The California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (CCPPNS) is a community of parents and educators committed to teaching and inspiring families through parent involvement and mutual support. Parent participation nursery schools are founded on the principle that the best education will result from an active partnership among parents, teachers, and children.
Since the schools are nonprofit cooperatives, the parents are the owners. Parents are expected to regularly participate at all levels ranging from the administration, operation, and maintenance of the facility to teaching in the classroom under the guidance of a professional teacher. The involvement does not seem like work once the realization is made that involved parents are their children´s biggest teacher. This participation fosters a strong sense of community, a rich and varied educational curriculum, and a safe and stimulating environment for preschoolers.
The director at each school shapes the curriculum so children can begin to develop their social, emotional, physical, and academic skills in the classroom. The high adult-to-child ratio (1 to 5) provides challenging opportunities for the children. The teacher can directly focus on art, science, music, and other projects, often drawing on the talents of parents. Preschoolers are encouraged to pursue their interests, learn from mistakes, and communicate thoughts and feelings through their words.
The nursery school experience is the child´s opportunity to socialize, and to learn how to get along with others. Just as important is building self-esteem so a child can feel good about himself or herself. Hands-on projects facilitates the development of small muscles and other physical skills. Group sharing encourages language development, and pre-reading skills are acquired through sorting and pattern recognition games. Academics fall into place with the readiness that comes along with it. The rich and varied educational curriculum is designed to provide for the natural development of basic skills that a child needs to learn by the age of 5 years.
According to Co-op Quarterly magazine, the first cooperative nursery school was started in Chicago in 1915. The idea soon caught on both nationally and internationally, and even influenced social policy. The Head Start program is a legacy of the cooperative preschool movement. In California, the development of cooperatives was especially rapid. Currently, the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools has more than 171 member schools statewide, divided into subcouncils. To find a school in your area, refer to the directory of schools.
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