Teas a way to get to know schools
by Lauren Harkawik
May 01, 2017 | 3322 views | 0 0 comments | 105 105 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEERFIELD VALLEY- In the coming weeks, teddy bears will be making their way into the elementary schools in the valley, in the arms of Dover and Wilmington’s youngest residents. Dover Elementary and Twin Valley Elementary are both set to host Teddy Bear Teas, events where will-be students of the schools will be able to come together with their future friends, classmates, and teachers, some for the first time.

Teddy Bear Teas happen at 15 schools across Windham County each May. The events are coordinated and co-sponsored by the Early Education Services of Windham County, which is the region’s Parent Child Center. Early Education Services of Windham County services 19 towns in Windham County and provides parents of young children access to a range of services, including early education resources, health and dental support and resources, play groups, parent support groups, and parent education classes.

Sandy Stark, Early Education Services Parent Child Services Coordinator, says that the Teddy Bear Teas have been a tradition in Windham County since the 1990s. “They’re a great way for families and children, parents, and caregivers to get connected with their school, with each other, and with other people in their community,” says Stark. “It’s really all about connections and helping people connect with each other.”

Twin Valley Elementary School Principal Rebecca Fillion and Dover Elementary School Principal Matt Martyn both say that the Teddy Bear Teas are a great way to meet their future students. “It is a wonderful opportunity,” says Fillion. “It’s a really fun way for children to enjoy our setting and for us to start building relationships with families.”

“We want to make our future students and families feel comfortable and welcome in our school,” says Martyn. He says that since a lot of the kids who attend Dover’s tea are incoming pre-K students, this year the students who are currently in the 3-year-old group in the school’s pre-K program will join in the festivities. “Each child who attends the tea will have a pre-K buddy,” says Martyn. “So they’ll have a face that they recognize when they come to school in the fall.”

In addition to kids making connections with one another, Martyn says the program offers a great opportunity for parents to get to know each other as well. “It’s nice for parents to meet each other and put some names with faces, since their kids will be going to school together.”

Stark says that the events are open to all children under 5, and that she always hopes that in addition to incoming pre-K students, parents and caregivers will bring babies and toddlers as well. Fillion says that at Twin Valley, a lot of incoming preschoolers attend the event, but younger children also join in the fun. “It’s common for a whole family to come with younger siblings,” says Fillion.

Fillion says that Stark’s hard work coordinating the tea each year is really appreciated, and that it’s a wonderful way for the school to continue its commitment to early learning.

Although teddy bears give the event its name, Stark says that all types of stuffed friends are welcome. The event includes storytime, a craft, and a special snack - teddy bear cookies made by Brattleboro Union High School students and Retired Senior Volunteer Program volunteers.

The Teddy Bear Teas will happen at Dover on Thursday, May 4, at 9:30 am and at Twin Valley on Wednesday, May 24, at 1 pm.

Press Release sent in with additional times:

Tea time with a Teddy

SOUTHERN VERMONT- During the month of May, 15 Windham County elementary schools will open their doors to children 5 and under, parents, caregivers, early educators, and teddy bears. Children are invited to bring their favorite teddy bears (other favorite stuffed animals are welcome of course) for a short party called a “Teddy Bear Tea.” Adults, children, and bears will meet staff, listen to a story or two, visit with other families, and do a craft.

The Teddy Bear Tea will take place at the following school: Academy on Tuesday, May 23, All-School Sing at 8:40 am, and tea to follow at 9:10 am; Dover Elementary School on Thursday, May 4, at 9:30 am; Dummerston School on Thursday, May 25, at 1:30 pm; Green Street on Thursday, May 25, all-school sing at 8:35 am, tea to follow at 9:05 am; Guilford School on Friday, May 5, at 1 pm; Halifax Elementary School on Monday, May 1, at 1 pm; Jamaica School on Thursday, May 4, at 1:30 pm; Marlboro Elementary School on Friday, May 12, at 1 pm; NewBrook, (Brookline and Newfane), on Thursday, May 18, at 1 pm; Oak Grove on Wednesday, May 24, All-School Sing at 8:35 am, tea to follow at 9:05 am; Putney School on Wednesday, May 3, at 9:30 am; Townshend on Tuesday, May 30, at 1:30 pm; Twin Valley Elementary (Whitingham and Wilmington) on Wednesday, May 24, at 1 pm; Vernon on Monday, May 15, at 10:30 am; and Wardsboro Elementary, on Monday, May 8, at 10 am.

For more information contact Sandy Stark at (802) 254-3742, ext. 171, or sstark@wsesu.org.

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