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The Power of Participation: Co-op Preschools



Co_Op
Bakersfield Parent Nursery

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Bakersfield Parent Nursery (BPN) believes membership in a cooperative preschool is a family experience where the education of parents and children are equally important. Peejay Hurda, community relations parent volunteer, says this unique learning atmosphere helps each child achieve success. "This isn't a cookie cutter preschool where if your child doesn't fit the way teachers want to teach they will be pushed aside," she says. "At BPN, the teachers will find a way to make learning fun for each child building up their strong points and raising their weaknesses with encouragement."

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Started in 1952 by a group of mothers who met regularly at Heritage Park, BPN belongs to the California Council of Parent Participation Preschools. BPN is located at 2080 Stine Road between Ming and Wilson. For more information, please call 832-4690 or visit www.bakersfieldparentnursery.com.

Bakersfield Play Center

Bakersfield Play Center, founded in 1952, is an active Parent Cooperative Preschool that provides a quality preschool environment for its children and parents at affordable tuition prices. "This cooperative spirit and commitment to blending enrichment with parent involvement has fostered a strong sense of community, a rich and varied educational curriculum, and a safe and stimulating environment for our preschoolers," says Angie G. Esparza, Director of Education/Preschool Teacher. "In a world where so many decisions are made for us, a co-op allows parents to take control or make decisions in their children's early education."

With their slogan, "Come watch your children grow with us," the reciprocal environment at Bakersfield Play Center fosters a close-knit community of parents and children working together to achieve academic success and create lifelong friendships. Bakersfield play center is located at 1620 Kentucky Street. For more information, please call 325-4064 or visit www.bakersfieldplaycenter.com.

NOR and Neighborhood Place Riverview Center

NOR and Neighborhood Place Parent Co-ops started twenty years ago to provide programs to reach young children and their families. "The parents have the opportunity to be part of their child's early years' learning experiences through school readiness activities," says Sonia E. Quill, Community Services Supervisor. "With the support of the team that includes the child's parent/caregiver and teacher, the children enhance their learning abilities and become more capable, ready to learn, and ready to explore their future endeavors."

The Neighborhood Place Riverview Center, located at 401 Willow Drive is funded by First Five Kern, and administered by North of the River Recreation and Park District, has available openings. NOR Parent Co-op is located at Greenacres Community Building at 2014 Calloway and has a waiting list at this time. For more information, please call 392-2029.

If you would like to know if a cooperative preschool environment is right for your family, answer the following questions:

What is the school's philosophy on education, conflict resolution, and discipline?

How long has the school been around? How long has the teacher been there?

How long have the families participated? Can you speak to some current participants?

What are the parent participation requirements? Is there flexibility in scheduling due to absences, vacations, etc.?

Do they have a "buy out" option, if you can't participate or have a scheduling conflict?

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