As our co-op (the Duvall Cooperative Preschool, you might’ve heard of it ) heads towards its third year, I thought it’d be a good time to talk a little about our setup and my own experience before I put it off again.
Some of you might remember about three Mothers of Duvall Preschool Fairs ago, a lady from Lake Washington Technical College came and participated in our fair to check out interest for a cooperative preschool. She got 50 names and mine was one of them.
Before I knew what was what, I was roped into setting up an entire preschool from scratch. Together with two other ladies, Sara and Ana, we looked for sites, negotiated leases, wrote organizations for grants, interviewed teachers, collected donations of furniture and then lugged those chairs and tables and cabinets halfway across the county to our school.
As you can imagine, it was challenging work for three women who had no experience setting up a school (two of us aren’t even from here!). But our different backgrounds, tied together with our determination to make the preschool a reality, gave a surprisingly strong momentum to the setting up of DCP.
Looking back, I think I must’ve lost my mind a little. What a huge endeavor it was! But when we were there, knee-deep in wooden blocks and glue sticks and emails and time away from our families (unpaid!), it never for a moment occurred to us that it couldn’t work. It HAD to work because we’d already spent so much time and energy on it, and we were not about to throw it all away.
All new projects have teething problems, unfortunate situations that crop up due to any number of reasons. And in a small city like Duvall, these problems tend to be magnified and sometimes, blown out of proportion. It’s expected, though. We can only focus on the things we can control, fix or improve, and I believe that’s the right approach not just to survive, but thrive.
And through it all, our first board, and then our second, our SUPER-dedicated teachers and our extraordinary member parents – our cooperative thrived.
Two classes, 26 students, 20 families. It’s more than we could’ve asked for so I would call it success, because the friends my child has made, and the connections I’ve fostered with some of the parents – they’ve become more than fellow co-op members and neighbors. They’ve become my very close friends, family I can depend on in a crunch, which is something I appreciate beyond words being a foreigner here.
I think aside from being very affordable (something we can use during these tough times), DCP offers quality preschool education that focuses on social development and letting kids learn through play. We have a great location at the Community Center thanks to the generosity of our city, where we will most likely stay for a while unless someone is kind enough to lease us a good space for a low rate (have you seen our fees?!).
Most importantly, we have the best preschool teachers whom I think are Duvall’s best kept secrets.They are committed, dedicated, pillars of our community and our preschool, while boards and members will come and go with each year.
If you haven’t considered a place for your child, come visit us this coming Monday Feb 23 from 7-8pm, or give our registrar Amanda a call to schedule a visit during one of our school sessions. She can be reached at (425) 420-7063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how far we’ve come.
Thanks for reading and all the best,
Filed under: Testimonies | Tagged: cooperative preschool, Duvall preschool, Preschool | Comments Off