Nurturing Minds and Building Futures: White Center Cooperative Preschool’s Unique Approach with Believe in Me’s Support

Believe in Me’s Grant Ignites Innovation at WCCP

Believe in Me’s 2024 grant to White Center Cooperative Preschool (WCCP) has fueled the organization’s commitment to empowering children. It has also become a catalyst for innovative, play-based learning. WCCP, one of five preschools affiliated with South Seattle College (SSC) in West Seattle, operates as an independent non-profit 501c3 organization with a profound impact on the community. In this blog, we’ll explore the unique features of WCCP’s model, its affiliation with SSC, and the transformative role the Believe in Me grant has played in shaping a bright future for the children it serves.

White Center Cooperative Preschool

Affiliation with South Seattle College

WCCP is a proud member of a network of five preschools affiliated with South Seattle College. This partnership brings invaluable resources to WCCP, including professional parent educators for each class. These educators provide crucial support and education to parents, ongoing training and support for classroom teachers, and consultation with the Board regarding the preschool’s operations. The collaboration extends to forming a Parent Advisory Council, where each preschool class is represented, fostering a sense of community and shared responsibility.

White Center Cooperative Preschool

Operational Autonomy and Governance

While affiliated with SSC, White Center Cooperative Preschool operates as an independent non-profit organization governed by a Board elected from the Co-op membership. This autonomy allows WCCP to make strategic decisions, hire teachers, and manage budgeting independently. The collaboration with SSC extends beyond operational support, encompassing scholarship offerings, registration management, and marketing assistance.

Play-Based Curriculum and Learning Philosophy

The heart of WCCP’s educational philosophy lies in the play-based curriculum SSC Co-op Preschool provides. Acknowledging that a child’s play is their work, the curriculum emphasizes a holistic approach to learning. Facilitated play becomes the cornerstone for building the brain’s architecture, laying the foundation for academic success. Children engage in real social situations through play, regulate emotions, solve problems, and develop essential life skills.


The play-based approach is not left to chance, as the high adult-to-child ratio ensures that adults are always available to facilitate social-emotional learning. This intentional approach fosters a supportive environment where children can thrive.

“As a non-profit, cooperative preschool, funding is always tight. Believe in Me’s generous grant invests in our school's environment and students' growth. Believe in Me gave us the ability to envision our classroom, both outdoors and indoors, in a new light. We're excited to transform our neglected outdoor space, currently only used by our older students, into an enriching, safe, and imaginative second classroom for all students. With more dedicated spaces for curriculum materials and equipment, our school could support all day learning and exploration outdoors. Digging deep into the ground to extrapolate new data about their world, feeling the wind and sun (and sometimes, rain) on their bodies as they run, and working muscles with new equipment, our students will reap the benefits of education through the natural world. Indoors we intend to improve our mission of inclusion for all with updates to lighting, ventilation, and flooring. While these additions might not seem inclusive, for some, adjustments to the environment such as those listed allow a child to experience the classroom comfortably and optimally for learning. New flooring will allow children to build to greater heights in block areas and remain safe in climbing areas. Consistent lighting let's growing eyes focus on a task easier. Fans allow students to enjoy their classroom all year long. Our community is so grateful for Believe in Me's generous gift to our school and students."
Courtney Ornelas
White Center Cooperative Preschool Teacher
White Center Coop Preschool

Alignment with WaKIDS and Positive Discipline

WCCP’s curriculum is thoughtfully aligned with WaKIDS and Washington State Kindergarten Entrance Guidelines, ensuring that children receive a comprehensive education that prepares them for kindergarten. The Whole Child assessment for individualized learning supports a smooth transition into the next stage of their academic journey.


Integral to the Co-op membership is the SSC Parent Education Program, rooted in the Adlerian Positive Discipline guidance philosophy. This approach encourages parents to be kind and firm, consider each child’s unique attributes, use practical tools for long-term success, and raise capable contributors to home, school, and the broader community.


Building a Lasting Community

Beyond the preschool years, WCCP fosters a network of friends among parents, creating a community beyond the classroom. The skills learned in the program become tools for parents to use at home and in other educational settings, contributing to children’s and families’ lifelong success and development.


White Center Cooperative Preschool

Transforming Education with Believe in Me and WCCP

Believe in Me’s grant to White Center Cooperative Preschool amplifies the impact of its mission to empower children. Through collaboration with South Seattle College, WCCP’s innovative, play-based curriculum, and a commitment to positive discipline, children are not just learning; they are flourishing. The partnership exemplifies the collective effort required to create a community where each child can confidently explore their potential and families find a deep sense of belonging. WCCP, with Believe in Me’s support, is paving the way for a future where education is a transformative and empowering experience for all.


Discover the remarkable nonprofits we support on our website: Your time is a valuable asset, and we welcome your involvement, whether through volunteering, sharing this story to amplify their mission, or making thoughtful donations that play a crucial role in sustaining and expanding the positive impact on the lives of children in need. Join us in making a lasting difference!

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