Parent Involvement at The Learning Tree
We have been providing a rich and loving environment for children and families since 1979, and we’ve learned a thing or two along the way! Many families from those first years still get together, even though their children are now young adults. We even have the children of former LT students attending school here now.
Our committees consist of 6-8 families each, plus faculty liaisons that help share information between the directors and parents. We structure committees so that they have new families and seasoned families together, so the learning curve is slight.
The committees are led and meetings are chaired by the families, with the faculty members being there to offer guidance if needed.
The main purpose of our committees is to enhance the community spirit of our school. There are a few committee meetings per year and the hosts rotate within the committee. We meet in each other’s homes and have found that we form enjoyable friendships between the families. Children are always welcome, and they delight in having their friends from school to their homes for ‘a meeting’!
Each committee has a different function, so join one that best matches your current interests and talents. Take a moment to read through the following descriptions. You will be on that committee for a minimum of one year, and you’ll have the opportunity to change committees every September. You may stay on the same one for all of your years here at The Learning Tree, or switch each year to try something different. Once you have decided on those that spark your interest, sign the parent involvement contract and rank your selections. At the first potluck in September all committees get together to decide at whose house they’ll hold their first meetings.
Social Justice Committee
This committee helps us to both follow and support our anti-bias, anti-racist and social justice curriculum goals. They will focus on supporting social and cultural events that are important to our current families and developmentally appropriate for children.
There is an MLK march from Garfield High School in January that this committee helps to organize and participate in. We have a banner we carry and always meet on the playground at the Garfield Community Center. We also have had book sales in the cubby room and we hope to work with Estelita’s Library or Elliott Bay Books to select material to offer for families.
Parents who want to help us celebrate our wonderful diverse world should join this committee. We’d love your enthusiasm.
This committee provides a safety net for our busy working families. Projects in the past have included helping to organize carpooling, weekend breaks, parenting support, social get-togethers, and meal trains when babies are born or other family needs emerge.
The Family Support Committee also leads the effort for our annual Teacher Appreciation Week of celebration every spring.
This committee is good fit for parents who would like to coordinate sharing opportunities for our families.
This group teaches the children the simple basics of service work in their community by helping with projects such as collecting food/clothes to donate.
In the past, this committee has worked closely with such organizations as Child Haven, Tree House, and The Fred Lind Manor. We will often take walks to the nearby Jewish Community Food Bank, so food donations and child-friendly size bags for them to carry are always needed here at school.
This committee also organizes an Outreach Breakfast which raises money to support an organization of our choice. The breakfast takes place in February. In the past we have used the money to support a Montessori School in Uganda, Tree House, Page Ahead, Montessori schools ravaged by hurricanes in Puerto Rico, and the Heifer Foundation.
If you love to work with plants and get your hands in the dirt, this committee is for you. We have raised beds and planters all over the property that need loving in all seasons. Every fall we need to get together to rake the leaves and put the gardens to sleep with mulch, and in the spring we come to do an early weeding and trim the vines and bushes into shape. It is a fun and easy time together, outside with coffee and tea!
Occasionally a teacher will ask members of this committee to come help during the school day when they plan to garden with the children—planting seeds in the spring, harvesting things in the fall.
The Learning Tree home needs lots of TLC. It gets heavy use and is in constant need of repair and maintenance. If you have any level of skill with small carpentry, we could use you. Even if you have no small carpentry skill, but you like to hang out when work like that is going on, enjoy interior painting, have a passion for scrubbing walls, patch wall holes etc., we would love to have your help.
This committee would plan work parties after consulting with the directors about what needs to be done; the teachers often help generate lists of odd jobs around the classrooms.
This committee is perfect for someone who likes to see the results of their work instantly!