Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion A group of Nikiski residents who are in the beginning stages of developing a parents cooperative community preschool gathered Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, at Katy Bethune's home in Nikiski, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion A group of Nikiski residents who are in the beginning stages of developing a parents cooperative community preschool gathered Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, at Katy Bethune's home in Nikiski, Alaska.

Families starting play-based preschool begin to meet

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Wednesday, December 2, 2015 11:12pm
  • News

Games have begun for the children and parents forming the play-based Nikiski Cooperative Preschool.

Those interested in helping start the family-organized and driven school will meet every Monday from 9:30-10:30 a.m., at the North Star United Methodist Church in Nikiski. The first gathering was this week.

Right now the sessions are relatively informal, said Katy Bethune, who taught in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District as a Title 1 and early intervention specialist teacher for 17 years and is organizing development of the school.

Scheduled time is for parents to establish relationships with each other and watch their children interact within the context of a preschool-like setting, she said.

Families and children 1.5-4-years-old are welcome, Bethune said. All ages socialize together right now, while the parents supervise. Eventually, if there is enough interest and attendance, two groups will form, one for toddlers and one for the older kids, she said.

The division is necessary, because there is a difference between the activities both age groups are able to do safely, and benefit from, Bethune said.

“There are some things the little ones would just put in their mouth,” she said with a laugh.

Curriculum development most likely won’t begin until later, Bethune said. Many of the adult attendees Monday said they wanted to enroll their children in a play-based preschool rather than an academic one, she said.

In a previous Clarion interview, Bethune explained play-based learning teaches children critical thinking skills early, which translates to more enjoyment in their education long-term. The ingestion and regurgitation of information in academic preschools can actually turn students away from learning in the long run, she said.

Meeting once a week acts as a trial run for what daily sessions might look like, Bethune said. It will give time for the parents to further develop their preferences and expectations for operating in a permanent facility, which is the goal for the start of the 2016-2017 school year, she said.

Starting this early also gives the organizers a chance to recruit more parents who may want to be a part of developing the school, and their child’s early education, Bethune said.

The next planning meeting is on Jan. 23, 2016 at a location yet to be determined, followed up by another in March or April, Bethune said. Over the summer, sessions might be scheduled twice a week for the two different age groups, she said.

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Nora Arness plays with toys while her mother Julie Arness chats with Kara Abel Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, at Katy Bethune's home in Nikiski, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Nora Arness plays with toys while her mother Julie Arness chats with Kara Abel Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, at Katy Bethune’s home in Nikiski, Alaska.

More in News

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer; Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, spoke to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, immediately following Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State address. Members of the Senate Republican leadership said they appreciated the governor’s optimism, and hoped it signaled a better relationship between the administration and the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers welcome tone change in governor’s address

With caveats on financials, legislators optimistic about working together

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID deaths, hospitalizations climb statewide

The total number of statewide COVID deaths is nearly equivalent to the population of Funny River.

A fisher holds a reel on the Kenai River near Soldotna on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Restrictions on sport fishing announced

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced summer sport fishing regulations Wednesday

Community agencies administer social services to those in need during the Project Homeless Connect event Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘It’s nice to be able to help folks’

Project Homeless Connect offers services, supplies to those experiencing housing instability

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce attends the March 2, 2021, borough assembly meeting at the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers at the Borough Administration Building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Former talk-show host to manage Pierce gubernatorial campaign

Jake Thompson is a former host of KSRM’s Tall, Dark and Handsome Show and Sound-off talk-show

Deborah Moody, an administrative clerk at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchorage, Alaska, looks at an oversized booklet explaining election changes in the state on Jan. 21, 2022. Alaska elections will be held for the first time this year under a voter-backed system that scraps party primaries and sends the top four vote-getters regardless of party to the general election, where ranked choice voting will be used to determine a winner. No other state conducts its elections with that same combination. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
How Alaska’s new ranked choice election system works

The Alaska Supreme Court last week upheld the system, narrowly approved by voters in 2020.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to a joint meeting of the Alaska State Legislature at the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, for his fourth State of the State address of his administration. Dunleavy painted a positive picture for the state despite the challenges Alaska has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the economy. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov points ‘North to the Future’

Dunleavy paints optimistic picture in State of the State address

A COVID-19 test administrator discusses the testing process with a patient during the pop-up rapid testing clinic at Homer Public Health Center on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Free rapid COVID-19 testing available in Homer through Friday

A drive-up COVID-19 testing clinic will be held at Homer Public Health Center this week.

In this Sept. 21, 2017, file photo, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala. Palin is on the verge of making new headlines in a legal battle with The New York Times. A defamation lawsuit against the Times, brought by the brash former Alaska governor in 2017, is set to go to trial starting Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in federal court in Manhattan. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
Palin COVID-19 tests delay libel trial against NY Times

Palin claims the Times damaged her reputation with an opinion piece penned by its editorial board

Most Read