March 15, 2011

Volunteer Spotlight: Elaine Dennis

Posted in Lund Early Childhood Program (LECP), Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , at 3:01 pm by Lund

Elaine Dennis

Elaine energetically tells me how she discovered Lund as she dollops small amounts of batter into several muffin tins. Elaine has been volunteering at LECP three days a week since January. She is currently in her second semester of graduate school at Saint Michael’s College, where she is studying Special Education.

Elaine became interested in childhood education while writing her undergraduate senior thesis on children’s geography. She was amazed by the correlations she found between the geographic location of children and their ability to thrive in different communities. These findings corresponded with her experience studying abroad in South Africa at Stellenbosch University during her junior year of college, where she was involved in an after school program serving six to ten-year-olds in the rural town of Kayamundi.

Elaine found out about Lund through her work as a Teacher’s Assistant in 2009 at Acorn, a childcare center in Shelburne. Many of the older toddlers at LECP transfer to Acorn when they mature, and Elaine was impressed by the developmental level of these incoming toddlers. Elaine has now found the time to begin helping out at LECP in conjunction with her busy class schedule at St. Michael’s. After graduate school, Elaine plans on staying in Chittenden County and pursuing a job in early education either teaching or doing administrative work.

There is no such thing as a typical day at LECP. At any given moment, Elaine may be making snacks and lunches for children, rocking a child to sleep in the Infant Room, calming down a teary toddler, or playing with toddlers in the Water Play Lab. Elaine loves engaging with the staff and children at LECP, and she greets every challenge with a smile.

Currently, Elaine is working on an early childhood education assessment project known as the Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scale (ITERS). The ITERS is an assessment tool for rating childcare environments and teaching practices, both of which are held to the highest standard at LECP. By studying the ITERS, LECP will be able to further improve its five (out of five) star education environment and evaluation techniques.

Elaine currently lives in South Burlington with her fiancé. In her free time, she loves reading, cooking, and running. Thanks Elaine!


  1. Patricia Crowley said,

    I would love to become involved in some way with the Lund Families. Who should I contact?

    Great story!

    Very proud of you!

    • lundfamilycentervermont said,


      Please give our Volunteer Coordinator a call at 864-7467 and we’ll look forward to speaking with you about how we involve you to a greater extent in our work.

      Thanks so much for your interest and support!

      Kitty Bartlett

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