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Tacoma Children’s Museum to launch preschool in September (plus a downtown Tacoma parking tip)

Post by Craig Sailor / The News Tribune on June 13, 2012 at 11:56 am with No Comments »
June 13, 2012 10:25 am

Whenever I walk by the new location of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma I’m amazed at all the kids and parents coming and going there. Now, some of those younger kids will have a place to call home in September.

On Sept. 11 the museum will open a preschool at 1501 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma.

The museum said the effort is “Inspired by the best in early learning childhood education” and the preschool will “celebrate the power of play.”

The facility inside the museum will serve children ages 3-5.

Below is more from the announcement. But before I turn you over to that just a quick note about parking downtown on Sundays. Based on my experience last Sunday it seems most people going downtown don’t realize you can park in the yellow zones all day for free. The signs say “No parking except on Sundays and holidays.” The opposite of no parking is: yes, please park! Some signs also allow parking after 5 or 6 in the evening Monday-Saturday. Read carefully. Look for the key word: “except.”

People: use the yellow zones when the signs say you can. That’s what they are for. This works in Seattle and every other city in America that uses this system. The key word, again, is EXCEPT followed by the times and days it allows.

I’ve used this tip for years and I should keep it to myself but I’m feeling generous to loyal readers of the Get Out blog. Happy hunting.

The Children’s Museum of Tacoma’s preschool believes in the innate capacity of children to wonder, hypothesize, investigate and direct their own learning. Facilitators listen, observe, and provoke thoughtful investigations to follow the emergent interests of children within the Museum and carefully designed play-based classroom. Each learner and the collection of learners create an invested, collaborative and compassionate community that celebrates each person’s unique spark, gifts, and talents.

This relationship-based program supports parental engagement in and encouragement of the natural, playful discovery process, helping prepare children to be confident and eager learners who are ready for school and their life journey.

Additionally, a blend of cooperative options and family celebrations allow a child’s first and most important teacher, their parent or significant adults, to participate in building a strong foundation for our students.

The museum is now enrolling students for the September 2012-May 2013 preschool year. Class sizes are limited. For information about enrollment, visit or call Deean Marsh, program manager, at (253) 627-6031 ext. 228.

Features of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma Preschool:

· Weekly engagement in a creative classroom and use of full museum environment

· 1:6 adult to child ratio, plus inclusion of parents in cooperative options and celebrations

· Documentation of child’s growth and development over academic year

· Commitment to whole family learning, including resources for the adults and parents.

· Classes are facilitated by experienced Museum program staff.

· Museum membership included with enrollment

· Curbside drop-off and pick-up options

Additional Information:

Ages: All classes are designed for cooperative learning of children ages 3-5 years old. Three year old children must be three by September 1 and be able to use the toilet independently.

Dates & Times:

● Morning Session – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:15 – 11:45 a.m.

● Afternoon Session – Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30 – 4 p.m.

Calendar: Preschool begins on September 11, 2012 and runs until May 23; holiday breaks and special events will be shared with registered families.

Parent Involvement: Parents are welcomed to participate in education sessions and assist and volunteer anytime in the classroom. Cooperative Parents are required to volunteer two to three classes each month.

Registration: The school year is nine months and participants are encouraged to make a nine-month commitment; if space is available there is an opportunity to join on a rolling basis. A $50 non-refundable registration fee and application form are required to begin the enrollment process. Once the application is approved, a deposit of one month’s tuition is required to reserve a classroom seat. Deposit will be held and applied as student’s last monthly tuition payment and is non-refundable after September 1, 2012. Application forms can be downloaded at


$250 – $375 in nine installments for total of $2,250 – $3,375, or Co-op option of $150 – $225 in nine installments for total of $1,350-$2,250.

Children’s Museum of Tacoma:

The Children’s Museum of Tacoma celebrates the power of play in the life-long journey of learning. The Museum’s imaginative environment reaches beyond home and school experiences to nurture young children ages 1 – 8. The museum’s stimulating programming and hands-on playscapes allow children to test their independence and gain self-confidence through the arts, sciences and creative play while presenting adults and parents with the tools to understand and support them. Since its establishment in 1986, by local parents, teachers and community leaders, the museum has become a cornerstone of early education in the South Puget Sound region.

Museum hours: Wednesday- Sunday 10 am – 5 pm, open until 7 pm the third Thursday of each month. Member-only Mondays 10 am – 5 pm.
Museum admission: Pay As You Will

Museum address: 1501 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma WA 98402

More information: 253.627.6031 or

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