The Prouty Voice February 2022

The Impact of COVID-19 on Child Development

By Chloe Learey, Executive Director

Heading into the third year of dealing with COVID-19, there are pressing questions about the impact of the pandemic on children and child development. We need to examine what has had a positive impact, what has had a negative impact, and how we can best ameliorate the effects our youngest have had to bear.

One positive outcome of the pandemic was the investment in children and families through the expansion of the Child Tax Credit, which is estimated to have kept 3.7 million children out of poverty by December 2021, and decreased the rate of children living in poverty by almost 30%. Continue reading

Resources & Events for families

Brattleboro Winter Farmers’ Market offered a special “Food Boost”

The Brattleboro Winters Farmers Market has received a grant from the Vermont FoodBank to extend their Food Boost program another year.  SNAP/3Squares/EBT customers can receive up to a $10 match for purchasing more locally produced grocery items from market vendors, combined with doubled Crop Cash match that enables customers to turn $10 EBT into $40 for food. Of that $40, $20 is restricted to fresh fruits and vegetables, while the other $20 can be used for any grocery items at the market.

For those who are not receiving food benefits, but are struggling to put enough food on the table for their families, the program is extending an invitation for them to visit the market and
use a complimentary $25 Food Boost coupons. To pick-up your Food Boost coupon, please call or stop by our main office.

Eat Smart, Move More

UVM Extension is pleased to offer a FREE virtual nutrition education series for parents or caregivers of children whose incomes are below 185% of the federal poverty level. 

This series includes:

  • 6 online, self-led video lessons, 30 mins in length and broken into short instruction, recipe, & workout videos
  • Topics include shopping on a budget, cooking tutorials, and simple solutions for healthy eating and daily physical activity
  • Live video or phone conversations with a UVM Extension Nutrition Educator, designed to meet participant needs

Learn more by HERE or reach out to the Nutrition Educator in your area listed on the flyer below.

Child Tax Benefits

The 2022 tax season is upon us. You could qualify for child tax benefits if you:

  • Work;
  • Had children living with you; and
  • Earned less than $51,464 ($57,414 married filing jointly)

To find out if you are eligible for the Earned Income Credit (EITC), Child and Dependent Care Credit, or the Vermont Low-Income Child and Dependent Care Credit, click HERE for more information.

Artwork needed for Month of the Young Child promotion

The Month of the Young Child planning committee is seeking children’s artwork for this year’s promotional materials. Learn more

The Basics Principle #1  Maximize Love & Manage Stress 

developing healthy social emotional behaviors in our children 
Infants and toddlers thrive when their world feels loving, safe, and predictable. When an adult responds to a child’s needs, they learn they can count on you.  Young children are affected by a parent’s emotions, both happy or sad. So, it’s important to find strategies that help you cope with stress. Caring for yourself helps you stay calm and patient with your child, which teaches them how to manage their own feelings and behavior over time.
Strategies to reduce stress:

~ go for a walk
~ talk with a friend
~ practice deep breathing
~ hold, kiss & cuddle your child
~ keep a routine
~ enjoy a healthy snack
~ redirect anger
~ talk to toddlers about emotions
~ smile more

Here is a short video that explores this Basic principal: How Do Children Learn to Love?


Early Learning Center News

Professional Development in the ELC

This month at our ELC meeting the teachers will be doing work to prepare for the family conferences that are coming up in March. We will review the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) that we use to help guide our conversations during conferences. As an Early Learning Center we are working on creating a guidebook, which describes the values that we hold and the practices that grow from them. As part of this book we hope to include a segment on the purpose and experience of conferences. We imagine that we will include something from the perspective of teachers as well as families. We would love to hear from you about what your experience of conferences has been like, and would welcome your contribution to the guidebook. If you think you might be interested in participating/contributing to this effort please email Ann ( or Honor ( to let us know and we will follow up with you about next steps.

Acorn Room

In the month of January, we had a lot a lot of adjustments in the Acorn Room. These babies are so much more resilient than we ever think! We also welcome Kinslee who is a sibling to another child here at Prouty! We have seen much milestones between the group so far such as, crawling, sitting up, and some children pulling themselves up on things, attempting to walk! These past few months have flown by and they have all been changing so much and so quick. We enjoyed mealtimes together as the children love to sit with others and socialize!

In February we hope to get settled back into our normal routine for the children and the relationships that we have with them as well as with their friends. We will be making some fun sensory bottles and activities to have available around the room for the children to explore as well.


Willow Room

In the month of January, we got some cold weather, so we used the big room and the new climbing room a lot for gross motor play! When we were able to adventure outside, everyone really enjoyed sledding and shoveling the snow. The class also did many open-ended painting experiences. We added a painting easel that can be used throughout the day for creative art expression. In February, we look forward to expanding in the art interests and focus on mark making with various mark making tools. Also, we look forward to Sueno visiting in our classroom for the bookmobile!

Elm Room

We have been noticing that the Elm classroom space has started to feel too small for our young Preschoolers who have been in that room for quite some time. With the departure of Rebecca, we thought it would be a good time to make the transition to the larger Oak space.  We are excited to welcome Vanessa Jurado as the new full-time teacher in that classroom, and are excited that Molly and Jack will both be continuing with the Elm children.  The first two visits to the space went well, and the children have shown a great interest in the dramatic play kitchen.  We are thinking about how to expand this area to meet that interest.  Look for a possible diner or restaurant set-up in the coming weeks, as things expand to meet the needs of the many children who want to explore that area.  We are also looking forward to circle time conversations, reading books, and continuing to explore what math, literacy, sensory experiences, and outdoor exploration look like for children of this age.   


Birch Room

It was an incredibly busy and COLD January in the Birch Room! While we couldn’t go outside for long periods of time most days throughout the month, we had plenty of activities going on in the classroom to keep us occupied. Our theme for the month was All Things Winter! We had various winter activities including a sensory table filled with fresh snow that we used watercolor paint with to make colorful snow and a science area that was filled with “ice crystals,” arctic animals, and tracks with animals cards that we used to identify tracks in the snow on our outdoor adventures! Our learning activities continued to focus on numbers and letters identification, some pattern work as well as rhyming, and we introduced the new learning objective of beginning to trace, form letters, and write our names. We were quite busy to say the least!

The times that we were able to make it outside, we ventured off to the Rock Garden, the “Swimming Pool” which was a fan favorite once it was filled with snow we could jump in! We also spent some time at the Salute To the Sun Bridge as well as Mrs. Cranberry’s Fort and her classroom as well. When we were unable to be outside for long we took many campus walks as well as burnt off extra energy in the Gross Motor room where we road cars, played soccer and jumped on puffy blocks. During the month of February we will be focusing on a topic that the children picked before we had gone on Christmas vacation… transportation! We will also have a week where we discuss both Chinese New Year and the Valentine’s holidays!


  • Feb 2 – Happy Birthday LaShaunda, Family Supportive Housing Coordinator!
  • Feb 4 – Wilder is 2!
  • Feb 11 – Ryan is 4!
  • Feb 11 – Happy Birthday Kerri, CIS Intake Coordinator!
  • Feb 17 – Happy  Birthday Lisa W, Director of Campus Operations
  • Feb 21 – Madison is 4!
  • Feb 24 – Happy Birthday Paula, HR & Financial Assistant!

Dates to Remember

  • Friday, February 11 – The Center closes at noon for all-staff in-service
  • Monday, February 21 – The Center is closed for President’s Day
  • Friday, March 11 – The Center closes at noon for all-staff in-service
  • Friday, March 25 – ELC closes as 12:00 for Family Conferences
  • Monday, March 28 – ELC closed for Family Conferences

All through February – Winston Prouty will be the recipient of the Brattleboro Food Co-op’s Round up for Change this month!