Fellowship Baptist church celebrates the fortieth year of childhood education this year, as their daycare centre carries on with a tradition that goes back to 1967!
The Daily News celebrated the grand occasion with a feature story in Wednesday's paper.
Nursery ready for big birthday
BY CARLA WINTERSGILL
The Daily News
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
A Prince Rupert nursery school has reached the ripe old age of 40, and they're throwing a party to celebrate.
This Friday, the Fellowship Baptist Nursery School is holding a reception to celebrate its history.
The school was recently presented with the Childcare Legacy Award from the British Columbia Minister of State for Childcare, Linda Reid, in recognition of more than 40 years of outstanding childcare.
The reception will feature nursery school founder, Gwen Marshall, sharing her memories of the school's beginning as well as the recollections of some former students.
"There's probably three generations now that would have attended the nursery school," said Marshall. "A lot of them still live in the community and have very close ties to Fellowship Baptist."
Fellowship Baptist nursery school was founded in 1967, and it was originally a kindergarten. At the time, kindergarten wasn't a part of the public school curriculum.
The church was putting up a new building and decided to add a school portion.
"The church saw it as a way to serve the community," said Marshall. "I was already a kindergarten teacher so they asked me if I would stay, and I was happy to."
In that first year, there were two classes of 25 children, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, classes that Marshall supervised on her own.
Since then, kindergarten has been incorporated into the school system and the school now teachers three- and four-year-olds.
Right now, there are 76 students in total with a staff of seven full- and part-time workers.
Reaching 40 years is a rare feat for a nursery school.
"It is very unusual for them to be open so long," said Carol Hyszka, the current supervisor of the Fellowship Baptist nursery school.
The school provides crucial early learning for its students.
"They're learning to cooperate and work in groups," said Marshall. "The social part is the most important thing. They are learning to get along with other children."
Although it is a Christian-based pre-school, "Anybody can come of every faith," said Hyszka.
The anniversary celebration takes place on Fri., May 30, at the Fellowship Baptist Church at 7 p.m.