Mission and History

Mission Statement

We believe children learn best in a safe and experience-rich environment which provides them the opportunity to explore and play; fostering their creativity, encouraging flexible thinking, and aiding in discoveries which make their learning more meaningful to them. Combined with a balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated activities, these explorations ready our students not only for kindergarten, but for life-long learning.


The Northwest Co-op Preschool first opened its doors in September 1962 under the name Northwest Co-op Nursery. While enjoying a cup of coffee and watching their children play, Mrs. James K Miller, Mrs. E. W. Swanson, and Mrs. C.L. Koopmans discussed the need for a preschool for them to attend. Since there was not one in the area, they decided to start one.

The original structure of the school is very similar to its current form. Parents held committee positions and ​volunteered​ in the classroom on a rotation basis. St. John’s United Church of Christ on Lake Michigan Drive has always been home for the preschool. The preschool has also always been non-profit, secular, and licensed through the state. ​The preschool has had five teachers, with our current teacher, Kathryn Wilson, having been with the school for over 25 years.