Founded in 2005, Gale River Cooperative Preschool is a nature-based, play-centered cooperative preschool where parents, guardians, and children age 3-5 learn together. We offer a fun, caring environment while striving to meet children’s individual needs and interests. Our unique outdoor education program stimulates learning while also encouraging social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. Gale River Cooperative Preschool is located at Copper Cannon Camp in Bethlehem, NH. We are a non-profit, non-sectarian preschool licensed by the State of New Hampshire's Department of Early Education.
We value free play in nature, and meeting children where they are.
Direct experience with nature stimulates intelligence in countless ways. American families’ busy lifestyles often preclude children from spending enough healthy time outdoors. Gale River Cooperative Preschool deeply values free play in nature. We take advantage of our wonderful forest location and give children ample opportunity to play and explore outside. Free play in nature, walks through the woods and fields, planting seeds, harvesting vegetables, scavenger hunts, sledding, and building snow-people sharpen the senses, broaden the mind, and elicit sheer joy and excitement in children.
Facilities include a spacious indoor play area with a wide variety of materials, an outdoor classroom in the woods, and an expansive forest location for exploration and play.
Since we have three teachers in the classroom every day, our student-to-teacher ratio is very low. Our spacious classroom is fun, educational and equipped with state of the art safety features. Our classroom doors open right into the forest which allows students easy access to the outdoors throughout the day. We also have an outdoor classroom in the woods for daily excursions and lessons.
The school is a parent and guardian run cooperative. Under the guidance and in partnership with our professional teachers, the parents and guardians form a community that encourages caring for all of the children and families - a sharing of ideas, skills, concerns, and values.
Part of this membership involves parents and guardians volunteering their time to be classroom helpers and to help around the school. In these ways, parents and guardians get to witness their child’s growth and development in school firsthand, an opportunity not available at other preschools. Co-op parents and guardians also sit on the school’s board and committees and collaborate in fundraising efforts.