Dear co-op, my child(ren)'s co-op, my friends’ kids’ co-op,
and my future friends’ kids' co-op,
I've written a love letter to you, because quite sincerely
(and frankly), I'm in love.
You see, just over a year and a half ago, my husband and
I prepared to move our then 2-year-old back "home" to
Ohio (although not from Central Ohio at all) to raise him
(and his future brother) in a place that felt familiar:
relatively safe, pretty well-educated and, most importantly,
all-together more kind. We researched for two years
before moving back, while our first son was a twinkle in
our eyes. We found Granville, Ohio, home to sweet shops,
brick roads, old churches, fantastic farmers’ market and
PERFECT (for us) preschool: Granville Parent
We liked the idea of you and what you stood for: play-based learning, small class sizes, parent involvement and excellent instruction. We knew you'd immediately connect us to the place we'd call home/"The Village.” We fell in love with you because we've watched our son thrive as you've nurtured him. When Foster goes to school (and wants to stay ALL day) I am reassured that this is the right place for our boys. Miss Christina and Miss Joan have encouraged Foster to be himself, as he works through the kinks and learns how to contribute to his community. They encourage his inquiries, his laughter and zest for life all while expanding his palate of ideas. He comes home from school and talks about hibernation as seasons change (hibernation!! I think to myself, “Pretty good kid, you're only 3!”) or he tells me that a postcard arrived from Australia at school and that means it flew across the giant ocean to make it to Ohio. I love our teachers and I love how they encourage all the important tools for kindergarten preparation THROUGH PLAY (not some stiff regimen of schoolwork)! Because these are our children and they are in preschool, and I am in no hurry for their curiosity and passion for discovery to dissipate. And here, at our little co-op, they thrive.
While my child(ren) make friendships that extend beyond the classroom to play dates, picnics, and playground rumpus fun, I too have been so fortunate. These parents are like-minded in their family philosophies to encourage kindness and nurture exploration. They've become my friends and a network that I can lean on in this parenting journey. They remind me to laugh often and are consistently fantastic examples of the kind of parents my husband and I aspire to be.
This little school is a community where we gather together throughout the year to celebrate our kids and this time in our lives. Our children are elated when there are special occasions outside school hours (such as Popsicles in the Park, Candlelight Walking Tour and Family Fun Night at The Works), where our families can mingle more. We get to know the other parents who have gotten to know our children during their time helping in the classroom.
The parent-helper days are not a burden, although one must juggle a bit of life to make it happen. But it’s worth it to see your child interact with other young people--his/her people. You get a chance to know these kids and trust me, after a few classes they get to know you and their little faces beam when it's "your" parent helper day. You have an opportunity to help them practice fine motor, gross motor and social skills. And, quite frankly, you get a chance to be a kid too, which sometimes I think we could use a little more of when "adulting" all the time. Furthermore, this chance to be present in their school day is fleeting, as they go off to "big-kid school" soon enough and we are not given as many opportunities to catch a glimpse of our thriving child among his/her peers.
So yeah, I'm a little head over heels. I know, without a doubt, that my child will be prepared to succeed at said "big-kid school" because of our phenomenal teachers. But ultimately, he's playing and growing in a community of families that I, too, love to be around, as we all thrive in our little village.
With sincere admiration,
GPCP president, mom and advocate
© 2017 | Granville Parent Cooperative Preschool | P.O. Box 292, Granville OH 43023 | 740-587-0497 | firstname.lastname@example.org