The Prouty Voice: July 2022

Help solve the child care crisis — start a home-based program

By Chloe Learey, Executive Director

There have been copious headlines about the importance of child care as businesses struggle to find employees, and families calculate whether the cost of care will end up being more than they make in earnings. Prior to the pandemic, there was not enough child care. Now, the problem has only gotten worse. Child care is a failed market: low wages with no sustainable mechanism for increasing them without increasing the cost of care for families who already typically pay over $1,000 a month. Having more people aware of the connection between child care and a healthy economy has led to more understanding of why we need increased investments in the sector. Some of those investments will take time to have an impact, however, and we need more child care now. Continue reading

Resources & Events for Families

FREE Summer meals for all children 18 and under

This summer, free meals for all kids 18 and under are available from convenient grab-and-go locations around the state.
No paperwork. Just stop by! Here are ways to access the list of locations: Call 211, visit Facebook page, or view Summer Meals Spreadsheet.

Children of Color (BIPOC) Playgroup

The local school district is offering a playgroup for families with children ages birth to 5. The topic is “Talking race with small children”. Thursday July 28th and Tuesday, August 9th, 1:30-3:00pm at Oak Grove School playground. For more info, email

COVID Vaccines available to 6 month- 5 year olds

On June 18, the CDC recommended COVID-19 vaccines for all children ages 6 months through 5 years. This follows the Food and Drug Administration’s independent expert committee review of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine clinical trial data and their recommendation of both vaccines for authorization.  Most vaccines for this age group will be given at pediatricians’ offices and other health care practices. There will also be limited availability at pharmacies or pop-up-type clinics. All Health Department clinics are walk-in only. Find a nearby vaccine clinic.

The Power of Hugs

Children who get more hugs have more developed brains!

The Basics are simple strategies that support healthy brain development in children 0-3.  Families can do these activities at home everyday. Learn more about The Basics. Sign up FREE Basics Texting service:

Early Learning Center News

Professional Development in the ELC

This month during our Professional Development time the teachers in the Early Learning Center will be focusing on preparation for the summer months.  They will have time in the classrooms and outdoor spaces to make any needed changes, and will work as a school-wide team to think through and plan what the summer program will look like here at Winston Prouty.  We are looking forward to hearing the teachers’ ideas about how to utilize our outdoor campus, and to thinking creatively about whole-school and small group opportunities for children in the warm weather.   

Acorn Room

The month of June we spent a lot of time either outdoors enjoying the warm weather with water play or playing with the farm animals! All the children enjoyed making the farm animal noises such as the cow that goes “moo!” Or the sheep that goes, “baa!”

It’s seeming that these “babies” are not infant anymore and becoming more as younger toddlers as they are all learning to walk and crawl and become more mobile and interacting with each other!  They have enjoyed all the fun activities we have had planned! 

Looking into July, we have welcomed another friend Lyra who has a sibling in the Birch Room! We have a theme of under the sea as we have a fun blowup pool with some water animals and other fun activities set up. Of course, July and august, we have more of a laid-back schedule because of summer and enjoying getting to know our new friend Lyra! 

Willow Room

This month the Willow class has been exploring different types of art materials. We have done mark making with markers and chalk, painting with our hands and brushes, dabbing, gluing, and more! One piece we have been working on together is a large, layered collage that we are going to display in our classroom. We are enjoying exploring the different textures, materials, and tools that we have been using to create this unique piece. There is much excitement around adding each layer to our creation and we will be working together to decide where we would like to display this piece in our classroom once we feel it is complete. We have also been enjoying water play and look forward continuing our water fun with the warm summer days to come.  

Oak Room

Recently the Oak children been learning about birds – what makes a bird, what birds eat and where they live. They have also shown a lot of interest in bugs and insects and where they live. We were delighted when a female Luna moth landed at our feet – we created a habitat for it to lay eggs, which hatched this past week! We’ve been going to the pond and catching frogs and enjoying a lot of water play. Another favorite activity has been riding bicycles and tricycles in the morning on the playground.

We are excited to start our summer program! The all-Prouty mix-up events have been really fun so far. The children enjoy getting to spend time with friends from other classrooms and getting to know the other teachers as well. There is a lot of variety which has been keeping us all very excited! 

Birch Room

During the month of June, we talked about All Things Summer in the Birch classroom! We continued to work on our letter and number recognition as well as writing our name! We also enjoyed much play at the art easel as well as the water table. We also welcomed our new friend Byron into the classroom! We had a couple of water play days on those very hot days where we took out our new Wacky Wiggler sprinkler which the children really enjoyed. We continued our Monday Woods Walk adventures with Alfred where we visited the pond quite a bit as well as Mrs. Cranberry’s Fort where we played with a giant parachute and musical instruments. 

We ended the month with our graduation ceremony. Our friends Aiden, Aiylah, Archer, Byron, Grayson, Madelyn, Omid, and Tuscan all did a fantastic job! We look forward to rounding out our summer with them and wish them all the best as they venture off to Kindergarten in the Fall! In the meantime, we look forward to many water play days, the return of All School Sing, and many other fun Summer activities. It’s sure to be a great Summer here in the Birch Room! 


Congratulations to Birch Room teacher Alyssa O’Brien on receiving her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from the Community College of Vermont!

  • July 3 – Happy Birthday Sally, CIS Nurse!
  • July 2 – Happy Birthday Alex, Facilities Technician!
  • July 15 – Thatcher is 3!
  • July 26 – Jack is 3!
  • July 27 – Happy Birthday Tonya, CIS Specialized Child Care Coordinator

This month we celebrated Executive Director Chloe Learey’s 15 anniversary at Winston Prouty! Staff, board and friends surprised her with an after work gathering on Monday. Thank you, Chloe!

Dates to Remember

  • August 24 – ELC closes at noon
  • August 25 – ELC closed for in-service
  • August 26 – Center closed for in-service
  • August 29 – First day of summer program