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.

Endings and Beginnings

Posted on May 15, 2012 in category Director's Blog

Our last school days of the year are here and I always feel a happy sadness with all the goodbyes. I know I will be seeing many of you here at SYC next year, but for those families who are leaving, I hope you will send us an email occasionally to let us know how things are going for you.  You will always be a part of our SYC family.

One thing I’m really looking forward to is the new parenting book based on SYC philosophy and experience coming out in August (pre-order now on amazon.com for discount by following the link below).   It is titled It's OK Not To ShareIt’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids. It’s written by Heather Shumaker who is the daughter of our long -time teacher Ann Rigney.  Heather attended SYC and now has her own young children.  She wrote this book to share her experience using SYC ways in her own family.  Some of her chapter titles include:

  • It’s okay if it’s not hurting people or property
  • Bombs, guns and bad guys allowed
  • Boys can wear tutus
  • Pictures don’t have to be pretty
  • Paint off the paper!
  • Sex ed starts in preschool
  • Kids don’t have to say “Sorry”
  • Love your kid’s lies

Heather spent years observing at SYC and interviewing former directors, former and current staff and parents to capture the real essence of SYC, so we are all very excited about it.

We are planning to have a book signing celebration next September here at the school.  Our school, church and local community will all be invited.  We’ll be sending send you more information about this event in the Fall.

I hope you have a wonderful summer!

…Stephanie Rottmayer, Director

Summer Playcamp

Posted on March 30, 2012 in category SYC Announce

The SYC program runs from mid-September through the third week in May.  For those interested in signing their children up for something this summer, we recommend First UU’s Church’s Summer Playcamp Program, which runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9:30-12 noon, in four 2-week sessions, beginning June 4.  Children who will be age three by September 30, 2012, up to age 5 who have not yet attended Kindergarten are eligible to enroll in that program.

Registration Info and Form:  Summer Playcamp Registration

For children age 5 and older First UU Church will also be offering a Peace Camp.  We’ll post registration details when they are available.

Parents at SYC

Posted on March 27, 2012 in category Director's Blog

I remember being a mom with my two boys at SYC.  I didn’t have any family or even any friends with children in town—no one to talk to about being a parent.  When a neighbor pointed out that there was a good preschool nearby, I signed my 3-year-old son up at SYC immediately.

I loved the nurturing feeling I got from the teachers.  I remember listening to them talk to the kids and thinking that they knew just the right thing to say.  But when my own son was crying or unhappy at school, I felt embarrassed trying to handle it in front of the teachers and other parents.  So I volunteered in class a lot because I wanted to learn different ways to handle the tough situations.

Now when I think about welcoming parents into the classroom, I remember how it felt to be a parent in class myself.  Not being quite sure what to do or say, not really knowing if something I was doing was helpful, but the more I hung around the more comfortable I became.

We hope that you are starting to feel comfortable and welcome in class.  Teachers are so busy most of the time that it’s hard for them to stop and talk or give much guidance when you are volunteering.  But we want you to know that we appreciate your presence, whether you are volunteering or just visiting.  We really value getting to know your family better and working together to give your child the best experience we can.

You can just visit or you are also welcome to read stories or share an activity that you enjoy.  We have had a parent tell us a story about breaking his arm when he was a child.  We have had parents show the kids how to make fried rice.  We have had singing and dancing parents and we have tried on Japanese kimonos.  If you think of something you would like to try, we will be glad to help you.  So please consider coming in to spend some time in class.

Fundraiser – Sharpening on Site

Posted on March 19, 2012 in category SYC Announce

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Our final SYC fundraiser of the year is being hosted by Sharpening On Site. Rebecca Lyon, owner and SYC mom, will park her big blue truck next to the SYC turnaround on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20th and 21st.  She will be there from 12:00pm to at least 3:30pm on both days.  Bring her your garden tools, knives, scissors….she can sharpen almost anything with a blade!  Depending on turn-out, she may also be at SYC on Thursday the 22nd.

Drop-off and pick-up for all items will be here at SYC.  Ideally, you will take items straight to Rebecca in the truck.  If you need to drop off items prior to 12:00 pm, or on Monday, you can leave them in the SYC office, but please make sure all items are well labeled!  Masking tape or mailing labels work well and will keep all of our almost identical shovels and scissors from being mixed-up.  Knife boxes will also be available in the office if you need early drop-off.  Since we can’t know how many people will participate, we can’t give a guarantee that your items will be ready the same day, but we feel certain you will be happy with your newly sharpened tools.  Just ask Adele for her testimonial of the re-sharpened wedding knife.

Please visit Rebecca’s website, www.sharpeningonsite.com for a full price list of items that can be sharpened.  Please make sure the items you bring in are reasonably clean.  Payment will go directly to Sharpening On Site, cash or check only.  A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to SYC.