Contact: Seth Hibbert, | (802) 858-5459

BURLINGTON—Let’s Grow Kids has recognized five Vermonters as the inaugural group of Early Childhood Superheroes for going above and beyond to help young children reach their full potential.

The honorees include:

  • Dr. Jody Brakeley of Middlebury, a pediatrician in private practice who also serves as staff physician for the Department of Health Child Development Clinic and is an active member of the Let’s Grow Kids Speakers Bureau.
  • Kathleen Fitzgerald of Williston, who works with children on the autism spectrum as well as training families, caregivers and child care centers.
  • Matthew LeFluer of Alburgh who is a volunteer “Ambassador” for Let’s Grow Kids, tirelessly spreading the word about early childhood at events and helps train other volunteers.
  • Samantha Maskell of Bellows Falls, the Youth Services Librarian at Rockingham Public Library who works with community partners to train parents and care givers.
  • Monica Stowell of Lyndonville, who operates Munchkins Day Care, a home-based provider that has earned the highest designation under Vermont’s system for assessing child care providers’ quality.

The selection of Early Childhood Superheroes followed a statewide call for nominations of unsung heroes among educators, child care professionals, parents, grandparents, volunteers, business peoples, policymakers, civic leaders, and clergy. From the nominations, Let’s Grow Kids staff selected the five Vermonters from various regions of the state who have demonstrated a commitment to the success of Vermont’s youngest children through “above and beyond” contributions to children’s lives.

“It’s fortunate for Vermont’s children and Vermont’s future that so many of our neighbors are dedicated to giving kids the opportunities they need to succeed in life,” said Let’s Grow Kids Campaign Director Robyn Freedner-Maguire. “The lack of affordable, quality options in child care and early learning in Vermont forces parents to make tough choices—so we want to celebrate the people who are working to make those choices a little easier.”

Let’s Grow Kids continues to seek nominations to join the ranks of Early Childhood Superheroes through an online nomination form.

Let’s Grow Kids is a statewide public education campaign that aims to raise understanding of the importance of the earliest years in the lives of Vermont’s children. Let’s Grow Kids is working with Vermont communities, organizations, businesses and individuals to create positive lasting change that will allow all of our children to succeed in life. Let’s Grow Kids is an initiative of the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children with support from the A.D. Henderson Foundation and the Turrell Fund.

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