A Quick and Easy Guide to Your Fundraising Commitment (Squeak 12/3)

Q. How is the money brought in via fundraising actually used? 

A. At BFCP, Fundraising money is used to pay core school costs, like mortgage payments on the school itself, teacher salaries, etc.

Q. How much money do I have to raise?
A. For the 2017-18 school year, the fundraising obligation is $160, with a sibling rate of $80. The first half of your fundraising obligation (e.g., $80 for one child, or $120 if you have two kids in the school) is due in December, 2017, with the balance due May 1, 2018.

Q. Aaaaaaack! It's December already, and I didn't sell any wreaths or candles or anything!
A. It's okay! You can still donate items now to be sold during the spring auction (1/2 the retail value of donated items will be credited to your fundraising obligation), invite friends to buy products from Yankee Candle online (contact the fundraising committee if you aren't sure how to do that), or pay off the balance you owe for the first half of the year directly.

Q. If the company that I or my partner works for matches charitable donations, does that mean I only have to pay half of my fundraising commitment, and the rest can come from the aforementioned employer?
A. Unfortunately, no. But please do still ask for a matching donation from your employer if that's possible! As mentioned above, the fundraising commitment is for core school expenses, but extra funds brought in by corporate matching donations and Amazon Smile can help pay for extras, like replacing worn out toys and building up the school's library!

A Brief (and hopefully funny) Guide to your Cleaning Commitment (Squeak 11/19)

by Julia H.

Q: Wait, what?
A: So here’s the thing - the school doesn’t clean itself, and if we hire a cleaning service, we have to raise tuition. And if we don’t clean, everyone in the school is going to have a semi-permanent upper respiratory infection. So, we ask that the members of the preschool help by cleaning the school. In an effort to make that process less odious, the school is divided into three different sections (roughly: upstairs, downstairs, and outside), and the amount that any given member has to clean is proportional to the amount of time their child is in school - so members of the Toddler class clean once a year, 2/3s clean twice a year, and the 3/4s and Pre-Ks clean 3 times a year.

Q: But I don’t wanna!
I can understand that. Cleaning’s not everyone’s cup of tea! (Though I would like to point out that if you do the cleaning, it means you get 1-2 hours of kid-free time, alone, following clear instructions and checking off items in a deeply satisfying way. And you can even play loud music while you clean, it’s cool!) Fortunately, there are ways to get out of cleaning if you really don’t want to. First, if you are a member of the Board as a result of the committee job you selected, you don’t have to clean. Second, you can pay $35 directly to someone on the “Paid to Clean” list, located on the bulletin board near the downstairs bathroom, and they will clean your area for you (note that if you are in a class that has to clean more than once, you would need to pay someone each time they cleaned an area on your behalf).

Q: Wait, did you say kid-free?
A: Yep. It’s actually a legal liability to the school if you bring the kids there during non-school hours, so you have a completely valid explanation for why you can’t bring them along, and why they have to stay with their other parent/another relative/a babysitter while you clean.

Q: Hmm…
I’m telling you, 90 minutes of loud, uninterrupted music of your choice. You can even listen to stuff with swear words in it!

Q: Okay, I’m in. How do I actually do the cleaning?
When it’s your turn, the cleaning coordinator will send you a note telling you which area you are assigned to clean. You’ll come after hours (usually during the weekend), and use the code you get in your cleaning reminder email to get the door key out of the lock box. When you get into the school, you’ll need to find the cleaning notebook in the mudroom (it’s near the tuition box). In the cleaning notebook, you’ll find a detailed checklist for all the things you need to do for the area you’ve been assigned. All the cleaning supplies are there at the school - generally either in the bathrooms, or in the kitchen (under the sink, or on the shelf above the stove). Make sure you initial the checklist as you go along, and get the cleaning done before Monday morning. That’s it!

Sliding into Week Three

By Florence B.

Can you believe it? We’re already at week 3 at school! We’ve made it through the “slow start” week where we were introduced to our new classes, and then we made it through the first official week of school routines! While we all had different experiences--parents stay with kiddos in the younger classes while parents in the older classes get the opportunity to drop off kiddos (some more successfully than others!)--we had one thing in common: fun and an opportunity to play and meet new friends!

Did you notice anything different about the school between week 1 and 2? I hope you did! We had the fall work party--and by party, I mean party! Together, we worked to spruce up the preschool property, including painting, doing minor repairs to the building, and cleaning up the outdoor areas! We met old friends and made some new ones as we worked together to improve our school--emphasis on OUR. As my work party buddy pointed out, “That’s my patch! I weeded that patch!” That was one of the welcome bonuses of helping out at the work party: the unexpected feeling of ownership and belonging. We weren’t just helping to clean a building; we were helping make OUR preschool an even better place for OUR kids! As I was pulling out some blackberry bushes, it was very easy to picture my daughter running around and playing in that specific area. When I was done and headed back to the preschool to see what to do next, I was momentarily taken aback by the fact there were FIVE people painting trim--talk about teamwork getting the job DONE!  

Fall 2017 Work Party.png

Switching gears back to routines, there’s only a week left in September before we move to our Autumn-themed October! Enjoy the last week in September while learning and getting into the flow of the school routines! As a new member, I can attest feeling like a fish out of water during some points in the class--and I can also point out the gratitude I feel when a seasoned member points me back in the right direction! Don’t forget to ask questions if you feel lost (everyone is new at some point and even seasoned members may need a refresher!), and please don’t hesitate helping someone looking confused!

Once we hop into October, get ready for some great themes as we cover fall, pumpkins, corn, and feelings and emotions! For the blog, I’d love to cover some of the topics you find in class, so please let me know if you have any anecdotes or tips to share! Specifically, I’d love to know:

  1. What are some of your favorite things to do in the fall?

  2. What are your favorite ways of decorating a pumpkin?

  3. Do you have some costume tips to share?

  4. How do you deal with strong feelings and emotions in your family?

  5. Have you ever had to deal with a tantrum in a public place?

Feel free to comment below or send me an email at blog@bothellfamilycoop.org