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.

Summertime at SYC

Posted on August 05, 2012 in category SYC Announce

This is normally a quiet time at SYC, the halls and classrooms are uncharacteristically quiet.  But outside is not the same story.  We’re in the midst of remodeling our 3-year-old class playground, things there are quite torn up now.  The old climber has been removed, concrete has been poured, and holes have been dug awaiting installation of a new climber and new fencing, which will all be happening before school begins on September 10.

Our Summer Newsletter and pre-enrollment paperwork requests have been sent by e-mail to parents of children enrolled in our fall classes.  Please help us make the first few weeks of school go more smoothly by taking care of this as soon as possible.  Please check your e-mail often for updates and requests.

Early reviews of the new parenting book based on SYC’s philosophy, It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids have been stellar.  The book was released on August 2.  We are looking forward to having the author, SYC graduate Heather Shumaker, join us for a book launch celebration at the church on Wednesday evening, September 19, from 6:30-9:30 p.m.  Be sure to save the date for what promises to be an enjoyable evening.

Our school calendar is not complete yet.  We’re waiting on two closing days for a staff education seminar next spring which we’ll announce as soon as those plans are finalized.  Please check our website for the school calendar on the right for the dates that are set now.

We hope everyone’s staying cool during this incredibly HOT summer.  Hang on, fall—and another busy year at SYC—are just around the corner!!

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.