ANNUAL REPORT 2020-2021
LETTER FROM OUR LEADERSHIP
There is so much to look forward to as we eagerly begin our first full school year in our beautiful and spacious new building. The most important of these things is our welcoming of our children and families back to GCS!
I know these past two years have been challenging for our GCS community. In addition to dealing with the hardships brought on by the global pandemic, we managed to temporarily relocate the school, completely remodel and expand the building, and move back in without missing a beat. When I reflect on what we have been through together, of course, I think about the impact on our community’s physical, emotional, and fiscal health. However, I am also in awe of how generous our families and friends have been to us, in the midst of all of these challenges.
Our youngest community members, the children that we serve, have genuinely demonstrated a level of patience, flexibility, and resiliency that goes far beyond their years. In some ways, they proved to be the wisest of us all. We can take great pride in knowing that the children who attended GCS over the past two years have embodied the philosophies that our school has held dear and taught for over seven decades. Their kindness to others and care for their community were evident every day. While these have been perhaps the most difficult years in my more than 35-year tenure at GCS, they have also been among the most rewarding.
And now, settled back into our newly renovated home at 110 Boston Road, we are beginning to see signs of brighter skies ahead. While we will still need to be cautious and implement protocols to keep our children, families, and staff safe, we have more opportunities for connecting than we have had in a long while. Please know how grateful I am for each of you and your contributions that allow Groton Community School to help children soar every day. We would not be who we are, or do what we do, without you.
Linda Kosinski, Director
Groton Community School
HOW WE HELP CHILDREN SOAR
Groton Community School helps young children soar with the help of our generous donors and community partners. Providing a nurturing, safe, and creative environment for children and families with a dedicated staff, rich curriculum, and an appreciation of family and community involvement is at the core of what we do every day.
BECAUSE YOU CARE, GCS CHILDREN SOAR!
Your incredible generosity in 2020-21 not only allowed us to raise a record amount for the GCS Annual Fund, it also paved the way for some exciting updates to the playground!
Outdoor play is essential to children’s well-being, growth and development. The playground at GCS has been carefully designed to create a myriad of opportunities supporting the physical and social-emotional health of our young children. Because of your generosity, renovations have been made and new equipment has been purchased to enhance the outdoor play experience at Groton Community School.
With our building project came the need to adjust the layout of our playground — which included replacing and relocating the swing set — to accommodate some grading alterations. We’ve also reinstalled our well-loved balance beams and resurfaced the trike track.
In addition to these completed items, we have laid the groundwork and secured town approvals to reconstruct our greenhouse. We are also researching choices for child-sized picnic tables and storage options. Last but not least, we are planning some finishing touches to our landscaping and will install (once our order arrives) some Whizzy Dizzies, a playground favorite. We eagerly anticipate accomplishing these tasks in the coming months.
Our beautiful playground looks like great fun to the casual observer, but it is so much more than just a way to get some energy out for the children. Outside play encourages the health and development of mind and body and encourages the social interactions that are part of a child’s social-emotional development. As children swing, maneuver wheeled vehicles, and test their balance, they are developing gross and fine motor skills, strengthening muscles, enhancing spatial awareness and coordination, and mastering steering. The all-important childhood “work” of playing outside is essential to their growth and well-being. And you make all of this possible at GCS. Your donation to the GCS Annual Fund every year matters every day!
A NEW HUB FOR CHILDREN’S LITERACY AT GCS
Early in the GCS Forward Motion campaign, discussions centered on the need for a new space to house the school’s collection of more than 3,000 treasured books. With the completion of our building project, this vision has finally become a reality here at GCS. Thanks in large part to a generous gift from the Conner Family, who have loyally supported our school for many years, Groton Community School is fortunate to finally have a devoted children’s library.
We know that exposure to a wide variety of high-quality literature is paramount to a child’s development. Promoting a love of literacy in early childhood develops new language, which is the foundation for reading development.
The new library is designed to allow children to explore books independently. The collection of books is arranged by category for ease of location and there are many cozy elements to provide space for children to explore with friends and teachers. As important, the added space enables the school to continue growing its collection. Child-sized tables and chairs allow for groups to gather and enjoy literacy activities, cube seating adds more versatility to the space, and a check-out station enables us to track titles more accurately. A special feature, “Jennie’s Cozy Corner,” was created to honor Jennie Fitzkee’s 35th year at GCS and is a comfortable space for children to immerse themselves in good books.
We look forward to utilizing the library more fully once the limitations of COVID protocols are eased. We are eager to welcome children and families to this beautiful new haven for literacy. In addition, we plan to add technology features that will enhance children’s experience in this space. Stay tuned for more on that front soon.
Thank you to all of our community members who helped make this vison come true for GCS children, families, and teachers. We appreciate your generosity and support of children’s literacy development in our community!
DONOR PROFILE | DAVID MOULTON
GCS Trustee David Moulton has been involved with the school for the past ten years. Peter Myette, who is a Trustee and active supporter of the school, knew of David’s background in education and interest in early education. Peter asked David to join the newly forming Board of Trustees, and David was happy to volunteer.
David was immediately impressed with the very high quality of our teachers and administration, and the great teaching outcomes they reliably obtain. He shared, “I believe that early childhood education is the most important segment of formal education. It is where we, as children, first step out of our houses and families and start the long tough task of learning to read, write, do arithmetic, think, learn all sorts of things, meet all sorts of people and become real functioning human beings. Those first little learning steps we take in early education show us the way to complete this huge task really well. A place like GCS helps us get this trip underway successfully. Then, the learning that occurs later happens much more easily as a result.”
In addition to donating to the GCS Annual Fund every year, David was also a generous supporter of the Forward Motion Campaign. “I always feel grateful to be able to support some really worthy causes. This past year, particularly, was a difficult year for almost everyone, but the financial markets rallied at the end of 2020 and I was immensely pleased to put forward a donation to GCS’s Annual Fund, and to go above and beyond my Forward Motion pledge. It felt great!
David’s favorite memory and proudest accomplishment as a GCS Trustee is the opening of the newly renovated building, despite all of the challenges of the pandemic and lockdown. He particularly credits all of you, as donors, for helping to make this happen.
“I think it is important for people to know that Groton Community School is an excellent place for young children and families. Linda Kosinski, as well as her teachers and administrators, do a great job, with love, understanding and immense compassion, helping children across a really tough learning threshold. It isn’t easy. They do it really well. “What I know from my teaching experience is the level of educational sensibility that exists at GCS is very high. From being active on education for decades, it was obvious watching classes and talking with the staff just how good GCS is.” David was originally trained as a musician, including earning a degree from Julliard School of Music. His career included time spent composing, serving as a choral conductor, designing recording studios and becoming a recording engineer. He has taught at the university level, invented a loudspeaker component he licensed to Bang and Olufsen, and has authored several text books and audio training materials. He was also nominated for a Grammy for classical recording in 2000. Now retired, David enjoys his gardens, exploring his interest in urban planning and landscape art, and being involved in wonderful local organizations such as Groton Community School.