Routines should be routine
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
As the days get shorter and the leaves begin to change colors, we begin to think about starting new routines. The beginning of the school year is a time to take stock of what is ahead and how we want to structure our lives to manage the challenges of multiple demands – work, school, play, appointments, meals, cleaning, and all the other activities of a busy family life. Routines are the scaffolding to provide a sense of order and security, and an understanding of roles and expectations that are important for children of all ages and for parents.
Children who live in an environment with good routines feel a sense of safety and belonging that can be especially helpful when times become stressful. They also learn essential skills and responsibility around things like chores that are part of routines, including how to manage time. Finally, children can learn healthy habits through routines, like the importance of brushing teeth or getting exercise. Parents also thrive with good routines that can provide a sense of organization and reduce stress. Routines can minimize negotiations and decision-making by providing the structure for “this is how we do it.”
The opportunities for routines are endless, from bedtime to mealtime, laundry to yard work, shopping to house cleaning. Choosing what to tackle and how will depend on the unique circumstances of each family, including the age of the children in the home. While a toddler may need help eating dinner, a teenager may be part of cooking it… Continue Reading
Early Learning Center Classroom News
On August 27th we officially began the third year in the Acorn Room AKA infant room. Some babies transitioned earlier in the spring and summer and the last group of infants to join our nutty Acorn group began this past week! Even though my school days are way behind me, I still get that old familiar feeling of butterflies in my stomach. Questions arise of will they like me? What will our year together be like? Will we be a cohesive group? How will I get all these babies outside? As I meet these babies and families, and watch them all discover the room and each other, I am put at ease. It is going to be another amazing year! We are so excited to meet our Acorn families and share the fascinating year ahead. We are looking forward to establishing loving, trusting relationships. We have designed an environment that is physically safe, cognitively challenging, and emotionally nurturing. We will provide time for uninterrupted play, where children will investigate, invent and discover their world on their terms. We will observe and facilitate as these babies interact with each other and discover their first friendships. We will work on our own relationships and deep bond to find an understanding of their needs and wants and who they are as authentic beings. We will be consistent with our schedule creating predictability and an environment that feels safe for all.
These are the RIE (Resources for infant educarers) guidelines and principles that we have embraced into the infant room, where we invite the children into the process of learning and caring for ourselves and each other! I look forward to our third year here at Prouty!
August was beach time in the Maple Room. We transformed our Dramatic play area into a small beach, with sand, seashells, an umbrella and beach balls. A small kiddie pool was our beach, and a blue tarp was the ocean. We had a fishing net on the wall and beautiful blue skies up on the ceiling. It was such a great source fun. We also had water play days, including sprinkler time on Thursdays. We loved running up and down the hill, through the water and chasing the beach balls. In addition we explored shells and star fish, had sea creatures in the water table and had fun lounging on our chaise lounges watching our friends play.
We said “Good Bye” to the last of our three-year-olds as they move into the Oak and Birch Room. We will miss you Skye, Molly, Leah, Cora, Marcus and Oliver. Have lots of fun in the preschool and we will see you all on the playground. We welcome our new Maple room friends, Nevaeh, Alex H., Jade, Holly, and Madison. We are so excited to have you with us and look forward to a wonderful year.
The month of August was filled with bittersweet goodbyes and hellos. We spent the first three weeks of August enjoying time outside and making final memories with our new kindergarten friends. We wish them all the best as they embark on the first days of their elementary school adventures. We also had the pleasure of welcoming many new friends to our room. A big welcome to our new friends; Cora, Leah, Logan, Grayson, Braxxon, Marcus, and Ollie. We have had so much fun getting to know you the first week of school and look forward to the amazing year ahead!
The month of September we will be learning about ourselves, our new friends, and our families. We hope to take this time to build a strong classroom community and learn the rules and schedules we use each day. We also look forward to getting to know our new classroom families this month and learning more about the amazing families that are here for their second year. Reach out to us and share with us more about your families, homes, and of course your wonderful children! We are very pleased to have our volunteer Bob again this year sharing his time by reading to us, pushing us on the swings, joining all school sing, and all the other things we do. We thank you for all that you do for us, we absolutely love our ‘Bob days’. This month we also welcome new teachers Kim Jacques and Sara Fradkin to the Oak room. The new teaching team has been working hard thinking of new innovative ideas to engage our preschool friends. We all look forward to the year ahead full of learning, growing, and exploring with your children!
Welcome to the new school year! The children of the Birch room have really been enjoying our trips to the garden. We love trying recipes with kale – we make kale chips, kale salad and of course, taste it raw. We’ll focus early this month on getting to know each other- both new friends and those who are in their second year of the Birch room. Later this month, our theme will turn to autumn and apples.
Winston Prouty’s garden beds have been so productive this year! The classroom planters are erupting with colorful flowers. Especially exciting is the amount of produce that our new garden bed has grown. We have been harvesting many varieties of tomatoes these past few weeks, sharing tomato pies, salads, and sandwiches. The recent cool air is reminding us that the fruits of summer will soon be behind us.
It’s time to look more closely at our fall crops – pumpkins, squash and gourds. These autumnal gifts come in many shapes, sizes, colors and textures, making them super fun for children to explore. Smaller gourds can be dried to become natural shakers, delicata squash makes for yummy snacks, and pumpkins can be cut up and explored with ALL the senses! If any families want to earn their volunteer hours helping the garden committee, please let one of us know. We welcome novice and experienced gardeners alike.
Respectfully, The Garden Committee
Nancy McMahon, Jamie Champney, Sueño LeBlond and Margaret Atkinson
Dates to Remember
School pictures – Date TBD in late September
September 14 – Food Program forms due from all families – see the front desk if you need another copy or have questions.
October 5 & 6 – ELC Closed for Parent Teacher conferences
Resources & Events for Families
River Valley Kids Fair – September 15
River Valley Credit Union’s 20th Annual Kid’s Fair will be held on the third Saturday in September, which lands on the 15th this year. This all-free children’s event is the 2nd largest public event in Brattleboro, and features professional children’s acts, a free barbecue, inflatable fun, and a huge tent filled with kids activities from local area non-profits. The 20th Annual River Valley Kid’s Fair is held on the Brattleboro Common and starts at 11am and runs until 3pm.
Puppets in the Green Mountains Festival – September 19-23
Sandglass Theater of Putney, VT has assembled an international roster of performing companies for the 10th Puppets in the Green Mountains Festival: Opening the Doors. This September 19–23, puppet theater companies from around the globe will gather in venues throughout Brattleboro and Putney to offer performances that celebrate puppetry while exploring themes of Access and Inclusion. Family shows offered are Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Stage Play by Rustwerk Refinery from Canada, Mr Ruraru’s Yard by Puppet and its Double from Taiwan and The Joshua Show by Joshua Holden from New York. Find out more and book tickets at puppetsinthegreenmountains.com or call (802) 387 4051.
Free financial fitness class – hosted by SEVCA – Starts September 19
Celebrations & Recognitions
9/1 – Jamie C.
9/1 – Braydon turns 3!
9/6 – Degan turns 3!
9/7 – Ann L.
9/7 – Islay turns 1!
9/20 – Shawn L.
9/26 – Sara F.
9/28 – Jameson turns 4!
9/29 – Mary C.
On September 14, Joanne Shaw celebrates her 25th anniversary as a Winston Prouty Center employee. Thank you, Joanne!