Duke Sign-ups!

We have a lot of ideas here. It may lead one to wonder: what is a pre-school doing operating a restaurant? CSA subscriptions? There are a few reasons, and they are all important to us.

1)  Our Community: When Jennifer Adams envisioned this campus, she saw a school that didn’t just attend to the basic needs of the children, but one that also deeply nourished the whole community. She imagined a place of learning that could affect lasting change, not simply a pretty picture. She envisioned a courtyard filled with children, parents, grandparents, neighbors, and maybe the odd bunny or guinea pig. And step by step, little by little, we are doing it! Past meals found us eating and laughing with our families while the children played in the gardens among the flowers and radishes. It has been a completely magical experience, and so similar to the one in Jennifer’s dreams…  except Fluffy McNinja stayed in her rabbit cage. The food we are serving is only half as amazing as the community we are with. That said, it’s going to be an amazing meal.

2) Our teachers: Early childhood education is one of the most important yet challenging professions, with some of the lowest compensation. While TLS prides ourselves on paying above the industry standard, there remains a large wage gap between our school age (and public prek) counterparts and early childhood educators. Research is clear: ages 0-5 is by far the most critical time in the development of human brains, which is why we demand high quality professionals! Sadly, Universities around the nation are having a hard time finding students who want to pursue a major in a field with such low financial and social return. When tuition is the sole source of income, that puts the whole teaching community at risk of burn out, and large hikes in tuition put our parent community at risk of wallet blow out. SO, what if there were other ways to raise money for our teachers? What if we find a way to take something that we all need (FOOD) and can transform it into something that can come fund living wages, health insurance, paid time off and 401K programs? Every muffin, every meal to go, every farm to table meal, every CSA bag supplements the teacher’s salaries.

3) Our Movement: We often hear “My children eat better than I do, ” and we tend to agree. They DO eat really well. We sometimes find ourselves saying that we are “spoiled” by our chefs…. but NO! We believe that everyone has a right to whole, fresh, local and delicious meals, and we know that eating well does not mean going broke. We have invested so greatly in our food and nourishment program not just because we want to eat pinkies up now and again, but because it is the ethical path to walk for our children, the compassionate choice for our bodies, and the responsible decision for our planet.

It is said that teaching is a political act-  at The Little School we believe that eating is an act of love.