The dismantling of the Child Development Division
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
Vermont Department for Children and Families Commissioner Sean Brown testified before the House Human Services and Education Committees on Friday, January 29, about the proposal from Governor Scott’s administration to move child development activities from one division to other departments and agencies based on the areas of expertise. He said this is the beginning of a conversation and a process for engagement of key stakeholders to get input. It was clear that the input would be about how to accomplish it, rather than whether to even try. In fact, it seems that the process for implementing this policy has already begun. Continue reading
Early Learning Center News
Its been a busy February in the Acorn room! Two of our friends have moved up to the Willow room and Hayley who was in the Elm room has stepped into Michelle’s role. This month we welcomed our new friend Grant with open arms. This coming month we will also be welcoming another friend. Jess and Hayley have spent the last few weeks preparing for upcoming changes. Aside from all the changes that have happened, it has been a laid-back month in the Acorn room with three babies. They have continued to enjoy water play, so we decided to put a water table in the classroom that is always accessible for the month of March.
The month of February was busy! It was a big transition month as we welcomed Shawn and Louisa into the Elm Room. They have both been transitioning very well. We did a lot of focusing on our feelings and expressing them. We did many activities such as sensory play with foam and also some fun fine motor activities with colored pasta, lacing them. There were many days that the weather outside was too cold to go out, so we enjoyed our big gross motor room to play in. On the beautiful days, we enjoyed going sledding down the big hill behind Prouty and of course making snowballs! Madison also turned 3 in February!
In the month of March we will be introducing our “Fantastics Food” unit. We will be testing out different fruits and vegetables with the children including our 5 senses. We also will be making this unit fun by using different fruits and veggies and creating art with them, sensory play, and other fine motor activities. We are very excited to learn about the different fruits and vegetables and introducing them to the class!
The month of February was another month filled with new learning skills and some new friends as well. We officially welcomed Ian and Ryan into the Birch Room on 2/16. Their transition over to the room has been wonderful and we are so happy to have them in the class!
During the month of February, we talked about Animals in Winter and what it means to hibernate, migrate, and adapt. The other weekly themes consisted of a week of Valentine’s Day projects as well as learning about Chinese New Year. Our small groups consisted of some processed based art projects including snowflakes we made for our large classroom windows as well as learning activities that helped us to learn more of our letters using our new Alphabet Learning Locks manipulatives we got recently. One of our small groups also included the creation of our Chinese New Year dragon float which we used in a parade around Prouty! We also continued to explore many areas of the Prouty campus including the “Swimming Pool,” Woods Walks, and visiting Mrs. Cranberry’s Classroom by the river.
Our monthly theme for March will be All About Pets! We will talk about what it means to take care of a pet and what they need daily, as well as a science area that is all about taking care of a pet fish and different types of fish facts (our classroom pet fish Tank was the inspiration for this,) along with a completely new Dramatic Play area that we turned into a Pet Clinic! We may even have a visit from a special pet friend so stay tuned for details. We also will be talking about St. Patrick’s Day during the middle of the month!
The Oak Room has had a busy February, exploring ice and snow and visiting many parts of the campus during Outside Play. One of the favorite areas is the big snowbank next to Thomas Hall, where they have been enjoying climbing up one side and sliding down the other. They have also stood at the top and observed how far they can see from there. We have also been enjoying lots of afternoon dance parties and our new Listening Center. Our big February unit has been Space. We have learned about planets, stars and space travel. There have been lots of discussions about what space travel looks like, such as eating and using the bathroom and floating in zero gravity. We created a Space Station in the Dramatic Play center that is very popular, and everyone has contributed to creating control panels and other space station accessories for the center! We will be ending our unit by watching some videos of the International Space Station, enjoying some astronaut food (ice cream sandwiches), and launching a rocket.
- March 6 – Happy Birthday Carrie Zuttermeister, Oak Room Assistant Teacher
- March 6 – Happy Birthday Meg Zuttermeister, Developmental Educator
- March 9 – Grayson is 4!
- March 14 – Happy Birthday Michelle, Acorn Room Co-Teacher
- March 20 – Happy Birthday Alfred, Birch Room Assistant Teacher
- March 22 – Happy Birthday Angela, ELC Administrative Coordinator
- March 28 – Happy Birthday Sueño, Early Education Outreach Specialist
- March 28 – Happy Birthday Honor, Infant/Toddler Mentor Teacher
Dates to Remember
- The Center will close at 12:00 on Friday, March 12 for in-service
- The ELC will close at 12:00 on March 26 for family conferences
- The ELC will be closed on March 29 for family conferences
- The ELC will be closed April 19-23 for spring break
Resources & Events for families
New Beginnings: Postpartum Wellness and Support Group
New Beginnings: Postpartum Wellness & Support Group begins this month. Our maternal child health nurses will host this hour-long virtual gathering for people who have recently given birth to learn from and lean on each other and ask questions on topics including (but not limited to) baby wearing, breast/chest feeding, infant development, starting solid foods, birth control or returning to work. This virtual group will meet the 1st & 3rd Thursdays from 1:00-2:00pm. More information
Everywhere Philosphy offers family programs through Brattleboro Parks & Rec Dept
Everywhere Philosophy is partnering with the Brattleboro Recreation Department to give kids a chance to philosophize with us. Everywhere Philosophy is on a mission to bring philosophy to children, teens and adults in interactive public and virtual spaces. It is co-led by Prouty parent Dr. Mike Ferreira. More info
March 14-20 is National Child and Adult Care Food Program Week
CACFP Week is a national education and information campaign sponsored annually the third week of March by the National CACFP Sponsors Association. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of how the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program works to combat hunger. The CACFP brings healthy foods to tables across the country for children in child care centers, homes, and afterschool programs as well as adults in day care. Last year, our ELC served 9,218 meals and we were reimbursed $4367.12 for meals served which has made it possible to serve more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to the children in our care! Learn more