Founded by a partnership between Marianne Lam and Jacquelyn Coo, The Storybook School officially opened on October 23, 2017. Ever since then, their school grew from two to forty students, almost reaching max capacity within one year. The Storybook School is an all-inclusive, relationship and project-based school preparing 2-5 year olds to transition into grade school. Each child has a binder (or “storybook”), filled with pieces of artwork and pictures from time spent at the school, illustrating personal growth and development. The Storybook School also holds showcases for family members to check-in and view projects that the children have been working on.
The founders, Marianne and Jacquelyn, want to immerse the children in Cantonese and Mandarin by providing them interactive experiences in Chinese food and culture. They place an emphasis on parent involvement by inviting grandparents and parents to chaperone on projects and act as visiting experts to teach the children various skill sets such as crafts and cooking. For example, one of their favorite expeditions was a visit to Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco’s Chinatown, where many parents participated as chaperones and the children were able to discover more about Chinese culture outside the classroom.
The Storybook School recognizes that each child is unique in their own ways, and they strive to foster each child’s individuality and cater to the children’s learning styles. The founders and teachers constantly reflect on which methods work with the kids and balance a multitude of different strategies in order to find the best for each child.
Near the beginning of The Storybook School’s journey, Jacquelyn and Marianne found Main Street Launch through a referral from their landlord. With a loan from Main Street Launch, they were able to fund renovations and furnishing expenses at their location in the Sunset district. “Working with Main Street Launch was great. The loan officer was very detail-oriented and walked us and our spouses through the entire process of collecting the necessary documentation,” remembers Marianne.
In five to ten years from now, Jacquelyn and Marianne want to see more growth in their business, hoping to retain both veteran teachers and returning families as a part of their school community. When asked what impact they want to leave on the children, both Jacquelyn and Marianne agreed that they want the children to retain the languages and culture they’ve learned during their time at The Storybook School. “Children are not just learning a language; they are learning about a culture that comes with the language. We hope the children retain many warm memories from meaningful experiences with peers and relationships with their teachers,” says Jacquelyn.
Applications for enrollment in The Storybook School are available online at their website, https://www.thestorybookschool.com/admission/. Check them out!