July 2021
#OurNeckOftheWoods July Newsletter
Thanks for a rockin' school year!
We could not have persevered throughout this challenging year without our inspiring students, hard-working families, and passionate staff. We are thankful for you all!
Here's a video to spotlight all the fun we had from September of 2020 to June of 2021. Enjoy your summer!
Multiple Intelligences and Feeling Good
by Lauren Morris
Junior Counseling Manager
        After completing his doctoral studies in psychology at Harvard College, child psychologist, Howard Gardner, began working with brain-damaged patients at Boston Veterans Administration Hospital and with neurodiverse school-aged children through an organization called Project Zero. It was through these experiences that Gardner had realized that intelligence was not what he thought it was. This idea that intelligence was one, singular concept would not explain why different people thrive when learning things through a specific lens, like language or music. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory proves that there are different ways of learning, knowing, thinking, and understanding that work for different kinds of brains. These eight different intelligences are musical, bodily-kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, linguistic, spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.
               The focus in our public schools is on our verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences as we can see through our Common Core State Standards. The Common Core Standards website explains, “To ensure all students are ready for success after high school, the Common Core State Standards establish clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in math and English language arts from kindergarten through 12th grade”. As someone whose intelligence is neither of these, I struggled growing up in the public school system. I failed math tests and English papers, so I was put into classrooms for students who needed “extra help”. I felt stupid, I had low self-esteem, and I did not like school even with my exceptional achievements in my dance, theatre, music, and visual arts classes.
               At Neck of the Woods, we encourage our bodily-kinesthetic dominant students to choreograph dances for talent shows and use power tools to build wooden forts. For our naturalist dominant students, we encourage them to take healthy risks by climbing tall trees and getting dirty by planting gardens. Our interpersonal dominant students play social games while our intrapersonal dominant students practice mindfulness. Through focusing on their strengths and affinities, we have found that our students enjoy their education and have higher self-esteem at school. I believe that if we placed more value in other intelligences besides verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical, we could cultivate students who have a healthier relationship with school, a sense of belonging, and higher self-esteem. The younger version of myself would have thrived as a student at NOW which is why the older version of myself feels so much satisfaction each day making sure children feel good about what they are good at.
Infant and Toddler Programming
by Erica Gongloff
Early Education Co-Director
It is with great excitement that we announce our Infant and Toddler program at Neck of the Woods will be open July 6, 2021, at the Waitsfield United Church of Christ. It has taken a lot of energy and work and patience and even some frustration to get us here, but we are finally ready to open our doors with a variance at an offsite location.

Please email egongloff@neckofthewoodsvt.com to inquire; alternatively please visit our website at http://neckofthewoodsvt.com to fill out the enrollment form on the Infant and Toddler Care page. We look forward to welcoming you all to NOW, and caring for the littlest members of our community.
Preschool Goodbyes
by Suzanne Gardner
Early Education Co-Director
As preschool blasts off into their first week of summer programming, I am able to reflect upon our year that was completely out of this world. It was about this time last year that Neck of the Woods opened to accommodate families who needed care to get back to work as the world began to reopen. I myself was unsure of where I would find new employment after I was unable to return to my previous job due to low family enrollment. I, like many families, found Neck of the Woods and today I am forever thankful.
Through the year we discovered ways to be kind, safe and gentle as we learned and played together. Our days began with open play and exploration to learn about the world around us. Together, we established a rhythm that reflected the level of interest and needs of each child. We ‘circled’ up everyday to have many hours of enjoyment as we manipulated our learning materials and engaged with our friends so we can learn and be inspired from each other. Everyday was a pleasure to see each child learn something new and gain understanding of how to be with their peers and others who were a part of their days this year at Neck of the Woods. 
The memories through the year have been recorded through our daily journal and shared with families with over 6000 pictures in the “Cloud” showing all the wonderment we absorbed as we explored nature to take safe risks to be strong and our classroom that kept us safe to learn and protect us from when the elements were too extreme for even these rugged Vermont children. There are so many experiences to highlight that we have filled our classroom wall to wall, floor to ceiling with memories. If they could talk the way animals speak in stories, they may speak of the music shared together with laughter as we worked through learning curves to be the greatest humans we could be through everything the world had to bring our way. 
We celebrated our last days together with song and dance, ice cream and good cheer! We embraced our last moments together finally having the opportunity to see each other's smiles as we wished each other well on our new journeys ahead. Congratulations to all the children as they move onto their next years experiences! We celebrate you all! May much love, peace and good health continue to be a part of all your lives.
Infant and Toddler Program Open House
Neck of the Woods invites all prospective infant and toddler parents to visit the space and meet teachers on Monday, July 5, any time between 3 and 7 pm at the Waitsfield United Church of Christ. 
Raving Reviews for Neck of the Woods
We asked our campers what they thought about NOW Summer Camp and these are their responses:
"Lots of fun!"
-Keegan S.
"It's fun because you get to have a slip and slide, we get to play on the playground, and we don't have to sit at home."
-Simon S.
"It has lots of fun games and the art part is usually the best part of the day! There's a cool playground outside! Best. Summer. EVER!"
-Tommy O.
"You have a little name tag and you have two teachers or more and you have a little magnet that sticks and you put it on a board and then it's like, 'Where are you right NOW?'"
-Ivy W.
"You usually go outside and sometimes you stay inside. Boing, boing!"
-Hadley H.
"We get to go in the brook and go in the water!"
-Addie C.
Summer Camp Photo Gallery
Quote of the Month
“Children cannot bounce off the walls if we take away the walls.”
-Erin K. Kenny