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The Janet S. Munt Family Room Celebrates Independence 

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For almost 30 years, the Janet S. Munt Family Room in Burlington's Old North End has provided classes, playgroups and workshops to parents and kids from diverse backgrounds. Until recently, it operated as a program of the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties. But, after losing a federal grant almost two years ago, the VNA announced in March of 2016 that it would be cutting ties with the Family Room. The center became an independent nonprofit and announced the hiring of executive director Josh Miller last month. During the summer months, the center hosts Tuesday and Thursday morning drop-in playgroups at the garden at Ethan Allen Homestead and a Fathers and Children Together group on Tuesday evenings. When the school year starts up again, they'll continue the fathers' group and host a drop-in playgroup on Thursday mornings and a preschool program three mornings a week. Programs and operating hours will remain limited as the board and staff work on finding sustainable sources of funding. "We have demonstrated this is needed and does amazing work in the community," board president Sophia Donforth said. Now the task is putting in place a structure "to support the amazing work."

For more info about the Janet S. Munt Family Room, including upcoming events, visit thefamilyroomvt.org.

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