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Family Village Co-op reopens its doors

 

September 11, 2019 | View PDF

A welcoming testament to Family Village’s ethos hangs at the entrance of the kids’ classrooms.

Family Village in Longmont is modeled on a communal premise which many societies depended on only decades ago. In the past, families relied heavily on near-by friends, neighbors, and relatives for social connection and support with life’s daily tribulations. As we’ve progressed scientifically, we’ve become more isolated socially, relying on devices to help raise, rear, nurture, or connect.

Founder of Family Village of Longmont, Melanie Piazza, believed there was a disconnect occurring, in part due to the abundance of technological connectivity. We are no longer able to reach out to our community and many have to shoulder heavy burdens all on their own. During her own personal struggle to take care of her sick mother while raising kids, she realized that it truly takes a village, one that she didn’t currently have. So, she set out to make one.

“It became really clear to me that I didn’t have what I needed to feel supported during that time. A lot of parents that I knew also felt the same way. Given the way that our society is, we move where the jobs are. That often means leaving family history and lots of layers of relatives behind.”

Now, 16 months after its opening, Family Village of Longmont is seeing success and finding footing in the Boulder County community. In May, the co-op moved and is now based out of St. Stephens (1303 S Bross Ln). What was formerly a preschool is now utilized as a coworking space, daycare center, gathering place, and more. Piazza said, “The whole thing is a modern take on the village concept of what life used to be and what still exists in some cultures.”

Now, Family Village’s facility boasts an entire wing, complete with two playrooms for children and five rooms for their adult counterparts. The new grown up spaces offer a quiet, co-working area, a courtyard, wellness room, a meditation room, and a kid-working room. Fitness classes are held on the lush lawn when weather permits.

When speaking about future plans for the coop, Piazza cites specific changes she hopes to implement in the coming months. “We’re missing part of our village. We became a group of parents that came together to support one another. But the whole village concept is multigenerational.” She envisions adding members from various age groups, including senior citizens and highschoolers.

Community Cove offers members of Family Village a place to kick back, catch up, and connect in an informal, welcoming atmosphere.

She also wants Family Village to act as an inspirational pilot, prompting other communities to create their own cooperative communities. “The hope is that this can be a pilot. This is a coop. Everyone involved is an equal owner in the business. There’s one full-time childcare provider but everyone else provides care when needed.” Members don’t just get affordable childcare, they get a built-in support network, a space to create, and a tribe for life.

On Sept. 21, Family Village of Longmont is hosting an event to celebrate the new space. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. and include a cupcake walk, food, scavenger hunts, and more. Prospective members can tour the facility, meet the childcare provider, and talk to current members about the group. The event also acts as a fundraising opportunity for Family Village as they charge on, full steam ahead, adding to the village and spreading the true meaning of community.

 

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