Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work at Prouty
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
We continue to focus on embedding equity, social justice and diversity practices into our everyday work and conversations. These are small actions right now, such as having group discussions during staff meeting where we reflect on questions like “When was the first time you became aware of race?” The goal is to create brave spaces where we can become more practiced at talking about topics like race, knowing we may not always say the ‘right’ thing, and knowing that, if we don’t try, we will not have a chance to make things better.
We are excited about an upcoming project to share children’s books that explore race in a variety of ways, from celebration to representation to inclusion to education. The plan is to set up a display in the lobby that kids, families, and staff can access. This is being put together by our Prouty Tackling White Supremacy (PTWS) group, which includes me, Sueño LeBlond, Mary Coogan, Honor Woodrow and Willie Gussin. We currently meet every 2 weeks with the goal of identifying ways we can continue to keep issues of diversity, equity and inclusion present and relevant at Prouty.
We do this work grounded in one of the core values of Winston Prouty, inclusion:
We believe children, families and staff benefit from participating in an environment where everyone feels they belong, where every effort is made to accommodate differences and individual needs, and where everyone’s uniqueness is celebrated.
We strive to live this value in all aspects of what we do and feel strongly that it is foundational to a thriving community. We will not always get it right, and that is part of the journey, too. We welcome feedback and ideas! Please feel free to be in touch.
Prouty Center Updates
Welcome New Board members
We are pleased to welcome three new members to our Board of Trustees: Kristan Outwater, MD, pediatrician at Brattleboro Primary Care; Carla Lineback, Director of Alumni & External Engagement at World Learning; and Tom Franks, energy sector researcher and consultant. Learn more about their experiences here.
Early Learning Center News
July was a super fun month here in the Willow Room! Even though we had a lot of rain, we still made it outside to explore and play. We even found some worms and collected them! Inside the classroom, we have started an ongoing art experience where students can paint with their bodies on a long piece of wood. Some days we mix in different elements, like sand, to add a new texture. The Willow friends have also been loving doing circle time. Each student has a picture card, and we sing to everyone who is here. For August, we look forward to adding to our ongoing art experience and building off of the students interests and big ideas as they arise!
For the month of July, it was a very busy one full of much water play and using the big playground! There were also some rainy days but despite the weather, it didn’t stop us and we got into our rain suits and headed outside on those days. We also did some fun shaving cream sensory play and slip and slides!
Looking into August, we say goodbye and good luck to Teacher Abby who is venturing off to work as a second grade teacher! We welcome Molly who the children are becoming more familiar! We hope to enjoy these days of 70 degree weather to stay outdoors most mornings!
The month of July was a very rainy and soggy one but that didn’t stop us from exploring and going on many adventures! We continued with our weekly visits to the pond where we looked for frogs and dug in the sand with shovels. We also were able to visit Barry the Flamingo and make sure we left him plenty of pinecones as that’s his favorite snack and we have plenty to share on our campus! Our trips to visit Barry also had us trekking through Root and Mud City on numerous occasions. One of our favorite spots this month was the Salute to The Sun Bridge. Because of all the rain we have gotten in recent weeks, the river was flowing incredibly strong on those days, so we liked to watch the water run under the bridge and see how far it went. On days that it was rainy, while we managed to get outside for a walk and some fresh air, that also allowed us to enjoy choice time in the classroom with new center materials that were set out. The favorite centers this month were the train/building center which has our new tool stations that we like to call “Alex’s Workbench,” the sand sensory table, camping themed dramatic play, the library section filled with a wide variety of books from unicorns and dragons to building structures, and the coloring/writing center. It was nice that we were able to show our new friends to the room how choice time works on those days.
During the month of August, we will continue to explore the campus as well as have our weekly sprinkler days (as long as the rain and possible thunderstorms hold off.) The Birch teachers are already thinking about what the new school year in the classroom will look like and we can’t wait to share our ideas with everyone!
The Oak Room spent most of July playing with water! We spent lots of time at the pond, fishing with sticks, using nets to try to catch salamanders, digging out rivers in the dirt, watching how the water looked when sprayed from water bottles into the water, and exploring how leaves flow down a brook. We also saw a snapping turtle, a big fish and lots of salamanders and frogs. We used water bottles to spray each other, and the sidewalk and we used water, chalk and paintbrushes to experiment with color mixing. The highlight of our water play has been using plastic as a water slide. We have gone down the slide for hours every Thursday, sliding on our backs, bottoms and stomachs. Some of our other summer fun has included playground time, woods walks, and jousting.
Dates to Remember
- August 25 – ELC closes at noon
- August 25 – PreK Graduation at 11:00am – all are welcome!
- August 26 – ELC closed for In-Service/prep
- August 27 – Center closed for all-staff in-service
- August 30 – Start of the 2021-2022 Program Year
- September 6 – Center closed for Labor Day
- September 10 – Center closes at 12:00 for In-Service
Resources & Events for families
Virtual Big Latch-On: Aug 6, 7 and 8
This week is World Breastfeeding Week. Join the Vermont Department of Health for a local virtual Latch On! The Global Big Latch On is a time where people around the world celebrate breastfeeding and latch together. Our area is hosting three Zoom Latch Ons to get local families to join in. The official Latch On count will be at 11am for each date so please log on early! All participants will be entered in a drawing for door prizes. The Zoom link is available by registration only, for privacy. More information
Farm to Family Coupon books
Farm To Family coupons may be used to buy locally-grown, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut herbs at participating farmers markets and farm stands. Families who are enrolled in the Department of Health’s WIC Program and Vermont households with incomes at or below the income limits for the 2021 season are eligible. More information on eligibility and how to apply.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program
CSFP is a federal nutrition program that offices free monthly boxes of food to individuals ages 60 or older. The boxes are filled with canned fruits, vegetables, juice, cereal, pasta, cheese, shelf-stable milk and canned meats. More information