As just one example of what happens when a career educator is bitten by the business bug, Angela Sperry has leaped from the public school classroom into the world of owning and operating the Roots School & Makery pre-school.
Formerly the site of the Learning Farm out west of Hood River on Country Club Road, Roots School is a new business model on a site that may be familiar to some parents.
Sperry says the school is focused on tykes ages 2 to 5, delivering a hands-on, inquiry based experience.
“I’m a certified teacher, and I’ve been at Westside since 2003, where I taught kindergarten and then, after I had my own babies, I did a job-share teaching second grade,” she says.
She says Roots has been open now about three weeks.
“It’s been a trip,” she says. “This business world, there has been a lot to it.”
At this time of year, she has been running summer camps, currently finishing up a food camp where kids learn about food groups, where food comes from, and get a chance to taste and explore different foods.
“I cut a bunch of herbs, and made a fresh herb dill dip a couple of days ago, and the kids passed around the herbs, smelled them, nibbled them, and everybody wanted to take herbs home and keep it going at home,” she says.
She says the facility has space for four classrooms, and she and her staff of four are hoping to grow enrollment heading into the fall.
So what does she mean by “makery”?
“When we get up to speed, we are planning to offer after-hours classes for the public where kids can come in and learn to cook, sew, craft, all those practical skills that parents don’t know or have time to teach out of the home,” Sperry says.
“I wanted a business model where we can weave in super practical skills — watering flowers, taking out recycling, doing all the stuff that matters.”
Another way to think of the school, she says, is as a child care center, with “a play-based learning environment.”
It’s open 7:15 a.m. to 2 p.m., with an after care option from 2 to 5:30 p.m. for all enrolled children.
Call 541-308-0933 to learn more.