Early childhood education training for new Americans
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
We are always working to break down the barriers that prevent passionate people from pursuing a career in early childhood education. Legislation and policy change have made some strides toward improvement, but the true solution to the problem also requires a creative approach at the community level. A recently implemented pilot program for new Americans offers this by preparing local refugee women to enter the early childhood field.
The Child Care Counts Coalition and the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation began this initiative with financial support from Building Bright Futures and the Vermont Department of Labor. Several community and state entities also supported its inception, including Community College of Vermont, Vermont Adult Learning, and World Learning. The program’s students, currently eight Afghan-refugee women, are enrolled in an 18-week comprehensive course designed to prepare them as childcare providers. These students are developing English language skills, learning about best practices in early education, and honing the technical skills that will make them successful in the field. We are honored to host weekly class sessions here on the Prouty Campus!
Participation in this program is not an easy undertaking. Many of the students are new to Vermont (and the United States) and have a very limited formal education. There are also many differences between Afghan and American family life to be learned about before the students are ready to work. These obstacles combined with the overwhelming nature of a new career would make this experience intimidating for anyone.
These students deserve resounding congratulations for their initiative, dedication, and hard work as pioneers of this program. They are becoming a part of the solution to the childcare shortage, and for this, they also deserve our gratitude. We are proud to welcome them to our community and support their promise. Read more in the Brattleboro Reformer
Resources & Events for Families
Parents as Teachers
Parents as Teachers (PAT) is an early childhood home visiting program, designed to help you learn more about parenting, support your child’s development, and help with the challenges of family life. Our services are available to your family until your child turns 6. Your participation is voluntary and there is no cost. Learn more about this new program at Winston Prouty.
Please help us spread the word about job opportunities at Winston Prouty! Word of mouth is the best way to reach people in the community and we would appreciate the help. Click here for current openings.
Early Learning Center News
Prouty Picking Party!
On Friday, July 28th, the ELC will have a pickling party! We’ll use pickles from our garden and other local farms to process some homemade pickles and then sell as a fundraiser for next year’s Farm to School activities. We invite you to stop by and help out!
The children in the Acorn classroom have been very busy in the month of June. They have been practicing their social skills by playing peek-a-boo using the classroom tent or peeking around a corner in the classroom. The children can be heard laughing with one another which brings an instant smile to your face. They are expanding their communication skills, imitating sounds, intonations, words and signs. The children have been exploring water in a bunch of different ways. From water in the water table and the sand box, to watering the plants in the garden and watercolor painting, the children have enjoyed every minute of it. The children are gaining math and science skills and knowledge by stacking and knocking down blocks, rolling cars down ramps, and playing with the stacking cups. As with all areas of development, the children are gaining new skills with their gross motor movements. Children climb in all different ways. Some children climb up and down the stairs in the classroom, climb in and out of the sandbox, and/or up and down the climbers on the playground. Some children are getting steadier on their feet, and learning to stand, and others are starting to walk fast. It is so fascinating to watch each child develop and grow on their own path and in their own time.
June was the last month of the regular program year, and the Willow room enjoyed our last month with the full group of children who have made up our classroom cohort this year. We spent as much time outside as possible, did a lot of singing and dancing, played with our friends from the Acorn room, and created some art pieces for our Par for the Cause fundraiser. Another exciting experience we were able to witness in June, was the hatching of baby birds under the green ramp that connects to our big room. The children and teachers were surprised to see how fast our three little bird friends went from tiny blue eggs, to little featherless babies, and then big babies that left the nest. Lila documented the different stages we saw with pictures and created a visual that is hanging in our classroom, a creation that is loved and talked about very frequently by the children. The last Friday of June was spent at the beautiful graduation celebration put on by the preschool teams and it was a wonderful way to end our program year. We are ready and excited for the summer program, group mix ups, and all the fun to come this summer!
In June in the Elm room, we spent our damper days outside, exploring the streams in the woods, discovering a turtle at the pond, and adventuring through other outdoor spaces created by the preschoolers. We’ve been learning how to navigate rules in field games, like duck duck goose, and even learned some new songs for circle, which we have been doing outside now that summer has welcomed us. Elm room has been practicing writing letters in their name and identifying letters in other friend’s names. Our art wall continues to fill up, and our homemade play dough keeps making its rounds through the color wheel. As the preschool graduation vastly approaches, it is becoming more and more clear how excited our Elm room friends are; not only for what our summer program brings, but becoming preschoolers themselves!
Oak & Birch Rooms
This month the preschool children worked in small groups to help prepare for the graduation celebration. The work included making a cake from scratch decorated with edible flowers from the garden, making pinatas, creating an art display with photos and artwork, and using felt to decorate a backdrop for the “photobooth”. Each of the children had their own favorite part of the preparation, and every child was deeply engaged in the process of making this a celebration to remember. We are sad to say goodbye to Solveig and Ryan, so instead we will say “see you soon”. As the month draws to a close, we look forward to our summer program where we will be welcoming the Elm class into our multi-classroom mix-ups in the morning and spending as much time as possible outside.
- July 15 – Thatcher is 4!
- July 20 – Happy Birthday Sally, CIS Nurse!
- July 26 – Jack is 4!
- July 27 – Happy Birthday Tonya, Specialized Child Care Coordinator!
Dates to Remember
- August 22 – Summer program ends/Garden Tea Party
- August 23-25 – ELC Closed for in-service and prep
- August 28 – 2023-2024 Program Year begins