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VYFS Sells Playspace Building to Le Ouistiiti French Immersion School

Vashon Youth and Family Services is pleased to announce the sale of the building at 9822 SW Gorsuch Road, now known as the Playspace, to Brennan and Coco Banks. The Banks own Le Ouistiti French Immersion preschool, which currently operates out of the Land Trust building on Bank Road. The building was sold for $530,000. The Playspace Program, which has operated out of the building since 2003, will continue to be located there, but will move to the lower level and change its name to the VYFS Family Place.

“Le Ouistiti is a beloved Island program, and we are so pleased that the Bankses have purchased the Playspace building. We are happy to turn over this valued Island building to them and know they will be great stewards of the facility,” said Kathleen Barry Johnson, VYFS Executive Director.

VYFS purchased the building from the YMCA in 2011 and used the top floor to operate its Birth to Six program. With the sale, VYFS will move its program offices to the bottom floor, renting from the Bankses for the next 12 months. “We are closed now and will reopen on July 17th, in our new location on the ground floor, and continue to offer an array of support to for parents and caregivers of young children,” said Christine Wood, Program Manager of VYFS’ Family Education and Support Services.

“In addition to the move, we are excited to announce we are changing the name of our program to more accurately reflect the purpose of the programming,” said Wood. “We think ‘Family Place’ tells young families and Islanders more about what we do. We offer home visiting services and parenting classes for caregivers of young children, groups like Play & Learn and Play N Chat, an open play area and connections to experienced parent educators and the larger Vashon parenting community.”

“With all these changes, we recognize there are many questions,” said Johnson. “We are in the process of organizing community gatherings to give Islanders a chance to ask for answers, to learn what we are doing now and what we hope to do in the future.”
Vashon Island’s Le Ouistiti French Immersion Preschool is excited to announce their move to a new island location on the corner of Gorsuch Road and Vashon Hwy SW. Currently situated in the Vashon Maury Island Land Trust Building space, Le Ouistiti’s new home will be in the former VYFS Playspace building (islanders also know it as the former YMCA space). Le Ouistiti’s new location will provide greater opportunities to meet the needs of the Vashon community and offer an expanded program that will begin this Fall 2017-18.

“I have been waiting for this opportunity for the last two years. When this building became available, (thanks to Susan Lofland and her tenacious real estate skills) I just knew it was the perfect fit for Le Ouistiti and our plans for the future.” -Coco Banks, Le Ouistiti owner and lead teacher.

ABOUT LE OUISTITI: Le Ouistiti is a French immersion school with a focus on exploring the French language using the French National Maternelle (preschool) curriculum and the US Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. Young students experience the world through the senses and are immersed in the French language through daily rituals, French children’s books, songs, cooking, art, exploration of our island and lots of play.

For the past two years, Le Ouistiti’s program has operated out of the Land Trust Building on Bank Road. Enrolled students attend school Monday through Friday from 9AM – 1PM. Up until now, the number of students enrolled has not exceeded 12 due to the size of their classrooms in the Land Trust Building. All that is about to change.
In moving to their new home, Le Ouistiti will increase their classroom footprint and allow for sustainable growth in the coming years. In addition, Le Ouistiti will begin offering an after-school care program for preschool and elementary students at their new location.

“Having this bigger space will enable us to enlarge our offerings to our families and community. We are excited at the future prospects for Le Ouistiti and are eager to share them as these plans become more concrete. Our dream is to have a space that is equally welcoming to the children we serve as well as our families.”
-Coco Banks, Le Ouistiti owner and lead teacher

Le Ouistiti’s mission and educational philosophy will remain unchanged. The intimate, nurturing learning environment that families have known at Le Ouistiti will remain true, and the teacher to student ratio will continue to stay well below 8:1. Families will find that the new space will offer more collaboration and involvement with parents and the program as a whole. Plus, a larger campus will provide greater opportunities for families to gather and where the teaching staff can engage more frequently with their students’ parents.

Le Ouistiti is currently accepting applications for the 2017-18 school year. Parents with children ages 3-5, who are interested in Le Ouistiti’s French immersion and kindergarten-readiness program, can find more information on Le Ouistiti’s website at www.leouistiti.com. Inquiries can also be made by contacting Coco Banks, Lead Teacher & Owner, at cocobanks@leouistiti.com or by phone at (206) 613-9243.