United Children’s Services
Annual Report 2020–21
Bennnington County Head Start and Early Head Start provide essential services for children from birth to age 5. We partner with parents, teachers, and community members to create meaningful, measurable change.
Room to Grow
In partnership with the Town of Bennington, UCS’s newest Head Start facility, the Spring Center, opened this year to great fanfare. The new building expands access to childcare and Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Visit the Our Stories section to read more about the Spring Center.
The UCS Infant/Toddler Center had a well-attended end-of-school-year car parade, with each child having at least one car to cheer them on. This was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate accomplishments and allow for family involvement while keeping public health and safety guidelines at the forefront.
Over 600 Everyone Eats vouchers and meals were distributed to Head Start families, staff and United Counseling Service staff. The Vermont Department of Health and Dutchman’s Tavern in Bennington helped make sure meals were delivered safely and securely to the UCS staff and clients who were quarantining together inside group homes at the time.
Like other facilities, our North Bennington location welcomed children and families back for onsite, in-person learning and services. Families were offered a bagel to start their day, and a “hopes and dreams” card to complete and return to their child’s teacher. At the end of the year, families received their cards back with a portfolio of their child’s work.
Little Free Library project expands access to books
This year Bennington County Head Start worked to increase family and community access to literacy opportunities. With a grant from Sunrise Family Resource Center, we partnered with Bennington Area Makers (BAM), Alliance for Community Transformation (ACT), and Head Start families to design and construct Little Free Libraries, which we installed around Bennington County.
Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries. Little Free Libraries have already been installed at Pownal School, the Spring Center (Bennington), Shires Housing Development (North Bennington), and Arlington Recreation Park.
As our Little Free Library project continues to gain traction and interest, more libraries are popping up in the communities we serve. The public is invited to take—or leave!—a book.