A Day at Cottonwood

On Monday through Thursday Cottonwood looks like this:

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We arrive beginning at 8:45 AM and start off by working individually, setting intentions of what we’d like to do for the day.

Next, we come together and set the day in community. This involves sharing a number of items:

  • Planned offerings: lessons the facilitators, parents, or other community members prepared to give that day which no one is required to attend

  • Intentions: sharing to see if others want to join or to request support for from facilitators

  • Organization: deciding what should be put on the schedule and at what time

  • Slice: a high-energy send off to collect and carry us into the next thing!

The rest of the day is up to the community, but always involves:

  • Offerings such as music, art, cooking, science, yoga, dance, puppetry, reading/writing with our curriculum, Read, Write, Inc.

  • Collaborative projects we work on over time and the steps to make them happen

  • Outdoor play rain or shine, snow or wind, you will find us in the spacious McGolrick Park building forts, playing neighborhood games, and examining nature

Some learners who attend for the first half of the day leave at 12 PM and the rest stay for the full day until 2:30 PM.

The day ends with a closing circle to share whatever we discovered and to check in with long term projects as is necessary.


On Friday Cottonwood looks like this:

Field trips start at 9:00 AM and end at 2:30 PM. Each field trip usually begins and ends at the Park Church, but occasionally we meet on site of the trip nearby.

Past field trips have included:

  • Brooklyn Botanical Garden

  • Prospect Park and Brooklyn Library

  • Brooklyn Grange

  • Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

  • Museum of Math

  • Museum of Natural History

  • New York Hall of Science

  • Battleship Intrepid

  • Ice Skating 

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Cooper Hewitt Design Museum

  • Apple Picking Upstate