The Nation's Oldest Cooperative Preschool

Right Here in Ithaca, NY

Our History

East Ithaca Preschool (EIP) is a non-profit, cooperative preschool, founded in 1924 through the cooperation of the American Association of University Women and parents in the Belle Sherman neighborhood (then known as the Bryant Tract), with the influence and assistance of Cornell’s Department of Home Economics (now Human Ecology).

Originally called “The Ithaca Cooperative Play School” and held in the home of a member family, it was one of the first parent organized and operated co-op nursery schools in the country. Though we have changed our name and location several times, our original organization, philosophy, and objectives remain much the same.

Our home is in the Bethel Grove Community Center, a building founded in 1938, with much history of its own. We have rented there from 1958-1968, and from 1977 to the present day.

We welcome contacts from old students and parents. If you have pictures or documents from the preschool of previous years, we’d love to see them, and copy them for our historical archive.

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