Celebrating families and young children
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
April is Month of the Young Child (MOYC), and we are excited by all the opportunities the organizing committee has put together to help celebrate. There is a mix of virtual and in-person activities, and information can be found on our website at https://winstonprouty.org/moyc/.
The significance of this month is especially striking as we come out of a year of living in a pandemic. The importance of supports for families with young children, including quality early care and learning, has been magnified by the isolation and challenges of the past year, making it apparent to even those who were not necessarily concerned about early childhood before. This is clear in the support of a large majority of the Vermont legislature for House Bill 171 (H.171), which represents a major investment in shoring up the child care sector in the state. It is also clear in how COVID relief funds have been allocated to support everything from child care for essential workers to remote learning spaces for elementary students to summer programming to help kids get reconnected to each other and ready to go back to school full time.
Early Learning Center News
It has been busy in the Acorn room with welcoming another new friend, Asher. Jess and Hayley took the babies out for walks around campus on the warmer days. They love to be outside and we can’t wait until we can be out more often. In the mornings we would fill up the water table and let them explore the water with their hands and other toys. The water table quickly became one of their favorite activities.
For April, Jess and Hayley switched up the room a little bit and added new toys and climbers and took some out. Also in April we are going to be welcoming another new friend. We plan to spend more time out on our playground and to see what other toys we can bring out for the babies to play with.
In the month of March, the Willow class continued exploring more experiences involving ramps and trajectory. The Willow children found great excitement when we integrated different elements like water, paint, and reflective sound balls to ramp based experiences.
We were also able to start going outdoors to explore more. As the weather is constantly changing this time of year, we are able to explore many elements like snow, ice, mud, and water outdoors. Inside the classroom, we began to focus more on turn taking games involving the whole class. The most popular material for this is our ball drop toy. Each friend would take their turn sending the ball down and then pick who went next. They would hand the ball to the person they picked and feel excitement for each other!
For the month of March we enjoyed our fantastic foods unit trying different fruits and veggies by tasting, feeling, looking, ect. Our dramatic play area was a farmers market and the children all enjoyed it! We enjoyed some beautiful days outside and some yucky ones in, but used the Prouty rain suits in all weather!
Looking into the month of April, we are excited to be focusing more on a baby care theme. We’ve got some children in the class who are going be upcoming siblings in the next couple months! So our dramatic play area is turned into a baby care area! We will be doing more fun sensory and art activities indoors and out when the weather warms up.
March was a fantastic month in the Birch Room. With the melting of the snow and the warmer weather in sight, we had much to do and explore! Our monthly theme was Pets! During our morning circle time, we did activities such as Pet Yoga, a Pet Shop shapes activity, and we had an activity where we looked at different animal pictures and we had to decide if they were a pet, wild animal, or both. Lastly, we also played musical paper plates where we continued to work on both our number and letter recognition. The classroom centers were also transformed this month with a pet themed sensory table filled with animals, beans, tubes, etc., a Pet Clinic Dramatic Play area which was the favorite center of the month. The center had everything from medical equipment and clothing to many different kinds of stuffed animals, it even had a receptionist’s desk! We also had a pet fish themed science area that taught us everything we would need to know if we ever wanted to have a pet fish at our own homes! Aside from the pet theme, we also spent a week talking about St. Patrick’s Day where we worked on St. Patrick’s Day themed patterns as well as a scavenger hunt put on by our friend Lucky the Leprechaun that led us to a delicious, tasty treat. The last week of the month we will focus on the Easter holiday!
Along with everything exciting that went on in the classroom, our outdoor adventures continued and got even better when we discovered new areas to explore in the woods! One area we found even had a pre-built stick house that was big enough for about ten friends to fit in! We started our monthly woods walks back up as well now that the snow has just about melted, and we even got to visit our friend Barry the Flamingo who we hadn’t seen all winter (he flew south!) We also continued to visit the “Swimming Pool,” Mrs. Cranberry’s Fort, and the playground! Next month we will be working on the theme of spring/gardening!
March has been a busy month in the Oak Room. We have done lots of exploring outside in our new rain suits. They have been great for warmer weather when there is lots of mud and water to explore. Inside, we have been exploring colors and weather. We have discussed how colors combine to make new colors and done lots of color experiments. We have been talking about how the weather is changing and getting warmer and we are all ready for Spring! We have also been building elaborate structures in the Block Center and enjoying our new Dramatic Play Center, a pediatrician’s office. In circle, we have been practicing wearing masks in preparation for wearing them all day in elementary school. The circle area has been moved and transformed, with tree stumps for sitting and bean bag chairs have been added to the Reading Center. The sensory table has been a big hit, with plastic grass and eggs to hunt for and fill with gems. We have enjoyed trying to find the golden egg! We ended the month talking about spring and flowers and planting some cucumbers for the future garden. In April we will talk more about seeds, flowers, plants and bugs.
- April 3 – Jackson is 2!
- April 3 – Happy Birthday Brenda, Birch Room Assistant Teacher
- April 4 – Archer is 4!
- April 5 – Happy Birthday Alyssa, Birch Room Teacher Associate
- April 11 – Kylie is 1!
- April 12 – Holly is 5!
- April 12 – Happy Birthday Sarah D, Communications Coordinator!
- April 16- Happy Birthday Katrina, CACFP and Referral Specialist!
- April 18 – Happy Birthday Eric, Campus Facilities Manager
- April 19 – Rylan is 5!
- April 21 – Happy Birthday Kim S – Preschool Mentor Teacher
- April 25- Aiylah is 4!
- April 30 – Kennedy is 2!
Dates to Remember
- The ELC will close at noon on Friday, April 9
- The ELC will be closed April 19-23 for spring break
- The ELC will close at noon on Friday, May 14
- The Center will be closed on Monday, May 31 for Memorial Day
- Save the Date! Par for the Cause – our annual mini-disc-golf fundraiser: June 27 and June 28
Resources & Events for families
BIPOC Vaccine Clinic in Brattleboro April 10
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) of Windham County Vermont is collaborating with the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) to provide access to and prioritize the equitable vaccination for COVID-19 of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) folks. Brattleboro is one of the sites in the State dedicated to the BIPOC community. Saturday, April 10 at the School for International Training. More details
Winter Bookmobile fundraiser a success!
In February we discovered the vehicle that delivers books to children at early education programs in the winter as part of our Bookmobile program was unrepairable. With donations from almost 50 individuals across 8 states, along with a generous grant from the Manton Foundation, we purchaed a new Toyota SUV to keep the program on the road! Read more here.
April is Month of the Young Child
Free, family-friendly activiites all month long, with art, music, science, nature, cooking, philosophy, books, games and much more! The celebration is sponsored by Winston Prouty in partnership with Building Bright Futures, Early Education Services, RiseVT, Hilltop Montessori and Windham Early Childhood Educators Co-op. Click HERE for a full list of events. Below are a few featured events that will be held at Winston Prouty:
Read and Imagine with Everywhere Philosophy
Saturday, April 17, 10:00-11:00
Winston Prouty Campus, upper soccer field, Austine Dr, Brattleboro
Everywhere Philosophy Presents: What is a Jump Rope? A live reading of Alan Woo’s, David Jumps In, plus an exploration of the philosophy of jumping rope! Close your eyes. Can you imagine a Jump Rope? What does it look like? What is it made of? After all, can’t jump ropes be many colors, sizes, materials and lengths? Or does it have to be a piece of rope? Can we be sure we will know a Jump Rope when we see one? Join Everywhere Philosophy’s Dr. Mike & Bethany for a reading of David Jumps In followed by a whimsical detour into the metaphysics of this beloved pastime.
Wet Felting Fun
Saturday, April 17, 11:00-1:00 (drop-in)
Winston Prouty Center, 209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro
Come wet felt or finger knit with Victoria Mansuri of BY OUR HANDS ~ A Place to Create Together (byourhandscreate.com). Spring stories accompany the activity and each child will go home with a wet felted bead or finger knitted bracelet.
Everywhere Philosophy Presents: Why Do Some Things Make Me SO Happy?
Winston Prouty Campus, Upper soccer field, Austine Dr, Brattleboro
Friday, April 23, 10:00-11:00
Being happy is the best! Try to remember one of the happiest times you’ve ever had. What was it like? What was it about that particular moment that made you SO happy? And what IS happiness? We know that having fun can make us happy, so does that mean that fun and happiness are the same thing? If not, what’s the difference? We have so many happy questions to ask and so much happiness to share. For this fun event, please pick out something special from your home that you’re excited to share and talk about with Dr. Mike and your new Everywhere Philosophy friends!
Early Learning Express Virtual Visit: March 2021
There are many goodbyes in our lives – drop off in the morning, moving to new homes or new schools, and when loved ones die. It’s a universal experience and talking about all the feelings is good for us. Todd Parr’s “Goodbye Book” and Cori Doerrfeld’s “Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!” get the conversation started. We end with a musical tribute to the glorious mud season of spring in Vermont. Watch the video