I once was a cucumber… And now I’m a pickle! In addition, I’m Amanda, the mother of Bowie and the Sprouts Class Representative. I’m a working mom and last year I had a database of my top 15 choices in preschools in the city. I searched far and wide in looking for what might be the best opportunity for my daughter as well as our family. I will admit this now, one thought that crossed my mind was “What preschool I choose might actually determine if my child has the ability to become President of the United States”, NO PRESSURE!
I was looking for diversity, a significant amount of outside time and play-based learning. I will say, there are SO MANY amazing preschools in Seattle which made the choice even more difficult. When I toured SPP, I fell in love. I applied immediately and continued to look at other options and I’m so glad I did because it reaffirmed my choice even more.
Fast forward to Fall, OH MY GOSH, my baby is a preschooler! I think that in itself is a very overwhelming experience. And then the realization that “WHOA, this is a co-op! Hey, how does this work, anyway?” It’s a lot to take in. In addition, I had chosen a board position and I’m so glad I did because I get to see the inner workings and values of the school that much better.
First of all, being in a co-op is a very intimate experience. I’m so lucky that our parents happen to be the coolest people EVER. I’ve always wanted a community that my daughter can grow up in and I finally feel like she has that. We love each other’s kids, we know their strengths and weaknesses and share with each other what progress we’ve noticed. We’ve got each other’s backs. You’re sick? Let’s help you! It’s an amazing experience that I certainly wouldn’t get in dropping my kid off somewhere every day.
Seattle’s Progressive Preschool has done so much more than that, though. The three aspects that separate us from any other preschool is the priority and focus on economic diversity, social justice and the green mission. I love that we are talking about the differences in cultures, appearance and family structures. And I LOVE the fact that every purchase I make and everything I throw away is a conscious thought of “How will this impact the environment and the world?” The economic diversity is probably more apparent as a board member. We are always considering what aspects will be easy to include everyone, budgeting for assisting with any families that might not be able to afford it at the time. We waste nothing. That starts to spread with the way I go about my life.
I don’t want to give the impression that I’m a Prius driving picketer. No one is extreme in their beliefs and it never feels forced. I came in thinking I was a pretty socially responsible person and always with the best intentions but I’ve learned so much from watching others in the school. I will forever be more aware of what impact I have on the world and on others.