Editor’s note: Campus Cooperative Preschool is a sponsor of Chambanamoms.
In its large, sun-drenched classrooms, play is the language of all young children. Creative play is viewed as key not only to the development of critical thinking, language, and self-regulation skills, but also to the development of the whole child. The foundation of Campus Cooperative Preschool’s child-centered, play-based course of study is guided by the implementation of The Creative Curriculum for Preschool,® The MindUP Curriculum, engaging creative arts, and a multifaceted social and emotional curriculum.
Campus Cooperative Preschool (CCP) runs a half-day program conveniently located in the landmark Wesley Foundation building on the University of Illinois campus. Its innovative curriculum and highly educated staff facilitate a learning environment where diversity is honored and every child feels cherished and respected. CCP first opened its doors in 1951 as Playtime Nursery School. Over 65 years later, it still functions in the spirit of a cooperative preschool where every family has a stake in the school’s operations. Parents are invited to share in the creation of their children’s preschool adventure by enhancing the curriculum through special presentations, providing administrative support through corporate board membership, and/or maintaining the physical facilities through family semester projects. Families also have the option to pay a small fee instead of participating in the cooperative work of the preschool.
Even though family life has changed significantly since 1951 when the school first opened its doors, the need for love, security and high quality early education has not changed. Many of our graduates go on to perform academically in the top of their classes, because when they were young children, their parents chose a learning environment that supports the development of the whole child: where curiosity, imagination, and creative thinking thrive. In our fast-paced culture, CCP remains a haven of warmth, acceptance, and a place that nurtures friendships and lifelong learning.
“Campus Cooperative Preschool (CCP) is a unique learning environment where rich imaginations are the mainstay, and all programs are guided by the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards. Creative play is viewed as key not only to the development of critical thinking, language, and self-regulation skills, but also to the development of the whole child. Pre-academic skills are taught through play-based experiences that offer essential building blocks needed to make learning fun and engaging.” — Lisa Treul, Director of CCP
CCP’s programs embrace the emotional world of children through tenderhearted interactions using the Nurtured Heart Approach™ and Conscious Discipline™ methodologies. Conflict is viewed as an opportunity for teaching social and emotional skills. The promotion of self-regulation skills are taught through daily mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, and other centering sensory activities. The preschool also offers a rich creative arts curriculum that involves visual art, singing, dancing, and yoga. Using multiple types of media, different techniques and styles are adopted by the students to make their own artwork. The Pre-Kindergarten class hosts an art exhibition in place of a graduation ceremony each year. These creative learning experiences have a lasting, positive impact on a child’s self-esteem.
The children and parents love their CCP experience in this family-oriented, early learning community. Many lifelong friendships begin at CCP for both the children and the parents. CCP alum remember fondly the coziness of its nurturing community and are able to utilize the skills they have learned to be successful, confident, and creative in their current and future learning environments. The social and emotional world of every child is supported by a strong foundation of rich relationships fostered within each of the classrooms and the CCP community at large. With well developed social and emotional habits, as well as essential cognitive (thinking) skills in hand, children leave CCP highly prepared to excel in their next learning environments.