Perhaps the best words to describe the experience at Spirit at Play are those from some of our past parents. Names and other identifying information have been removed.

This past spring, I sent out a parent survey and gained some valuable feedback on what we are doing well and what needs improvement. One parent quote stood out to me:

“I feel an uplifting positive energy every time I drop my child off at school. It is so amazing to me in this hurried, busy life how we can always count on a stable, safe, and loving atmosphere day after day at SAP.”



I’m not sure I can express how thankful we are for your leadership and your staff in making this past year so positive for C. and our family.  The community you’ve created at SAP is incredible. Here’s a short list of some great things I want you to know I recognize and appreciate — Hope’s warm smile and wonderful smells in the kitchen every morning, Kira’s positive energy, hugs, and face-painting, Andee’s smile and calming presence, Matt’s creativity in end-of-the-day activities and enthusiastic greetings at pick-ups, Calida’s patience and obvious love of being with the kids, and Judy’s creativity, positive energy, and daily email updates which became the foundation of many dinner conversations.  All that is to say thank you for your role in creating and maintaining such a great place for kids and families.  I want you to know I understand how important your leadership is, and despite this rambling, I’m not sure I’m expressing that enough! :-)

Best wishes for a great school year and we hope C. can join you next summer!

Thanks again!

K & Z


Dear Judy and Kelly,

Thank you so much for all the love and kindness you have shown M and W over these past years, which helped provide them with a healthy, emotional foundation that will benefit them their whole lives. I feel very lucky that we had the experiences we did at SAP…

Love, K



… Thank you for organizing a school which values community, the earth, kindness, responsibility, learning and discovery; thank you too for modeling that each day for L and all the kids….

Again, thank you,

T, B, and L


Dear Spirit at Play Staff:

All is not equal when it comes to pre-schools. It is difficult to find the exact words to define what makes Spirit at Play (SAP) so wonderfully different. As you know, C. attended two other schools in the area prior to attending SAP. Although C.’s physical and intellectual needs were well taken care of, those facilities paled in comparison…

To me, the experience at SAP was more about building good character. The inclusion of things such as “Thankful Thursdays”, the Clark Fork Clean Up, and the “Responsibility Wheel”, have reinforced values that we teach and practice at home. All pre-schools would have taught C. the ABC’s and 123’s. At Spirit at Play, she had a richer experience. I feel it is important for pre-school aged children to learn about themselves and to appreciate others. They need to develop confidence and a sense of self, to enjoy small pleasures of life and appreciate nature and the community. I want C. to be thankful for families and friends, to develop compassion and to experience joy in giving to others. It is obvious to me, the teachers at SAP understand and attach importance to these values and it comes through in their interactions with families and in the impact they have on their students….

Turnover of staff is a common issue in the childcare profession. SAP does an excellent job at minimizing this issue by offering a positive, respectful, and professional atmosphere. More importantly, the culture and goals of the organization are well defined, promoted, and adhered to which creates consistency and continuity even when there is the eventual change in personnel…




Dear Kelly and Judy,

As I sit here and watch J. make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for his first day of kindergarten, I realize how much he has grown over the last two years at Spirit at Play.

Even though I thought he should be book learning, you were right… he would start to learn it even without sitting down and hammering it out every day. He has grown so much in a way only SAP could nurture him to. Still a little toddler when he came, leaving as an independent, smart and ready-to-really-learn little boy.

Thank you for nurturing him when he needed it and watering him when he was growing. Spirit at Play has been the perfect experience at just the right time.

Sincerely, J. & C.F.


Dated on 3/30/15

Dear Kelly, SAP Staff and Board,

On behalf of the entire K. & R. clan, your generosity, love and support continues to astound us. When a family joins a childcare environment like SAP or any other provider that guides, leads, and loves our children, it’s unknown the degree to which the relationships develop. Beyond expectation and with steadfast compassion and kindness, SAP personified ”community” in every way I can imagine for a child care organization.  Most recently, during the incredibly difficult early stage after losing our daughter, you have been there– and mostly in beautiful ways that no one else would know. You are inspiring human beings and a humbling community of people who not only help us raise healthy and kind Bees, Twigs and Chickadees, but also a model of caring and connectedness that does not end when we sign out each day.  This is humanity at its best.  We will pay it forward as we are able.

With most sincere gratitude,
N. R.


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A card saying Thank You with nature.

A card saying Thank You with nature.