Stinson school seeks to fill gap

04/03/2014

The Stinson Beach Preschool will hold its annual dinner, dance and silent auction this Saturday night from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Stinson Beach Community Center. It hopes to raise $20,000 for this year’s budget, particularly important for keeping tuition costs “as low as we can,” said Susan Tacherra, the longtime director. The event will celebrate 40 years of the school’s existence: alumni have been invited and photographs old and new will be on display. But even as it marks an anniversary, the preschool’s continued future is in jeopardy: the school’s rental lease with the Bolinas-Stinson Union School District will end in June, and another location has not yet been secured. “Knowing that institution has been in our community for so long and given children such a rich, fundamental beginning is so reassuring to me,” said Sarah Morris MacDonald, whose son is at the school. “They have set an incredible foundation for my children in terms of their learning and their curiosity.” The preschool serves about 20 families annually from Bolinas, Stinson Beach and Inverness, and focuses on a project-based curriculum, like raising the baby chicks that are scheduled to hatch on Sunday. Next week, the school board will likely vote on whether to permit a mobile classroom on the Stinson Beach campus. If the school closes, “these children will have no preschool,” Ms. Tacherra said. “They’ll have nowhere to go, since the other [Bolinas] preschool is full right now.” If it does win approval on Tuesday, a $115,000 capital campaign will commence on Wednesday, said Ms. Tacherra, who is taking one project at a time. Saturday’s dinner will include vegetables from Gospel Flat Farm and Star Route Farms, Buckenmeyer pork and Tacherra beef while a jazz duo plays; dancing starts later with music by Just Friends. The silent auction has over 250 prizes, including singing telegrams, weekend rentals at Stinson Beach, dinner at The Olema and a Hawaiian vacation. Tickets can be purchased for $35 in advance by calling Ms. Tacherra at (415) 868.0949 or for $45 at the door.