Brooklyn Free Space is a place where children grow and develop with the nurturing guidance of our dedicated and experienced administration and full-time teaching staff. As a cooperative, we are a community-based organization in every aspect of our operation, as well as our philosophy. Our school is run by a combination of committed member families, professional teachers and administrators who work together to create a warm, diverse and responsive environment for our children.
BFS accommodates 62 children in four classrooms--Jitterbug, Dragonfly, Sunshine and Rainbow, with a student-teacher ratio ranges from 4:1 to 6:1 depending on the students’ ages.
Based on the knowledge that children learn best through play, we create classroom environments that support this belief and allow children to interact with peers and learning materials in the many manifestations of play. Recognizing that children grow in predictable stages, we treat each child as an individual. All children have their own learning styles and interests, and we believe that when we meet each child where they are at developmentally and respect their interests, ideas and self-expression, then we help plant the seed for a life-time appreciation for the joy of learning.
In a caring and positive atmosphere, we create a warm and happy place for preschoolers to learn. As we create a bridge from home to school, we guide the children through the continual development of positive self-image while building collaborative social relationships. We promote the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of the children by giving them the opportunity to make sense of the world around them by doing, interacting, exploring and experiencing.
Classroom routines are designed to balance structure and free choice, active and quiet times, and celebrate process rather than the product, which fosters a sense of accomplishment and pride. The learning journey is based on the interests of the children, and is facilitated by the thoughtful planning, observations and participation of the teachers.
As educators, we see ourselves as continual learners, and this is demonstrated by the active, ongoing professional development that our teaching staff engages in. We view ourselves as co-learners and co-researchers with the children as we explore together the world around us.
We value the active involvement of families in our program, both through cooperative and classroom participation. This involvement enables the children to see their parents as important and involved members of the school community.
Parents may gain valuable insights and techniques from the expertise of the staff and, at the same time, share their own insights, talents and interests so that we work together to create a warm, dynamic learning environment at Brooklyn Free Space. School then becomes a shared experience that we hope will continue throughout the educational process.
Commitment to Diversity
We believe that all forms of diversity- whether it be economic, racial, gender or in regards to family structure- benefit the entire community. Creating a heterogeneous school environment for our children, which reflects the make-up of our city and the world at large, is crucial for their healthy development of self and cultural competency. To do this, we seek out a diverse applicant pool, paying close attention during our lottery to the racial and ethnic makeups of each classroom. We also pay close attention to ensure that our workshops and events represent many different voices and are accessible by all.
To realize goal in practice, our teachers work to provide classroom resources that provide opportunities for our young children to learn about the diverse world around them and to question the unavoidable exposure of stereotypical thinking around issues of race, culture & gender.