Welcome to Part 4 in our series of Starting a Homeschool Co-op, today we are going to discuss finding a space to meet. If you missed the rest of the series, start here.
If you are just starting a group, your needs might be small. You may only be looking for space for a handful of families, but as you grow you will most definitely need to be looking for a space that will allow you to expand as a group and offer multiple classrooms. Below is a list of places you can start your search
Finding a Space to Meet
-Multi-purpose Rooms at a Library
-Places that have a Mother’s Day Out (use the days that are not already in session)
-Meeting rooms in a hotel, motel, museum, apartment complex, HOA amenity center
-A park with a sheltered area
So now you have a few ideas of where you can look for meeting space. If your group is on the larger end or you plan on growing, you will want to start off asking to use space in a building that will hold everyone comfortably, like a church. Churches are usually a natural choice because they often have at least one day of open availability and most of them have the tables, chairs and the needed space.
Before you reach out to anyone, consider your needs.
- What Days/times do you need/want to meet?
- How much space do you need? Do you need a large gathering space in addition to rooms? Do you need a gym? Kitchen?
- What support will you need from the host place? Security? Cleaning? Technology? Sound?
When you know what your needs are, it’s time to approach your options. Using a form letter like the one below will help you know where to start. If you would like an editable version you can find it here
Dear (facility director, pastor, or other contact),
My name is _______ and I am the homeschool co-op director for _____________ I am writing you today because we are looking for a new place to call home for our weekly homeschool co-op, and your _________(church, business, etc.) came to mind.
(If you are currently meeting somewhere) Currently, we are meeting at_________. We have been blessed greatly by _________ (name the person in charge) and his staff over the last few years, but _____ (name the reason for leaving) We need to find a new church home starting in________ (starting date) .
Presently, we are in need of a home that will allow us the use of at least _____ classrooms, _____ nursery/pre-k rooms, a gym or large meeting place, and a closet to hold supplies. We meet once a week on _____ (day) from ______ (times) with actual class time being ________(time). We currently have over ____ families that participate in ____(name of organization) with an average of _______ students in attendance weekly.
We are a parent run co-op that offers a variety of different classes to meet the needs of our homeschool community. You can find out more information about our organization by visiting us at (website or social media page)
If your ______ (business, church, organization) is interested in ministering to our community through the use of your building we would love the opportunity to sit down and discuss this with you.
I will be following up with you soon, If you would like to reach me before then I can be reached at _____ (email) or by phone at _______.
Thank you for your consideration,
You can also include in the letter if your organization has 501c3 status, liability insurance or letters of reference and let them know that your bylaws are also available on request.
I recommend either dropping the letter off or mailing it with an official letterhead. If you take the time to drop it off, you then have the opportunity to speak with someone about the process. Introduce yourself, tell them what you are doing and ask to leave the letter. Then ask them if they are aware of the process and when a good time they think would be to follow up.
Wait a week and then follow up with a phone call. Most organizations will have some kind of board or other leadership that will have to meet to discuss it, so allow time for that to happen before reaching out again.
If you are interested in receiving extra support in your co-op planning or just want some ideas as you move along, sign up for my Homeschool Leader Newsletter.
Stick around to catch the rest of the series
Part 4: How to approach a church or other facility for use of their building