Testimonials and Pictures from Miss Christine’s Pre-K Class

Now that all the holiday/new year hustle and bustle has died down, we thought we’d add some updates from this past fall.

Below are a few testimonials we’ve received from current DCP parents…

From Elaine K.

My daughter Katie has grown into a confident young leaner based on the support and nurturing she has received from the amazing teachers and parents at DCP. This Co-op is a jewel in our community and I’m proud to be a part of its success!!

Thank you for all that you do for our kids!!

From Eriko L.

When we got school this afternoon, my son, Toshiki, told me about how Australia is having alot of flooding. We watched the news on CNN during lunch before heading to school and he remembered it. I told him to ask Julie about it, as she is from Australia. I thought she could tell him about what she knows.

However, Toshiki was too shy to go to her, and went to the sensory table to play with his classmates instead. Since I myself was curious to talk to her about flooding, I went to Julie and she kindly shared information with me. I also told her that my son knew about the flooding and he was too shy to talk to her.

When I was leaving the school building, I saw that Julie was going to my son to talk with him. I was very moved to see Julie’s action trying to engage with him. I believe Toshiki was very happy to talk to her.

I think this is one of the many stories that makes our school so special and a great place for our children. Our kids can have close relationships with other parents through playing, talking and learning with them, and they will know that there are many people in the world who care and pay attention to them other than their own teachers and parents, which is an absolutely positive experience for children.

Thank you, Julie, and I am so glad my son can mingle with so many great parents!

From Chrissy G.

My husband and I are absolutely thrilled with our experience at the Duvall Cooperative Preschool. The “Blue School” is a little hidden treasure within the Duvall community. Miss Christine has a gift for making each child feel welcome, capable, and important. Parents are able to watch their child blossom into active learners. I would give the Duvall Cooperative Preschool my highest recommendation for kindergarten preparation.

… and some pictures taken during class and during our field trip to a local pumpkin patch…

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Testimonial: The Hagstrom family

Once in a while, we receive some kind words from our member families. Here’s what mom Amy Hagstrom said recently about DCP:

“Singing and dancing, artwork, learning to listen and take turns, playtime inside and out – what could be more fun for my 2.5 year old daughter and myself?

We’re enrolled in the 2’s class and have been with it for a couple months now.  It has been very fun and helpful for my daughter, myself, and my husband.  Often the day before preschool my daughter will be saying throughout the day “tomorrow is preschool!” with steady enthusiasm; she definitely loves it.  Now during bathtub time at night she often gathers her ducks in a circle for “circle time” – just like at preschool.  And then we’ll sing songs together learned at preschool.

It is great to be there myself one of the two days a week; my daughter gets a chance to be on her own some, and I get a chance to be involved and watch and learn from the teachers, parents, and kids at the same time.  Duvall Cooperative Preschool works extremely well for us.”

Thanks Amy! It is our privilege to have you in our preschool!

It’s that time of the year again!

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 akindregan@gmail.com.

I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how far we’ve come.

Thanks for reading and all the best,
Jennifer Tai

Why I Opted for Co-op, by Flor Gant

I am a working mom who would never have thought that co-op would work for me.

When I first learned that Duvall Co-operative Preschool was about to open in our community, I was somewhat intrigued and wanted to get to know more about it, so I went to their website.

I liked the idea of the nurturing, play-based environment where the children and their families work and grow together in the classroom and in our small community. I wanted to be involved in a small simple way in my daughter’s early education. I think that being in the classroom with her and the other kids–contributing to their education–is a very satisfying feeling. With the teacher and moms working together, these kids surely are better nurtured with love and guidance.

The co-op has provided all the kid’s moms with a way of building a good and lasting friendship and family support. I am thankful that the opening of DCP came at the right time when I was seriously looking for a preschool for my daughter.

Why I Opted for Co-op, by Meriaten Long

I was interested in the Co-op because it’s very close, very affordable and we get to befriend moms and kids in our Duvall community.

I also get to see how the classroom works and how my child functions at school firsthand on a weekly basis. I am delighted with our teacher and our preschool setup and the combined abilities of the other moms/teachers. I like the small school/small town feel that I get. It’s not overwhelming for me or my children and I like that.  This was my first introduction to co-op and I find it is very doable, especially when you have another friendly, reliable mom that you are able to child-swap with (if you find you have an extra little one at home waiting for his or her turn to go to preschool). I highly recommend it to everyone I meet!

Why I Opted for Co-op, by Jennifer Tan

When my family and I first moved to the States two years ago, my husband and I knew that integration was going to our #1 priority. We could speak the language but we were far from familiar with America, the lay of the land, its people and its customs. However, one of our biggest concerns was, if we were going to live here long-term, was the education of our two girls.

After looking at several schools in Redmond, which was where we used to live the first eight months we were here, we finally settled on a co-op (my older daughter went to Redmond Cooperative Preschool), for many reasons.

For one, it was, and still is, very economical. As migrants, we did not know how much my husband would take home each month and as such, were unsure if we should spend too much on preschool. The co-op’s fees were a perfect fit, and more than reasonable (less than $100) a month for a two-day class, for both child and parent ed.

Secondly, when we went for the tour, we really liked the setup of the co-op compared to the other schools. RCP looked very much like our preschools back home, and we could instantly see our child settling in and flourishing in the roomy yet cozy setting.

Thirdly, I wanted to get to know not just the parents of my child’s friends, but also Other Grownups in general. I was all alone in a strange country – as I know many parents of young children are out here (even in their own country!) – and so, the co-op provided an opportunity for me to really get acquainted with other parents, some of which have remained good friends although our children have now split up to attend kindergarten in different schools.

Last but not least, I wanted to learn. A big part of joining a co-op like RCP or DCP because of their affiliation with a technical college is parent ed. I wanted not just to learn how to be a better parent, to handle situations with my children better, but also to learn about my own child when she’s not at home and how she was among her peers, about American parenting customs and how I can combine my own beliefs and practices with these new things I’m learning.

This is what we’d envisioned for Duvall Cooperative Preschool when fellow parents Sara, Ana and I got together last year with LWTC‘s Marion’s encouragement to set up the school; first and foremost, a place of learning and growth for both our children and for us as parents here in our little town, and secondly, a place where teachers and parents can come together, share and build a network of support and encouragement to help us along this journey we call parenthood. I wanted to get to know the other moms,

My older child is now in kindergarten at a public school and doing very well. I volunteer at the school once a month but I miss being an active part of her education (yes, we do homework together but it’s not the same!) but I am so happy that she’s transitioned so well, first from Malaysia to here, and then from a co-op where I was around most of the time, to just once a month now. She is thriving in what was once just a big building full of hallways, rooms and a million strange faces to her. Now she knows the school like the back of her hand, every face and every name – and they her. Aren’t children remarkable in their ability to adapt?

I believe that a big part of my older daughter’s confidence and self-assuredness in kindergarten came from my 1.5 school years of co-op with her, because of the brilliant teachers there, the security of having me around during those critical separation anxiety years but also because of all that we’d learnt together, the knowledge and skills we’d brought home from the co-op. This is what I look forward to as I take my second daughter through our co-op experience together.