Love us? Hate us? Have a response to an article we published? AGENDA wants to know what you think! Send letters by the 20th day of the month preceding publication of our next issue to: AGENDA, 220 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, Ml 48104. Please include your address and phone number (for verification purposes). AGENDA reserves the right to edit or reject any letter. We give preference to letters under 400 words. OPEN LETTER FROM CORNTREE CO-OP There is a hidden treasure nestled on rolling woodland at 1 9 1 0 Hill, a place with a rich history that stretches back into Ann Arbor' s radical roots. This treasure is Corntree, a family housing co-op, daycare home and community resource center. Best known years ago as a childcare co-op, now when one mentions Corntree, a typical response is, "Corntree? I remember Corntree! My kids used to go there! What are they doing now?" Founded in 1968 by parents, Corntree is a four-story house perfect for childcare with lots of big living and playing rooms and a dining room big enough for our vegetarianvegan, mostly organic communal meals (boarders welcome). The most distinguishing feature of Corntree is its progressive politics. An excerpt from our unofficial history ("unofficial," the history ' s title page explains, "because no-one at Corntree ever has the last word") reads: "During the late '60s and early '70s Corntree was one of the homes of the revolution in Ann Arbor. If you were a member of the Human Rights Party, if you supported liberal causes, were against the war in Vietnam, or advocated equal rights for minority groups, chances are you met at Corntree at least once. The Rainbow House and the White Panther Party are gone, but Corntree remains, a neighborhood oddity, a remnant of a decade of social ferment." The Corntree philosophy was founded on the ideas of A.S. Neal, the leading exponent of the free school idea and author of "Summerhill." The driving force of the child care co-op was parent involvement. To children, Corntree was a magical place for free play; to parents, it was a challenge to their abilities to compromise and grow within the context of the consensus decisionmaking process. Today, Corntree still challenges us to work and clean cooperatively, resolve conflicts together, and take personal responsibility and accountability for our relationships with our housemates. Unfortunately, after years of struggles, the co-op slowly began to fade away. It has seemed at many times that Corntree's final days were at hand. However, Corntree's spirit is strong and there is now a core group living here committed to its revival. We have gone through the intense regeneration process necessary to obtain a license to be a daycare home for twelve. We plan to continue the spirit of parent involvement by offering work exchange. Our basic philosophy is child-directed, wholistic and Waldorf-based; we offer full-time, part-time and afterschool care. Corntree is truly a home, from the yule log burning in the fireplace and everybody dancing to a live klezmer band, to yummy smells coming from our great kitchen and the sounds of children downstairs in the big activity room - even some very heavy concentration happening in the craft room! And we want to share this hidden treasure with you. We're opening our doors to the community as a place for people to meet and have classes, workshops, and even small conferences. This is a great place for homeschooiers, theatre groups, and afterschool clubs to meet. We have lots of room for lots of people to do lots of things. We extend an invitation to folks of all ages to help us recréate a Corntree Community. Cali and come see what a treasure Corntree is. Help us preserve the spirit of the Comtree Co-op for many more years! And please come join us for our Open House scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 13 from 4 pm-9 pm, featuring a vegetarían potluck, a fire blazing in the fireplace and music honoring the birthday weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Old or new Corntree-type folks, please give us a cali at 769-5665 or 769-5671 . (Can anyone teil us more about the origin of our name? Why are we called "Corntree?" Cali ahead, stop by for dinner, and teil us! ) Let's leave you with the words of one of our Corntree children: "Come and share this wonderful treasure with us. Become rich in LOVE and PEACE. Come join us." - Leighanna, age 1 1.
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