WFP was an anchor and inspiration for our young family. The insights and tools gained through the WFP curriculum positively contributed to how my husband and I raised our children. I often recommend to young parents the books which I learned about at preschool.
I continue to draw on skills learned at WFP. One concept I learned was the statement, “You can disagree with me – you just need to do so respectfully”. I utilize this concept in conversation with my now adult children and in my job.
WFP provided a training ground as well as child development information. I strongly believe it is a result of the leadership experiences and connections developed while in preschool, that allowed me to become an elected official in the local community.
Woodinville Water District Commissioner
Dear Cecile – I am down in California for my weekend at school and I have been flooded with appreciation for you. First, I am doing a group project on the theories of Donald Winnicott and learning all about the importance of creative play for a child’s overall sense of well-being. More specifically, that play is a great way for kids to learn to express scary thoughts and feelings and to acquire skills like problem solving, cooperation, empathy, etc. All the things you taught me at WFP!! I can’t help but feel so grateful for the WFP preschool experience that my kids and I were both privy to. I love how you instilled in us the importance of play for our kids as well as the all of the valuable parent ed advice!!
Second, yesterday, my favorite professor said to replace the “but” in your sentences with “and” because “but” erases everything you said in the first part of your sentence. I remember you telling our parent ed group that years ago and it has really stuck with me. I am so appreciative of your guidance and support during those years and all of the help and information that the kids and I learned at WFP. They loved their preschool days and still say that “preschool was the best”.
Kristin O’Hara | Graduate Student, Pacifica Graduate Institute
A month has come and gone since my year as a kindergarten teacher began, and though it’s been a whirlwind I have enjoyed every moment of my new title as a K teacher! I just wanted to pop in and thank you so much for giving me such a wonderful co-op preschool experience. My years at WFP are what helped to prepare me for a smooth and enjoyable first month in K! My kindergartners know all the community/back to school songs from WFP, and we even sing “Kindergarten’s over and now it’s time to go…”
This is one story to encapsulate how valuable co-op is to me: A boy in my class was extremely sad and angry the first day of school saying that he wanted to be with his dad. I remembered when Riley would come home with notes that you transcribed for her when she missed me. That boy and I sat down and I transcribed a note which said, “Dad I miss you. I want to be with you Dad. I love you.” It was like magic, he was completely and totally fine after that! It was amazing.
I feel like so much of what I do and say come from what I learned from WFP. Thank you so much! I just wanted you to know how your wisdom is even reaching out to little kindergartners at Ben Rush Elementary!
It has been 3.5 years since we left Seattle and WFP, and we still talk (almost daily!) with my son about all the fun we had at WFP. Tim is a 3rd grader now, and he says that Cecile is his favorite teacher!!
As for me, the preschool has literally transformed me as a parent. I would have not become a Mom I am today have I not met Cecile and had a wonderful experience at WFP. I am thankful to Cecile for teaching me to always accept and be respectful of your child’s feelings, to encourage kids instead of flatter them, to enjoy their work, always show interest and remember that it’s not about the product, it’s about the process, and also that “less is more”, when it comes to entertaining children. Thank you, Cecile, for all the great books you shared with me, for giving me the opportunity to work with you and Jodi, for your guidance, your heartwarming personality and wisdom! I miss you with all my heart! I was so inspired by Cecile’s work with children that after leaving WFP I knew that I wanted to “replicate it personally” and I started a career in the early childhood field here in Ohio.
We are a bilingual family and when my son started at preschool he had no English. But it was not a concern for Cecile and Jodi. Their patience and care allowed Tim to first, let go of his shyness, then develop basic language understanding, and soon enough Tim was fluently speaking with his team-mates!
The curriculum is so rich and well planned at WFP; there is never a dull moment. Experiences leave a lasting memory, and one by one build a foundation for a child that affects everything they do in their lives. Me and my son still love to grow food in our garden and then cook meals together, just what we did back in the preschool. His love for a good book also started at WFP! He’s become a voracious reader. Tim still never leaves the table without taking his plate to the sink. To be outdoors and explore the local parks and forests, go hiking and camping with his family, protect and care for our Earth and all the living things is his most favorite thing to do. He is a very caring and loving brother and son. We owe that to WFP!
Thank you, WFP, thank you Cecile for the most amazing, life changing experience! We love you, and wish you were here!
Olena Popova, Columbus, OH