Silver Lake preschool goes in search of its past in time for its 70th anniversary

Rose Scharlin Co-op Nursery School in Silver Lake has put out a call in search of alums as the preschool prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary next month with a May 1 reunion followed by a May 8 fundraiser. The kids gathered around the general store in the 1965 photo shown above are part of a long line of youngsters educated in what is described as Los Angeles’ oldest cooperative preschool. The nature of the school – which was founded in Echo Park and bears the name of a former director – has made it difficult to track down its history, explains a Rose Scharlin parent:

“The school lives in the present – literally. There is no
physical repository for its history (the campus is nearly all outdoor space) nor a large full-time staff to keep that history alive. Plus, as a co-op, parents effectively run the place – but they move on every few years. In preparing for the 70th anniversary party May 1, we’re reanimating the history of an LA institution. Along the way, as we reconnect with families from several generations, we’re meeting alums with amazing stories, some in their 90s who even knew Rose Scharlin herself.”

Read more about the anniversary and plans “to green the campus” of the hillside school.

Photo courtesy of Rose Scharlin school parent


  1. I attended Rose Scharlin from 1963-1964. What a fun and safe place for us children. I loved it there. Many of my friends today attended at the same time.
    Kathy, who was the teacher/administrator back then was a wonderful, fun and thoughtful person………..have to say she was my first crush….LOL!
    Keep on keeping on Rose Scharlin.
    Brian Lewis
    Taos, NM

  2. I’m the kid brother of Brian Lewis. I attended Rose Scharlin along with him. My memories are not as clear though. I remember the anticipation of being old enough to attend along with my brother and neighbor David Kimbrough, who were both a year and half older then me. (Remember the days when a 1/2 was a big deal?)
    My most vivid memories were the long walk down those stairs….like the path down into a magical place….a place filled with older wiser kids…kids who might understand the magic of balance…kids who might know how to ride a bike without training wheels!
    Somehow my time was cut short there, for whatever reason mean ol moms tell their children they can no longer go to someplace fun.
    I’m pretty sure Brian and I are the 2 blonde kids at the top left of the photo.
    Thanks for the belief in Magic, Ted Lewis

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