Community Roots Coop is a parent-led educational cooperative in Charlottesville, Virginia.
We are building a vibrant community that includes families of color, multiracial families, and white families all learning together. We envision a learning space that reflects and helps shape the world we want for our children. We strive every day to instill in all of our children a deep sense of self love, affirmed through seeing themselves reflected in their curriculum, their peers, and their educators. We ask all parents to build authentic diversity and to sustain our community, even if we have to get messy in the process of working and growing together.
We aim to provide:
- Affordable, high quality early childhood and elementary education;
- A learning community explicitly centered on creating support and safety for children of color;
- An effective multi-age approach that supports all developmental stages;
- An environment that supports play and nature-based learning; and
- An approach to curriculum that honors both children and teaching parents as “experts” who work in tandem with trained educators.
We are play and inquiry-based. Our model leverages the magic of children’s innate curiosity and the dynamism of multi-age learning. Our kids – as individuals and as a cohort – dive into subjects that fascinate them and explore thoroughly by asking questions, searching for answers, and supporting each other in mastering content. We weave academic learning and introduce thoughtful lessons through this emergent process. We support kids in moving and playing through their day, while also learning how to be responsible, compassionate members of a community.
We are all teachers. We have 2 lead educators, and a community of “teaching parents” who support the Coop by providing enrichment classes, sharing supplies and curricular ideas, and taking responsibility to cultivate our children’s learning both in and outside of Coop hours. Those of us who have the time and interest also pitch in as administrators for the Coop, coordinating planning, fundraising, and other ancillary activities. Through a pragmatic consensus process, everyone has an opportunity to influence key decisions about how the Coop functions and where it is headed.