Barbara Tufts Co-op Preschool Gets Creative 

by | Mar 24, 2023

Plus, fundraiser at Linesider Wednesday, March 29

The past three years have been challenging for everyone, and Barbara M. Tufts Cooperative Preschool – established in 1967 – was not immune to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Along with having to adapt everyday practices, the school had to abandon Mayfair, their long-standing and well-loved community fundraising event. However, the school and its teachers have remained resilient throughout, adapting to the conditions by introducing an outdoor classroom which helped it to stay open for in-person learning. 

“Being outside in nature reduces stress and contributes to a child’s sense of independence, creativity, problem-solving skills, and overall sense of well-being,” explained Coop teacher Heather Bristol. “Nature is good for a child’s mind, body, and spirit!” 

Coop teachers believe in the outdoors so much, she said, “we go outside all year round and in all kinds of weather – as long as it’s safe, of course.”

While Covid has put a stop to Mayfair for now, the school is getting creative by coming up with different ways of fundraising. For example, the school’s calendar raffle has been a success in recent years. And, new this year, on Wednesday, March 29, the school is hosting an alumni and friends fundraiser at Linesider Brewing from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets go on sale for $25 dollars each and can be purchased on Eventbrite HERE or at the door. The ticket gets you a drink of choice as well as food provided by local restaurants. 

Head teacher Lisa Wesson noted that this event is a great way for “everyone including alumni to reconnect and talk all while making money for the school. And while the community is sad about Mayfair this is a smaller way to help the school.” 

Along with this fundraising event to get past families involved, the school has created an alumni Facebook page where parents past and present can share photos of their children at the preschool. The response to the Facebook page has been overwhelmingly positive – for Lisa, the enthusiasm has been nothing short of “heartwarming.” 

The Linesider event is the Co-op’s first attempt at a new wave of small, creative ideas to raise money for the school. On top of this event, the school is participating in the annual 401 Gives fundraiser from March 31 to April 3 (find out more HERE). And they are hosting a Chipotle night Wednesday, April 12, from 5 to 9 p.m. with 33 percent of proceeds going directly to the school (at the Division Street Chipotle). The school intends to hold a family picnic towards the end of the school year and may also include a raffle for a class gift, a tradition similar to that followed in previous Mayfairs. 

As for the Mayfair itself, Lisa admits that at this juncture the school does not have the manpower to pull it off. Nonetheless, both Lisa and Heather expressed their optimism about bringing it back in a smaller format. 

Ms. Heather and students with a pumpkin. Submitted photo

Kyle Poccia is a senior at East Greenwich High School.


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Kimberly Lee
Kimberly Lee
March 25, 2023 1:58 pm

Love BMTCP so much! Such a wonderful part of my children’s young years – and so grateful to have been with them during the pandemic and the introduction of the Outdoor Classroom. We miss you all!

Heather Bristol
Heather Bristol
March 26, 2023 7:42 am
Reply to  Kimberly Lee

We miss and love you too, Lee family!! So grateful to have you as a part of the Co-op family!!

Jennifer Condon
Jennifer Condon
March 25, 2023 4:06 pm

The Co-op is which an amazing place!

Christine Deeb poccia
Christine Deeb poccia
March 25, 2023 4:32 pm

This is a great article. We love the Co-Op.

Clare Cecil Karb
Clare Cecil Karb
March 27, 2023 11:13 am

The Co-Op teachers and leadership were incredible throughout the tough days of 2020-2022. None of the testing / masking / quarantining / distancing protocols interfered with the deep connections between educators and students. What an incredible place.


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