Oak Park & River Forest Day Nursery marks 100
Aubrey Pennington, 4, and Joseph Wyman, 4, dig in the dirt table at Oak Park & River Forest Day Nursery in Oak Park. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 9, 2012 6:16AM
OAK PARK — The Oak Park & River Forest Day Nursery is celebrating 100 years of service.
“We couldn’t be happier,” Executive Director Catherine Hart said. “One hundred years is a huge deal.”
A centennial campaign, “Celebrating Our History, Preparing Our Future – 100 Years,” was launched to honor the milestone.
The campaign’s goal is to raise $100,000 to enhance early childhood programming, improve the interior and exterior of the historic landmark building at 1139 Randolph St. in Oak Park, and grow the endowment.
“One hundred thousand was chosen to mirror the 100 years,” Media Relations and Campaign Liaison Snow Timms said. “The key is to ensure the nursery is around for the next 100 years.”
A committee of people with direct ties to the day nursery is leading the campaign.
“Some of these people have ties with the nursery for over 30 years,” Timms said. “It’s amazing to hear their stories and experiences.”
The nursery has raised more than 50 percent of its goal due to the campaign kick-off on Oct. 25. The hope is to raise the rest from individuals, foundations, businesses and organizations.
“The nursery has done so much for our communities, it’s time to give back and recognize their hard work,” Timms said.
The nursery began with a handful of women in 1912.
“They wanted to have a place in the community where individuals felt safe bringing their children to,” Hart said.
The Oak Park & River Forest Day Nursery’s core mission is to “provide full-time quality, nurturing child care and preschool education by trained and caring staff in a safe environment for families in the community,” according to its website.
“My personal goal and the goal of the nursery are the same,” Hart said. “It’s a wonderful agency and mission.”
Hart attributes the nursery’s success to the staff.
“Our staff is reflective of our community,” Hart said. “It’s made up of diverse, well-educated people.”
To make a contribution to the campaign, contact Hart at (708) 383-8211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.