Play-based preschool finding space

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Wednesday, February 24, 2016 10:37pm
  • News

Parents forming the play-based, cooperative preschool in Nikiski are now looking for a designated space.

A local church is their target location, and plans are beginning to fall in place.

“With luck we will have a good response and be able to fill our class quickly,” 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 the head organizer for the group.

Once a site is secured, the enrollment campaign will begin, Bethune said. The parents will create brochures and enrollment forms to put out for members of the public who want to sign up, hopefully by early March, she said.

“In discussions with the local school principal, she felt there is a great need, and more children needing preschool than the public school can provide,” Bethune said. “We just need to be able to offer enrollment to recruit people — without a firm location yet, we are in a holding pattern.”

A few parents and their children, ages three to five years old, have been meeting every Monday from 9:30-10:10 a.m. at the North Star United Methodist Church since early December.

The playtime has been somewhat of a trial run and place to hash out plans for when classes begin in a facility that can be fleshed out as an instructional space.

Bethune settled this fall on opening a play-based school because she believes teaching children to develop and use critical thinking skills for learning will ensure they enjoy their academics in the long run.

Play-based preschools are focused on teaching instruction and social skills through activities, versus academic preschools that teach through memorization.

Behtune also chose to go with a cooperative model, where parents can be directly involved in what and how their child learns.

Cooperative is also more cost-effective, Bethune said in a previous Clarion interview. It also gives parents a chance to learn from each other and children can get comfortable playing outside the home, while still within the comfort of their parent’s presence, she said.

There is no date set for a public meeting, but families can attend the Monday meetings to get involved, Bethune said.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at

More in News

Kenai River Brown Bears goalie Nils Wallstrom celebrates winning a shootout over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears sweep Ice Dogs, move into 3rd place

The Kenai River Brown Bears earned a two-game sweep over the Fairbanks… Continue reading

The waters of Cook Inlet lap against Nikishka Beach in Nikiski, Alaska, where several local fish sites are located, on Friday, March 24, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Unprecedented closures threaten setnet way of life

Setnetters have been vocal about their opposition to the way their fishery is managed

Legislative fiscal analysts Alexei Painter, right, and Conor Bell explain the state’s financial outlook during the next decade to the Senate Finance Committee on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Legislators eye oil and sales taxes due to fiscal woes

Bills to collect more from North Slope producers, enact new sales taxes get hearings next week.

Expert skateboarder Di’Orr Greenwood, an artist born and raised in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and whose work is featured on the new U.S. stamps, rides her skateboard next to her artworks in the Venice Beach neighborhood in Los Angeles Monday, March 20, 2023. On Friday, March 24, the U.S. Postal Service is debuting the “Art of the Skateboard,” four stamps that will be the first to pay tribute to skateboarding. The stamps underscore how prevalent skateboarding has become, especially in Indian Country, where the demand for designated skate spots has only grown in recent years. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Indigenous artists help skateboarding earn stamp of approval

The postal agency ceremoniously unveiled the “Art of the Skateboard” stamps in a Phoenix skate park

Bruce Jaffa, of Jaffa Construction, speaks to a group of students at Seward High School’s Career Day on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at Seward High School in Seward, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward students talk careers at fair

More than 50 businesses were represented

Alaska state Sen. Bert Stedman, center, a co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, listens to a presentation on the major North Slope oil project known as the Willow project on Thursday, March 23, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. The committee heard an update on the project from the state Department of Natural Resources and the state Department of Revenue. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Official: Willow oil project holds promise, faces obstacles

State tax officials on Thursday provided lawmakers an analysis of potential revenue impacts and benefits from the project

Jerry Burnett, chair of the Board of Game, speaks during their Southcentral meeting on Friday, March 17, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Board of Game decides on local proposals

Trapping setbacks, archery hunts and duck restrictions were up for consideration

Audre Hickey testifies in opposition to an ordinance that would implement a citywide lewdness prohibition in Soldotna during a city council meeting on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna council kills citywide lewdness ordinance

The decision followed lengthy public comment

Samantha Springer, left, and Michelle Walker stand in the lobby of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Springer named new head of Kenai chamber

Springer, who was raised in Anchorage, said she’s lived on the Kenai Peninsula since 2021

Most Read