Weathering the storm
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
This year has challenged many of our assumptions about what we can count on being true and has disrupted what we considered to be normal. I have seen the phrase “We are all in the same storm, but not in the same boat” shared as the pandemic and other national events have raged, and appreciate the reminder that we are all weathering the storm in different ways. Patience with each other, assuming best intention, and responding with caring and kindness are tools that have helped navigate the challenges in a way that preserves one of our most important assets here at Prouty: the relationships we have with each other.
This past week has given us a remarkable example of the strength of our relationships as we have confronted a situation that we anticipated for months – someone in our learning community testing positive for coronavirus. We have experienced a range of emotions, from fear and anxiety to relief and hope, and we have been able to hold it all with grace and compassion. This includes staff, families and children.
Early Learning Center News
As the seasons change, so are we. There is so much growth happening in the Acorn room! We have babies learning how to roll, crawl, pull up, and walk. It is such a wonder to watch these little humans unfold in such a confident manner. The days are getting colder, but we took advantage of some unseasonably warm days while we had the chance! We enjoyed our long walks around campus and playing in the leaves and on the slide in the playground. On the colder days, we’ve been snuggling up inside with some good books. The babies personal favorites are Jamberry, The Snowy Day, Little Cloud, and That’s Not My Squirrel. We plan to create a scene for Jamberry on our felt board—complete with a boat, hat, and blueberries! We have been very interested in the cars and trucks. In our sensory box we have taped down different textures for them to ride the vehicles over—we have bubble wrap, cheesecloth, felt, a paint bag, and foam. In December we will be doing ice painting, using blocks of ice with food coloring in them, attached to popsicle sticks.
Another activity we have been slowly introducing to the children has been food preparation. As part of our Farm to School initiative, we would like to make it a regular part of our curriculum to prepare our own snack from local, healthy foods. Last month, the children washed, peeled, and mixed sweet potatoes for roasting. They really enjoyed these activities. Some even seemed more eager to try it for snack time! Beets will be our Harvest of the Month for January. If you have any ideas for recipes, please share them.
In the month of November, the children all enjoyed our crafts we did! We had a lot of turkey related activities such as “5 Little Turkeys” during circle time. We also created a turkey with forks! We enjoyed some beautiful days outside and in the leaves down at the “swimming pool”. The month of December, the favorite change of dramatic play has been our “Santa’s Workshop” as the children all enjoy this creative and imaginative play We also have been enjoying the “The Chubby Little Snowman and bunny” story during circle. We also have been doing fun sensory activities. We look forward to doing more arts and crafts!
The month of November was very busy in the Birch Room! Our monthly themes included building/construction and a week of Thanksgiving activities. Our building/construction weeks focused on what it means to build something from the ground up as well as identifying different types of construction vehicles. The children spent lots of time coloring construction pictures as well as building large towers out of our many choices of blocks in the block center. We did construction truck tracks paintings as well as learned how to “build” the letters of our names using popsicle sticks for our small group activities. The week of Thanksgiving had the class learning about what Thanksgiving is, but also what it means to be thankful for the things in our lives each day. Our small group activity was a Turkey dot painting where we assembled a paper turkey body and made feathers out of dot paints. This unit also included many books about the holiday and being thankful as well.
We continued our weekly woods adventures to visit Mrs. Cranberry and her Cubs as well as met up with our Oak friends on Wednesday’s at the playground. The big hit of the month was the “Swimming Pool!” Because all the leaves had fallen off the tree right nearby, it was filled with leaves that the children could jump in and slide down. They had a blast! The month of December will be focused on All Things Holidays. We will be talking about the different types of holidays people celebrate as well as what it means to give to others and many other fun activities.
This month the Oak room was busy exploring the outdoors and talking about Thanksgiving. Our circle discussions were about being thankful and what Thanksgiving is all about, including all the food we eat. During Choice Time we have been busy exploring the Dramatic Play Center as well as Blocks. Many of our students really enjoy the writing table and have been creating lots of great drawings. Outside, we have been exploring the campus with lots of walks through the woods. Also, playing at the Rock Garden and with all the leaves on the ground has been very popular. In December we are looking forward to reading stories about the Gingerbread Man and making gifts for our classmates and families.
- Dec 3 – Happy Birthday Luisa, Early Interventionist!
- Dec 10 – Solveig is 3!
- Dec 15 – Brayden is 4!
- Dec 16 – Happy Birthday Kathy H, Developmental Educator!
Dates to Remember
- The ELC will be closed Wednesday, December 23 – December 31 for Winter Break
- The Center will be closed Friday, January 1 for New Years holiday
- The ELC will close at Noon on Friday, January 8 for in-service
Resources & Events for families
A Bite to Eat offering holiday treat platters
A Bite to Eat is open on campus Tuesday-Thursday from 7:30-2:00pm, serving breakfast treats and lunch platters. They are now taking orders for holiday platters, too!
Project Feed the Thousands collection at Prouty
Project Feed the Thousands is the largest annual food drive in Southeastern Vermont and Southwestern New Hampshire. For the past 27 years, they have been helping thousands of families in need. We have a collection bin at Winston Prouty so if you’d like to donate, please send in a non-perishable food item with your child. Some recommended food items include: cereal, tuna, canned tomato sauce, dried fruit, pasta, jelly, whole grain crackers. The collection will be up until the ELC closes for winter break on 12/22. Thank you!
Shopping on Amazon? Support Prouty at the same time!
We recommend supporting our local community by shopping locally this holiday season. But when you can’t, and you find yourself hopping onto Amazon, start with smile.amazon.com and a small percentage of your purchase will go back to Winston Prouty as a fundraiser!
Stretch Your Budget with Vermont Food Programs
Keeping yourself and your whole family well nourished is one important way to support your health and our whole community. In this stressful time, no one should be stressed about having enough food at home. Hunger Free Vermont wants you to know that there are a number of food resources available to help you and your neighbors–we’re all in this together! Click for more information
3SquaresVT, the Federal Nutrition Program
3SquaresVT is an important federal nutrition program that can help households buy food! It can be used at grocery stores, convenience stores, co-ops and many farmers markets. Benefits are given to you each month on an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card, which works like a debit card. Even if you’ve never been eligible for help before, please know this program is here for you and your family. A household of 4 may be eligible if the gross income is $4039 a month or less.
3SquaresVT in a SNAP, a new program, makes it easier for Vermonters who are older or disabled to get and keep 3SquaresVT. The application is simpler and shorter. You may qualify to keep your benefits for three years without additional paperwork. You must be at least 60 years old or getting disability benefits and not earning income from a job or self-employment. A household of 2 can earn up to $2,658 gross. For help applying contact SEVCA at 802-722-4575 or 1-800-464-9951 and you will be directed to a Family Services staff member in your location. You may also apply online at www.mybenefits.vt.gov .