About SYC . . .

School for Young Children Welcome to the website of the School for Young Children in Columbus, Ohio. Our program was founded in 1969 as a part-time preschool program.  Our philosophy has remained consistent through the years; that children be allowed to develop at their own pace in an atmosphere of free play enriched with a variety of creative materials and the support of teachers who respect them as individuals.

As a community outreach program of the First Unitarian Universalist Church, we are a welcoming school--we do not discriminate upon the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or cultural background of parents or children.

Stephanie’s Legacy

Posted on May 19, 2016 in category Director's Blog

Stephanie's Legacy

Stephanie Rottmayer knows how to make every person at SYC feel special – because to Stephanie, every person at SYC is special.

The child hiding behind his mom’s legs as he enters to building knows he’s special because Stephanie waits until he’s ready – and it may take all year – until she acknowledges him.

The mom who is worried about leaving her crying child knows she’s special because Stephanie offers her a hug and a listening ear, and some reassurance that the teachers will take good care of her child.

The dad who is unsure about how to handle a playground conflict knows he’s special because Stephanie listens carefully to his worries, helps him define the problem, and encourages him to increase communication with the other parents even though it’s hard.

The teacher who wants to try something new, or who isn’t sure how to help a struggling child knows they’re special because Stephanie takes the time first to listen as they talk through their thoughts and then to share the wisdom of her experience.

The child screaming in the hall knows she’s special because Stephanie sits quietly by her side totally comfortable with the child’s big feelings and never rushing her through them, but ready with a hug or a note or a listening ear if/when the child is ready.

The  teacher who knows she’s special because Stephanie was so nurturing and encouraging when she was a thinking about becoming a teacher even though wasn’t sure she could do it. Stephanie was her rock all through her years at SYC as a parent and teacher.

The parent who knows she’s special because Stephanie helped her when her son fell apart in the entryway and face planted himself in the carpet screaming and refusing to move. Stephanie sat on the bench to be close to her son, and told him she was there for him and he was safe and that the parent she could go take care of herself. Such beautiful compassion for both of them, and remembered in difficult moments always.

The parent who knows she is special because Stephanie was always waiting on the bench when she came in. She always welcomed us every day – loved that.

For 40 years, the children, parents and staff at SYC have been blessed by knowing that they are special because Stephanie believes that they are.  Every person who walks through the SYC doors and sees Stephanie sitting on the bench knows that she is truly glad to see them and that they are welcome here.

That specialness stays with us in our lives outside of and after SYC, and is one of the many legacies Stephanie leaves behind as she retires from SYC.

We will miss her and will welcome her (hopefully!) frequent visits as we carry on, making sure that everyone who comes into our school knows just how special they are.

…Susan Roscigno & Amy Rudawsky

Coming Home to Play

Posted on April 13, 2016 in category Director's Blog

Coming Home to Play

You know what that’s like: when you’re used to being the odd person out, the one who just doesn’t fit, and then you get together with a group of people with whom you have something in common and it feels like home.

Many of the SYC teachers had this feeling last weekend when we went to the first annual Play EmPowers Rally in Maryland.  At other professional conferences, we often feel like we are the only ones who believe in the power of play, who respect children for who they are right now, who know that children learn best when they are loved and listened to.  But at the PEP Rally, we met other like-minded early childhood professionals from around the country and around the world.  We shared stories about the incredible learning that can only happen when children take risks, about how children must move and do in order to learn, and about how to spread that message out into the wider world.  We’ve come back from this incredible weekend inspired and invigorated!  We’ve found our people and have been reminded that we are part of a movement to return play to its place of importance in early childhood education.  Join us!

…Susan Roscigno, SYC Co-Director

Teacher Tom and SYC

Teacher Tom with SYC Teachers at the Pep Rally


Posted on March 21, 2016 in category SYC Announce

It's OK to go Up the Slide (1)

Stephanie is retiring

Posted on March 18, 2016 in category Director's Blog

Stephanie is retiring

Last May, I retired from being the director at the School for Young Children but I stayed on as a Program Consultant this year to support the new Co-Directors, Susan Roscigno and Amy Rudawsky.  It was an event filled year in the midst of construction but the school and new directors made it through brilliantly. So at the end of this May, I am retiring completely.

I have loved every minute at SYC since I enrolled my two young sons here. I volunteered in their classes and then began teaching here in 1976. During that time, I discovered that I loved working with young children, so I went back for my Masters in Child Development from Pacific Oaks College. I became the director in 2005 when Jan Waters retired.

It has been a joy and an honor to spend these last 40 years with the community of SYC—children, families, staff and the greater church community. I could not have chosen a better path to follow and will always be grateful that I had that opportunity. I’ll probably end up volunteering in next year’s classes, at least a little, along with other retired SYC teachers. We can’t seem to stay way.

…Stephanie Rottmayer, Soon-to-be Director Emerita