Warmest Greetings Dear Friends...
It sort of snuck up on me. Our birthday. For any business, a huge milestone. We are three. THREE! T-H-R-E-E years old this July. Wow.
It's taken me a while to write this particular newsletter. Many starts and stops...or pauses as I like to refer to them. And even more thoughts and emotions to process. It didn't feel right to celebrate, what with all of the horrific events happening in our world today. It's hard to know how to appropriately respond, yet not let those dark things cloud all that is good. And there is so, so much good.
We could not have made it to our third birthday without you. romp has always been about you, our village, our community, our relationships ... budding and fully rooted. You, your children who bring the space to life not only with their smiles & laughter, but their sadness & tears ... who've helped us grow so much over the past three years. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.
This milestone marks a time filled with amazing growth, new partnerships, new relationships, and so many more possibilities. The past several months have been filled with LOTS of meetings, talking, collaboration, research, learning, testing and brainstorming.
And with that, wow do I have some news for you. News that I hope you'll be as excited to hear as I am to share. romp is EXPANDING! ...in more ways than one. I'll try to lay it out for you as best as I can, because there's a lot. Here goes ... off the cliff ...
romp Bellevue: We will undergo construction late summer, with a hopeful completion by end of September. Our plans are to remain open, as the same fantastic construction team that helped me build romp 1.0 transforms the space into the 2.0 version. We've got an architect & design team on board, who is well versed in educational spaces. And it's going to be a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
Imagine light & glass. Additional activity areas that will give us even greater flexibility and allow us to do so much more. The word magical is thrown around a lot in our meetings, but not at all lightly. These changes are going to be a game changer for us in many ways. But please be assured, it will still be the mindful, thoughtful, beautiful and inspiring space that is it today. Only better. Much better.
romp in Seattle: Seattle?!?! Yes! We will start offering after school enrichment weekday afternoons as of September 7th. romp will occupy Wunderkind, a Lego cafe in the Bryant neighborhood, just two blocks North of University Village. The second floor at Wunderkind will undergo a bit of a romp makeover in August. Our new programming will debut in Seattle first, while construction is completed in Bellevue. (Bellevue will hopefully debut October 1st.) We are thrilled to expand into Seattle, and absolutely delighted to be serving even more families across the lake. (And if you have any desire to sign up for enrichment in Seattle, please reach out. We are already 50% enrolled.)
Programming / Enrichment: Boy, have we got plans. We have brought on Jeff Petty and Hannah Williams from Big Picture Learning as consultants. Our relationship with BPL offers us access to their vast network of like-minded institutions...including the folks down in San Diego at High Tech High.
Our plans include dialing our toddler programming up...way up. You can expect a much more interactive (DAILY) toddler experience for both parent and child. With an Early Childhood Development Specialist on staff to weave it all together. We are also working to create not only after school / weekend enrichment, but a supportive learning environment for the homeschooling community.
romp's programming will be hands-on, child-centered, immersive, project based, and empathy driven. Enrichment that makes learning personal, is child-driven, social, and collaborative.
Our Team is Growing: Outside of our wonderful crew of Playspace Attendants, it's just been me these past three years. And to take romp to this next level, I know I cannot do it alone. Our management team has grown by one, with Hanna coming on board this summer. Hanna brings a fantastic skill set to the table, and I am so very excited to welcome her talents and gentle spirit to our team.
We now need to find those special teachers to bring all of this to life. We have multiple full & part-time positions available... Lower Elementary (K-2) Classroom Teachers, Technology & Design Specialists, and Early Childhood Development Specialists. If you know of anyone you think would be a great addition to our team, please send them our way. You can check out the listings - here.
Our team is working tirelessly to hire and develop an incredible team of educators, who will help us bring our dream into reality. Child-led unstructured play will remain at the heart of our space. We will continue to offer fun and interesting classes & workshops through our favorite vendors. We're just dialing our programming up, way up this Fall / early Winter, in a way that meets the growing needs of our children.
So, there you have it. Whew. It's just the tip of the iceberg, and there will be much more information to come in the next few weeks. While our physical surroundings in the space will change, our commitment to preserving that special romp magic remains an absolute priority.
Many things in my and my family's life changed when romp opened its doors three years ago. There have been a few bumps and bruises along the way, but as I pause for a moment and take stock in what the past three years have meant for my little one, I have absolutely no regrets. I look ahead to a future that is bright, and hopeful you'll come along on this wild ride with me.
Again, thank you.
Anne / founder, romp