I have a long history with Woodland Playhouse. I have partnered with Woodland Playhouse both as a parent and a library director for 13 years, and worked with director Christina Davis for around the same length of time.
My family started with Woodland Playhouse at its founding. During the 6 years that my girls were students and campers, Woodland Playhouse was a heartfelt, open environment where children were free to be themselves, learn about the needs of their friends, discover nature, and … play, play, play.
We have a special relationship with Woodland Playhouse director Christina Davis. Long ago, she cared for our children when Christina was in high school. She was an unflappable and loving caregiver whom we watched grow into a perceptive educator and person with a passion for early education. Through college and graduate school, Christina has worked harder than anyone I know to hone her teaching abilities and knowledge. She is a balance of holistic learning and the lastest developments of STEM and education. This is all balanced by a warm, loving personality in which children, my own included, feel safe and nurtured.
Additionally, Christina founded a partnership between the local public library (at which I am director) and Woodland Playhouse which is going into its 5th year. For 40 weeks a year, she has provided a library program she developed to encourage early literacy, the joy of reading, and to teach the responsibility that comes with borrowing a book. The program involves a rotating lending library and a visit at the playhouse each week.
We think the world of Woodland Playhouse and are so grateful to be part of it.
Director, Phoenicia Library, 2018
Woodland Playhouse is an amazing place where kids are free to be kids. Play is at the center of it all and the energy and love that is devoted to each child by the staff is incredible.
My son has been a part of the Woodland Playhouse community for 2.5 years and he absolutely loves it there. We’ve seen so much positive growth and learning happen with him as a direct result of the experiences he’s been able to have at the Playhouse.
Christina and the other teachers go above and beyond to provide support to each individual child but also to the parents as well. We know our son is thriving thanks to the care and attention given to him each day.
We are so grateful to have found this community - it is truly special and we are honored to be a part of it.
Autumn Brookmire, 2018
We felt so lucky to find a spot at Woodland Playhouse for our 2 year old when we moved back to the area from Chicago in 2019. He is now a "big boy" at 4 years old and has been growing and thriving at Woodland Playhouse over the past year and a half. The preschool's play and inquiry-based curriculum is perfectly attuned to the developmental needs of 2-5 year olds, and you couldn't find more caring, devoted, and hard working teachers. They have earned our complete trust and admiration. We love how the children get to spend time outside playing and exploring throughout the year. Christina, the other teachers, and the community of parents have been welcoming and supportive of our son and our entire family. Woodland Playhouse ticks all of the boxes and then some in terms of what we were looking for in a preschool. We were so pleased with our experience that we decided to enroll our older son in the Woodland Playhouse summer camp programs too, which provide opportunities for preschool and school-age children to explore the arts as well as nature and the outdoors.
Jen Titus, 2020
Woodland Playhouse is like a small acorn that produces a mighty oak.
We fell in love with them from the first visit to the school: feeling how thoughtful and warm the teachers are, seeing the cozy setting indoors, and the resourceful outdoor spaces they have.
This is my son’s first school experience away from home, the quality of care and love my son has received and the joy and growth he has had is beyond my expectation. He enjoys his friends, teachers and his day in school — even when it was a tough day.
We joined Woodland Playhouse in the time of the pandemic, and we are amazed by how diligently they work to keep everyone safe and really make things work - during a pandemic!
Last but not least is the sense of community that we feel in Woodland Playhouse. If raising a child takes a village, Woodland Playhouse is our village.
Yinan Lu, 2020
My family's experience at Woodland Playhouse this summer was truly beyond our wildest expectations. We wanted our 3.5 year old daughter to spend time outside and socialize with other children - what we got was counselors who are kind, compassionate and work hard to find a way for each child to shine and have fun and incredibly welcoming campers and families. Christina, the director, is an incredible partner, extremely warm and communicative, and has a deep understanding of child development. My daughter attended four sessions at Woodland Playhouse's camp this summer (Theater Camp, Art Camp, Outdoor Exploration and Movement Camp), and she had the time of her life.
Our daughter is often described as "behaviorally inhibited," and though she attended a full-time preschool in NYC, I was worried about how she would respond to an entirely new structure. Christina made time to chat with me on the phone before our first day and patiently addressed all of my concerns about my daughter's allergies, preference to observe in new environments, and potential separation challenges. She worked with us to develop a phase-in plan to make our daughter feel comfortable, and I had the opportunity to join the camp for lunch a few days - I was touched by the kindness the children were showing each other, the joy they found in collecting flowers and noticing butterflies in the "big yard," and the learning that was woven into every moment. Seeing her connect to other children and her counselors was the greatest gift.
Since camp ended last week, our daughter continues to joyfully sing her camp songs, chat about her counselors, and ask when she can return. She has developed a deep appreciation for nature, thanking the earth and soil for her food and begging me to take her hiking in the mountains every day! I cannot imagine how incredible the school-year program is, and fantasize about leaving New York City so we can enroll our daughter full time. Don't think twice about enrolling your child - just make sure there's space for us!
Jamie Schrager, 2022
My daughter joined Woodland Playhouse for her last year of preschool. She began as a shy, unsure little girl who had trouble in groups with regards to the skills of sharing, taking turns and tackling challenges. She has flourished over the past several months becoming outgoing, empathetic and rising to challenges without a second thought. We are so pleased with the nurturing environment that allowed her to grow in so many ways. She is ready to take on kindergarten and has made some wonderful friends who will be moving on with her. The community of parents and teachers is an incredible added bonus. Everyone is hands on and deeply committed to the community. I cannot say enough about how happy we have been with Woodland Playhouse.
Shauna Vinci, 2019