Tucked away behind St. Matthew the Apostle Episcopal Church in South Miami is a thriving cooperative preschool celebrating 38 years of shaping young minds.
In 1972, a group of parents recognized the need for a quality preschool experience and a cooperative nursery school experience for themselves. Today the school still continues to blossom with new and returning families looking for an enriching preschool environment.
St. Matthew’s Cooperative Preschool is a place where children reap the rewards from a highly experienced teacher and an involved group of parents. As a cooperative preschool, parents volunteer in the classroom several days a month and are able to participate alongside their children as the teacher directs academics, art, science and more in fun and exciting ways.
The school takes every opportunity to match creative and imaginative play in the classroom with exciting field trips that bring lessons to life. For example, each year the school visits the Key Biscayne Fire Department for a tour during fire prevention week and a chance to squirt water from a fire hose.
During Supermarket Week, the children pretend to shop on stocked shelves in the classroom, complete with mini shopping carts and ringing cash registers. At the week’s end, the class visits a nearby grocery store for a behind-the-scenes tour.
Parental involvement keeps costs low. And, with a 4-to-1 adult-to-child ratio, children benefit from the additional adult supervision and diversity of experience that parents bring to the classroom.
The preschool had a parent who worked as a professional violinist teaching a lesson in music appreciation on a regular basis. Another parent, a professionally trained dancer, organized gymnastics and dance lessons throughout the year.
“I love St. Matthew’s as much as my children do,” said Nichole Oursler, a parent who has returned for her family’s third year at the school. “It’s an enriching preschool experience and a supportive school community that you simply will not find anywhere else,” she added.
St. Matthew’s Cooperative Preschool offers preschool for children ages 3-5, Monday through Friday, 9:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The school is a licensed Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) provider for children who have turned 4 as of Sept. 1.
St. Matthew’s Cooperative Preschool is located at 7410 Sunset Dr. in South Miami. For more information, call 305-661-1287 or visit www.stmatthewscooppreschool.org.