|Unity School is a nonprofit organization providing quality care and education for children ages two to eleven. Our unique old farmhouse has a huge play yard, barn for rainy day play, gardens, pets - and homey classrooms appropriate for
each of our classes. All this makes a setting where children play and learn together as many would have in years gone by - in a ‘neighborhood’ full of kids to play with, caring adults and lots to do - it’s a great place to be a kid! Our ultimate goal
is to send the children into the world with the qualities and skills they need to be cooperative problem solvers for our community and our planet.
Unity School collaborates with other community agencies to provide quality care for a diverse group of
children and their families. We are a community placement site for Head Start of Lane County to serve 12 Head Start families in our full day program. We also work with EC Cares of the University of Oregon to provide care and services for children with
special needs. Over one third of our Unity School families meet the USDA guidelines for free or reduced price meals in the Child Care Food Program (having low to moderate income levels).
At Unity School children play and learn in a variety of settings - in their homey classroom in open-ended activities for hands-on learning, in the terrific play yard full of big old trees, a grapevine shaded sand box, the ‘wild’ hill in the shrubs,
and lots of space to run and play and imagine. They often have time in the organic garden - with their class planting or harvesting, or in a small group working with the garden teacher caring for the growing things. They have their turn to help caring
for the many Unity pets, and on a rainy day they have their turn to get out in the big old barn to jump and run and get out the wiggles.
Children learn through every moment of their day. At Unity, as conflicts come up with other children, teachers, as facilitators, will help them talk to each other to help them come up with a solution to the problem. Over time the children gain this
ability for themselves. Teachers remind children about kindness, cooperation, and working together, and model these things so the children will see them in action, and give them opportunities to practice them through the day.
Unity School has been providing these wonderful programs for children for 40 years. Parents and the community have shown their commitment to the program in volunteer efforts and donations to support work we’ve done on the building to make it strong
structurally and improve and add to the classroom space. The quality of the program has often been recognized - we’ve been asked to provide training to other child care providers on many topics, including gardening with children, and are a community
training site for students in the Lane Community College early childhood education program.
Our Executive Director, Carol Barton, has been at Unity since 1986 and has spearheaded the planning and implementation of several phases of program and building improvements. She previously directed Head Start and childcare programs in Iowa, and is
past president of the Oregon Association of Child Care Directors.