Where are the children? And how are they?
By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
One of the questions we have been asking since schools have reopened with limited in-person instruction is “where are the children?” Even though investments have been made to create child care hubs for school-age children on their remote learning days, these hubs are not full and some never opened due to a lack of demand. Many child care programs are also not fully enrolled, causing deeper losses than usual in an already thin-margin business.
So, where are the children?
Here are some possible scenarios:
- Families have a parent who primarily works out of the home. There is an adjustment to having children at home more and potentially helping actively manage schoolwork.
Farm to School
October’s Farm to School effort was a hands-on deep dive into pumpkins and kale. Needless to say, pumpkins are the region’s agricultural featured product for the month of October. AND they are perfect for small hands and curious minds to explore with all of their senses! See how the infant toddler teams demonstrate how one local crop can be used as a vehicle for exploration across all learning domains. Continue reading about current Farm to School activities
Early Learning Center News
School Picture Update
The order for school photos has been placed and the estimated arrival is Thursday, November 19!
The Willow children have been busy this past month! With fall getting into full swing, it’s been the perfect time to explore the changing landscape outside. The children have gone for some long walks around the campus, discovering the sights, sounds, and textures of the season. We’ve also brought a huge variety of pumpkins into the classroom for the children to explore in many ways. They have been stacking or rolling the small ones; we washed, opened, and scooped seeds from the large ones; and they painted some white ones. The children also enjoyed mixing chopped pumpkin with oil and spices and then having a taste test for snack!
This group of children have come together so nicely over the past few months. They greet each other with excitement each morning and are starting to form bonds with one another. They have especially enjoyed our morning routine of practicing saying each other’s names with songs and pictures. Everyone seems very comfortable in the routines and they are gaining more independence each day!
In the month of October, we did a lot of our curriculum surrounding orange and red and focused mostly on pumpkins! The children help carve pumpkins and exploring the seeds which they all enjoyed. We also sang “5 Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate” with pumpkin characters for the children to dance along with. We also celebrate Cade and Harriet as they turned two! Happy Birthday!
In the month of November, we are focusing more on leaves, turkeys and our manners like “please” and “thank you” We will be doing our “5 Little Turkeys” song at circle with turkey characters and sensory play and art with turkeys! We are starting to embrace the cold weather outside by bundling up! Morgan is celebrating her birthday this month! Happy Birthday!
The month of October was a busy one in the Birch Room! Our theme this month was focused on All Things Fall such as leaves, apples, acorns, and pumpkins. We learned many new songs at circle time such as Autumn Leaves and the Roly Poly Pumpkin! We also learned where acorns come from, different parts of an apple as well as different parts of a pumpkin. We also continued with our weekly Second Step cards where we learned about focusing attention as well as self-talk when trying to complete a task. We even had Bookmobile visits with Sueno!
We continued our weekly woods walks to visit our friends Barry The Flamingo and Mrs. Cranberry. We loved seeing the leaves change colors as well as how each week we would see more and more leaves on the ground. We also continued to make Wednesdays our playground day where we met up with our Oak Room friends. Next month, we will be talking about buildings and construction as well as the Thanksgiving Holiday!
The Oak Room has had a busy October, learning about leaves and pumpkins. We talked about why leaves change colors and took time to examine all the colorful leaves we found around campus. We went for walks in the woods and around campus and played in the Rock Garden and at the cabins. We also studied pumpkins. We measured the pumpkins, described them, and carved a big pumpkin. Our science center also contained some gourds and acorns and those have been very popular. For the last week of October, we have been practicing for a play based on the book, The Big Pumpkin. We performed the play for the Birch Room and made some pumpkin pie for everyone.
- Nov 6 – Vena is 1!
- Nov 7 – Tadhg is 3!
- Nov 17 – Happy Birthday Lisa Atwater, Family Support Worker
- Nov 17 – Happy Birthday Nancy McMahon, CIS Behavior & Consultation Support Specialist
- Nov 22 – Fern is 2!
- Nov 23 – Alex H is 5!
- Nov 24 – Shawn is 2!
- Nov 24 – Payton is 5!
- Nov 24 – Cortland is 5!
- Nov 25 – Alex D is 5!
- Nov 29 – Happy Birthday Paige Martin, Service Coordinator & Early Intervention Assistant
Dates to Remember
- The Center will close at noon on Friday, November 13
- The ELC will be closed from Monday, November 23 – Friday, November 27 and the Center will be closed Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 for Thanksgiving holiday
Resources & Events for families
Family Needs Survey
In partnership with Early Education Services, Vermont Department of Health – Brattleboro and HCRS, we are conducting a Family Needs Survey to best understand how we can support families with young children. Your responses will help us understand where parents would like more or different programming than is currently offered in the Brattleboro area. Based on survey data, we will design workshops, support groups, and more to meet the needs and desires of local parents and children. Please give us your thoughts about what would be most helpful to families through this short, 6 question survey. Click here to share your ideas
A Bite to Eat
Join us in welcoming another tenant to campus – A Bite to Eat! This local business serves coffee, pastries, bagels, to-go lunches and other treats and goodies. They also offer catering services, specialty platters and custom desserts for all occasions. This week they are open Tuesday & Wednesday and starting next week will be open Tues, Wed, Thurs from 7:30-2:00. Their entrance is located on the south end of Thomas Hall (between Elm & Willow outdoor spaces. Learn more about their company and see their menu.
Blood Drive in memory of Grady Evans, Saturday November 14
We are happy to support local blood donation efforts in honor of the Evans family by hosting a blood drive on campus this Saturday, 9:00-2:00 in the campus gymnasium. From the family: “Grady Oliver Evans was born fighting on November 15, 2018. He was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a congenital heart defect that results in only one functional ventricle. His first open heart surgery was at 1-day old and he was on life support for 4 days. In his 6-months with us, Grady had 2 more heart surgeries, countless other procedures, and numerous blood transfusions. Grady inspired us in so many ways. Since blood donation played such a big part in his life, we wanted to keep his memory alive by hosting a blood drive in his name.”
Farmers to Families
The Farmers to Families food box program has been extended through the end of the year. Starting November 16th, Farmers to Families food boxes will be available at multiple daily food distributions throughout the state. To keep wait times to a minimum, reservations will be required for the distributions. To register and see the dates and locations, please visit https://humanresources.vermont.gov/food-help or call 802-476-0316 for assistance. Each reservation will receive 1 box with about 30 lbs of food, including fresh produce, dairy products, and meat. You are welcome to pick up food for other families who are not able to make it to the pickup site, just be sure to make a separate reservation for each household you would like to pick up for. Each reservation is for one set of food. This program will likely end at the end of December, so we encourage people utilizing it to look into other resources for the new year. There are many excellent programs that can help. For more ways to access the food you need, visit: https://www.vtfoodbank.org/gethelp
Please help spread the word that we are currently hiring for two positions: Preschool Teacher and Service Coordinator, CIS Early Intervention. Learn more about these job openings HERE.