One PCC Place – A Welcoming Space for Growing Community

Provided by the Rutland County Parent-Child Center

Moving to a new town can be difficult: learning the ropes, meeting new people, generating a friend group for kids, locating resources, getting a little support while you find your feet – and finding ways to get involved with the community. But, imagine a place …

Imagine dropping your child into an excellent early childhood education setting, being served a decent breakfast sandwich and coffee, spending a few minutes connecting with the people working with your child, and grabbing a bit of chill time in a meditation garden before heading into work. Or coming in after work for a family night meal made from local ingredients combined with a food cultivation workshop put on by a local farmer. Or just finding a sympathetic listener with whom you can unburden yourself of some of the stresses (or share some of the joys) of a new home and a new workplace. Imagine being able to touch down at a place where new faces are always welcome and no one is treated like a stranger.

One PCC Place – the Rutland County Parent-Child Center’s vibrant new whole family center – is going to be such a place. Made possible within funding from the USDA and other agencies, One PCC Place is coming online as the new home for our organization in fall 2021.

RCPCC is a community within a community. We have bedrock programs, like early childhood education and childcare and early developmental assessment and support – but we are here to engage and build solutions, and that yields diverse and adaptive community programming and resources. We offer parenting skills classes, an alternative high school environment, an afterschool literacy program, literacy playgroups, summer camps, and one of the top food pantries in Vermont featuring a range of local produce. Food and transportation are among a range of concrete support we provide to families as needed to help bridge difficult stretches.

Our guiding philosophy is “2-Gen” – meaning we view the needs and aspirations of parents and children as connected and partner with whole families to integrate our activities. Childcare needs to work for families, and not vice versa. We offer expanded hours to accommodate parents’ work shifts and also invite parents to grab a bite to eat with us on the way to or from work, both to help take the edge off and to give a chance to build relationships. One PCC Place will be the ultimate expression of this philosophy and a showcase for 2-Gen in action.

Our children’s education programs focus on kindergarten readiness, literacy, and executive functioning skills. Ensuring grade-level and above reading is one of our key objectives. Our Montessori-style approaches to early childhood learning emphasize child-centered, individualized learning and plenty of creative, hands-on activity and movement. Our physical space offers food gardens, natural and built play areas, and diverse indoor components – providing our children with a variety of learning experiences.

At One PCC Place, we will also be living out our philosophy of working side by side together. From high-schoolers to retirees, we offer a wide array of volunteer opportunities, helping with childcare or events or working in the food pantry or gardens, or reading to kids. Everyone has something to offer – everyone discovers rewards. We have several staff people who started out as program participants or volunteers.

We believe everyone also has a right to a fresh start and that few do it perfectly. So for all of our friends and future friends, we maintain a “recovery friendly” environment where people in recovery can build new community connections and a new way for themselves to be part of a community while being as open as they wish about their path and their needs. Programs like Natural Transformations – in which we explore local forests and learn about inspiring parallels between how forests and people develop – are helpful to anyone on a path of personal discovery.

One PCC Place will provide an incredible nexus for addressing a multitude of needs (and wants!) – especially for families settling in a new community with new jobs. We encourage any family considering a move to Rutland to check out our website www.rcpcc.org and learn more about what we offer – and please feel free to contact us or even arrange a visit at your convenience.

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