The barn that housed Wildflower Preschool burned to the ground in a fire on the morning of April 25th, 2018. We need your help getting the school back up and running. The Wildflower families are organizing this campaign to rebuild the physical home of Wildflower and to help families deal with the immediate loss of childcare.
Wildflower is a second home to a vibrant community of preschoolers and their families and caregivers. Children spend the majority of their days outside exploring the nearby forest, feeding the goats and chickens, and developing their innate curiosity for the natural world. The school emphasizes noticing, engaging, expressing and collaborating. Students and educators construct their days by interacting with the school environment and each other. Learning is child-led with adults providing a safe learning experience as well as investigative provocations for students.
A catastrophic fire destroyed the physical home of Wildflower. Children’s toys, swings, play structures, furniture, art supplies, and the belongings of preschoolers left at the school were all lost. Sadly, our two goats, three chickens and dozen baby chicks were also lost in the blaze. Without a physical home, the school has been unable to operate. The Wildflower families have been making weekly gatherings at family homes and parks, but the childcare and community that the children and families rely on is currently in flux. We are working on finding a temporary home for our preschool until we move into our permanent new location this summer.
A New Home
Wildflower is in the process of creating a new, permanent home for the school. Wildflower has purchased a piece of land where we will build a new school from scratch. While the fire was not involved in our decision to buy a new property (we were previously renting), it has made this transition more difficult because of the loss of nearly all the material goods of the school and the unexpected disruption to the school year. Plans are well under way for the new school. A septic system is being installed. Permits have been obtained. A new building and a road have been designed, and a plan is in place for the indoor and outdoor furnishings for the school.
Help Us Rebuild!
We are asking for donations to replace items lost in the fire. While the school did have liability insurance, this insurance did not cover the items lost in the fire. We hope to replace furniture such as tables, chairs, storage units and a changing table, and toys such as books, wooden blocks, and art supplies. Outdoor play structures lost include swings, a sand box, climbing structures, a play kitchen, and two garden beds. Families also lost clothing, shoes, rain boots, jackets and other items left at the school.
We plan on replacing our beloved goats and chickens. We have a wonderful local farmer from whom we purchased our goats, King Arthur and Toast, and we intend to work with him to source new animals for the farm. We are also asking for funds to replace the lost chicken coup, animal feed, and other materials for taking care of the animals.
Finally, we hope to setup a scholarship fund to help parents with the cost of childcare. A major goal of the school is to make childcare affordable, but for many families, childcare is still difficult to fit into the family budget. This scholarship fund will provide both for families in need and for the long-term stability of the school.
Please donate as little or as much as you can using the button at the top of this page.
If you would like to receive video updates on the school's progress, and personalized thank-you gifts from the Wildflower families, please provide your email and home addresses with your donation!
Other Ways to Help
Money is certainly not the only, or even the best, way you could help us restore our school. Here are other ways to help:
-Share our story on social media. You can use the links at the top of this page, or direct people to www.gofundme.com/rebuilding-wildflower . Please add #rebuildwildflower to your posts.
-Take your children outside! Take a walk to a park, a picnic, or a petting zoo. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of life to remember that sometimes the fastest way to get something done isn’t the best way, and it’s almost never the most fun way to learn.
-Give us your ideas! Perhaps you have a service you'd like to provide for the school, or a project idea we haven't thought of. Through this challenging time, our hope is to join together as friends, families, caregivers, teachers, and students and thrive together as a community.
- Richard and Emily Joiner
- Dan and Caroline Corcoran
- Barbara Bosselet
- Laura Holdcraft