Children & Company Cooperative Preschool believes that Black lives matter. As a school and as a community, we join the call for action to end systemic racism and violence against Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
We believe that preschool is not too early to start learning about race, equity, and fairness. Our school commits to teaching our children to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate our differences and to speak up for what is right. We welcome all of our members to be part of the conversation so we can help each other and our school to continue to improve and grow. Our teachers are actively working on greater diversification in our classroom.
We believe that by raising our children to be anti-racist today, they will grow into adults who will contribute to a more equitable tomorrow.
Each month our school newsletter features a family within our community. That family shares some of the things that make them unique and often they even share a family-favorite recipe, books and stories they love, or even a wonderful playlist!
The Holbert Family
Hello! We are the Holbert family. Christopher is in the 4’s class at Children &Company and his older sister, Madison, is in 2nd grade at Phelps Luck Elementary School. Christopher and Madison both love building and playing with Legos, playing outside, riding scooters, making and listening to music, and dancing. Christopher especially enjoys building with magnetic tiles, playing restaurant, race car tracks, and Hot Wheels. Madison likes Roblox, basketball, swimming, and playing with dolls. In addition to Mom (Ali) and Dad (Chris), Christopher and Madison also live together in a home with their Gammy.
Over the past few years our family has really come to enjoy gardening. We started with container gardening on our deck, volunteering at Freetown Farm, and helping a friend in their community garden plot. We’ve now started gardening in our yard and even started making our own compost and growing from seeds. Over the years we’ve grown a variety of edible plants; some things we’ve grown are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, herbs, carrots, lettuces, garlic, and strawberries.
Our family enjoys trying new recipes where we can incorporate the food we’ve grown. We have also begun to focus on adding more native plants to our yard to help our pollinators and last year planted a native garden bed and registered it as a Howard County Bee City pollinator habitat. We are looking forward to all that we’ll grow in 2022 and will soon begin planning and preparing for what we hope to be a bountiful harvest that we can share with family and friends. We’d like to share one of the first books we read about gardening, "Two Old Potatoes and Me" by John Coy - https://tinyurl.com/2oldpotatoes
Previously Featured Families
The Logan Family
Hi! We are the Logans. Easton is in the 3’s at Children & Company and his big sister, Luna, is in Kindergarten. East is a shy guy but is happy to talk about Emergency Response vehicles or pirates and Luna enjoys books and is his more extroverted counterpart. Their Dad (Dave) and Mom (Val) are so happy to help them share our winter celebrations with you! We really enjoy this time of year and hurried to put up our Christmas tree and decorations before November ended! We also celebrate Kwanzaa following Christmas. This 7-day long celebration honors Pan-African heritage, African American Culture and togetherness. We use 7 core principles, represented by 7 candles, in order to celebrate. This is not a religious holiday but is based on traditional African harvest festivals.
The Seven Principles are...
1. Umoja: Unity
2. Kujichagulia: Self-Determination
3. Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility
4. Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics
5. Nia: Purpose
6. Kuumba: Creativity
7. Imani: Faith
We also use 7 symbols to help us celebrate.
1. Mazao: crops
2. Mkeka: mat where the other items are placed on the table
3. Kinara: candleholder
4. Muhindi: corn
5. Kikombe cha umoja: unity cup
6. Zawadi: gifts
7. Mishumaa saba: seven candles
For the last day of Kwanzaa , we celebrate with a feast of food that highlights the harvest and traditional African American foods. We also take a moment to exchange Zawadi, which we love to hand make for one another or purchase from small businesses. We also love to include Zawadi that encourages us to create for people we love year round!
Click here for a YouTube video of a very simple read aloud called Kevin’s Kwanzaa. We would love to hear about any books on Kwanzaa that your family enjoys! Have a wonderful winter!
The Pearson Family
Hi! We are the Pearson Family. I am Kelly and worked as a Mother/Baby Nurse before deciding to stay home for a few years. My husband Doug is a sound engineer in the motion picture industry. Sam, 3, was born in Los Angeles, CA and loves singing, outer space and fruit. Baby Poppy, 6 months, was born here in Howard County, and she loves to play with Sam’s toys, much to his dismay!
We were excited to be featured this month as our favorite holiday is quickly approaching. Not only is Thanksgiving a wonderful time to appreciate a beautiful life and good health, but it also serves to bring together our unique backgrounds. Doug’s grandparents immigrated from Poland while I am of Irish and Italian heritage. Alongside our turkey and stuffing, we have made it a tradition to incorporate family recipes that have been passed down through many generations. The week before Thanksgiving, we make three different kinds of Polish pierogi (dumplings filled with potatoes and cheese, sauerkraut and ground beef). To honor my heritage, we have my Great Grandmother’s recipe for Italian gnocchi soup served with a side of Irish soda bread. For the past decade, we have also encouraged wearing pajamas to Thanksgiving dinner because it is necessary to be comfortable and ready for a nap after all of this food! Happy Holidays from our family to yours.
Enjoy a similar recipe here:
The Zillmer Family
Hi! We are the Zillmer Family. My name is Patricia and I am from Caracas, Venezuela. My husband, Jeff, is Howard county born and raised. Our oldest, Eva, is 5 years old and is in Kindergarten. Our middle son, J.J., is in the 3's class and our youngest, Vivian, is 5 months old.
We are lucky to embrace so many cultures and countries in our family heritage (Spain, Portugal, Germany, Great Britain, Venezuela, Guajiro Nation and Apache Nation) but the one that we enjoy celebrating the most is the Mexican American. We often listen to Mexican music, eat many different Mexican dishes and dream of going back on vacation to Cancun.
On November 1st we celebrate Dia de Muertos, an evening when we remember those family and friends that have moved on to their next stage of existence. We believe that there is more time than life, and therefore after we die, we move on to the next stage to reunite with our loved ones. At home, our family puts together an altar and decorates it with paper flowers and pictures. We even have stuffed animals that represent our pets that passed. We pick a family member to honor and cook that person's favorite dinner, play their favorite songs and celebrate their lives. We believe that, only for that night, our honored family member comes and spends time with us.
Dia de Muertos is an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity proclaimed by Unesco. Families celebrate this day in different ways, and during this Hispanic Heritage Month, we invite you to discover more about this wonderful way to remember your loved ones and to explore the vibrant cultures of Latin America.
For more info, visit:
The Iqbal Family
Hammad & I, Leena, are parents to Ayana in the 3's class and her one-year-old twin brothers Rayed & Reyan. We immigrated to the US in 2013 when a job opportunity for Hammad arose.
We are the third generation in our family to be immigrants. Our grandparents migrated from India to East Pakistan. Then when East Pakistan separated and became Bangladesh, my parents and Hammad's maternal family immigrated to the land we know as Pakistan today. I was born in the capital city of Islamabad but raised mostly in Karachi. Hammad was born in Karachi but raised in Lahore. He later moved to Australia for college. At home we speak Urdu and are raising our children as Muslim.
In a few days, we will begin fasting for the month of Ramadan. This is a very special time of year for a Muslim family. People who are able to, fast from sunrise to sunset and abstain from food and drink. During the day we mindfully practice kindness and generosity, give charity, pray and read the Quran, our Holy book. Before dawn we eat a pre-fast meal called suhur which is typically a big breakfast. Irrespective of which part of the world Muslims belong to, we all break our fast by eating a date at sunset followed by a grand iftar meal. For Pakistani families samosas (triangle savory filled pastries), pakoras (fritters) and chana chaat (spicy chickpea salad) accompanied by a red rosewater sherbet are special iftar treats.
After a month of fasting, we celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr when a new moon is sighted. Eid means feast or festival in Arabic. On Eid day, Muslims wear new clothes, congregate at mosques for a special prayer and greet each other ‘Eid Mubarak!’. Women and girls also paint henna tattoos on their hands. As a tradition, grownups give kids envelopes with cash inside. Back in Pakistan, we used to go house to house visiting friends and members of extended family on Eid day. Here we decorate our house and host friends for dinner on Eid day.
The picture above is from last year's Eid-ul-Fitr.
The Prescott Family
Hello everyone. I’m Jeanie Prescott, mom to Cameron in the 4’s class and Connor, who will be in the 3’s class next year. We love spending time outside digging in the dirt, hiking, and exploring. I wanted to share a bit about Greek Easter with you all, which will be celebrated May 2nd this year. While we are not practicing Orthodox Christians, Greek Easter is something that I grew up celebrating, as my dad was born in Athens, Greece. Orthodox Easter is celebrated on a different day than Easter in the Western churches due to following a different church calendar. Every 4 years they line up and are celebrated on the same day.
Leading up to Easter there is a 40 day Lenten fast, so food features prominently in the Easter celebrations. Traditionally, lamb roasted on an open fire is the centerpiece of the dinner, along with sweet Easter bread called Tsoureki (usually braided), cookies called koulourakia (my personal favorites), and lots of delicious sides, including the red hardboiled eggs that begin the feast. Eggs are dyed red to symbolize the blood of Christ, the resurrection and new life. There is a game Tsougrisma we play with the eggs, to determine who will have the luck for the year, and it might be something fun for you all to try as well.
A lesson on how to play Tsougrisma:
1. Each player selects a red egg and finds an opponent.
2. One person says, “Christos Anesti” (Christ has risen) and the other replies, “Alithos Anesti” (Indeed He has risen).
3. The person who said “Christos Anesti” taps the end of his or her egg lightly against the end of the opponent’s egg. (The goal is to crack the opponent’s egg.)
4. When one end of the egg is cracked, the winner uses the same end to try and crack
the other end of the opponent’s egg.
5. The winner with the unbroken egg then challenges another person and so on around the Easter dinner table until one person remains with an unbroken egg.
6. The player who successfully cracks the eggs of the other players is declared the winner and will have good luck during the year.
Happy Spring everyone!
Jeanie, Cameron, and Connor Prescott