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Learning Takes the Stage

Redding Co-op 2012-13 1401An all-weather stage is the latest “outdoor classroom” added to the Redding Cooperative Preschool, where children are discovering and developing their first skills as dancers, singers, musicians and even inventors of instruments.

The stage, measuring 16 feet wide by 8 feet deep, is slightly raised and surrounded by child-size chairs, tables and benches carved from recycled logs. A curtain will complete the simple stage, shaded by an existing canopy of oak trees and tucked between the school’s outdoor swings, climbing structures, tree house, bike path and water table.

Why build a stage? Co-op Teacher Jula Herzog says it’s yet another classroom for children to learn and practice public speaking, attentive listening, turn-taking, and cooperating as a band, as well as a platform for expressing their creativity. The music aspect offers them a chance to experiment with sounds, rhythm and coordination, and invention — they decide what is an instrument and what isn’t.

Redding Co-op 2012-13 1402The stage is made possible by a generous $1,000 grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Volunteer Grant Program. The preschool’s families built it in April 2013.

Families interested in enrolling in the Redding Cooperative Preschool are invited to visit the school and try out the new stage! They should call the Co-op to arrange a visit during school hours, which also fulfills a pre-enrollment requirement for new families. For more information, please call the Co-op at 241-4355.

An earlier version of this story was published in the Record Searchlight.