About Us

AT TINY TREES PRESCHOOL, WE PLAY TO LEARN

We help kids enter kindergarten already thriving.

We provide children with a world class education: one where reading, math, science come alive as children interact with the world around them and we offer a gleefully muddy childhood: one full of play, exploration, and wonder in the great outdoors.

And yes, you heard that right! Tiny Trees is all-outdoors. We partner with public parks and create a class space that affords children even more than the traditional classroom can.

The best part is we offer this joyful education to all families, with an equitable approach to financial assistance available and a commitment to inclusive, anti-bias practices. Tiny Trees Preschool is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

MISSION

Our mission is to use outdoor classrooms to make a quality education in reading, math and science accessible for families and to give children a joyful, nature rich childhood – one full of play, exploration and wonder.

Our vision is to create a community where all children have access to high quality education and develop the social, emotional and academic skills needed to thrive in school and life.

CORE VALUES

As we grow, stumble, innovate and change these are the constants that guide our work.

 PHILOSOPHY

We believe in a middle path to preschool education where children receive both the reading, math and science necessary to succeed in school, the social and emotional skills to thrive in life, and the vibrant, nature rich childhood they deserve.

We believe that children are strong, capable and full of potential. In our outdoor classrooms, there are limitless opportunities for children to solve problems, make plans, develop grit and find self worth.

We know through extensive research that children learn through play and that nature (whether in the cracks of a sidewalk or in the deep woods) provides the most amazing platform for that learning. With nature as a springboard, children can become citizens and stewards of the world around them.

We are influenced by the work on executive functions (aka emotional and social skills) by Dr. Adele Diamond at the University of British Columbia (see her TED Talk here)  and by the frontiers of innovation initiative at Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child. We are inspired by research at the Institute for Learning and Brain Science (I-LABS) at the University of Washington which demonstrates that children learn best from people (not screens) and that the quality of your teachers = the quality of your learning.

We also implement an anti-bias curriculum, a proactive approach to helping children to build a more equitable, just world through their interactions with one another. Students and teachers will engage in dialogue in celebration of difference and be challenged to think critically about how they treat one another.

Lastly, we are rooted in the publicly funded forest kindergarten models that have been so successful in Scandinavia and northern Europe (countries that lead the world in educational outcomes). Schools like this one in England or this preschool north of the arctic circle in Norway.

EDUCATIONAL GOALS

A Vibrant, Nature Rich Childhood: One full of play, adventure and wonder.

Emotional & Social Development: Help children develop essential executive functions like impulse control, communication and empathy.

Kindergarten Readiness: Prepare children for a lifelong love of learning and academic success.

To meet our goals we will use a celebrated, evidence based curriculum called High Scope. We chose it because:

1) It has a strong evidence base (they ran the first study on preschool learning 50 yrs ago – the perry preschool project).

2) The City of Seattle recommends it as a standard of quality for their preschool program.

3) It works outdoors. The model is dependent on the quality of the interaction between the teacher and student not expensive props, prepared worksheets or ipads.

HighScope provides a framework for how we deliver high quality education. Nature, our students, our educators, and the community around us provides the filler. Teachers construct opportunities for children based on their needs, interests, and what’s happening in nature. It is the ultimate emergent curriculum.

We aim to measure our quality the Preschool Quality Assessment (PQA) and the Guidelines for Excellence for Early Childhood Environmental Education Programs. We are in partnership with the Department of Children, Youth and Families to develop additional standards for outdoor preschools.

Our teachers will be tracking student progress by documenting their daily experiences and using reflective practices to support them. Our observations are based on the teaching strategies gold system, which offers developmental milestones and learning objectives. We use these tools to make sure we are meeting the individual need of every student no matter where they are in their learning progression.

We welcome all children and families. Read our non-discrimination policy here.

OUR LOCATIONS

SEATTLE

Beer Sheva Park -Rainier Beach/Othello

Camp Long – West Seattle

Carkeek – North Seattle

Jefferson Park – Beacon Hill

SAM Olympic Sculpture Park – Downtown Waterfront

BURIEN

Seahurst Park – Burien & Seatac

KING COUNTY

Big Finn Hill Park – Kirkland/Bothell/Woodinville

Cougar Mountain Wildland Park – Bellevue/Issaquah/Renton

Five Mile Lake – Auburn/Federal Way/Puyallup

TUITION AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Tiny Trees offers half-day classes at 9 parks throughout the Puget Sound and a diverse portfolio of financial aid, including partnership with the Seattle Preschool Pathway Program, Seattle Milk Fund, a sliding scale for financial aid, and additional scholarships.

2019-20 School Year (Sep-June), for students aged 3-5

 2019 Summer Camps (July and Aug), for students aged 4-6

2019 Tours, Info Nights and Preschool Fairs – RSVP NOW!

If you are interested in joining the current 2018-19 school year, please Contact Us directly for information on mid-year availability and rates.

Tiny Trees Preschool welcome all children and families. Read our non-discrimination policy here.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible for the 2019-20 school year, students should be at least 3 years old by August 31st and have not yet turned 6.

To enroll in a summer camp, students should be at least 4 years old and be no older than 6 by July 1st 2019 (age exceptions are made for returning 2018-19 students).

Students should have independent bathroom skills by the start of school. We are an inclusive program. Please contact us after registration if your child needs an exception.

OUR PARTNERS & PATH

We are an official partner of Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Art Museum, Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services and King County Parks.

Together we have opened 9 schools with 12 classrooms in the Greater Seattle Area.

We are supported by an incredible group of advisers and volunteers, a list that could include YOU!

Make a gift or volunteer to give a child the chance to fall in love with nature.

Check out our annual report card and founding partners.

OUR TEAM

Our Staff and Board is made up of some of the most passionate people you’ll ever meet: a group of folks dedicated to equitable early childhood education and outdoor learning.

We’re building our team. Click here for more information.

Mari_Headshot

Interim Executive Director
mari@tinytrees.org

Mari Offenbecher

Interim Executive Director
Account Picture

Corbin Muck

Volunteer Manager

Switchboard_MattHolman02 – Copy

ECHO Health Ventures

Matt Holman

Board President
image (1)

Merrill Images - Photographer

Lisa Merrill

Board Member
Headshot – small

Program Manager at Nordstrom

Nicki McClung

Board Member
Carlin_Llorente_2

Director of Strategic Partnerships at Washington STEM

Carlin Llorente

Board Member
IMG_6473.JPG copy

Rachel Franz

Director of Education
Margaret Toomey

Margaret Toomey

Admissions & Family Services Manager

Marc

Structural Engineering Manager at Boeing

Marc Zawislak

Board Tresurer
Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 10.01.32 AM

Seattle Girls' School

Darin Reynaud Knapp

Board Member
Keren-Board-Member-of-Tiny-Trees-PS-2

AVP, Director of Retirement Division New Business and Agency Services at Symetra

Keren Herzberg

Board Member
Kimi Gordy

Senior Associate at Baker & Hostetler LLP

Kimi Gordy

Board Member
Copy of KatieWeiss_YearUpPugetSoundStaff (3)

Katie Weiss

Philanthropy Manager
IMG_1801

Khavin Debbs

Operations and Partnerships Manager

25bcf6a

International ECE

Catherine Henny

Board Secretary
linkedin ajrei

Expedia

AJ Rei-Perrine

Board Member
Dover_Marcus

Microsoft

Marcus Dover

Board Member