Bennington Regional Council Recap – March 2018

Robin Stromgren
Bennington Regional Coordinator
Building Bright Futures




Professional development is one the basic tenets of the Bennington Regional Plan. Professional development is used not only to give us the knowledge that we need, but to develop our skills and change our attitudes. February and March were rich in trainings.

In partnership with the Maternal Child Health Coalition, Dr. Jody Brakeley, a developmental pediatrician from Middlebury, presented on exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and how this can lead to both developmental and life-long effects. The audience represented health, mental health, childcare, and education.

Bennington is committed to making trainings available to a diverse cross-section of individuals that will allow us to build a regional culture and language; especially as we move forward in building a flourishing region: One where we all thrive and work together during all of the stages of our lives.

At the end of March and the beginning of April, the regional BBF professional development team is offering four trainings on Creative Curriculum by Teaching Strategies. Creative Curriculum has both Pre-School and infant, toddlers, and twos programs that are the companions to the TS-Gold assessments. There are two training sessions for pre-school and two sessions for Infant, toddlers and twos giving us four training opportunities. Thus far 121 people have signed up for 200 possible slots. After these trainings, it will be important to develop learning communities to support teachers as they begin implementation.

The 3rd training about vicarious trauma was postponed until May due to a snowstorm. Bennington ‘s ACES team is the sponsor of the program along with the domestic violence agency, PAVE. The ACES team has representation from providers serving young children and youth.

The February BBF-Early Childhood Council meeting had a very big agenda. Part one looked at the new landscape of professional development. We had presentations by CCV, TEACH, Vermont Birth to Five, and the local professional development committee. Part two consisted of a strategic conversation to gather feedback on proposed the changes to Act 166. We put the questions on chart paper and asked people to write their comments, concerns, and questions. We used the charts to have a further in-depth conversation. To accomplish both of these tasks, we extended the meeting.

The Council meeting in March is always at Early Childhood Day at the Legislature. It is a great opportunity to meet with our legislators. We had a strong team, but in the end, our travel plans were thwarted by a snowstorm. Bennington is lucky to have great legislators and we will plan to engage them closer to home.

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