Primary Project

Welcome to the Primary Project Playroom!

The Playroom is located on the second floor of the Cooperstown Elementary School building.

What is the Primary Project?

Primary Project is a school-based early intervention and prevention program. It is designed to enhance school related competencies and reduce social, emotional and school adjustment difficulties in children in kindergarten through third grade. Primary Project has been part of Cooperstown Elementary School for more than 20 years.

Why is it important?

Children are facing big changes as they enter the early school years. Increased academic expectations, increased structure and working in group situations can make adjusting to school difficult. Some kids begin to feel worried or overwhelmed, lose confidence or begin to act out with their words and/or behavior. Primary Project can help smooth over the rough spots by creating a safe, nurturing relationship with a caring adult at school.

Who is involved?

Teacher Kara Rutledge works directly with children who are recommended for Primary Project.  Christine McBrearty-Hulse, elementary school counselor, is responsible for supervising, overseeing training, screening and selection. Classroom teachers and parents are also involved.  The Rochester-based Children’s Institute provides training, evaluation, clinical and program consultation.

How are children selected to participate in Primary Project?

Just as teachers regularly gather information on a child’s academic skills, it is important to gather standard information on how well a child is adjusting to school.  Classroom teachers meet with the school counselor and child associate to discuss children that may benefit from Primary Project.  Students may also be recommended for participation as a result of observation in the classroom, referral by their parents or other school personnel. Children who may be shy, anxious, withdrawn, defiant or generally experience school as unpleasant are often most appropriate.  Students with other life stressors such as the birth of a sibling, moving, illness or the loss of a family member may also benefit from participation in Primary Project.  Of course, if you would like your child to participate, it is important for you to communicate directly with your child’s teacher or with Elementary School Counselor Christine McBrearty–Hulse.

If my child is selected, what will he or she do in the program?

Children are seen once a week for 30 minutes in the playroom with the child associate.  Here a trusting relationship is formed using a child-led play philosophy. Play is how children learn about the world, solve problems and communicate feelings.

How will parents be involved?

Parents are asked to sign a permission slip if they would like their child to participate and are encouraged to call to ask questions or schedule a visit to see the playroom.