May 04, 2016VTDigger
Nicole Haley, Let's Grow Kids

Burlington, Vermont—Let’s Grow Kids has recognized four Vermonters as Early Childhood Superheroes for going above and beyond to help young children reach their full potential.

The honorees include:

· Dr. Matthew Rushford of Burlington, co-founder of Rushford Family Chiropractic, is affectionately known as “Doctor Sparkles.” A self-described “big kid,” Dr. Rushford connects with kids, even those who are usually shy or afraid of the doctor, helping them feel empowered about their own well-being and to understand their bodies are naturally smart.

· Vicki Rich, RN, of Hyde Park, a private practice lactation consultant and birth doula, helps parents build confidence by reassuring them they know what’s best for their child. She is known for being a great listener, offering non-judgmental advice and being there for people, anywhere at any time, while keeping a high level of energy and commitment.

· Sue Barnaby of Tunbridge, an early childhood interventionist in the Windsor-Orange School District, makes weekly school visits as the “Story Lady/Math Buddy,” delivering quality books and toys to classrooms to help kids get excited about reading and learning. She listens to kids in a meaningful way that allows her to understand what interests them.

· Carol Barbierri of Arlington, director of Happy Days Playschool, continually expands opportunities for young children and early childhood professionals to learn and grow. She successfully applied for a grant that’s funded scholarships to at-risk and low-income preschoolers for over 20 years.

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, a panel of early childhood experts representing Building Bright Futures, Vermont Birth to Five, the Vermont Early Childhood Alliance and Let’s Grow Kids selected four 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.

“The professionals and volunteers being honored as Early Childhood Superheroes play a critical role in providing the nurturing relationships, quality care and stimulating learning opportunities children need for healthy development in the earliest years – the most important time for laying a foundation for success in relationships, in school and in life,” said Let’s Grow Kids Campaign Director Robyn Freedner-Maguire.

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 public awareness and engagement campaign about the important role that high-quality, affordable child care can play in supporting the healthy development of Vermont’s children during their first five years—the most important years for laying a foundation for success in relationships, in school and in life. Because Vermont’s shortage of high-quality, affordable child care is a serious challenge for our communities and our economy, our goal is to gain public support leading to increased, sustainable investment that gives all children the chance to reach their full potential. 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.

To view this release online click here

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