At Kingston Cooperative Preschool, we believe in the following philosophy:
- We notice and respect children’s individual styles of approaching new people and new experiences.
- We give children many choices in determining their own activity, since making choices on their own builds self awareness and helps them establish sound judgment.
- Children engage in those activities from which they are learning the most and they should be encouraged to follow those interests. Adults help best when we support and encourage but do not dominate. We provide a child-based curriculum using authentic, hands-on life experiences and projects.
- Playing pretend is a vital activity. Young children’s fantasies and imaginings are their most developed ways of representing their lives and feelings. We notice and learn from this kind of play, and encourage it.
- Young children learn with their whole bodies. Getting messy with finger paints is just as important as playing dress up or running and tumbling.
- We view discipline as another form of teaching. We find positive methods to teach children what it means to live and play with others. We help children make appropriate choices through instruction, practice, support and recognition.
- Children gain the security that extends beyond the school itself. A community is built when the parents share their talents, knowledge, and time with the school.
- Parents gain mutual support from each other through caring for the children and sharing responsibilities and concerns.
- By being part of a co-op, we are actively building our “village”.
- The school is run by the families, led by the Board of Directors. Families support the operations of the school through volunteer hours and fundraising.
- Co-op families support each other.
- We rely on the support of our local community.
- We give back to our community.
- We honor the individual and group identities of our students and families.
- School materials and activities reflect our diverse world.
- We strive to use inclusive language in our policies and day-to-day operations.
- Teachers incorporate NAEYC’s 4 goals of anti-bias education into their instruction.
Play-Based, Child-Led Learning
- Teachers make learning an adventure while helping children develop learning skills.
- Topics are based on children’s interests. This provides meaningful opportunities to weave in skills in literacy, math, science, art, and physical development.
- Children build social and emotional skills through modeling and supported interactions.
- We value process over product.
- Children engage in hands-on, real-life activities.
- We place high value on education and foster a love of learning for our children.
- We pursue our own learning:
- In Parent Education classes, we learn about child development and positive parenting techniques.
- We apply new knowledge and skills in the preschool classroom.
- We learn from the modeling provided by the preschool Teachers.
- We build new skills by serving on the Board or completing other volunteer jobs.