Archive - October 2016

Ready for Kindergarten!
The North Central Vermont Recovery Center
Cooking For Your Guests with Diabetes

Ready for Kindergarten!

By: Scott Johnson


“The research is clear that children who have high-quality early learning and development opportunities experience greater success in school, relationships and life. This not only benefits the children; it’s economically beneficial for our society as a whole.” – Let’s Grow Kids

Children need high quality environments that are rich in love, learning and literacy – whether that experience is at home with a parent, with kin or a neighbor, or at one of our many great child care providers in Lamoille Valley.

Since 2000, Vermont has gathered information on the readiness of children entering kindergarten by surveying kindergarten teachers about their students’ knowledge and skills within the first six to ten weeks of school. The effort to measure school readiness is a collaborative project of the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE), the Department for Children and Families, and the Department of Health. (Various surveys for assessing schools’ readiness have been conducted since this effort began.) After extensive expert review, the new Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4K!S) has been adopted.

There are many interpretations of what constitutes “school readiness.” Vermont’s concept of children’s readiness is multidimensional and includes:

  • social and emotional development
  • communication
  • physical health
  • cognitive development and knowledge
  • approaches to learning (e.g., enthusiasm for learning, persistence, curiosity).

Vermont’s concept also reflects the belief that “school readiness” is interactional: children need to be ready for schools, and schools need to be ready to accommodate the diverse needs of each and every child.

What’s New

The 2015-16 Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4K!S) marks the deployment of a new survey instrument, changes in scoring methods, and criteria used for identification of students as “ready.” The survey also includes new and revised questions, including six in the physical development and health domain.

The R4K!S is not a direct assessment of children; rather it relies on the teacher’s accumulated observational knowledge of the child developed during the first few weeks of kindergarten.”

If you’re interested, click here to read the report.

Helping Your Child Be Ready

Parents and caregivers play a critical role in their child’s development. It’s important to offer children opportunities to learn, grow, and be capable every day. Creating environments that are literacy rich, full of adult-to-child interactions, are socially interactive with peers, and that attend to healthy habits are important ingredients to kindergarten readiness.

Here are some of my favorite resources to help:

I Can Teach My Child – “33 Ways To Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten.”

Let’s Grow Kids: A great resource to learn more about the importance of the early years.

The Lamoille Family Center is committed to working with our partners to encourage, educate and celebrate families so we realize the promise of every child. For more information about the Lamoille Family Center call 888-5229 or visit our website at

Scott Johnson is Executive Director of the Lamoille Family Center and has worked in Lamoille Valley in human services and education for nearly his entire career. The Family Center has served our community by encouraging, educating and celebrating children, youth and families for forty years.

Scott writes about early care and education, adolescent development and strengthening families that improve conditions of well-being.

The North Central Vermont Recovery Center

My name is Stefani Capizzi and I am the director of North Central Vermont Recovery Center.

North Central Vermont Recovery CenterI’m here to tell you that the Lamoille County’s Recovery Center is a really special place. One of the most unique and important qualities about the Recovery Center is that most of the people who work there (including myself, the paid staff, and the 20 plus volunteers) are people in long term recovery from addictions to alcohol and other drugs.This is AWESOME because it says people who struggle with addictions CAN and DO enter into recovery and go on to lead amazing, fulfilling lives. AND, any person who walks through our doors can meet and get help from someone who has probably walked in their shoes and can serve as an example of hope and possibility!

That being said, I am going to tell you what a person can expect when they walk through our doors. First, ALL of our services are free of charge. Yes, free.

An individual having trouble with addiction can find people who will connect them to resources like addiction treatment centers, housing, food, mental and medical health, education and employment, as well as a variety of recovery meetings and support groups held at our center and elsewhere. They will find recovery coaches who are trained to work individually with them, guiding and supporting them throughout their recovery. They will find a safe place to visit, have coffee and a snack, use the computers, read, learn, and sometimes join in social activities.

Loved ones (including grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, spouses, children, or friends) of people with addictions can also find help from family support groups and recovery coaches who work with family members.

Lastly, I’d like invite you to stop by and check out the Recovery Center (275 Brooklyn St. Morrisville, VT) any time we are open during the day:

  • Mon: 9am-12pm
  • Tues-Fri: 9am-6pm
  • Sat-Sun: 11am-4pm

Learn more on our website at

Cooking For Your Guests with Diabetes

By: Nancy Wagner

balanced meal

Suppose you’re planning a dinner party with several couples and find out that one of your guests has diabetes. Do you need to serve something special for them? Not necessarily.

When any of us eats carbohydrates (carbs) our body converts them to blood sugar which is the fuel for our muscles and brain. In diabetes, our bodies have a hard time managing these carbs so we need to do it ourselves through balanced eating.

People with diabetes need to count and space out the amount of carbs they eat. They can do this either by counting portions of carbs or by counting actual grams of carb. The general guidelines are:

  • 2-3 portions or 30-45 grams of carb per meal for women
  • 3-4 portions or 45-60 grams of carb per meal for men.

It’s also beneficial to have protein at each meal. Sweets are allowed as long as their carbs are counted in the allotted portions or grams. Some examples of a carb serving are:

  • 1 slice of bread or a small dinner roll;
  • ½ cup mashed potatoes, corn, peas, or winter squash;
  • 1/3 cup of cooked rice or pasta
  • ½ cup cooked beans or lentils;
  • ½ cup mixed fruit or a small piece of fruit
  • 8oz of milk
  • 2 small cookies
  • ½ cup ice cream.

All other vegetables are very low in carbs and usually can be considered “free”.

So, how do you plan that dinner party meal? You could start by planning several vegetables. For instance, a nice tossed salad with lots of colorful vegetables. Maybe some cooked broccoli or summer squash and zucchini.  Add a protein like salmon or boneless chicken breast. A small amount of starch such as brown rice could round out the meal. Have a variety of non-calorie beverages including seltzer, plain water, coffee and/or tea to offer.  Desserts don’t necessarily have to be sugar-free. You could have a variety so that the person with diabetes can make his or her own choice. Maybe some angel food cake with fresh berries. The key for desserts is portion size, smaller is better.

Your job as host/hostess is to provide a variety of healthy food choices and allow the person with diabetes to make their own choices. Many people with diabetes do not like attention brought to their eating or disease, so have a private conversation about the menu before the actual dinner party or before the other guests arrive. Now, sit back and enjoy the meal and the conversation.

Nancy Wagner is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator at Copley Hospital. She provides health and wellness to Copley employees through screenings, education and fun activities; educates patients regarding their nutrition and diabetes needs; and works with community members providing education to schools and businesses. Nancy enjoys helping others learn new things about nutrition, their health habits, and their chronic diseases.