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Bennett Preschool Donor Opporunity


“It has been said that the environment should act as a kind of aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes and cultures of the people who live in it. This is what we are working toward.” -Loris Malaguzzi

Dear Families,

The YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center, has specifically dedicated ourselves to the development of the early childhood years for over forty years with the donation and conservation of the Bennett Children’s Building and program. The Bennett Children’s Program has evolved over the years to service the needs of children of year-round and seasonal staff, children of the Estes Valley, and children from across the state and nation. We strive to provide your child with a developmentally appropriate and rich learning environment in which s/he develops socially, emotionally, and cognitively.


An important element of the philosophy of the Bennett Preschool Program is to provide your child with a unique hands-on interaction with nature in which s/he can apply life skills. In an effort to incorporate the natural world into our program we have envisioned an outdoor environment which will not only extend the benefits of the classroom, but immerse your child in active and creative play from which s/he can continue to expand on throughout their lives. Our view of the world compared with your child’s view of the world is different in size, shape, smell, color, taste, and imaginary.  We take in the views of the mountains and your child gets down and analyzes the small specks of color in a rock.  Our perspective and vantage point of the world is different, and so we think, what are ways in which we can create an outdoor space that will enhance and support your child?

We think about the sense of touch, we think about smell, we think about sounds, we think about taste, we think about sight, we think about the whole being. Your child has the right to be enveloped in an environment that will foster all aspects of the child’s development: emotional, social, intellectual, linguistic, and physical. We are passionate about creating a natural playscape that is beautiful and engaging, intellectually stimulating, and physically challenging to support each child’s growth and development.

The Bennett Preschool is committed to providing quality education in a natural setting. Giving your child opportunities to interact with the natural world is an essential element of our program. Play is an integral part of early childhood. Through nature play becomes a key part in early childhood as it provides the necessary element that only nature can provide. We are blessed beyond measure with the location of our outdoor learning environment. We have mountains, trees, and the open space to explore. Our current outdoor play space, while large, is inadequate for our needs. A lack of available funds has made it impossible to provide your child with the materials we would like to see available in our outdoor areas.

We have received a grant from the Tempel Hoyne Buell Foundation to significantly upgrade the outdoor area, with the installation of …

  • Tree House Climber
  • Sensory Areas
  • Raised Planter Boxes
  • Construction Zone
  • Bike Path
  • Art Area
  • Boulders for climbing
  • Outdoor Ramps

This is our vision and we are passionate about having these items or similar items installed. This is a matching grant and provides us with a unique opportunity to do additional fundraising for this essential project. Every dollar that we raise towards improvement of the outdoor environment is matched by the Buell Foundation, up to $15,000.

We need your help to take advantage of the Buell Foundation’s generosity! In order to receive the Buell Foundation’s gift and upgrade the outdoor learning environment at Bennett Preschool, we must raise $15,000 by the end of the year!  Please consider improving your child’s education experience as well as the experience for hundreds of other children though a tax-deductible contribution to this worthwhile project. I appreciate your trusting us with your child and your consideration of helping to create an even better Bennett!


Brittny Johnson
Bennett Director

All financial gifts are tax deductible. To donate, contact Bennett Director Brittny Johnson at or call 970-586-3341 x1137. To learn more about the Bennett Children’s Program, please visit

About The Author

Hailing from the great state of Minnesota, Martha joined YMCA of the Rockies in 2010 and has been enjoying life in the Rockies ever since. When she's not at work, you'll find her hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, at a yoga class, or dog sledding, depending on the season. Occasionally, she can sit still long enough to read a book. Martha is passionate about the YMCA's mission to build strong families and strong communities.

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