As a cooperative, Brooklyn Free Space is community-based organization in every aspect of our operation, as well as our philosophy. Member families’ participation is part of what makes our school special. Our school is run by a combination of committed member families, professional teachers and dedicated directors, working together to create a warm, responsive and caring environment for our children. We believe that active family involvement enables children to see their parents as important and involved partners in their school, and models for them a civic notion of people working together to create and better the institutions that serve a community. Coop work is best done with a spirit of flexibility and willingness. Members commit their time and energies to the cooperative, and are encouraged to participate in classroom, community, and business activities.
Families are encouraged to share their talents, skills, stories, cultural celebrations or other interests with children in the classroom. Teachers welcome family support in the projects and explorations of the children and greatly appreciate when families share in the classroom experience through reading the classroom reflections and updates as well as being active participants in the documentation of project work.
All BFS member families are full voting members of the cooperative, and all share certain common responsibilities. Being a member of a cooperative means volunteering your time, working collaboratively to make something already great even better for our children and creating a community to turn to for support and even friendship. All while keeping costs down.
There are four basic member requirements:
- Attend four General Meetings a year
- Subscribe to the BFS community email list
- Volunteer for at least two events
- Fulfill your coop work assignment
BFS General Meeting, usually scheduled at eight-week intervals throughout the school year, typically includes classroom reports from the Educational Director, a President’s report, committee reports, a financial update and membership votes to decide various important issues as a group. At the last meeting, typically held in May, the Steering Committee for the following school year is elected.
Cooperative members are given the choice each year of being an active member of one of our few committees or holding a full time coop job. Current coop committees include our Steering Committee, the New Home Task Force and our Community Building Committee. Members not on a committee, hold full time coop jobs and are trusted to work independently may require collaborating with others parents. Jobs may vary in expertise, but all are crucial to the running of our school.
Download The Member's Handbook (PDF)
It is a strong tradition at Free Space to assist voluntarily with school-wide events as each family’s time and finances allow. This may mean purchasing tickets to BFS events whenever possible, inviting others to these events, requesting donations of merchandise or services for the Silent Auction/Raffle, or supplying children’s and household items that you no longer need to be sold at a Stoop Sale. You are also welcome to donate money in response to the Annual Appeal or volunteer time to staff an event.