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May 2014 
Vol. 44 No. 4   
PCPI Members and Friends, as Summer is upon us, we want to recap the events of the DC and Virginia MeetingsRead on for exciting news from our parent cooperative preschools community.
Cooperatively Speaking
Latest News from PCPI
2015 Annual Meetings - Mark Your Calendars Now!
April 24 - April 26, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia
PCPI Officers 2014-2015

President, Lesley Romanoff
V.P. Admininstration, Open
V.P. Finance and Past President, Kathy Ems
V. P. Resources, Leta Mach
Recording Secretary, Amy Herring
V.P. Membership, Roberta Stuart and Mariah Battiston

Standing Committees and Appointments:
Advisors, Meg Kennedy Shaw
Awards, Lynann Derrick
Cooperatively Speaking Editors, Pamela Gooding and Jennifer DeBernardis
Katharine Whiteside Taylor Bursary, Catherine Shaver
Becky Allen Fund, Lisa Meyer
Marika Townshend Travel Grants, Linda Henegar
Digital Communications, Christina Lane and Amy Herring

Annual Meeting Liaison (2015 Vancouver British Columbia) Mariah Battiston and Roberta Stuart
NCBA Liaison, Leta Mach
Web, Sophie Miron

Reflections from the President

By joining, I am aligning myself, my school, my organization with others who share the same philosophy.  
-- Linda Henegar from Portland Oregon at PCPI's Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. 
Linda works with PCPO (Parent Child Preschools Oregon) and has served on PCPI's board past, present, and future. She just completed her tenure as Treasurer and has moved into the Marika Townshend Travel Grant chair position.  There was so much to inspire during our school tours and meetings, but this statement resonated with me the most. A large part of our brainstorming and action plans that spring from these annual meetings center on the question, "Why should I join?" Linda's thoughts shone like a beacon. Like-minded and committed to same cooperative principles we are all gathered under the umbrella organization of PCPI - this is the reason I, personally and professionally, support the continued membership for my school. The membership fee is worth every penny to take this stand.  Once standing together - because this is what your continued membership does, it counts you among the many - we must consciously make the next step (or three) to become INVOLVED. We reach out to you to become involved in the PCPI organization.
  • Step 1. Share. Make an effort to tell 5 people a week about the cooperative school experience on any platform you wish (face-to-face, twitter, blog, social network, etc.)
  • Step 2. Share. Write a letter to one community leader (politician, education advocate, school principal, etc.) and tell them about the great work your school and the cooperative model does each day.
  • Step 3. Share. Become directly involved with PCPI. We currently have an opening of VP Administration on the Board of Directors. Or simply reach out to us and tell us what you want or how you can help the organization stand stronger together. 
Please send me your questions and comments and thank you for joining and thank you for sharing.  Lesley@Romanoffstudio.com


Awards and Bursaries


PCPI held their 2014 luncheon and awards ceremony April 26th, in Alexandria, VA. Our field of award winners were nominated by their schools or peers and received recognition from PCPI for exemplary work. 


PCPI congratulates the following award recipients for their dedicated service to the cooperative school movement:

Leta Mach Honorary Life Member 

Dr. Charmaine Ciardi Robin Bunster Outstanding Achievement Award

Frances Slaughter Robin Bunster Outstanding Achievement Award

Jennifer DeBernardis National Service Award

Lois Male Distinguished Service District Award

Kris Abraham District Award


Nominations for next year will open in the fall, check the website for details. 

Katherine Whiteside Taylor Bursary
Why Did We Name a Scholarship After Her?


The Katharine Whiteside Taylor Bursary is a scholarship named in honor of Dr. Katharine Whiteside Taylor, a founding member of Parent Cooperative Preschools International (PCPI). The bursary provides financial support to assist in the continuing education of parents and teachers currently participating in a Canadian cooperative or parent participation preschool.
The KWT Bursary committee is pleased to announce that the 2014 scholarship has been awarded to Darlene Bokma the Supervisor/Teacher at Little Mountain Parent Participating Preschool in Waterloo, Ontario. Darlene also teaches at the Open Sesame Head Start Program in Waterloo.
Darlene is currently working towards her Family Literacy Practitioner Certification. This is a six course program offered by Conestoga College in Kitchener in partnership with the Centre for Family Literacy in Edmonton, Alberta.
"The third course in the Family Literacy program on child development and emergent literacy was especially relevant and provided new perspectives into some long-standing child development theories. I was able to use this new insight within our school setting almost immediately. I am looking forward to the upcoming course which focuses on the principles of community development and how these impact and support family literacy, home languages and cultures." says Darlene. "Thank you so much for this award. It is an honor to be recognized".
For further information on the Katharine Whiteside Taylor Bursary please check our website or contact Catherine Shaver, Chair, KWT Bursary Committee at shaver1337@gmail.com. 

Being Part of a Cooperative...


"If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative" - Unknown Source

Some food for thought in what being part of a Cooperative means. I recently traveled to the Annual Meeting held in Washington DC this year, from April 24-26th. As always it was an excellent and enriching experience for those in attendance from across the USA and Canada.


We had a successful day of meetings at the National Cooperative Business Association offices. It is always nice to meet the important people behind the exponential work they do for all cooperatives across the nation.

We were very fortunate to visit 3 wonderful preschools. After the day of meetings we took a stroll on Capitol Hill to meet the amazing and much beloved Ms. Frances Slaughter who is the teacher for the Capitol Hill Cooperative Nursery School. We had a warm welcome from the families of her school and could see the love the children and parents alike had for this amazing teacher. We were treated to lovely snacks and had a look around at the little school full of love. One of the highlights was the turtle who delighted the children especially when it was feeding time. Yummy crickets! Their program involves regular neighborhood walks, a weekly music program and a dynamic, free-to-explore world with Ms. Frances by their side. A great quote from their website which helps to instill the true nature of being part of a cooperative school:

 "It turns out that an important hallmark of a good school is one where parents are active and engaged, not just in bake sales and candy drives, but in substantively supporting the school and encouraging it to be its best." The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve by Peg Tyre


Our second preschool visit was to Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool in Virginia. We were able to fit in some meeting time here and tour their fantastic and expansive preschool space. This school had a program from 4 months to 5 years. What a great way for the entire family to get involved. A young sibling could play or take a nap in the Panda room while their older sibling played like a Koala, or a Penguin, a Dolphin or a Cheetah. Each room was very bright and full of art and love. The "look how tall we are" wall measuring the kids' growth throughout the year was a neat addition to one of the classrooms. I have to say that one of the best treasures of this preschool was their amazing outdoor space and playground. Our group had lots of fun playing on the giant play structure fully equipped with slides, steeples, tunnels and lots of hiding places. A short stroll beyond the fence we met some of the parents tending the preschool community garden growing vegetables with the kids. What a beautiful scene this was.


After a tasty awards luncheon in the quaint Alexandria, where the very deserving honorees, Leta Mach, Francis Slaughter and Jennifer DeBernardis received awards, we travelled to Fort Hunt Preschool. This was a gem of a preschool tucked into a historic carriage house on the grounds of an historic homestead. They had a combined indoor/outdoor program taking advantage of the natural surroundings they shared. The outdoor area including hidden tunnels in the tall grass, musical stations, and life sized boats to steer, a story telling area and even a place dedicated to digging worms. Don't forget the gardens, stage and bridges in the sand. They also had even bigger plans for their outdoor space in the future. Inside, the classrooms were full of nature too, with tree stumps to paint, recycled art on the walls, homemade sand contraptions and caterpillars waiting to change into butterflies, both real and imagined. After our tour we were able to finish up our meetings in the historic main house ending with many things accomplished as we move into the future of PCPI.


A special thanks to Leta Mach, VP Resources, and 2014 Honorary Life Member recipient, and Nancy Renner, Fort Hunt Director, for helping to make this year's Annual PCPI meetings such a great success. They were instrumental for the logistics of the meeting along with the help of Lynann Derrick. We accomplished so many great things this year and look forward to the continued success of PCPI.


Back home again, I find myself thinking of the great meetings we shared, networking with the larger cooperative community and learning many new and wonderful ideas that can be shared with the greater Coop community. These meetings are such a valuable place to network, meet, teach, learn and grow the cooperative spirit within all of us to build strong communities and happiness all around! I encourage everyone to join us next year in Vancouver, BC!! 



by Mariah Battiston

Educational Director

Community Cooperative Nursery School

In Memoriam - Carolyn Hawkins 
Founding Member and PCPI's First President
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