The Prouty Voice: February 2023

Resources & Events for Families

Child-related tax cuts

The 2022 tax season is upon us, and Vermont’s Child Development Division wants to provide you with information available through the Vermont Department of Taxes about child-related tax credits. Available credits include: Vermont Child Tax Credit, Vermont Child and Dependent Care Credit and the Vermont Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). See if your family qualifies.

Helpers in Healing – a new discussion group for friends and family

When you are a family member or friend of someone in grief after a baby dies, you may be wondering, “What do I say?” or “What can I do?” Perhaps you also feel this loss deeply and don’t know how to care for your own sadness and pain.

Join Empty Arms Vermont for a monthly discussion that explores how you, as a friend or family member, can help support someone experiencing pregnancy or infant loss. Jessica Dewes (LCMHC PMH-C with The Parent Child Center of NCSS) and Chelsea Levis (Empty Arms Vermont) will host this discussion group virtually on Zoom.

Upcoming dates: March 13, April 10, May 8. Register Online for a Zoom Link: 

Drumming About You with Bob Bloom

The Brooks Memorial Library is going to rock! On February 22nd from 10:00-11:00 BOB BLOOM is bringing a colorful cargo of drums for everyone to get their hearts and hands around. Together with BB, we’ll sparkle with legendary songs that have high-octane melodies and joyous beats. FREE! Fun for all ages! Downstairs at Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main Street Brattleboro VT. Presented by Brattleboro Winter Carnival, the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library and Brooks Memorial Library. For more information, call 802-254-5290 ext. 1210

Early Learning Center News

Acorn Room

In January, we welcomed Minerva and her family to the Acorn room.  It has been great getting to know them as Minerva gets more comfortable at school every day.  The children in the Acorn room are learning and changing every day!  This past month, children have found new and exciting ways to move their bodies, and get around from place to place.  This takes a lot of work, concentration and determination!  The children have also tried some different sensory experiences, from playing with colored spaghetti to finger-painting.  The fun thing about providing children with materials and letting them explore them without an adult presumption about how they will use them is that you get to see the wonder on their faces as they try the materials, and even use the materials in ways adults may not have considered. 

Willow Room

It has been a month full adventures in the Willow room. This month we have been able to explore areas that are new to the children now that we have a group full of walking toddlers. We have gone on walks following the different sidewalks throughout campus, found some new areas to play, and explored what the different areas of campus are like when covered in snow. Speaking of snow, the children in the Willow room are beyond thrilled that the snow has come back! Some days the snow has been firm enough that the children are able to slide and walk right on top without falling through and on the softer snow days, they trudge through the snow on their hands and knees while also taking breaks to snack on the snow. The last week in January we had our first experience sledding at school and the children who wanted to give it a try, loved it! The deep interest in babies and baby dolls is still very much present in Willow and the teachers and children are having so much fun exploring this interest in various ways. As always, we cannot wait to see what is in store for our next month together! 

Elm Room

This month In the Elm Room, we focused on finding new ways to play in the room on our chillier days! We made cardboard roads to drive our wooden cars on, explored our building skills in the block center, and added a basketball hoop to use on our higher energy days. Many of our friends have also taken their favorite outfits from the dress up center and wore them on almost every day of the month. We also continued to add art to our art wall, made new colors of play dough together, and explored the snow at the “sun bridge” and “swimming pool”, where our friends like to slide like down the small hill like penguins. But our classroom favorite this month has been our daily end-of-day dance parties together where we dance our sillies out to our favorite songs!

Oak Room

The Oak room started the month patiently waiting for our Rock Candy to grow. Sadly, it didn’t turn out. We decided to try again! The second time turned out a little better with very little “rocks” but we still wanted to eat the little bit that grew. In February, we were playing with puppets, and looking outside to find aliens with binoculars. We did a lot building with boxes, trains, and even built little houses inspired by the Three Little Pigs. We drew what houses may look like. We also found a “tree house” outside. After the Three Little pigs, we discovered the book “If You Give a Pig a Pancake”. We made some pancakes out of craft items like cardboard, glitter, and glue. A few Oak kids suggested we should have pancakes for breakfast. This gave us the idea to make them ourselves for the ELC. We ended February making and delivering invitations to the other classrooms. We look forward to all of the changes that will happen in March and will begin growing seeds in the classroom.

Birch Room

This month the Birch and Oak children have started doing more mix-ups.  Each classroom has been re-designed in a way to allow all of the children to engage more deeply in various areas.  The focus of the Birch Room space has been art, specifically exploring different kinds of paint.  The children have been really interested in color mixing, and have started using a technique where they paint circles of color on the paper and then mix other colors on top.  We have been really interested in observing how their painting styles have changed since the beginning of the year, when many were interested in covering the entire paper with paint so there was no space left.  We have noticed that the children often prefer to paint at the easel collaboratively rather than on their own, and they are building a rich vocabulary about art as they describe to one another what their ideas are, what colors they are making, how they feel about their work, and how to problem solve when the art work doesn’t end up looking how they imagined it.  We have been thinking about how to continue to set up the space to facilitate these rich experiences, and also about what kinds of artists we might use as inspiration to continue to support them in their own understanding of the language of art.   The Oak Room has been designed to facilitate more construction, dramatic play, and large motor games (including games with rules) where the children are focusing on listening, negotiating and problem solving together.  Red light green light, sharks and minnows, and what time is it mr. Fox? have all been popular choices. We are excited to see the children engaged in more mixed age opportunities and to continue to observe their growth and learning.  


  • February 4 – Wilder is 3!
  • February 11 – Ryan is 5!
  • February 11 – Happy Birthday Kerri, CIS Coordinator!
  • February 15 – Giliah is 3!
  • February 17 – Happy Birthday Lisa W, Directors of Campus Operations!
  • February 21 – Madison is 5!
  • February 24 – Happy Birthday Paula, Finance & Human Resources!
  • February 28 – Happy Birthday Cass, Oak Room Teacher!

Dates to Remember

  • Friday, February 10 – Center closes at noon for in-service
  • Monday, February 20 – Center closed for Presidents Day
  • Friday, March 10 – Center closes at noon for in-service