Friday, June 19, 2009

Classical Community Coop Meeting Notes June 15

15 June Meeting at Borders Books (not Barnes & Noble!) lounge - another highly productive meeting of about 20 proactive parents.

1. Insurance/Liability - The previously proposed agenda was amended to put Insurance at the top of the list, as the representatives at Old Mystic Baptist Church are requesting additional Liability coverage for instructors - particularly compensated instructors.

Our current potential policy via Classical Kids is similar to PTO insurance, and would cost about $350/year. It offers property and basic injury coverage. Anything beyond, including complaints vs. teachers, is uncovered. As our own minimum preventative measures/CYA, the previous meeting had decided that there will be 2 parents present in each classroom and that there is no drop-off option, parents will remain onsite. This policy is reflected in language in our Family Commitment.

Options for consideration of additional coverage include:
- No waiver - it won’t hold up in court
- Voluntary, self-paid background check by all parents/instructors via an independent website.
- Volunteer protection statute language (new)
- The big “I”: Incorporation - similar to LLC abt $500 + filing fees may cover more than the PTO type

Further investigation & research is ongoing, (including HLDS & recommended Homeschool Solutions website) and any legal advice/know-how from interested families is welcome!

2. Mission Statement - considered, revised & approved at meeting from draft provided by Heather:
Classical Community Cooperative is a collaboration of homeschooling and non-schooling families in southeastern Connecticut committed to sharing their gifts and talents for the enrichment of the children. The group welcomes families of diverse beliefs and philosophies, and expects members to value and respect these differences. Our diversity, talents, and passion allow us to offer a wide-range of educational, creative, social and recreational programs for our families that are delivered in a friendly, welcoming and tolerant environment.

3. Family promise/commitment - considered, revised & approved at meeting from basic draft provided by Jennifer (& Judy!). To be posted on Progress page of Classical Community Coop site.

4. FRC update:
Just to clarify: Registration & membership for FRC is entirely separate - CCC is acting as facility host. CCC members will be given registration priority, then Engineering & Robotics classes will be opened to FRC + others.
Important to OMBC: FRC instructor is confirmed insured, facility useage approval by OMBC still pending.
Current class dates: Fridays: 9/11, 10/2, 11/13, 12/4, 1/22, 2/19, 3/12, 4/9, 5/7, 6/4
Engineering: Ages 8-12 from 12:00pm to 2:30pm
Robotics: 11 and up at 9:30am to 11:30am
Fee is $250/Engineering, $350/Underwater Robotics with FRC membership ($500 without!) Monthly billing is optional with $5 monthly surcharge. FRC membership is $60 until July 31. See for more.

5. Volunteerism & Social - some updated roles, thank you to all who have offered up their time!
- Program Facilitator - Heather
- Registrar - Michelle
- Communications/Web PR - Jennifer P.
- Secretary/Treasurer/- Tracy H.
- Peacemaker - Aimée A.
- Age Group Contact People for for being a go-to, assisting in soliciting teachers, coordinating parent-instructor communication, etc Age groups are loosely defined by approximate class range - not hard & fast.
- Preschool Coordinator- Kelli R. (Thank you!)
- Elementary - Channing G.
- Middle - Deb A. (Thank you!)
- High - Kat O’Reilly
- Volunteer Coordinator (& meeting facilitator) - how families are making their commitments, Penny S.
- Facilities Coordinator - for room set up, physical req'ments - Michelle, Tig to coop to share day
- Community Service Coordinator - service outreach events - Anne Bora
- Field Trip Coordinator - Bonnie?
- Special events/Field trip coordinator - Available?
- Instructors - two parents for every classroom, please.
*These positions may flex and evolve as the co-op does...!*

6: The OMBC Bldg has large sanctuary that we should be able to use as lounge, kitchen, preschool rm, nursery room(sm), 2 oblong classrooms (lower elem?), 2 rooms for upper elm/midl school, teen access/lounge w 2 small rooms off of that. teen area may be used for FRC, parking lot

Next Meet: Tue, June 30th 6:30 - Bonnie will investigate Conn Coll Chapel option?
Agenda: More Insurance/Liability, Registration & Class Schedule Design & How-to
Heather will keep investigating liability, insurance & cost, discuss registration issues, Jennifer will investigate how to structure website for future schedule/registration options

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Classical Community Coop Organizational Mtg Notes

On June 1, we had a nice, square-table gathering of about a dozen parents who were able to pool brain resources (!) and come to some consensus on a few essential topics for the new Friday Group Learning Opportunity slated for Fridays at the Old Mystic Baptist Church. Highlights include:

Name: Classical Community Coop (...or CCC, or C cubed!) - voted

Fall Fridays from September 11 to December 4 + December 11/Open or Party - Thanksgiving Friday
Spring Fridays from January 22 to April 16 + April 23/Snowday/Open and - April 2/Good Friday

Family Resource Center (FRC) Dates:
Still pending full approval
CCC will be hosting FRC Engineering & Robotics classes at OMBC on the following
Fridays 9/11, 10/2, 11/13, 12/4, 1/22, 2/19, 3/12, 4/9, 5/21, 6/4
24 students min, we fill first through our coop, then open out to the public through FRC website
Registration is through FRC
Engineering $250 8-12 afternoon 3hrs
Underwater Robotics $350 11-17yo proficient w tools & blueprint reading morning 2.5hrs, end by noon
(Q: Heather, would it be possible to do a 4/30 FRC, for a second class in April, and drop the 6/4, to keep from going into June?)

$25/day for building use as a donation x 42 total possible weeks, Sept - June $1050 total possible max building cost
$350/year insurance through Classical Kids - works similar to PTO insurance
35 - 40 families involved, probable cost of $50/family + volunteer commitment!
**There will be a family commitment promise required with each registration** (To be defined more clearly later.)

Commitments/Roles Please feel free to suggest/volunteer more where you may see a need!
- Registrar - Michelle
- Program Facilitator - Heather
- Communications/Web PR - Jennifer Pryor
- Secretary/Treasurer/- Tracy Harvey
- Peacemaker - Aimee Allaire
- Co-Teachers - It was suggested that there be 2/class
- Kat O'Reilly
- Rich Goccia
- Age Group Contact People for for being a go-to, assisting in soliciting teachers, coordinating parent-instructor communication, etc Age groups are loosely defined by approximate class range - not hard & fast.
- Preschool - Available
- Elementary - Channing Garuder
- Middle - Available
- High - Kat O’Reilly
- Volunteer coordinator & meeting facilitator - how families are making their commitments, Penny Smyth
- Facilities Coordinator - for room set up, physical req'ments? - Available
- Community Service Coordinator - service outreach events - Anne Bora
- Secretary/Treasurer - Tracy Harvey
- Special events/Field trip coordinator - Available

Next Meeting: Monday, Jun 15th 6:30 at Barnes & Noble Lounge in Waterford

Agenda to include:
- Adding to Roles & filling positions! **Feel free to add ideas and/or Your Name to Comment section or new thread!)
- Class offerings **New Page for Wish List of Ideas, and actual proposals and form to be added to website!**

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Skatepark Picnic, Tues, May 26th 11 - 1

Sutton Park, Groton,ftc,2,fid,1931588,n,sutton%20park.cfm

Bring a picnic, skateboard, ball, frisbee, etc for some springtime fun! Skatepark, playground, basketball, horseshoes (BYO), pavilions and lots of room for informal chats & roundtable forum of ideas for homeschooling community in the coming fall...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Prudence Crandall Museum, Thu., June 4th 10am

Prudence Crandall Museum
Canterbury, CT
Thursday, June 4, 10-11am
Additional museum exploration time afterwards
BYO snack/picnic on grounds?
$2/pp (at door)
min 10, max 20ish

RSVP by May 20 to for headcount.

CommunityThink has reserved a timeslot for a group tour of this little museum on Rte 169 in Canterbury - a historic example of a Connecticut heroine of forward alternative thinking in (educational) rights & opportunities:

Prudence Crandall (1803-1890) opened an academy on the Canterbury Green in 1831 to educate daughters of wealthy local families. The school was extremely successful until the following fall when she admitted Sarah Harris, a 20 year old black woman. Sarah had hoped to become a teacher with the help of the education the academy could provide. Reflecting the attitudes of the times, Sarah's admittance to the academy led parents to withdraw their daughters.

Miss Crandall made contacts throughout New England's free black communities to attract young black women students. They came from as far away as Boston, New York City and Philadelphia. The state responded by passing the "Black Law" which made it illegal for Crandall to operate her school. Miss Crandall was arrested, spent a night in jail, and faced three court trials. The case was dismissed in July of 1834. Two months later a mob attacked the school, forcing Crandall to close. The courage shown by Miss Crandall, our state's official heroine, features prominently in civil rights history. The "Black Law was repealed in 1838.

The museum includes period rooms, changing exhibits, a small research library and a gift shop. The museum's first floor is fully accessible.

On-going Exhibits: "A Bold Front", "Preserving The Past", and "To Get A Little More Learning"

Monday, April 27, 2009

CashFlow & CarWash Schedule Adjusted!

Schedule for remainder of session:
Fridays 10:30 - noon at Groton Public Library on May 29, June 12, 26
CarWash! Saturday, June 27, Details TBA

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tues, April 28 11-1 Skatepark Picnic - Sutton Park, Groton

Pack a picnic, snag a skateboard, scoop a scooter, bring a ball...! In addition to the skatepark (boards, blades, scooter, but no bikes), there is a great playground & swings, basketball courts, pavillion, horseshoe pits, and plenty of green grass. Restroom status is unknown at present. Join homeschool buds for a totally casual lunchtime gathering for fun, frolic & friendship. Raindate, Tuesday, May 5th (after Bookchat.)

Community Think & Community Garden! Sats April 25 - May 23

Think GROW! Lynn K. was farsighted enough to reserve a 10x10 plot in the Groton Community Garden for CommunityThinkers to cultivate, tend, harvest, donate -- enjoy!
What a great opportunity to come together on a wonderful project - the earth is our oyster --- ideas?

The plotting has begun behind Groton Services on the north side of Rt. 1 near the power plant (between the Massage School and True Value Hardware). From Courtney at Groton Parks & Rec:

April 25 - More to do! Pick rocks, spread out 35 yards of compost, Lime, & vegetable plant tone, finely roto-till the communal garden plot areas, stake those areas, plant more cool weather crops, and prepare the leased plot areas.

Things we might like to have - gloves, tools, seeds, vegetable plant tone (the more the better). Donations of tools to be kept at the site; shovels, rakes, 2 wheeled wheel barrow, any size stakes, string, hammer, etc.
If anyone is interested in baking cookies, muffins, or bring juice, coffee, water, or fruit. Anything that will keep the energy and spirit of the volunteers up is a great addition to the group.

May 23 - Official planting day

Thursday, April 16, 2009

June 1st Terra Firma Farm Volunteer Day

Mark your calendars, and stay tuned for more! Thanks to Anne B. - again!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

CashFlow Game Reschedule to 4/24

Mike Farnum has requested to move our CashFlow session to Friday, April 24 from 10:30 - noon. If you've not yet been, come check it out. Seasoned pros et al, we hope to see you there!
Homework Reminder: Michael had discussed with the children his idea of setting up a car wash to contribute the money to a local charity. The food bank for instance. Our assignment was to figure out what our start up costs might be. Cost of sponges buckets, soap/ how many cars can be washed etc. A little business plan type of thing. His goal is to execute the idea to have a real life experience of setting up a business and return on investment as well as the experience of giving back to the community/ contributing to charitable cause.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The nets are up at Washington Park!

First Lesson is scheduled for
Friday, April 3, 10, 17, 24, and on thru May...?!

This is a fun & informal gathering - please feel free to come as you can!

Please Remember to Bring:
- A tennis racket…if you don’t have one, borrow one, share one, or buy an inexpensive one at someplace like Wal-Mart or Re-Play Sports.
- Tennis balls…can be used, as long as they bounce!

Please Wear:
- Sneakers.
- Comfortable clothes.
- Smiles.

“Coach K.”

If you haven't already done so,
so we can keep an eye out for you and/or add you to the "In Case of Rain"
email notification list!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CashFlow continues this Friday, March 20 at 10:30 (free)

Room 2, Groton Public Library (please confirm on arrival)
Mike Farnum offers this financial literacy game for tweens & teens
Feel free to stop in & check it out, even if you've not been before.
Alternate Fridays:
March 20
April 3
April 17?
May 1?
Final class day to be confirmed.

BookChat will continue at new time - 11am on alternate Tuesdays!*

March 24
April 7
April 21
May 5

We can continue to gather in the Teen Lounge, or, if weather warrants, outside -
byob (bring your own blanket!)

Informal polling found consensus to be that
a) a later time was better, and,
b) alternating weeks would open more opportunity for outdoor & alternate activities like
volunteerism, sports, hikes, jamband, beach days....
As always, this fabulous ongoing experimental socio-educational adventure is subject to feedback & change to best suit the contentment of our community.

*We tried to alternate the Tuesdays with "Cash Flow" weeks, so that there are still activities weekly.

Room 2 Workshop Days at GPL are a Wrap!

Thank you, everyone, for your energy and participation!
We have used our 12 day allotment for the library June-June calendar year,
and will look forward to scheduling new times for next year.
But, we're still looking forward to more fun together throughout the spring...!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sunday, April 19th 10a - 2p Volunteer Opportunity

The Mystic Aquarium sponsors an Earth Day Cleanup at Bluff Point State Park in Groton.
Can we get some CommunityThinker families to roll up their sleeves & have fun?
Registration is requested for the clean-up. Call (860) 572-5955, ext. 520 or e-mail

April 2nd Volunteer Opportunity

2 pm Tea Time at Beechwood Nursing Home in New London
Assist in bringing residents to the hall for tea time and serving refreshments. Feel free to offer up generationally age-appropriate entertainment if you wish (not required.)
All you have to do is show up with a smile and positive energy!
RSVP to organizer Anne at

Map & Info:

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 10th Bookchat, Yoga & Bowling!

CommunityThink will be in Groton Public Library's Room 2 for 9:30-10:30ish Yoga with Story & Song with Anne Chase and, of course, the 9:30 BookChat in the TeenLounge.

11:30 - 1:30 at Groton Holiday Bowl for a lunchtime Bowlorama!
about $9/bowler for 2 hours bowling time, pizza & drink, and the shoes!
RSVP to so we can accommodate for more/less than 4 lanes.

(March 7th is BookChat & Math Games in the Teen Lounge and Room 2 at GPL.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Cash Flow" with Mike Farnum - A Financial Literacy Class/Game for Teens

Alternating Fridays 10:30am - 12ish
continuing on Friday, March 6*
Groton Public Library - Meeting Room (by Lounge)

Come check it out!
This program focuses on “financial literacy” with the foundation being a game called “Cash Flow” designed by Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. (See for more info.)

Having trained with Mr. Kiyoaski, Mike acts as an enthusiastic, well-informed Financial Guide, Host & Facilitator with the ability to communicate additional Real Teen World examples in a friendly & accessible manner.

The class functions around an ongoing & amorphous game of "Cash Flow" - a more realistic version of "Life"-meets-"Monopoly" with a touch of "Risk" - in which the players have a randomly-drawn profession with a specific set of income & expenses, based upon which they make ongoing fiscal decisions in order to get out of the "Rat Race" and achieve their personal goal. Real estate, stock & charity investments & contributions shift with the twists & turns of market and economy....

Parents are indeed welcome to learn along with their children.

A hearty handful of students played "Cash Flow" yesterday morning, with enthusiastic response and glowing reviews:

"Wait...! It's over already? That was waay too short!"
- F.P. After 2 hours of game play.

"That was really pretty fun!"
- M.P. Initially skeptical & reluctant participant.

* Times and length of schedule may shift slightly, but this is the current plan.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tennis Racket Exchange

Have an extra racket to share? Need one? Please use the comment section to connect & share information!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tennis, Everyone?

The snow is melting! Time to think about getting some fresh air and exercise.

WHO?: You!
WHAT?: Tennis ~ all levels ~ all ages
WHEN?: Friday mornings (9:30-11:30?) Weather permitting, starting in March or April
WHERE?: Washington Park, Groton, CT*
Playgrounds, basketball hoops, & picnic areas available for non-participants. Bill Memorial Library & Fort Griswold within walking distance.
WHY?: Fun, fresh air, exercise!
HOW?: Easy ~ just show up with a pair of sneakers, a tennis racket, a can of balls and a willingness to play!
Lessons with Lynn, (and any other volunteers!) are FREE.


RSVP: Please email Jennifer at with participant name, ages & contact info (email, phone) and volunteer assist interest (c'mon, you closet tennis pros!) so we can better organize, and contact for cancellations.

*See Google map for George Washington Park:

Tuesday, Feb 17th at GPL

Bookswap! Room 2 - Please bring your pre-enjoyed books to pass along for others to enjoy! If you've had that New-Year's-Sort-It-All-Out-And-Clear-It Moment strike your household, you may already have a bit of a stack going....

9:30 - 10:30 BookChat in the TeenLounge *This has become such a popular & growing group, please consider prioritizing your absolute favorite or most dramatically horrendous book review, in order to potentially share just one book, in the interest of time if there's a crowd!*

9:30 - 10:30 Yoga, Story & Song in Rm 2 with Anne Chase - parents welcome to join in!
Math Games in Room 2 with Jennifer - modified to suit interested partcipants - will be available as backup program as needed.

10:30 - 11:30 Dog Toy Crafting in Room 2 with Anne Bora and Priscilla Zorn - using fleece, creativity, & your crafty ideas/contributions. *PLEASE BYO SCISSORS!*

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Valentine & Chocolate Workshop, Feb 10th

Groton Public Library, Room 2

9:30 - 10:30 Book Chat in Teen Lounge*

9:30 - 10:30 Valentine Creations in Room 2
The Pryors will bring some supplies, please feel free to BYO favorite crafty goodies

10:30 - 11:15 Chocolate Workshop
Discussion on fair trade, child labor, sustainability and factors on
The Other Side of Chocolate by moms Caterina Maxwell and Cindy Hyland - - plus your input, if desired.

* Valentine supplies
* Chocolates to sample & share - check those labels!
* Chocolate funfacts, if you wish....

11:15 - 11:30 Clean-up
(The workshops have a fair potential for untidiness!)

* The work that was underway last week in that area is completed, so the 'Chat will be in its usual location.
It's best if we are respectful of the Library room rental policies and utilize Room 2 only.

Library's Games

As I was leaving the library after Game Day last week the librarians let me know that a couple of their games were missing. I think the missing games were Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly Jr and one other one. If you mistakenly brought these games home with you, please bring them back next Tuesday.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Feb 10th Chocolate Awareness Day at GPL 9:30 - 11:30

Cindy Hyland and Caterina Maxwell will share their research on the Chocolate Trade: fair trade, child labor, heritage & tradition, etc. Tasting will be a crucial element! Feel free to bring your own Choco-facts and even a favorite chockie to share -- check that label...!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Feb. 3rd Game Day at GPL!

Join us from 9:30 to 11:30 next Tuesday for Game Day in Room 2 of Groton Public Library! BYO favorite board games and ideas to share! Bingo? A Scrabble-Off, anyone? Chutes & Ladders? Does anyone have Twister? (And, I'm sure the Library has plenty of other choices.) Bring your faves and your smiles!
* Special Appearances by Finn & Nolan - the Homeschool Magicians *
Feel free to use the comment section to announce which treasured game you will be bringing, or to connect with fellow enthusiasts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

$5! Inkheart Movie Opening Day at Waterford 1:40

The Homeschool "Book-Was-Better" Club is meeting for the
1:40 Show at Regal Cinemas, 123 Cross Rd, Waterford, CT
on Friday, January 23 - Opening Day
$5/pp* rate has been negotiated for our (home)school group.

The movie is rated PG for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language.

Inkheart is based on the 2003 book by Cornelia Funke about story/telling so powerful, the characters literally come to life!

Those who are so inclined may be interested in a follow up tea & crumpet Book vs. Movie Discussion at nearby Panera Bread (other suggestions welcome!)

Please bring a friend - this is open to all - we've just coordinated the rate for our group at the 1:40 screening.

* We do not need to go in all together - just mention Homeschool Book Club - Richard, the Manager with whom we chatted, should be onsite.

RSVP so we can keep an eye out & say "hi" and/or Questions:

Regal 9 Theater Location Map:

Panera Bread Location Map:,+CT+06385&fb=1&geocode=14076729808967314165,41.378044,-72.147478&oi=manybox&ct=14&cd=1&resnum=1

Movie Website:

Book & Real-people Reviews:

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Dates for Groton Public Library!

We have a new set of Tuesdays in Room 2 of GPL from 9:30 - 11:30! They are a slightly quirky list due to increased demand of library facilities (following closures & shifting of other local meeting spaces - but we are very happy to share the time & space we can find! The dates are:

Feb 3
Feb 10
Feb 17
Mar 3
Mar 10
Mar 17

930 - 1030 Bookchat in Teen Area
The bookchat group has been a lovely ongoing & self-sustaining adventure -- thanks largely to the talents of Librarian Anne Campbell, and our brilliant team of homeschool families.

930 - 1030 Room Two open
1030 - 1130 Room Two open

Important Question:
OOOooh, the options on how to fill that Room 2! Please give feedback on whether you prefer to see one or two "classes" running all six Tuesdays, or treating each day as a 2-hour workshop opportunity led by different volunteer family/parent hosts.

- Jennifer Pryor is willing to do a Math Café workshop or series for apx 8 - 12yo, potentially with teen assistance.

Click to comment, or email

Monday, January 12, 2009

Book Was Better - Friday, Jan 16th 2:30 - 5:30ish

On Friday, January 16th, we will be screening Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events in the Pryor Barn at 35 Pearl Street. Popcorn & seltzer will be provided (you may bring a snack to share if you wish!) A discussion comparing the film & books will follow. The film includes elements from the first three books: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room and The Wide Window.
The movie is 107 minutes long and stars Jim Carrey, and features Meryl Streep, Jude Law, Billy Connolly, Cedric the Entertainer & more and is rated PG for thematic elements, scary situations and brief language, and 107 minutes long. Please see the very helpful site for detailed ratings of sex & nudity (1/10), violence & gore (4/10), and profanity (1/10).
The stories have a gothic air, a dark sense of humor, well-supported vocabulary lessons, and feature three self-educated & self-sufficient siblings. Recommended for about age 8+ but you know your child best! Review
Fans of Lemony Snicket and newcomers to his gleefully ghastly Series of Unfortunate Events will be elated to discover this boxed gift set of the first three books in hardcover: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window. While it's true that the events that unfold in Snicket's novels are bleak, and things never turn out as you'd hope, these delightful, funny, linguistically playful books are reminiscent of Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens, and Edward Gorey. After they get their paws on this boxed set, there is no question that young readers will want to read the continuing unlucky adventures of the three Baudelaire orphans. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

Holiday Bowl Lunch, Tuesday, Jan 13 11- 1 abt $9

Come one, come all - bring friends for a casual & sporty lunch at HolidayBowl in Groton (following our bookchat at the Lib).
We have a party rate to share lane/s: $55 includes 2 hours of bowling, shoes, pizza & soda and we can fit 6 or so kids per lane. Parents can bowl, too! There is also a video gaming room and additional highly nutritional foods available at the takeout counter. If you think you'll be there, RSVP to
so we know how many lanes to reserve!