Inside this issue:  
PCPI Awards, Part 2 |   New Co-Op Coming   | 2019 Annual Meeting Plans    |  Welcome to New Members

May 2, 2018
Vol. 48 No.5

Cooperatively Speaking
The Latest News from PCPI
Hello All,

Because it's spring and the children in my class were investigating dirt, they spent about 4 days in a row digging on the playground. Digging. For nothing in particular. 

Discoveries were made. There were rocks in the soil. The dirt was different colors in different places. Worms seemed to live in the dark, wet areas. Bugs came out from under rocks.

One person in particular dug in the same, dry, hard, sun-beaten hole day after day.  She dug so far down that she hit something. A rock? More digging revealed a root. The root was long and narrow, and couldn't be broken with shovel or hands, so she started to dig around and under. She couldn't get the root out, so she slipped the end of her shovel under the root and started to push down on the handle.  

She had built a lever. A simple machine. No one told her how to do it, but she put all of her experiences together and was able to imagine a solution to her problem. Creativity in action. Learning through play.

I am reminded every day that open-ended play helps kids make sense of the world.  Through play, children bring their own experiences and ideas to whatever they are doing, and they build connections to the broader world.

I'm so glad to know you are working to make sure children get to play!

Dianne Rose, M.Ed.
Editor, Cooperatively Speaking

PCPI Awards, Part 2  

Molly Kline and Linda Romanowski were both surprised to receive PCPI Awards

Last month's issue of Cooperatively Speaking included information about recipients of the PCPI annual awards given in March during the Annual Meeting, however, to facilitate a surprise awards ceremony for two women in Oregon, we did not report on their awards.  Now that the secret is out, we can tell their story.

Molly Kline and Linda Romanowski are b oth associated with  Cedar Hills Kindergarten and Preschool  in Portland, OR.  Linda contacted PCPI to say that CHKP would like to nominate Molly, whose youngest child had graduated from the school the previous year, for an award. Within days, Molly contacted PCPI to say that CHKP would like to nominate Linda for an award for excellence in teaching.  

It was a bit of a tightrope for the 8 or so people who knew about both nominations to keep them secret. But they did and both deserving women were completely surprised at the Cedar Hills membership meeting April 12.

Molly Kline
District Award
Molly was a dedicated, involved and highly valued member of Cedar Hills Kindergarten and Preschool where she served on the Governing Board and Executive Committee for seven years in the roles of class representative, Communications Chair, and President.

Most significantly, Molly built community.  She helped to create and implement communications policies that changed the way people in the school interacted by providing policies and protocols to guide them.  She created a positive environment, streamlined meetings, and united the community.
Molly is continuing to impact the cooperative community through her work on the  Parent Child Preschools Organization (PCPO) Board. 

Linda Romanowski
Robin Garthright Bunster Award for Excellence in Teaching
Teacher Linda. Say those words to a Cedar Hills Kindergarten and Preschool alumnus and the response is always the same. "Best teacher my child ever had! And they're 16!"  Folks at CHKP know that they can never repay her for shepherding their children at such a pivotal time in their lives, or for sculpting their children into young people who love to learn, or even for meeting each child, each family WHERE THEY ARE and scaffolding them toward growth.  Whether it's their resilience on an algebra test, their ability to solve a problem on the playground, or the creative games they invent in the backyard, their time spent with Teacher Linda is everlasting.

New Co-Op Coming Soon in Indianapolis
On the southwest side of Indianapolis, Cooperative Play Academy will be opening it's doors for the first time for the 2018-19 school year.  The school will be located in a small house on a hill in the Glenns Valley Nature Park, giving classes easy access to the outdoors.  Programs will include children from 2 - 5 years old.

Nicole Hester saw the need for a cooperative preschool in this part of Indianapolis.  According to Nicole, " The timing just felt right."  Nicole, currently the director at  Edgewood Preschool Cooperative, said that in her 8 years there the enrollment was always full all year long. As a result, the waiting list grew larger each year, an indication that another co-op nearby was needed. 

Nicole also noticed over the years that families at her current school were either not enrolling or were leaving because their jobs would not allow them to participate in the classroom.  "I wanted to build something to reach all families!"

Contract negotiations for the new property are underway. According to Nicole, "Parking will be a challenge at first, but are hopeful to work with the near by elementary school for event parking. We have plans to build a natural/recycled outside play area as well!"

To help families get to know one another before school begins, the school has organized weekly preschool-level hikes at the park.  

Cooperative Play Academy is currently hiring for the 3/4 and 4/5 Lead and Assistant Teachers. More information is available here:

While their website is in the works, you can follow the school's development progress on Facebook at @cooperativeplayacademy.  

Planning Is Underway for the 2019 Annual Meeting
Next stop:  Ann Arbor, Michigan, Tree Town, the jewel of the midwest!  

The 2019 Annual Meeting will take place May 9-12 at the  Michigan League on the campus of the University of Michigan.  The Michigan League is located  in the heart of campus and is walking distance to shops, restaurants, movies, as well as being in close proximity to several cooperative preschools.

Any interested member is welcome to attend the annual meeting, so be sure to put it on your calendar now.  In addition to working together to create a shared vision for PCPI, the meeting includes visits to area schools and an awards dinner and ceremony. Travel grants will be available to help defray expenses so that more members can attend.

Our person on the ground in Ann Arbor is  Meg Kennedy Shaw, a long-time advocate for cooperative schools.  Meg would be happy to answer questions about the meeting plans as they develop.

New Member Shout Out!
We're ha ppy to say a warm welcome to  St. Johns Nursery School  in Linthicum, Maryland.  St. Johns recently celebrated their 50th anniversary, and their history was nicely captured in an article by the  Capital Gazette

We look forward to getting to know you better!

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