community

The Cooperative Family

Back in the fall of 2010, my oldest son started a Parent Morning Out program at Family Preschool. That program was Family Preschool’s very first Duckling class! Now, seven years later, my youngest son is finishing up his last weeks at Family Preschool.

It’s hard to believe that it’s time for him to head off to kindergarten. I've had seven years of fun learning in the classroom as a helping parent, meeting new friends (both those my own age and some pretty special little ones), and building a community. I have to say that when my oldest was “graduating,” I wasn’t super nostalgic, but now that it’s my youngest, I am feeling all the feels and wondering how our time here has come to an end so quickly.

I will miss the morning playground chats and exploring the world through the kids' eyes. Family Preschool has been a truly special place for our whole family. The cooperative model really gave my children a great lesson in what it is like to pull together as a community and create a place where the sum is so much greater than its parts.

I offer much gratitude to all the teachers at Family Preschool for giving my kids a gentle place to learn, play, and grow. As we move on to the next phase of life, I am comforted to know that many friendships will carry forward, so some of this community will always be with us.

With love and thanks,

Liz

Board President

 

Planting Little Seeds in the Community

This weekend, some Family Preschool members went to downtown Durham to join the farmers' market crowd. The outing was both a chance for current families to gather with alumni friends and for the greater Durham community to get to know about our school. We chatted, blew bubbles, and we shared a basil planting activity with any child who wanted to join us.

Planting basil seeds echoed some of the play-based spring time learning we are doing in the classroom. Back at Family Preschool, you will find bean plants sprouting on the windowsills. Soon the kids will be able to take them home to plant in a bigger pot and watch them continue to grow and produce beans that they can eat. We have also been planting herbs and flowers to brighten our playground and provide another space for learning while watching things grow.

We hope our community outreach from this weekend will inspire even more children to plant seeds, watch them grow, and learn.

If you missed us on Saturday, keep an eye out at the Durham Farmer's Market in Downtown Durham. We plan to host some more play dates at the market in the future.

Happy Spring everyone!

Liz

- Board President

Building Community at FPS

As adults, it can be really tricky to make the leap to friendship, especially if you are someone who has moved to a new town or who isn’t naturally outgoing. It's not as easy as it is for our kids, who seem to make friends simply by sitting near someone in a sandbox. But a wonderful benefit of being in a cooperative preschool is finding your “tribe,” and Family Preschool offers plenty of great opportunities for parents to build a community.

In the cooperative setting, you have a chance to casually get to know your fellow parents while working in the classroom as helping parents. From there, it's easy to get more involved in the community through fun events like our Parents Night Out meetups, or even just hanging out after pickup on our playground. One of my favorite parenting tactics is lingering on the playground for as long as possible, which my kids love and has the added bonuses of avoiding battles about watching television and getting to spend the afternoon chatting with other parents - win/win! They would be perfectly happy to stay there playing until close to dinnertime (so would I), and I believe we have done just that at least a few times.    

Another way FPS encourages community building is through our annual spring camping trip. This year, we will be visiting Jordan Lake. A lot of our families will be coming out to sleep out in the woods, meet a ranger who will share some information about the wildlife we might spot at the park, and, of course, swim or paddle canoes in the lake. The memories our kids make together will last a lifetime, and activities like these are a great way to connect with other families. This will be my third campout, and I am really looking forward to spending time with our friends and getting to know some of the newer families. The roots of our FPS community go deep, and I have made many friends during my years here.

Hope to see you all at the campout!

Jen

- Family Relations Chair