Red Cedar Learning Co-op was founded in 2005, but its history goes back to the summer of 1991. That was the year when five mothers got together and decided that they wanted to get their children together two mornings each week to play and learn. They were convinced that parents working together could provide their children with all the opportunities that they would have in a formal preschool and more. They understood that their 3 & 4 year old children needed friends and group experiences, but that they needed their parents most of all. Several summer meetings later, the group had grown to ten children, their parents and one grandma who became the first Kids Co-op and hired Janet Futrell as coordinator. They met at St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Richmond. Over the years, increasing numbers of Kids Co-op parents and other Madison County parents began to homeschool. Eventually, a large space in the newly purchased Berea Friends Meeting House became available, and they agreed to experiment with a joint learning cooperative for families with children of all ages. The greater number of families enabled them to rent space and to hire Janet as half time coordinator of both the preschool and school aged groups. The Red Cedar Learning Cooperative (RCLC) opened its doors in September 2005 with a membership of about 25 families.
In the summer of 2018, Red Cedar Learning Co-op found itself with all new members. Being a new entity of families, Council made the decision to restructure Red Cedar Learning Co-op to Berea Creekside Co-op. While Berea Creekside Co-op is a new co-op, with a new structure and vision, we are based on many of the same philosophy and values of what made Red Cedar into what Berea Creekside Co-op is today.
We honor learning as a life long process that arises naturally from observing and responding to our families, the broader community, and the natural world. Becoming community members with a mature confidence in multiple realms of knowledge is best achieved by:
- nurturing the natural love of learning
- honoring the particular gifts and talents of individuals
- respecting the diversity of developmental differences among learners
- active engagement in one’s own learning process, with the help of mentors who are skillful, knowledgeable and passionate
- interaction with a community of diverse ages