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Our Program

Gale River Cooperative Preschool is a nature-based school nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. At GRCP, we are deeply committed to honoring the magic of childhood. In doing so, we cultivate a community that allows children the time, space, connection, and boundaries to become joyful, curious, self-assured participants in their exploration and learning. Through immersion, connection, and appreciation of the natural world, the students of GRCP become stewards of the earth. We are a non-profit, non-sectarian preschool ​licensed by the State of New Hampshire's Department of Early Education located in Bethlehem, NH.

Our Philosophy

At Gale River Cooperative Preschool, we are deeply committed to honoring the magic of childhood. We believe this magic lives in the opportunities to:


Explore the natural world: Children spend hours a day outside in the fields and forests, exploring and playing.


Get messy: Children are allowed to fully experience mud, rain, puddles, paint, and other messy materials.


Experience wonder: Children are given the time and space to experience the world around them with curiosity, noticing details and making sense of their findings through play.


Be heard: Children are treated with respect, sharing their opinions, ideas, preferences, and curiosities as they learn and play. 


Explore: Children are allowed to move freely within the structure of the environment, learning and discovering along the way. 


Be independent: Children are empowered with the skills to navigate social situations, the natural world, and the classroom environment.


Be an individual: Children are honored in their current stage of development with their specific needs and interests taken into consideration.


Be a member of a community: Children are valued members of their classroom communities, working together, supporting one another, and resolving conflict.

Our Curriculum

Gale River offers an experiential and emergent program following the natural rhythm of our environment. With a focus on whole-child development, we recognize that feeling safe and connected is critical in order to learn. Following our hierarchy of learning, we strive to support students in the development of sensory, social, emotional, and executive functioning skills. This emphasis is reflected in our structure, schedule, environment, and explicit teaching. The elements of our day are thoughtfully designed to target academic, critical thinking, gross, and fine motor development through play-based learning. 

Our Daily Rhythm

Morning Invitations:

Morning Invitations is a time for students to explore a variety of activities designed to promote experimentation and discovery. During this time, students move about the classroom engaging with the dynamic offerings. 


Morning Meeting:

Morning Meeting is a time for the classroom community to gather, develop a daily practice of mindfulness, and focus on early academic skills through games and songs.


Project is a time for students to engage with the weekly nature content. Activities target literacy, STEM, fine motor, gross motor, and nature exploration. The purpose is to develop critical thinking, cooperation, flexibility, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

Outdoor Classroom:

Outdoor Classroom is a time for students to explore a variety of open-ended materials within the natural environment with a focus on discovery, gross motor development, and experimentation. Students move independently within the boundary of the space. This time provides students with opportunities to engage in self-directed, unstructured play and navigate social conflict with their peers.  

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