Spring 2021 Newsletter
Co-op Preschool & Parent Education Program ... Where Children and Parents Learn Together

Our tagline says it all! Sure, we offer the best researched, developmentally appropriate, play-based learning experience for our littles. But, just as important, is the professional development our parents and caregivers receive for their most important and impactful job – raising the next generation (and the support they receive at Co-op in the day to day joys and struggles in life with small children!). Always keeping up with the latest research and always listening to the ever-changing needs of families, we asked our SSC Parent Educators to share their current favorite words of wisdom…

Betty Peralta: from Albert Einstein on growth mindset and sitting with children in their problems instead of rushing to solve them: "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."

Annie Garrett: “Going through hard times, being able to cry about it, and then move forward, with loving support—this is the recipe for resilience” ~ Dr. Laura Markham

Charlotte Skeffington:  I love sharing the gem of, “oh, tell me more about it” and reminding parents to count silently before they restate their ask or go for a follow-up question. Praise and quizzing rarely provide the insight and connection that curiosity questions provoke.

Jen Schill: "Either we spend time meeting children's emotional needs by filling their cup with love or we spend time dealing with the behaviors caused by the unmet needs.  Either way, we spend the time"  ~ Pamela Leo

Kylene Ushimaru: “Remember, if you do any of these parenting techniques 40% in your day, you are having a good day.”  ~ Jane Nelsen

Dawn Franklin: I'm always a fan of acronyms. I particularly like P.E.A.C.E. from The Power of Showing Up by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. When your children are emotionally dysregulated offer them your Presence, Engagement, Affection, Calm, and Empathy."

Becky Huntley: We have to remember that most of us are learning new ways to parent—and have very high expectations of ourselves! “The trick is not about always doing it right, but in catching yourself for the next time.” ~ a random podcast that stuck with me
Jen Giomi:  “Only speak words that make souls stronger” ~Ann Voskamp

Jane Wainwright: I share this mantra that I use when I know my family/the people around me need me to be calm: “Breathing in, I breathe in peace. Breathing out, I breathe out love.” ~ Sara Dan Jones

 Which ideas are speaking to you at this moment?
Concerts, Trivia, and FUN-draising
Parent Advisory Council (PAC) representatives from each class across our program face a unique COVID challenge: how to meet increased tuition assistance ($4000 more this year, an increase of 40%) when the usual in person fundraising events aren’t safe? Without the usual $4000 raised in the toddler mosh pit with Caspar Babypants and with the $4000 need increase, that leaves a combined $8,000 gap.  

Well, PAC has gotten creative! A Direct Give ask to current and former families will form a solid foundation. And a new online Children’s Concert Series and Zoom Trivia Night will keep the fun and community building in fundraising!
Join us for the Concert Series on one or all four Saturdays at 10am:
March 20 & 27, April 10 & 24. Admission is by donation only, so whatever level is comfortable for your family. Find detailed information about each concert as well as ticket information on our Eventbrite page.

90's Trivia Night will be grown up fun on Saturday April 3rd at 7pm and tickets are $20 each. Co-op alum Ammon Gilbert will be our trivia caller/master of ceremonies. Click on the button below for all the details!

Thank you to our amazing community for helping us meet this ambitious goal - we hope to see you at any of these upcoming events.
Black History - Not Just For February!
As Black History Month draws to a close, we’re reminded that the best time to talk about race with children isn’t just the month of February, but “early and often”. On February 23, Co-Op partnered with Families of Color Seattle, who led a workshop on "Undoing Racism and Teaching Equity to our Children". About 50 families from Co-Op and Fairmount Park Elementary were in attendance. Participants learned about the manifestations of systemic racism on a global and local level, and explored their own racial autobiographies and their children's developing social identities. We know this matters not just in the month of February, but 24/7/365. Here are five ways that West Seattle area parents can approach anti-racism with young children, not just in February, but year-round.
Jamboard from the 2.23 FOCS event - contributions from participants
Registration Update
Update from Fiona Preedy, Registrar:

Open Registration ended on 2/28 and we are now in the midst of Ongoing Registration. During this period, which will run until school begins, families will be able to register on a first-come, first-served basis for any remaining preschool spots. Currently, several classes are full or close to full, but we do have room available in most of the one and two day classes!
Spring Calendar Highlights!
Our Spring Seminar Calendar is full of amazing opportunities to expand and hone your parenting skills! From Self Compassion to Anti-Bias, from Anxiety to Sensory Processing, there is so much to choose from. 

We are particularly thrilled to have The Arc of King County present their Disability is Diversity workshop on April 22nd. The workshop features diverse voices, discusses neurodiversity, and how biases impact our words and the way we treat people with disabilities. The goal: help each person identify their role in creating a culture of inclusion. Please join us!

Additionally, some of our preschools are raising money to support their site budgets with Dine Out events this spring. Who doesn't like pizza??? Check out the White Center Co-op Dine Out at MOD Pizza and the Lincoln Park Co-op Dine Out at Proletariat!
Updates from Preschools
Hooray for Chilly Weather!

Teacher Janet’s 3s class has been keeping busy with lots of playing, creative projects, and learning about the world around them. Recently, the class theme was snow and ice, which was perfect timing for the snow days in mid-February! During outdoor days, the children explored the reactions between ice and salt, and added colored water to see what happened. It was exciting to hear the ice snap and pop, and watch the blue water run through the cracks. The curriculum kits included snowflake themed art projects and a snowman game, and everyone enjoyed listening to Teacher Janet read The Snowy Day on Zoom. 

In her weekly emails, Teacher Janet provides great ideas for continuing our learning themes beyond scheduled class times, and we love to watch recordings of her reading books as we wait for our weekly Zoom classes to begin. It’s been a strange year, but Teacher Janet has provided us with some much needed structure, as well as a wonderful, enriching learning experience for our 3s class. We truly appreciate her efforts.

Thank you, Teacher Janet!

A Unique Collaboration

This school year has mustered inventiveness from teachers, parent educators, board members, families, and our community alike to tackle many things. Guided by objectives to:
  • Keep member safe
  • Keep teachers employed,
  • Maintain a thriving program
Alki remedied several challenges with a partnership between Kim Seater (2’s) and Linda Plankinton (Multi-age).
These experienced teachers co-teach Alki's 2’s class this year, allowing Alki Co-op to meet shifting levels of precaution/readiness for in-person, outdoor learning and keep both teachers employed. This also brought families an unexpected gift: the chance to “loop-up” with one’s teacher from the previous school year! Some families were with Teacher Kim on the SSC campus last year and many were with Teacher Linda in Alki’s Multi-age class. Kim & Linda's friendly, familiar faces on zoom and in-person have made it easy for families to pick right up where they left off last spring. Several babes who were swaddled or in carriers last year beside their siblings in Multi-age, now waddle around the outdoor classroom and are the first ones to request “Tick-Tock” at music time. Three cheers for our community, collaboration, and creativity when confronted with challenges!!!
At the beginning of class before all families had joined, these little cuties were bright and attentive!

What happens when 10 babies meet online every week?

Everything happens when 10 babies meet online every week! Clapping, dancing, playing, pointing, pet viewing, snuggling, laughing, crying, cooing, oohing, ahhing, waving, smiling, reading, and SO MUCH SINGING keeps the babies, Teacher Linda and Parent Educator Annie engaged Zoom on Wednesdays.
What happens when 9 infant parents meet online every week?
Conversations ranging from the practical (how to get baby to sleep in a tent?) to the conceptual (how does my upbringing impact my parenting style?) to the philosophical (do parents and society accommodate babies or do babies accommodate parents and society?) help parents connect at a time of life that can be isolating even when we aren’t on pandemic lockdown. 
Know any good infants (wink!)? Send them to: to join our Wednesday class!

Cookie Monster, a horse, and a piece of chalk walk into a playground…

No, this isn’t the set up to a joke; it’s merely a recent observation from an Admiral Toddler’s monthly outdoor class. Most weeks, we meet over Zoom; Teacher Kim Seater and Parent Educator Charlotte Skeffington team up to share familiar songs, fingerplays, stories, and silly dance contests with families, followed by a parenting discussion.

One class member recently shared their appreciation for how preschool during the pandemic has afforded them “time solely dedicated and engaging to my child.” Adding, “my child feels special and knows it's time for them. They also love the consistency.”

So even when life throws you the unexpected (like Cookie Monster, a horse, and a piece of chalk walking into a playground), turn to your co-op community for coping skills and support… like weekly silly dance contests, community connection, and parent education.
Connect with us!
Co-op Butterflies
Do you have a child who is a little 'more'? Maybe they have higher sensitivities, bigger emotions, deeper needs? Join our monthly discussion group and find camaraderie and understanding, support and information from other families! Email Teacher Jen for more information.
Parent Education
Even though our parenting education seminars will take place remotely, they are still an amazing way to build your own skills during this busy and anxious time. You can find upcoming seminar listings on our website calendar.
Questions about co-op?