News

Head Start Is Accepting Applications for 2019-20 School Year— Including Spaces for a Re-opened Head Start Site in Windsor

SEVCA’s Head Start program provides comprehensive early childhood education and family support at no cost to low-income children and their families in Windsor County, each year serving 80 – 90 children ages 3- to 5-years old at locations in Windsor, White River Junction, Springfield, and Chester. Since 2015, when the lease for its location at the Old Windsor Firehouse was not renewed due to the sale of the building, the Windsor program has been looking for a new home. SEVCA is now excited to announce that it recently purchased the former Masonic Hall at 4 Dunham Avenue in Windsor, VT to serve as a permanent Head Start site. The new Head Start center will open in September 2019, after planned renovations are complete.

The Head Start program in Windsor is now accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year. Children must be at least age 3 by September 1 to enroll. The program offers high quality classroom instruction and child development activities six hours her day, 5 days per week (M – F, 8 AM – 2 PM). Families interested in applying for the program should contact Lori Canfield at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. or (802) 885-6669 ext. 8102 for more information.

The search for a new Head Start site in Windsor was an extended one. After its lease at the former location in Windsor was not renewed, SEVCA determined that purchasing a building was the best option to ensure a permanent location in this community. However, finding a suitable property proved challenging, given program requirements and the high safety standards that a building serving as a preschool needed to meet. The building eventually purchased had to undergo a rigorous assessment process, and it has been undergoing renovations to ensure the space complies with all building codes and applicable Head Start, state and local regulations. SEVCA received a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal agency that administers Head Start, to cover most of the renovation costs, with a matching contribution from the Vermont Building Communities Grant program.

We would like to thank numerous people and agencies within the community that have continued to support our Head Start program, including Mt. Ascutney Hospital (Jill Lord and Dr. Mary Binder), the Windsor Resource Center, WIC, and the Windsor Zoning office (Bob Haight and other members), said Lori Canfield, SEVCA’s Head Start Program Director. We would also like to thank our realtor, Amy Messina, for helping us find a ‘forever home’ for our Head Start program in Windsor!

Head Start helps children reach their full potential by providing age-appropriate developmental opportunities, educational and developmental assessments, and health screenings. Head Start supports the entire family, providing parents with the information and support to become effective parents as well as to work toward their own goals that enable them to most effectively support their family’s well-being.

In addition to the Windsor site, a full-day program is available in Springfield (M – F, 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM), and the other Head Start centers in Chester and White River Junction offer a 5-day, 30 hours/week program. Applications are being accepted for all locations at this time.

Fun, Fitness, and Fundraising at SEVCA's Benefit Golf Tournament

On June 14, SEVCA’s “CHIPPING AWAY AT POVERTY” Benefit Golf Tournament will swing into action at Brattleboro Country Club. Participants can have fun and win prizes while raising money to benefit their neighbors in need! Players have the chance to win the Hole-in-One Grand Prize of a brand new Subaru Forrester, generously sponsored by Fenton Family Dealerships/Subaru of Keene, a $5,000 cash prize in the Putting Contest, and a host of other valuable prizes. Tournament Co-Sponsors are: Mutual of America, Springfield Housing Authority, and Sunset Tool, Inc. Find out about all the area businesses and individuals who have helped to sponsor this event by visiting SEVCA’s website: www.sevca.org/golf-tournament. Last minute sponsorships may be available! Contact Becky Himlin, Director of Planning and Development, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or *802)722-4575 ext. 163 to find out more. Proceeds will benefit Windham and Windsor County residents with low incomes who are impacted by emergencies, financial hardships, unemployment, and other crises.

Exercise Your Saving Skills and Get Your Finances in Shape

SEVCA is inviting participants to register for its upcoming “Financial Fitness” workshop series, to be held in Brattleboro starting September 10. This 7-part workshop series will help participants improve their relationship with money, develop strong financial habits, and take steps toward prosperity. SEVCA’s instructors will utilize tools from the acclaimed Your Money Your Goals curriculum developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Topics covered include: saving, budgeting, credit, home buying, insurance, purchasing a car, and saving for college. The instructor will also provide individualized financial coaching, as needed, to help participants and their families become more financially secure.

The workshop series is free and open to the public. It will be held every Tuesday at Red Clover Commons, 30 Fairground Rd., Brattleboro from 5:30-7 p.m. from September 10 through October 22. Pre-registration is required. Please call to register at 802-722-4575, ext. 151, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Those who complete the course may be eligible to join SEVCA’s SaVermont matched savings program. Participants earn a match for every $1 they save (up to $1,000) if they save a minimum of $25 each month toward home purchases or repairs, obtaining education or job training, starting or enhancing their own business, or car purchases or repairs needed for transportation to work.

Last updated: August 19, 2019

Helping Federal Workers Weather the Shutdown

Services available to low-income households to help them avoid eviction or keep their homes heated may be resources for federal workers affected by the extended government shutdown. Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is reaching out to unpaid federal workers who are temporarily unable to afford their basic living expenses to let them know about programs that could help avert a crisis.

                “Federal workers impacted by the shutdown may not be aware of the many programs SEVCA offers because they haven’t needed our help before,” said Steve Geller, SEVCA’s Executive Director. “In addition to offering services like homelessness prevention and crisis fuel assistance, SEVCA can work with them to access other community services they might need due to this predicament that has nothing to do with them. We want them to know that we value the work they do, object to the way they’re being treated, and sympathize with the difficult position they’ve been put in because of this senseless shutdown.”

Windham and Windsor County residents in need are invited to call SEVCA toll-free at (800) 464-9951 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday to learn about ways the organization can help. They may also contact SEVCA’s local offices at the following numbers:

     Brattleboro area: (802) 254-2795

     Springfield area: (802) 885-6153

     White River Junction area: (802) 295-5215

Those who currently qualify for assistance programs, such as 3SquaresVT (food stamps), and are worried about how the extended shutdown may impact their benefits are also invited to call SEVCA for information and assistance, or they can get information to contact the relevant state office directly at https://dcf.vermont.gov/mybenefits.

                While the furloughed workers and those forced to work during the shutdown won’t necessarily meet the specific eligibility criteria for all programs, SEVCA will use some of its existing flexible resources and seek additional donations to try to help where possible. The organization will also gladly accept donations of gas cards, grocery cards, and cash contributions to its “Share the Warmth” emergency fuel assistance fund to help meet the need. Individuals may donate online at http://www.sevca.org/share-the-warmth or send checks or gift cards to 91 Buck Drive, Westminster, VT 05158.

               SEVCA would also like to know about businesses and other organizations that are offering free services, special discounts, or benefits to federal workers during the shutdown. We will be compiling this information and posting it on our website and through social media. Please contact Becky Himlin at (802) 722-4575, ext. 163 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to help get the word out.

SEVCA X 1,000 = National Impact

WASHINGTON D.C. – The National Community Action Partnership released today the first National Community Action Impact Report: Building Opportunities for All. This unique and comprehensive report looks at how Community Action Agencies across the country impact the lives of 15 million people each year, creating pathways to prosperity.

The Community Action Network is robust local force of 1,000 local Community Action Agencies, reaching children and families in 99 percent of all U.S. counties. Agencies connect families to approaches that help them succeed and promote community-wide solutions to seemingly stubborn challenges in cities, suburban, and rural communities. This report outlines the needs families face in today’s uneven economy, the reach of Community Action coast to coast, and the impact Community Action has in communities every day.

“This report tells the broad story of Community Action and all of the incredible ways our members are making an impact in their local communities,” said Denise Harlow, Chief Executive Officer of the National Community Action Partnership. “For 55 years, our network has developed innovative solutions to improve family well-being and directly impact and engage local communities.”

Spotlight stories throughout the report highlight successful initiatives across America relating to jobs, asset building, health and well-being, community development, children and families, and housing. One spotlight, for example, discusses a successful community project in Clare, Michigan which not only created jobs and stimulated the local economy, it brought the community together to preserve a historic landmark. Another featured spotlight reviews a Community Action initiative which dramatically reduced the wait time to get recovery treatment for Ohioans suffering from addiction.

“Community Action addresses a number of factors that contribute to poverty, and it does so at the local level,” said Harlow. “Our network’s holistic approach to assist families in their journey to economic security is inspiring. We believe this report illustrates how their work strengthens lives, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live.”

To access the report, visit www.communityactionpartnership.com/impactreport. 

CONTACT: 

Johnny Eudaly, Communications
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
Denise Harlow, Chief Executive Officer
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202-860-1020

“Unless the investment in children is made, all of humanity’s most fundamental long-term problems will remain fundamental long-term problems.”

UNICEF "The State of the Children" (1995)