The Prouty Voice: October 2022

Growth from change

By Chloe Learey, Executive Director

The fall colors are spectacular this year, a reminder that there is beauty in change as we let go of one season and move into another. We often hear and say, “change is hard”, and it is. We resist change because it can feel like a threat to the status quo, and yet it is the only path for learning and growth. 

The pandemic forced a lot of disruption in our lives, and those changes will continue to impact us for years to come. There is not a “back-to-normal” scenario, and the “new normal” is still developing. We hear about “quiet quitting” and the “great resignation”, a good reminder of pandemic effects we may not have anticipated. 

Change can be especially difficult when a lot of changes happen close together, and there have been many moving pieces at Prouty this fall. Staying responsive and flexible helps our systems be resilient in the face of change, and seeing our staff adapt to shifting circumstances with a willingness to contribute what they can is heartening. Our strength lies in the relationships we have with each other – colleagues, families and children – and we work to ensure everyone has the resources they need to learn, grow and thrive, and to successfully navigate change. It is the one thing we can anticipate will keep happening. 

Resources & Events for Families

Prouty Playgroup meets weekly

Winston Prouty’s early childhood specialists – early interventionists, behavior support specialists, family support specialists and more – offer a free weekly playgroup to families with children through age 5. Tuesdays 10:00-11:00 in Prouty’s Great Room – Thomas Hall, 209 Austine Drive. Email with questions.

Vermont Family Network Free Workshop: “The 988 Crisis Line – What Families Should Know”

You may have seen in media outlets that a new crisis line, 988, has been launched in Vermont and nationally. What exactly is 988 and how might it impact your family? The workshop, The 988 Crisis Line – What Families Should Know, will be held on Oct. 13, 2022, from 1-2 p.m. It will focus on the new 988 mental health crisis line that has been launched in Vermont and nationally. It will answer the question of “what exactly is 988 and how might it impact families?” Vermont Family Network will host a team from the Vermont Department of Mental Health to talk about this new crisis line and what it means for Vermont individuals and families. Presenters: Samantha Sweet, DMH Director of Mental Health Services, 988 Program Lead and Amy Guidice, Contractor, 988 Planning Coordinator. Contact: Rachel Boyers at

Early Learning Center News

School Picture Day is Thursday, October 20th

On Thursday morning, we will take individual child photos as well as class photos. Children that are not regularly scheduled to attend are welcome to visits (specific times will be shared). Photos are taken by our Communications Coordinator and every family will receive one 5×7 photo of their child and one class photo at no cost. If families would like to order additional prints, a digital file will be shared.

Professional Development in the ELC

At this month’s staff meeting we will be talking more about the idea of the classroom as the “third teacher” and the elements of the environment that support children in feeling seen and welcome.  We will also look at ways to set up classroom spaces that provide the children with evidence of their learning over time, and invite them to reflect on what they have been doing, and learning together in the classroom.   We will do a walk through of each of our classrooms and teachers will reflect on the following questions:  

  • How do children know they “belong” in this space? 
  • Where do you see the work and words of children in this space? 
  • When you first walk into the space, how does it make you feel? What elements in the space contribute to that feeling for you? 

The teachers will then reflect together on what elements of their own classroom environment they might want to work on in order to make the children and the learning more visible in that space. We also invite you to reflect on these questions as you enter your child’s classroom, and to share any reflections you have either with the classroom teachers or with Honor or Ann, as a way to expand the conversation.

Acorn Room

The month of September it really seemed to fly by fast for these young babies! Many of them have already been developmentally changing since they started. They are all starting to get to know each other through direct eye contact and hearing each other’s cries! We have been attempting our daily walks when possible, even though it is starting to get cold outside! But we have been enjoying morning mix up times with willow friends which they all enjoy!

For the month of October, we are excited to really get to know the children and families at family conferences and since COVID and the pandemic we have not been able to do home visits so we are able to do so, it is an exciting time to connect with the families outside of school and their home life! We also welcome a new friend, Yuki to the Acorn Room! We sadly are saying our goodbyes as Teacher Allie is heading onto a new adventure at Mulberry Bush and taking her son Jackson with her as well. She will miss all the teachers and staff, and families and children! Her last day will be October 21st!

Willow Room

The month of September for the Willow Room has been all about building relationships, play/exploration, and lots of fun outside. It has been about a month since our new group of children started in the Willow Room and everyone is doing great! We have all settled into the new classroom and routines, and the teachers have been enjoying learning about the children’s interests. Some of our favorite activities have been rolling cars and balls up and down ramps, playing in our GIANT cardboard box, splashing in puddles, and sensory activities. In our outdoor adventures we have been collecting leaves that we are going to use for artwork and exploration in the coming weeks. We cannot wait to share all about our upcoming projects and adventures next month.

Elm Room

This month has been exciting in the Elm Room. Our new friends, along with the old, are starting to come into their own and are exploring so many of their interests with each other. They even got a chance to finally play on the “big kid” playground and get to know some of our Birch room friends. From climbing on big rocks, to painting, tye-dying, and singing new songs in circle with Jack, it has not been a boring month. As the weather gets colder, we will continue to bake new things, and explore more parts of the woods and collect things from nature before the snow falls. 

Oak Room

During the month of September, the Oak Room created characters from our story. We used play dough to create a vision for the meatball monster and spaghetti lion. We have been doing a lot of climbing at the rock garden, making sensory activities, tumbling in the big room, and art in the classroom. While exploring outside, we have been noticing some animals that seemed to spark some interest in pretending we are animals. We collected leaves for projects and even looked for acorns and pinecones. We have been enjoying the bookmobile as always and were so excited to see Sueno and her elephant friend.  We look forward to a month of exploring and creating with fall time nature, continuing to build our Oak Room story, and creating more art from different materials!

Birch Room

The month of September was a busy one for the Birch Room. We got to know each other by using and learning about graphs. We graphed our eye color, our pets, our favorite things about fall and where we live. We have a few new friends in the classroom and we spent time getting to know them. Some of our most popular centers were the Building Center with the tools, the corn table, and the painting easel. We also enjoyed mixing colors each morning and adding to our mural with lots of different kinds of art materials. Outside, we enjoyed the playground and also the Sun Bridge, where we kept checking for water in the stream and found lots of worms. In October, we will be talking about fall things such as apples, leaves and pumpkins and continuing to explore outside


  • October 3 – Jane is 5!
  • October 4 – Happy Birthday Jeanna, FAP Eligibility Specialist!
  • October 5 – Harriet is 4!
  • October 5 – Happy Birthday Taylor, Acorn Room Afternoon Assistant Teacher
  • October 8 – Happy Birthday Jean, CIS Nurse!
  • October 12 – Lyra is 1!
  • October 13 – Happy Birthday Willie, HR & Finance Coordinator
  • October 17 – Happy birthday Allie, Acorn Room Teacher
  • October 22 – Ben is 3!
  • October 23 – Cade is 4!
  • October 27 – Happy Birthday Emily, CIS Early Interventionist!

Dates to Remember

  • Friday, October 14 – Center closes at noon for in-service
  • Thursday, October 20 – ELC School Photo day
  • Friday, October 28 – free flu shot clinic (registration coming soon)
  • Monday, October 31 – ELC Halloween costume parade
  • Friday, November 11 – Center closes at noon for in-service
  • Wednesday, November 23 – ELC Family Harvest Meal
  • Thursday, November 24 & Friday, November 25 – Center closed for Thanksgiving Holiday