The Prouty Voice: March 2023

Safe, stable housing is a critical part of child development

By Chloe Learey, Executive Director

Since 1968, the Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development has provided inclusive education and family support to promote the success of children and families. For the past two years, we have been talking about developing housing.

One of the questions we keep being asked is: Why?

The first response is because we can. We own a property that has been a residential site, that is connected to town water and sewer infrastructure, and that is less than a mile from the hospital and physician offices, a grocery store, two pharmacies, the high school, and other amenities.

The second response is because it is our responsibility to explore possible solutions to a local and statewide crisis if we have a resource that can help.

The third reason is that safe, stable housing is a critical part of child development. Continue reading

Resources & Events for Families

19th Annual Young Children’s Art Exhibit

Come enjoy the work of our community’s youngest artists! Saturday, April 1st, 10:00-12:30 at Living Memorial Park. Early childhood educators will be displaying their students’ artistic creations. Hands-on activities, refreshments, and information on resources in our community will be available from Cheshire Children’s Museum, the Brattleboro Food Coop, Southern Vermont Natural History Museum, The Nature Museum of Grafton, Winston Prouty’s Early Learning Express Bookmobile, and performances by local musicians Robin Morgan, Ernesto Sanchez and Jafala (Jay Cook) who be playing his world/electronic/ambient influenced covers and takes you on a unique musical journey, with heartfelt energy, danceable grooves, invented language, world instruments and soulful sound design. This event kicks off Month of the Young Child. Rain date: April 8.

Harmony in the Home – Becoming a Proactive Parent

Mondays: 4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24 on Zoom from 4:00-5:30. Hosted by Early Education Services.

Harmony in the Home is a 4-part class that helps you to reclaim your position of authority and take proactive approach to raising your children. By establishing clear boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable behavior, you will win the tug-of-war with your children – forge a stronger and more loving bond because of it.

*Influence your child’s behavior – without controlling it.
*Predict and prevent challenging behaviors.
*Let go of time-outs, groundings, spankings, and other punishments.
*Teach by example – show and tell your children how you expect them to act.

To register, call Laura Dowling at 802-579-3957 by March 28th.

Early Learning Center News

Acorn Room

The month of February seemed to fly by in the Acorn room.  The children are changing every day.  Some of the children have learned how to “army crawl” which is very exciting as they can explore new spaces in the classroom and get there on their own.  We are learning about being safe and learning language like, “We sit in the chair, and we stand on the floor”.  We’re using verbal words and sign language to share this knowledge.  Children are beginning to use both forms of communication to express their needs and wants.  Some other sign language we’re using is: “more,” “all done,” “change your diaper,” and “I love you.”  We’ve also enjoyed lots of books, drinking from an open cup, water play, and art experiences. 

Willow Room

The month of February seemed to fly by in the Willow room! We had many outdoor adventures, in all kinds of weather conditions. All of the snow melted, we got to play in the mud and warmth for a week or so, and then we went back to winter! Good thing we have our big sled to help us up the big snowy hills. We have also been spending time with our friends in Acorn room and have enjoyed watching these friends grow and play alongside us. As for the babydolls, the children in Willow are still thoroughly enjoying them and are always making sure these babies are fed, dressed, and taken care of. Climbing and balancing have been two gross motor activities that the children in the Willow have been into and gaining confidence in this month. Right now, we are also really into our sensory table where we have been scooping, pouring, and mixing our dried rice and beans. It has been such a fun month in the Willow room, we look forward to enjoying the rest of winter and seeing what new adventures spring will bring! 

Elm Room

This month in the Elm room as been exciting. We focused on the theme of mailmen, and we explored how they do their job. We did this by writing our own letters to our families and having them sent to our houses by the mailman himself! We spent a lot of time outside at the sun bridge, taking campus walks, continued our dance parties, singing songs, and reading new books together in the classroom; some of which are in different languages. Our Elm room friends added to our art wall, explored rice and beans in our sensory table, and filled and decorated our own “musical shakers” (made of plastic eggs and sensory materials) to use during morning circle. Best of all, this month, we got to celebrate Giliah’s 3rd birthday on Valentine’s Day with yummy cake, and Valentine’s Day treats to bring home. We can’t wait to see what next month brings!

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.  


  • March 1 – Happy Birthday Darby, Acorn room teacher!
  • March 3 – Silas is 1!
  • March 12 – Catalina is 3!
  • March 16 – Happy Birthday Lila, Willow room teacher!
  • March 28 – Happy Birthday Sueño, Early Childhood Outreach Specialist!
  • March 28 – Happy Birthday Honor, ELC Co-Director!

Dates to Remember

  • Friday, March 24 – ELC closes at noon for conferences
  • Monday, March 27 – ELC is closed for conferences
  • Friday, April 14 – Center closes at noon for in-service