Celebrating our children and their caregivers
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
Spring has sprung, and the Month of the Young Child is upon us again! This is a time to celebrate the whimsy of early childhood and recognize the hard work of our children’s caregivers. Twenty-seven local organizations have organized events to help our community connect and celebrate this month. All interests, hobbies, and passions are represented across a variety of events.
The warmer weather, longer days, and ease of COVID concerns mean that now is the time for your child to try new things and explore their interests. The beauty of early childhood comes from experiencing the world for the very first time, with a curious mind and an open heart. Participating in new activities fosters a delightful sense of adventure and creativity. Similarly, encouraging children to explore their interests shows them that their passions are valuable and worthy of pursuit. Whether you are raising a young reader, crafter, musician, storyteller, actor, or animal lover, there are activities for your family to enjoy this month. For a complete list of these free events, click here: www.winstonprouty.org/moyc.
Celebrating the Month of the Young Child will be different for everyone – you might spend an extra afternoon with your child this week, or perhaps write a letter to your state representative in support of child-care legislation. You may bake a batch of cookies for your child’s caregiver or send them a short thank-you note. Regardless of how you choose to do so this month, we invite you to celebrate the promise of our young children and those responsible for their care.
Resources & Events for Families
Read & Imagine with Everywhere Philosophy
This Friday at 10:00am in the Great Room at Winston Prouty – ELC families & visitors are welcome to join us! What is a friend? How do we know when someone is a friend? And what might it mean to be a good friend? Join Everywhere Philosophy’s Dr. Mike and Bethany to celebrate friendship and the Month of the Young Child! We’ll think and talk about friendship together, and we’ll read Mike Curato’s wonderful story about companionship and kindness: Little Elliot Big Fun
Teddy Bear Teas
Elementary schools throughout Windham County are hosting a series of Open House events known as Teddy Bear Teas, to help incoming pre-K and kindergarten students connect with their new community school, resources and other families. The Teddy Bear Teas are a collaboration between local schools and Early Education Services, the regional Parent Child Center. Click here for the dates of this year’s Teddy Bear Teas: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xvLfqWWjmhy4Nitvpttu6ofCR6gMxnDd/view
BIPOC Centered homebuyers group
The Root Social Justice Center and Windham and Windsor Housing Trust are partnering to provide Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) centered spaces in The Root’s Healing Series initiative for BIPOC folks and their families who are thinking, interested or already on their way to being homebuyers. The series kicks off April 29th, 11am a the Root’s safer space. More information: https://www.therootsjc.org/
Prouty Plant Swap is May 1st – May 6th
By dividing, we multiply!
Winston Prouty’s Farm to School team is excited to host our second annual plant swap in front of Thomas Hall. Everyone is encouraged to share in the abundance of our collective home gardens. The rock wall in front of Thomas Hall will be our staging area where people can drop off plants, peruse the offerings, and leave with new plants.
We encourage donations to support our Farm to School efforts.
How it Works – The Big Picture
- Between Monday May 1st and Wednesday May 3rd, we invite people to drop off plants along the rock wall. Plants should be pest free and labelled.
- Beginning May 2nd people can make a donation and select plants from the rock wall to take home.
- We welcome perennial divisions, extra plants from your garden six-pack, seeds, and clippings from your house plants.
- Label plants with as much information as you can: Name, light requirements (sun, shade, part sun, etc.), soil and water requirements and a brief description (height, color, flowering, etc.)
- Bring your labelled plants and find the right location along the wall: hardy perennials, tender annuals, house plants, seed packets. This will help others find suitable plants for their landscaping and help us manage the plants that need to be covered or brought inside each night.
Early Learning Center News
In March, many of the Acorn children really started to “discover” each other. They frequently play next to each other, and now are beginning to engage more with one another. Maybe it’s because all of the children are moving about on their own or because they’re all “talking” more. It’s so fun to watch them study one another, whether it be the other person’s face, feet, or ears. The children are also making new sounds. We now have farm animal books and props in the classroom. This is a great way for children to hear the names of the different animals and the many sounds they make. We experimented with a painting activity over the course of a week. We provided paint colors based off a favorite book of the Acorn children, More, More, More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams. It was interesting to see how the children approached the materials and interacted with them differently from day to day. There is a display of this activity outside our classroom. We’ve been spending more and more time outside as the weather gets warmer. The children are having a great time exploring the playgrounds! Lastly, we say goodbye to our friends, Yuki and her mommy, Ana as their last day at Winston Prouty was April 7th. We will miss you both!!
March was a wonderful month for the Willow Room! We welcomed spring with open arms and have been spending a lot of time in the woods now that most of the snow has melted and made our trails more accessible. We did our first few mini hikes this month and are slowly working towards the longer hikes and explorations that we plan to go on later this spring and summer. The Willow room has also been doing lots of artwork and mark making this month. We have been practicing mark making with crayons while standing next to the table, sitting in chairs, and standing up at the easel. Each of these experiences have created different types of marks depending on what surface was behind the paper, as well as what angle the crayons were contacting the paper at. These beautiful works of art have been used to create a card for one of our teachers and others are on display throughout our classroom.
Last month in the Elm room was a tad bit quieter as we entered a month of unpredictable weather. Snow days and snow storms have resulted in new creativities among our Elm Room friends inside the classroom. They have taken an increasing enjoyment out of reading new books, going over classroom rules and how we are feeling and how we can help others during morning time circle. More of them are beginning to engage in collaborative dramatic play where often times, the loft space is used as a pretend space ship, pirate ship, or fishing dock.
This month we introduced new activities in the classroom such as building with Legos, exploring new puzzles, and climbing small wooden structures in the big room. Of course, the elm room has also continued to have dance parties in the afternoons, play in the snow and climbing the big, plowed piles on our walks, and adding to our art wall, which will likely be completely covered in the next couple of weeks!
Oak & Birch Rooms
In the first week of March, the Oak room made and served pancakes for the entire ELC. We made invitations, offered delivery, and set up tables for everyone. We also made spaghetti and meatballs because of our story of Rico Run. Also in March, the Oak and Birch room have been mixing up for most of the day. We have three small groups and we have been rotating to the next small group when Monday comes. This is so that we can let the children explore the materials and have opportunities to continue a project over time. The three different groups for March were: Paper-making with Vanessa, Planting with Molly, and Color-mixing with Nora. We have also started planning an outdoor space for the rest of spring and summer. We have found a place in the woods where we feel might be enough space and have enough area for both classrooms to move about. A few children have written down their ideas and have stated things they would like to have. We are hoping to get the children involved in helping build a space we can call our outdoor classroom. In April, we plan to decorate for spring and begin going outside more. We are hoping that by the end of April, we will be able to meet outside. We wish everyone a great spring break, and look forward to more outside time!
- April 2 – Happy Birthday Laura, Child Care Referral Specialist!
- April 3 – Happy Birthday Brenda, Elm Room teacher!
- April 5 – Happy Birthday Betsy, Campus Projects Coordinator!
- April 8 – Happy Birthday Jack, Elm Room teacher!
- April 12 – Happy Birthday Sarah, Development & Communications Coordinator!
- April 21 – Happy Birthday Kim, Pyramid Model Coach & Licensed PreK Teacher!
- April 27 – Piper is 2!
- April 28 – Monty is 2!
Dates to Remember
- Friday, April 14 – Center closes at noon for in-service & ELC Summer Enrollment Forms due!
- Monday, April 17 – Friday, April 21 – ELC Closed for Spring Break
- Monday, May 1 – Plant Swap Begins!