Philosophy of Columbia Kids

We believe that the parent’s participation in the preschool will broaden their understanding of children’s development and behavior and will increase their skills in child guidance.  We strive to encourage and support each other, and to educate and improve ourselves as effective parents.  We recognize the right of parents to raise their children as they believe appropriate, and we know it is not the place of Columbia Kids to contradict the teachings of the parents in their homes nor to criticize their methods.  However, within our classroom, for the sake of continuity and consistency, teachers and parents will use the stated philosophy and methods of the cooperative.  Finally, we hope that the parents will enrich our program by sharing their ideas, interests and problems with us during the preschool classes and the scheduled parent education classes.

We believe that each child is a precious individual, deserving of respect for his/her unique qualities, and deserving of loving guidance in developing to his/her fullest potential.  We strive to accept each child as he/she is, so that the child can accept us and our guidance.  We assume that each child will think and play creatively, discover and use his/her own resources, and develop inner control.

Our part, we believe, is to provide the atmosphere, environment, experiences, and direction that will help the child discover his/her self.  At all times, we promote in the child self-acceptance, self-reliance, and a sense of pride and confidence.  Since we feel this is best encouraged in an affectionate, non-coercive, stress-free atmosphere, we therefore use a positive approach to discipline, believing that this will foster a positive self-concept in the child.  Every aspect of the preschool experience is planned to achieve this primary goal.

We help the child develop physically by promoting good eating habits, wise health and grooming routines, and by offering opportunities for developing coordination, balance, and gross and fine motor skills.  We encourage the beginning of social skills, interaction, cooperation, sharing, trust, politeness, consideration, empathy, and socially responsible behavior.

To the extent that the child shows readiness, we introduce intellectual achievement: pre-reading skills, math and science concepts, art and music skills and appreciation.  However, we feel that helping children to know themselves and their place in the family circle and the world is the major task of these early years and is the soundest foundation for future learning.

Arts, crafts, exercise, music, movement, games, stories, visitors, field trips, free play, orderliness, a stimulating environment, calming routines–all of these are used to attain our primary and secondary goals.  Throughout our program, we stress the child’s right to choose his/her activities, and the child’s right to loving individual encouragement in trying new things.

Who We Are

Columbia Kids Preschool is a non-profit cooperative program that offers a unique educational experience.  

All classes are mixed age, with preschool students ranging from 3 – 5 years old.  Class times are Monday and Thursday, 9:00am to 11:30am.  Columbia Kids schedule is as follows: classes are in session from mid-September to early June.  With parent helpers in the classroom every day, our student to adult ratio is generally 4:1.

First and foremost, our classes encourage creative learning.  We believe children learn by doing. We offer a hands-on learning environment with opportunities for fine and gross motor play, imaginative play, and activities which encourage pre-reading, writing, and mathematics development.

At Columbia Kids Preschool, children and parents work and learn together.  Parents are actively involved in the classroom as helpers.  You will see first-hand how your child is doing and what happens in the classroom.  Siblings are welcome in our classroom on the days when their parent is a working parent.

At least one adult member of each family participates in a parent education course.  The course teaches effective guidance and communication techniques for working with young children and provides a support network among peers.

Sprouting Seeds School is an integrated-study learning program offered to Kindergarten – Middle School students.  It meets three afternoons each week.  Janine Carr co-teaches Sprouting Seeds with Virginia Triplett, drawing on her experience as a public school primary teacher, consultant and educational author with a focus on children’s literacy.

Columbia Kids Preschool and Sprouting Seeds School is governed by a board made up of parent volunteers.  Members of the board are elected once a year in the spring.  Board meetings are open to any interested co-op member.

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