Theo Beels and Jane Gherasim didn’t let a little rain dampen their enthusiasm to check out the slide in the outdoor play area at the Metchsoin Preschool. (Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff)

Metchosin Preschool continues to keep co-ops alive

Fundraisers planned to help with repairs

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette

Board members of Metchosin Preschool believe the benefits of co-op education in a rural setting are well worth considering for parents in other parts of the West Shore.

“We want to encourage parents on the West Shore to consider Metchosin Preschool as an option,” said Kelli Gherasim, the school’s treasurer and one of nine parents who volunteer on the board. “There’s a huge sense of community here.”

Metchosin Preschool has been a staple in the community for 60 years. Its location near the centre of Metchosin makes it a great option for parents, Gherasim said. “We have three teachers here who have been together for 10 years,” she noted. “That’s a huge part of our success … We’re a not-for-profit organization, we provide an affordable preschool experience that’s not about the money. Parents here kick in wherever they can to help out. Our aim is to keep this wonderful tradition alive and healthy.”

While enrolment has been steady, this year has taken a dip to 19 kids, about half the average number during the past few years. Although enrolment for 2018 looks to be back on track, Metchosin Preschool is facing some challenges higher enrolment would help address, Gherasim explained.

The building is 70 years old and in need of some repairs to the roof. There are also some trees that have to be removed from the play area before their roots cause damage to the building’s structure. “Other upgrades such as new flooring are on the horizon,” she added.

Joanne Beels, the board’s marketing director, hopes a fundraiser the preschool is hosting with Metchosin Fire Rescue will help with some of the costs. “We are incredibly grateful to Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop for allowing us to join their annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa,” she said.

The event takes place at the Metchosin fire hall this Sunday, Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be pancakes, sausages, professional photos with Santa, crafts and maple syrup for sale.

“Thanks to one of our wonderful preschool families, we are selling maple syrup from the Maple to Table Farm in Quebec. And thanks to Out of the Blue creations, we are selling 540 ml. tins for $12.50 each. The tins have a lovely holiday theme and would make a great Christmas gift.”

Another preschool family’s efforts has enabled Metchsoin Preschool to obtain a large recycling bin.

Money raised from collecting clean bottles, cans, cartons, drink pouches and refundable drink containers will go to the preschool.

For more information email presidentmetchosinpreschool@gmail.com or search Metchosin Preschool on Facebook.


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editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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