How Do Parents Participate in a Cooperative Preschool?
Once a month, parents sign up to participate in a typical school morning with their child. The parent assist is responsible for bringing snack for the class on that day and helps with light cleaning duties at the end of the school day. Being the parent assist allows the parent the unique opportunity to observe and play with their child in the preschool environment. Many parents find this facet of the cooperative school the most rewarding. Additionally, parents are able to see first hand how the teachers handle various situations–a great learning experience for any parent.
Throughout the school year, families choose jobs from the parent volunteer menu which help with the overall running of the program. Some examples of volunteer tasks include: playground clean up, special event set up, helping out at open house, and class photographer. The task menu allows for family involvement at a level that works with their own schedule.
Parents are also invited to share their interests and talents with the school and hold positions on the executive board such as President, Vice President, Treasurer etc. The board helps to keep our school, a non profit corporation, running successfully.
Are There Any Further Benefits to Sending My Child to a Cooperative Preschool?
Children find security in a world where parents and teachers freely work together to create a rich learning environment. Hands-on experiences in art, music, science, math, literature, language, indoor and outdoor free play encourage skills necessary in later school experiences as well as in life. Interacting with a variety of children and adults fosters social skills beyond the traditional preschool. Parents at CCP have recently commented that they enjoyed parent assisting because they learned so much about their child, and other children in the classroom. Further, they noted connecting with other families with young children.
A Curriculum Advantage
One of the greatest advantages to attending a cooperative preschool is that each family brings something new and special to the school. These experiences and skills enrich the learning environment and help the teachers keep their units and activities fresh and fun. The teachers also benefit from this close relationship, helping them to be more effective teachers.
A Gentle Transition
For most children, preschool is the first experience away from home on a regular basis. Viewed as a transition from home to school, a cooperative preschool merges the two seamlessly. Research in the social sciences has demonstrated that parents who volunteer in their children’s classrooms and school programs positively affect a student’s academic achievement. The cooperative experience is rewarding for all involved.