We knew Co-op was the preschool for us the minute we stepped through the door because of the strong sense of community at our school. The teachers and the director, Molly Gareis, are all so incredibly committed to the development and nurturing of the children. Our son excitedly runs into school every day, waiting to see what kind of fun things he will be doing, while I am impressed daily with the enriching, meaningful activities his teacher has planned. Our son has grown leaps and bounds intellectually, verbally and socially, and it is from the love and individualized attention he has received from his teachers. Being able to help in the classroom and be a part of his early school days is so rewarding for us. Co-op is not only the best preschool, it is a big family. We are so grateful to be a part of this amazing community and wish our little boy could stay forever!
Fran and Rachel Lenahan
My daughter Annabelle is in her second year at the Co-op and we love the school and are so glad that we chose this preschool. Annabelle really enjoys the 3-day four's class and her teacher Mrs. Old and frequently comes home from school talking about all the "fun things they do". My younger daughter Caroline is in Mrs. Gareis's 2-year old class and also loves going and wants to go every day! As a parent I really appreciate the Co-op philosophy of learning through play and the emphasis on a child's social skills and social development. Although the teachers have a lot of fun with the kids they definitely "know their stuff" about child development and incorporate this knowledge into their teaching style and classroom. It has been a wonderful experience and a great fit for our family and we are looking forward several more years with the school! - Meagan Schultz
When we arrived at Co-op in the Fall of 2010, we were two isolated working parents with one child.
When we left Co-op in the Spring of 2012, we were members of a vibrant extended family.
We met families new to Co-op, like us, and those who were there with a second or third (or more!) child. All were devoted to creating a warm, welcome and nurturing environment for the children and parents to thrive. We pitched in when others needed help. We deferred to others’ strengths when our own was not enough. We were all given the space and freedom to make mistakes, to grow, to surprise each other, to struggle, to cry, to scream in pain or with joy.
So incorporated into our lives did our son’s classmates and families soon became, that it is hard for us to imagine a time when they weren’t a part of us. It is even harder to imagine a time when they will not be.
The bonds formed at Co-op are really THAT strong.
Megan Rhyne, Mike Parker & Dell
I was recently asked why we chose to send our daughter to Williamsburg Parent Cooperative Preschool. The answer is simple; it’s the best preschool in town. As an educator, I know how critical the early years are, as we lay the foundation of teaching our children to become life-long learners. A bit neurotically, I treated choosing a preschool much like choosing a college. I had a spreadsheet with pros/cons and I e-mailed, called, or visited no less than 10. I already believed strongly in the philosophy of Co-op, so I saved our visit to WPCP for last, to give the other preschools a fair chance. One of the first things I noticed was the alphabet posted in each classroom, but not in ABC order. Research supports this as a highly effective strategy to learn letters. I was also excited about the opportunity to be so involved in my daughter’s first school experience. I didn’t want to simply drop-off and pick-up in a car pool line; and the director, Molly Gareis, was so warm and inviting, I instantly felt at home. And finally, Co-op was one of the few schools that invited us to bring our daughter in for a day and observe how she adapted. It was no surprise that she loved it. I’ve been amazed at how much Co-op has strengthened her development, and I’ve been even more amazed at how much it’s strengthened my own parenting. So I’ll say it again: my decision was easy. Co-op is the best preschool in town.
The Co-op is a very special place for us. My daughter attended for all three years. The Coop's approach to learning through play molded my child into a happy, confident student who loves to go to school. We have also developed life-long friendships with wonderful families we met at the preschool. These friendships grew out of working together in the classroom, hanging out on the playground, and working on special projects to benefit the school. The director, Molly Gareis, has an amazing staff of teachers dedicated to providing the best in early childhood education. I cannot wait until next fall when my baby will be old enough to start co-op. We miss it already!!
Mom to Maggie, 5, and Claire, 19 months