. When we got back we were all led in song by our coordinator Ann Linge and her ukulele. We then shared a meal together, with school made rolls, applesauce and lunch made by our wonderful teaching team. This was the first Grandparents day with hopefully more to follow! We really enjoyed meeting and spending time with our children’s terrific grandparents and watching them spend special time with their babies!
This month in the Willow Room- inspired by the book Infants and Toddlers at Work by Ann Lewin-Benham- we have been thinking about how to support children in working through the challenges that are directly in front of them. So often, it can be easy to feel like we need to offer more, when in reality children often benefit from less, more deeply. We have been thinking through what materials naturally provide the challenges that children are working through at this age. Things like opening and closing, squeezing, ripping, sticking, falling, rolling, pounding, climbing, lifting, carrying, pushing, and banging are all activities that delight children at this stage of development, so we have been providing materials like squeeze bottles of paint, rolls of tape, bunches of paper and tin-foil, varied levels of ramps, strollers, and musical instruments. With ample time to build relationships with these materials, and to explore the challenges that these materials provide the children are deepening their knowledge, and building their learning capacity. The children in the Willow Room also all seem eager to help with classroom jobs like getting snack, taking the laundry to the laundry room, and dumping out the compost. Participation in these daily routines allows them to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility, and to begin to acclimate to the rhythms of the day. We are also continuing to enjoy the outdoor beauty of the Prouty Campus, and look forward to continuing to explore how things change over time as the seasons change.
The month of September has been busy for us as we welcome our new friends to the Elm Room: Fern, Jane, Tadhg, Ian, Solveig, Ryan, Millie, and Isla.! Our focus for this month has mainly been to get to know each other and the room itself. This group really enjoys the cars and trucks and the dramatic play area with kitchen props and babies too. We have been going outside earlier in the morning on the beautiful days before it starts to get cold outside and head down to the playground for some sandbox fun and gross motor play with the tunnels and step stools.
We also had our annual Green Mountain Orchard apple-picking trip this month and picked many apples, ate yummy apple cider donuts, and drank cider as well. We thank those parents who volunteered to come help out and enjoy the fall day with us. We also celebrate Islay who turned two this month!
As we look forward: October we will be starting to introduce more curriculum based activities and getting to know each other more too!
September has been a wonderful month for the Maple Room. We started the month as strangers and are becoming such wonderful friends. At first there was a lot for us to learn, as our Elm Room children transitioned to our “older toddler” room. We met our families for the first time and learned new routines and expectations. Routines as common as washing hands and sitting for snack had changed, things felt so different, and of course we missed our other teachers, Allie and Bri. It’s amazing how quickly we accepted our new routines and of course our new teachers. The children have quickly shown us how independent, curious, caring, brilliant, kind, funny, sensitive, brave, and wonderful they are.
We have been busy experiencing so many things. We have used paints and brushes to easel paint, walked in ink and made rainbow footprints, used shaving cream and played in the sensory table. This month we went on our first woods walks with Alfred and we went apple picking at Green Mountain Orchards. A big THANK YOU to all the parents who drove and made our trip so incredible.
We are looking forward to October and exploring the fall season, pumpkins, costumes and a gentle version of Halloween.
The Birch Room has been hard at work studying fall items, such as acorns and apples. We will continue our study with different colored leaves and pumpkins. We used acorns for several experiments. We used hammers and opened them up to see the nut inside. We used a scale to weigh them and we discovered if they sink or float in water. We discovered that some sink and some float and we talked about some reasons why. We also talked a lot about our families and made family collages. Music is a big part of our classroom, with daily dancing and songs. The students have also been using the Block center materials to create their own band with guitars. They have also been doing lots of sorting and other math activities.
Dates to Remember
- Friday, October 11 – Center closes at NOON for all-staff in-service
- Friday, October 18 – Fire safety presentation
- Saturday, October 26 – Fall clean-up day
- Saturday, October 26 – Campus Clean-out
- Tuesday, October 29 – ELC Open house
- Friday, November 8 – Center closes at NOON for all-staff in-service
- Friday, November 28-29 – Center closed for Thanksgiving holiday
10/1 – Happy Birthday Kim J, Oak Room teacher
10/2 – Happy Birthday Amy M, Maple Room teacher
10/4 – Happy Birthday Jeanna, Child Care Financial Eligibility Specialist
10/5 – Hattie G is 1!
10/5 – Jane is 2!
10/8 – Happy Birthday Jean, CIS Nurse
10/13 – Happy Birthday Willie, CIS Intake Coordinator
10/17 – Happy Birthday Allie, Elm Room teacher
10/21 – Jordan is 5!
10/22 – Happy Birthday Sarah B, Oak Room teacher
10/23 – Cade is 1!
10/23 – Evelyn is 5!
10/24 – Tuscan is 3!
Resources & Events for Families
Kids in Coats
If your family needs assistance with winter outerwear for children, you may be eligible for United Way of Windham County’s Kids in Coats Fund. All applications must come through a referral source; no self-referrals are accepted. Winston Prouty Center is a referring agency for the KIC fund. Applications must be submitted by October 24, 2019 to be considered for any assistance. This is a firm deadline. More info
Pumpkin Promenade 5K and Kids Fun Run
The Gathering Place is holding its 2nd Annual Pumpkin Promenade, 5k & Kid’s Fun Run on Saturday, October 19, 2019. After the race visit the Goat Playground at Retreat Farm, grab a maple creemee and enjoy pumpkin carving, face painting and lawn games! The 5k will start at the Retreat Farm entrance, follow the scenic West River on Route 30, traveling on Upper Dummerston Rd. and back. Prizes for fastest runners and best costume will be awarded .At 10 am the Kid’s Fun Run around Farm House Square (.10 miles) will take place with all participants receiving a prize. More info
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week: October 20-26
Each year, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is a call to bring together individuals, organizations, industry, and state, tribal, and local governments to increase lead poisoning prevention awareness in an effort to reduce childhood exposure to lead. About 3.6 million American households have children under 6 years of age who live in homes with lead exposure hazards. According to the CDC, about 500,000 American children between ages of 1 and 5 years have blood lead levels greater than or equal to the level of blood reference value, the level at which CDC recommends public health actions. Adults and children can get lead into their bodies by breathing in the lead dust (especially during activities such as renovations, repairs or painting) or by swallowing lead dust that settles in food, food preparation surfaces, floors, window sills, and other places, or eating paint chips or soil that contain lead. Children can also become exposed to lead dust from adults’ jobs or hobbies, and from some metal toys or toys painted with lead-based paint. Find out more about how to reduce exposure in your family
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: Alison Wheeler, CIS Coordinator and Joanne Shaw, CIS Early Intervention Service Coordinator