Play Washing Dishes

History and Organization

The College of Wooster Nursery School has been in continuous operation since 1947. Jean Bates (Mrs. C. John L.), wife of the minister of Westminster Presbyterian Church, conceived of the idea. Mrs. Bates held a master's degree in early childhood education, and her sound ideas still prevail in the school. In the early days a rented bus, with Mrs. Bates aboard, was a familiar sight in the college area. It called for the children and then delivered them back home at the close of school. The original sponsors were members of the Junior Women's Club, later known as Wooster Women's Civic Club. Twenty children attended the Nursery School in the basement of the old Memorial Chapel. In 1966, upon the completion of Westminster Church House, the Nursery School moved to its current location.

Esther B. Young followed Jean Bates. In 1956 Clare Adel Schreiber became teacher and director. She introduced a program with play as its cornerstone. Play, a child's innate curiosity about the natural world and Mrs. Schreiber's love and knowledge of nature have provided the basis for the Nursery School's curriculum ever since. Mrs. Schreiber retired in 1985 but remained active as a consultant until her death in 2011.

From 1985 to 1990 Lynn Akam, assistant professor of psychology at the College, directed and taught in the school. Her love of and dedication to the children and their families made a lasting impression.

Carol Stewart was Director of the Nursery School from 1990- 2003. Her endless energy and concern for all children, families and college students has been a wonderful legacy. We are fortunate to have Carol continue teaching in the Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes.

From the early 1970's until Spring 2013, a cooperative effort with Ida Sue School was in place, with two children from Ida Sue Pre-school participating in the Nursery School program each year. The funding was made possible by the generous support of The Wayne County Committee for Crippled Children and Adults, Inc.

In 1974 The College of Wooster incorporated the Nursery School into its program, making it part of the department of psychology. Wooster students contribute a vital enthusiasm to the dedicated teaching staff.