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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. Designed to enhance school related competencies and reduce social, emotional and school adjustment difficulties in children grades kindergarten through third. Primary Project has been part of Cooperstown Elementary School for 30 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?

Kara Rutledge, child associate, works directly with children who are recommended for Primary Project. Christine McBrearty-Hulse and Sara Mileski, elementary school counselors, are responsible for supervising and selection. Classroom teachers and parents are also involved. The Children’s Institute, in Rochester NY, provides training, evaluation, clinical and program consultation.

How are children selected to participate in Primary Project?

Just as teachers regularly gather information on a student’s academic skills, it is also important to gather standard information on how well a child is socially and emotionally adjusting to school. Classroom teachers meet with the school counselors and child associate to discuss children that may benefit from Primary Project. Students may also be recommended for participation by their parent 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 Children who may be shy, anxious, withdrawn, defiant, or generally experience school as unpleasant are often most appropriate.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 also benefit from participation in Primary Project. 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 counselors Christine McBrearty-Hulse or Sara Mileski.

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

Children will meet individually once a week for 30 minutes with Kara Rutledge, child associate. Using a child-led play philosophy a trusting relationship is formed. 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.