Area early education directors discuss love of teaching and challenges facing their field

October 17, 2022

Bennington Banner

BENNINGTON — As early education leaders. Alyson Grzyb and Laurie Metcalfe are reminded daily of why what they do matters — and the financial hurdles that still stand between families and affordable quality child care.

Grzyb, director of the Bennington Early Childhood Center, and Metcalfe, director of the Northshire Day School in Manchester, were recently recognized by a statewide association for their commitment to providing learning opportunities for young children.

Both women love what they do for a living — because they enjoy the work, and because they know how important it is.

Metcalfe said that more people should know and understand what early educators do — and how crucial it is for kids, and for their community, to have the best start possible.

Early childhood might seem like child’s play, she said, but that play is how children learn. The activities led by the schools’ teachers are carefully thought out and intentional and targeted for specific learning objectives, she explained.

“I strongly believe in the value of early childhood education, and the trajectory that creates for success,” Metcalfe said. “We serve 85 to 90 children — that means we get to make a significant meaningful impact in our community.”

As administrators, both women are keenly aware of the challenges facing early childhood education, in Vermont and across the country.



Local leaders recognized for childhood education

October 13, 2022

Bennington Banner

BENNINGTON — The Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC) recognized two Bennington County women for their leadership in the area of early childhood education.

During Vermont’s annual Early Childhood Education Conference on Thursday, Alyson Grzyb of Bennington and Laurie Metcalfe of Manchester were designated two of three ‘Outstanding Member” awards. Grzyb is director of the Bennington Early Childhood Center; Metcalfe is director of the Northshire Day School.



Northshire Day School Executive Director Earns Top Credential

August 25, 2022

Manchester Journal

Laurie Metcalfe

MANCHESTER — Northshire Day School Executive Director Laurie Metcalfe has earned a Step Three Program Director Credential, demonstrating quality and leadership in the world of early childhood education.

“Laurie has a clear vision for what early childhood education can accomplish as a field and in our community,” remarked school Development Director Jennifer Luty. “Laurie strategically focuses on how to produce the best outcomes for children and families.”

The Step Three Credential process includes college coursework, experience and the completion of a portfolio demonstrating the application of over 50 competencies with expertise in children’s families, communities, financial and program management, as well as leadership in the field of early childhood education.



Northshire Day School Awarded 5 STARS as Top-Quality Program

August 4, 2022

Bennington Banner

MANCHESTER CENTER, VT – Northshire Day School has achieved 5 STARS in the Vermont STARS Step Ahead Recognition System, going above and beyond state regulations to provide early childhood education that meets the needs of children and families.


“This achievement reflects the exceptional work of our educators, our continued dedication to children and families and the professional practices that are central to high quality early learning experiences,” remarked NDS Executive Director Laurie Metcalfe, “NDS is committed to continuous quality improvement and we are so proud of this accomplishment.”



Vermont Summer Festival horse jumping show returns to Dorset with new amenities

July 5, 2022

Manchester Journal

DORSET, VT – The horses are back — and so are their two-legged companions.

The Vermont Summer Festival began Wednesday at Harold Beebe Farm on Route 7 in East Dorset, with jumping and equitation competitions running through Aug. 14.

In addition to a significant economic impact on the region, the Vermont Summer Festival also provides area nonprofit groups with opportunities to raise money on weekends; admission is otherwise free.

Proceeds from weekend admission fees are distributed between three area nonprofit organizations: Manchester Community Library, Northshire Day School and Boy Scout Troop 332, event spokesperson Rebecca Walton said.

That admission price is $10 for guests 13 and older, $5 for kids ages 5 to 12 and free for kids up to 5 years old.



Two Emerging Leaders of Southern Vermont at Northshire Day School

May 19, 2022

MANCHESTER CENTER — Maggie Rubick and Jennifer Luty of Northshire Day School were recognized as Emerging Leaders at the Southern Vermont Economy Summit at Mount Snow on Thursday, May 12. The Southern Vermont Young Professionals and Shires Young Professionals presented the 2022 Emerging Leaders awards to 20 talented and energized young people who are working every day to create opportunity and enrich their community. This year’s award is sponsored by the Vermont Futures Project.


Rubick, a licensed early childhood educator who has been with Northshire Day School for nearly 10 years, stated “I am proud to be part of the early childhood profession at a time when there’s so much opportunity to effect positive change. I aim to apply and adapt my skills and learning across contexts, with the goal of sharing my strengths, knowledge, time, and energy in a way that will has a positive impact on my community.”


Luty has served as Development Director at NDS for one year, bringing new energy to the center. “I hope to disrupt a national trend where access is limited by both the available workforce and the cost of high-quality early childhood education,” Luty added, “developing relationships with local residents and businesses will bring NDS long-term sustainability and truly benefit our entire


NDS Executive Director Laurie Metcalfe highlighted that talented, dedicated staff are the key to a high-quality program, “I’m thrilled to have two Northshire Day School employees recognized as Emerging Leaders this year and commend Jen and Maggie for their hard work and accomplishments.” She added, “NDS adds so much to our community, and our valuable staff play a significant role in what we’re able to accomplish collectively both at NDS and in the Northshire community.”



Northshire Day School Thanks the Community

March 2, 2022

MANCHESTER CENTER — Northshire Day School

On March 1, the towns of Manchester, Dorset, and Sunderland voted to appropriate funds to Northshire Day School, the area’s largest nonprofit early childhood education program.


Thank you for saying “yes” to this important work. Early childhood education makes it possible for families to fully participate in our local economy, allowing families and local businesses to achieve their goals.


Your investment strengthens our growing community, providing more positive outcomes for children. Investment in early childhood is known to increase high school graduation and college matriculation rates. Investing in a quality early childcare system also leads to fewer public expenses later.


Just last week, Let’s Grow Kids reported that Bennington County needs to increase the supply of full-day, full-year child care by at least 338 more infant slots, 91 toddler slots, and 157 preschooler slots to meet the demand for child care in our region. This year, Northshire Day School is working to add 15 permanent child care spaces to our center. We know that we have so much more to do.


In the meantime, thank you for investing in our community. Access to affordable, quality early childhood education makes the Northshire community a great place to live and work, all while helping our youngest children grow!



Northshire Day School receives $50,000 from the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation

January 5, 2022

Manchester Journal

MANCHESTER CENTER — Northshire Day School recently received a sizable windfall, securing a grant of $50,000 for the child care and education center’s general needs.

The William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation backed the school’s community-minded mission.

“Our community response grantmaking program focuses on strengthening families. We see this grant as very aligned with that focus,” said Marci Lu, senior program officer at the foundation. She said the early childhood education center was a great fit for their outreach program.

“Northshire Day School is Manchester’s largest, high quality licensed early care and education provider, and it uses a family strengthening model. And their staff has been working tirelessly to keep their doors open during the pandemic, to provide and continue to provide quality, affordable and accessible child care to work.”



Grant maker announces Northshire Day School as one of this year’s winners

November 25, 2021

Bennington Banner

MANCHESTER — Northshire Day School is being recognized as one of the best child care centers in the state.

The Turrell Fund of Montclair, N.J., announced Northshire Day School as one of the 13 winners of this year’s S. Whitney Landon Awards. A total of $30,000 in unrestricted grants were given to the winning agencies for doing stand-out work on behalf of children in Vermont.



Foundation challenges businesses to aid Northshire Day School with holiday matching gift

November 16, 2021

Bennington Banner

MANCHESTER CENTER — A local Foundation is raising awareness of the critical infrastructure childcare at Northshire Day School provides to the local business community. “As we all know, childcare is one of the most challenging things to find for our employees’ families,” said John Burnham, executive director of the Manchester Business Association.

During this holiday giving project, a local foundation will grant an additional $1 for every $2 donated to Northshire

Day School by the business community by Dec. 31. Matching lasts up to $50,000.

“This holiday giving project supports our shared goal of retaining staff so that we can continue our essential and critical service to families and children,” said Executive Director Laurie Metcalfe.

Please contact Jen Luty at Northshire Day School to make a contribution to the holiday giving project by emailing or calling 802-362-1395.



Manchester Moves Quickly on Pandemic Funds

October 29, 2021

By Darren Marcy, Manchester Journal

MANCHESTER — To help them decide the best use of the town’s $1.1 million in federal pandemic money, part of the American Rescue Plan Act’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, the Manchester Select Board is launching a website and online application to identify potential needs for the funds.

Town Manager John O’Keefe said the town received a first payment of $526,173 in May, with a second payment of the same amount due in this coming May.

Northshire Day School Executive Director Laurie Metcalfe on Tuesday made an impassioned plea for help from the board, detailing the struggles the school has had in staying open and staffed while faced with monumental challenges.

“At a time when many programs across our state closed their doors and never reopened, NDS stayed the course,”

Metcalfe said. “NDS is the only program that stayed open during essential childcare in the Northshire region.”



Stratton Foundation COVID Relief Grant Awarded to Northshire Day School

October 25, 2021

Vermont News Guide

MANCHESTER — The Stratton Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to Northshire Day School to support Tuition Relief. This grant is made possible by the Stratton Foundation’s COVID Relief Fund in recognition that the challenges parents face to afford child care and living expenses are exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. The Stratton Foundation and Northshire Day School share a goal of supporting local families by providing access to affordable child care.



2021 Community Partner Service Award Winner

Vermont Country Store

October 5, 2021

At our Annual Meeting, we presented our Community Partner Service Award to the The Vermont Country Store. This spring, the Vermont Country Store purchased and installed nearly $16,000 worth of technology, giving us more time to do what we love and spend less time fussing with outdated technology. And now, NDS children are enjoying the music and movement this technology brings to the classroom.

We have an immense appreciation for the Vermont Country Store as a long time and valuable partner of NDS. Their recent investment in our work gives us the tools necessary to perform optimally and continue the important work of growing happy, healthy children.

One of the top public needs identified during the pandemic was reliable technology. When helping to arrange this gift, Ann Warrell, Community Relations & Communications Manager at the Vermont Country Store, said that they like to support early childhood where and when they can, in ways that are meaningful and helpful. Thank you to the Vermont Country store for giving to crucial areas of the community. Congratulations!



2021 You Make a Difference Award Winner

Nicole Nichols

October 5, 2021

Nicole Nichols received the You Make a Difference Award at our Annual Meeting.

Nicole is known for being a bubbly, knowledgeable, engaging, and interactive Early Childhood Educator. She brings music delightfully into her classroom and can often be found sitting on the floor, being silly and singing or reading stories with her little ones. She provides the structure for children to flourish and is a core member of our team.

Her infectious personality and her abundance of knowledge about childcare development make her a wonderful asset to both Northshire Day School and the families who form lasting connections with their beloved “Cole”. Congratulations – you really do make a difference!



Northshire Day School awarded Revive Grant

September 9, 2021

Bennington Banner

MANCHESTER — Northshire Day School recently received a $500 grant from the Children’s Literacy Foundation to expand its reading and writing program with the goal of connecting kids to their communities while building a love of literacy. Books were distributed at the NDS Family Picnic on Aug. 31.

“This recent grant provides books centered around social skills, emotions, and hope to promote resiliency during a complex time and highlight the importance of early literacy. It brought us great joy to gift children books at our family picnic,” said NDS Executive Director Laurie Metcalfe.



Maggie Rubick, honored for her outstanding support

of Oak Hill Children’s Center’s Farm to School

& Early Childhood Program.

July 21, 2021

Bennington Banner

POWNAL — A number of individuals were honored during the early evening event which was held on the center’s playground. Community Partner Awards were presented to Corinne Lyons, Early Head Start family support worker, in recognition of her outstanding service to Oak Hill Children’s Center’s children, families and staff; and Cynthia Greene, Shelburne Farms’ Farm to Early Childhood Coalition coordinator, and Maggie Rubick, Northshire Day School preschool teacher, for their outstanding support of Oak Hill Children’s Center’s Farm to School & Early Childhood Program.



Gate fees at horse show to benefit local nonprofits

July 8, 2021

Bennington Banner

MANCHESTER — The Vermont Summer Festival has chosen the Manchester Community Library, the Manchester Elementary Middle School PTO and the Northshire Day School to provide volunteers to collect spectator gate fees during weekend events at the upcoming horse show.

In selecting the nonprofits, “the festival continues their long-standing practice of giving all admission revenue to local non-profit organizations,” the festival said in a press release.



Vermont Country Store makes tech donation

to Northshire Day School

June 29, 2021

By Luke Nathan, Manchester Journal 

 MANCHESTER — Northshire Day School has secured a sizable equipment donation and, separately, a grant to support children with specialized care

and learning needs.

The Vermont Country Store recently purchased and installed nearly $16,000 worth of technology for the nonprofit early education and child care center located at 5484 Main St.

The donation included an iPad, Chromebook and Echo Dot for each of the school’s eight classrooms and five laptops for the organization’s administrative team, according to Jennifer Luty, the nonprofit’s development director.



Northshire Day School teachers are honored to be named Unsung Heroes by the Bennington Banner

June 15, 2021

Pandemic or not, our teachers are committed to educating and caring for the young children in our community. We are honored to be featured in a special edition of the Bennington Banner, telling incredible stories of caring during the pandemic. We are just one of many organizations and people who stepped up to help our communities over the last year. Click through to read our story.



Announcing our New Logo

May 28, 2021

We have grown a lot this past year – a new classroom, new routines, new students, and now a new logo. We are excited to introduce you to our NDS Tree logo. You will see the new look on our website, Facebook, emails, and rolling out across all our documents. We would like to share our inspiration behind the logo and what is means to us and our community.

The inspiration began a year ago when NDS grew and added another classroom to our school. It felt too generic to call it “PreSchool 3.” For a creative early learning center, our classroom names were quite plain and we decided it was time to make a change. We challenged ourselves with names from colors, to animals, to shapes, but finally landed on trees. We are inspired by our home surrounded by trees in the heart of the Taconic and Green Mountains. Being outside is an extension of the classroom and we spend as much time exploring, learning, and playing in nature as we can. Our classrooms are now: Sapling, Birch, Sycamore, Willow, Hickory, Evergreen, Maple, and Aspen.



Meet our New Development Director, Jen Luty

May 10, 2021

We are pleased to announce and welcome Jennifer Luty as Development Director. Jen will be responsible for developing and executing Northshire Day School’s fundraising goals and strategy.

Jen comes to Northshire Day School excited to grow a strong development program. She has 10 years of experience in the admissions office at Hamden

Hall Country Day School, where she also served on the Technology Committee and as Ski Club Mentor. Jen graduated from Burr and Burton Academy in 2006, earned a B.A. in English and a M.S. in Interactive Media at Quinnipiac University, and continues to be a lifelong learner. She is currently working toward her Professional Fundraising Certificate through Boston University. Jen enjoys forming connections with parents, educators, and the local community. Jen

lives with her family in Manchester.



Farm to School, What’s Growing?

April 27, 2021

My child is snacking on kale? This is one of the surprising outcomes of our Farm to School program.We have learned that when our students are part of the process of growing and preparing their food, they are more willing to try it. Often those picky eaters find out they actually like it! Surprisingly to most parents, Maggie often catches students sneaking bites of kale from the garden!

Now that spring has sprung in the Northshire our preschool students are actively planning and preparing the school garden for the upcoming season. Recently during the Week of the Young Child, the preschool pod planted early season carrot seeds. Carrots happen to be one of the student’s favorite vegetables we grow and eat! Over the next few weeks we will continue planting various vegetables and herbs. The NDS garden will provide an experiential learning environment, from gardening, to harvesting, preparing, cooking, and tasting new foods.



2020 Community Service Partner Award Winner

Betsy LaVecchia

October 16, 2020

Northshire Day School is honored to award the 2020 Community Service Partner Award to Betsy LaVecchia. This award is given to an individual or community organization who has partnered with Northshire Day School to enhance and promote children’s early learning experiences, provide support for families, and enriched our Northshire Day School Community.

When thinking about a partner who has made a huge impact on Northshire Day School, the choice was easy, Betsy LaVecchia. Betsy is a speech language pathologist (SLP) with the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union and she has been providing SLP services at NDS for the past several years.



2020 You Make a Difference Award Winner

Maggie Rubick

October 16, 2020

Northshire Day School is honored to award the 2020 You Make A Difference Award to Maggie Rubick. This award is given to the NDS employee nominated

by his or her peers for a making a difference in the lives of young children, their families, and fellow professionals.

Maggie Rubick joined Northshire Day School School in 2012 as an educator in the preschool classroom with Becky. Becky knew right away that Maggie was going to be a great addition to the NDS community. Maggie is patient, kind and loving when it comes to working with young children and their families. She truly believes that it is a team effort and building that strong relationship can only enhance the education of each and every child in her classroom.



Mix it Up with Love and Help our Children Grow

September 11, 2020

Written with gratitude by Laurie Metcalfe

What a fun and exciting week! There’s nothing quite like the first week of the new school year. So much curiosity and anticipation by both our wonderful children and our staff. The activity on our playgrounds, the laughter in the classrooms, outdoor art, yoga poses, building creations, imaginative play,

bubble parties and stories galore. It’s simply magical! It takes me back to the

fond childhood memories I have of immersing myself in Roald Dahl books and

his beloved story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and watching the original 1971 film of Willy Wonka. The first week of school at NDS finds me reminiscing with the “Candy Man” song running on repeat through my head begging to be sung loudly. If you are not familiar with it, I highly recommend you have a listen. It’s light, it’s optimistic, it’s filled with magic and it totally reminds me of our

stellar community at Northshire Day School.

Let’s be honest – who can wear a mask all day, playing in the sun, sprinkle it

with transitions and still make it fun?

Our Educators can. Our Educators can because they mix it up with love and help our children grow.

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