Burlington Preschoolers Become Helping Heroes | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Burlington Preschoolers Become Helping Heroes 

Published August 6, 2015 at 12:36 p.m.

click to enlarge A BCS preschooler sports a superhero cape in the Archibald Neighborhood Garden - ALISON NOVAK
  • Alison Novak
  • A BCS preschooler sports a superhero cape in the Archibald Neighborhood Garden
It's morning meeting time in the Blue preschool classroom at Burlington Children's Space. Eleven kids wearing sandals and sun hats sit in a loose circle on the classroom floor, wiggling around as they practice a song with guidance from one of their teachers, Meghan Laskowski. 

When the song ends, it's time for the 4- and 5-year-olds to transform into Helping Heroes. Several kids grab felt capes and headbands and belts fashioned out of fabric remnants. In the hallway, all of them put on stretchy gardening gloves and line up, holding hands with a partner. 

The Helping Heroes program — which their other teacher, Charles Winkelman, describes as a civic-oriented curriculum — began this spring. The children designed and sewed their own superhero costumes, which they wear to clean up trash in the neighborhood. A micro-grant from the ONE Good Deed Fund paid for gloves for each child and a wagon for pulling along supplies and collecting trash.

Outside the classroom, a flyer is thumbtacked to a bulletin board, advertising the Helping Heroes Hotline. "We are here to help!" it states."If you ever need us when we're gone, leave a message on our phone."

"We can clean up your garbage for you. We can show you the tree pose," the flyer continues. At the bottom, the children have signed their names in all caps with markers. 

The preschoolers follow Winkleman out the doors of the McClure Multigenerational Center, a building in Burlington's Old North End that houses BCS as well as the Champlain Senior Center.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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About The Author

Alison Novak

Alison Novak

Alison is the former managing editor at Kids VT, Seven Days' parenting publication and writes about education for Seven Days.


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