October 13, 2020
Dear Fledglings Families,
As you may know, Jayne Hastings, Fledglings Preschool Director and Lead Teacher, has decided to step down from her position at Prescott Farm and her last day was October 9th. In a pre-COVID world, our team would have invited you to gather with us for a celebration of her incredible work and dedication. It’s just another unfortunate reality of the pandemic that we could not make that happen. There’s simply no substitution for a real-life sharing of memories, stories, and songs (oh, there would have been songs!) to celebrate Miss Jayne, but here we are.
I wanted to take a moment to reach out and share my reflections on Jayne’s time at Prescott Farm. She has had a remarkable impact on so many in her quest to help create and lead a program that connects the value of environmental education with the youngest learners in the community.
Many of you know Miss Jayne as the Fledglings Preschool Director, but Jayne’s work to help create Fledglings began even before the preschool was created. Back when the nature-based preschool at Prescott Farm was just a kernel of an idea, Jayne was hired as a consultant to do a feasibility study. Then when the program was up and running, she continued her work for Fledglings as the curriculum coordinator for the program, developing the structure of the program day and creating opportunities for learning in nature that felt like play but helped our preschool students grow, learn, and achieve developmental milestones. She carried this work forward when she became the Program Director and Lead Teacher in March of 2016.
Jayne has made the integration of nature into all areas of the Fledglings curriculum appear seamless, even though much of what she created was uncharted territory. All of the children, families, staff, and community members who have had the privilege to know her during her time at Prescott Farm understand what a dynamic and innovative educator she is. Her love of and gift for visual and creative arts are on display throughout the Fledglings classroom and around the property. More importantly, these gifts remain in the hearts, minds and memories of all of the children she has taught. From her hand-painted learning tools and games to her beguiling re-use of popular children’s tunes to teach a lesson, Jayne captivates her students each time she picks up her guitar or her puppet to learn, sing, and laugh with the children in her care. But, she knows educating youngsters is only a piece of the puzzle. She has also dedicated herself to helping educate parents and grandparents on what they can do to help their children learn and practice the skills they need to be ready for kindergarten and beyond.
We are all sad to see Jayne’s time at Prescott Farm come to an end, but I know her legacy will live on in the children and families with whom she has worked. On behalf of the entire Prescott Farm staff and Board of Directors, I want to recognize and thank Jayne. Her work at Prescott Farm over the past 5 ½ years and her impact on the broader community has been immense. Please join us in bidding Jayne farewell and wishing her the best in her future endeavors.
Jude Hamel, Executive Director