Not much has changed since Plymouth School opened 40 years ago

| November 2, 2012 | 0 Comments

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE. Marisa Wolf, holding future student Audrey, drops off daughter Julia Wolf. Her brother and fellow former alumnus Pat Tostado, is pictured with daughter Chloe, also enrolled there.

Penny Cox is one of the five founders of Plymouth School, which recently celebrated its 40th year of getting pre-schoolers ready for kindergarten.  “Everyone else retired 20 years ago,” said Cox with a laugh.
Plymouth was housed in the Wilshire Methodist Church at Wilshire and Plymouth boulevards when it opened in 1972. It later moved to its current home at Wilshire Presbyterian Church at 315 S. Oxford Ave., with an enrollment of 60 students ages two-and-a-half to five-and-a-half years old.
“Nothing has changed, I swear,” said Cox, reflecting back on her tenure there. “A week ago I had a teacher from St. Brendan’s stop by whose daughters went here. She said our school has the same charm as when her kids were here.”
Alumnus and Brookside resident Pat Tostado, who attended in the late ‘70s and had Cox as one of his teachers, agrees. “Plymouth is a second home for many in the community, and for some it has been so for two generations. It’s not unusual to see grandparents at the school who not long ago were dropping off their own kids.”    His son, Oliver, 7, graduated from Plymouth a couple of years ago, and daughter Chloe is currently a student there. “We are very appreciative of Plymouth, Penny and all of the teachers,” said Tostado. “It is a very special environment.”

PLYMOUTH SCHOOL teaching team, from left, are Olga Maldonado, Megan Griffith, Donna Carolan, founder Penny Cox, Ria Raders and Fran Hentz.

Cox says that what makes it special is its emphasis on the whole child. “Our job is to get them ready for kindergarten, but we focus more on the social and emotional aspects. In some instances we have kids we know will struggle in kindergarten, so we keep them another year. They’re smart enough, they’re just not done playing.”
And Cox believes that’s what youngsters that age need—to play. “But we do teach them,” said Cox. “They just don’t realize it.”
Marisa Wolf, a student there in the mid-70s along with brother Pat, says she still remembers walking into school and being warmly greeted by Penny. “Now my daughter Julia and niece Chloe are classmates, along with children of my former Plymouth classmates,” said Wolf. “Watching Penny greet them all just warms my heart. “Plymouth is special because it has not changed. It’s is still the same wonderful place that welcomes us with open arms, and teaches our children with simplicity and love,”  she added.

“I’m sure we’ve made some changes over the years for heaven’s sake,” said Cox. But we don’t have to teach them to use the computer. They do that at home.”


Category: Schools

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