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Thank you for caring

April 15, 2010 - Betsy Bethel

I distinctly remember two things about nursery school, circa 1977:

— One day, someone's mom brought M&M cookies for snack. WOW! Two of my favorite things in one treat!!!

— My teachers were very nice.

Those teachers at Miss Mary's Nursery School in St. Clairsville (housed at Christ the King Lutheran) were Miss Peggy Jo (Sessi), Miss Pat (McTeague) and "Aunt" Becky (Ross). (I called her "aunt" because she and my mom were good friends.)
Because this is Week of the Young Child, I just want to thank these wonderful women for "introducing" me to school, coming up with fun crafts and teaching me all those nursery rhymes and finger plays! (Because, although I don't have distinct memories about these things, I'm sure we did them all!)

My mom also was a nursery school teacher for several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She (Miss Jan) and founder Jean Fulton (Miss Jean) taught at Pied Piper Nursery School in St. Clairsville, which is still open. I had so much fun visiting there as an elementary-schooler, helping those kids with crafts and singing songs.

These days, I am thankful for the teachers and staff at The King's Daughters Child Care Center in Wheeling, where my daughter attends two days a week. Jeanie Hores, who has been with the center 30 years, and her staff do an amazing job with these youngsters! Miss Mary Lou (Birkett) has worked with King's Daughters for 29 years, as a caregiver but mostly as the "cooker." Her recent award as a Champion for Children was richly deserved. Thanks for getting my daughter to eat peas, Miss Mary Lou!

I also want to recognize my mother-in-law, Jane McFarland, who cares for Emma three days a week at home and has done since Emma was 2 months old, with rarely a day off in four years! She's 79 and says Emma keeps her going. Thanks, Mom!

Day care workers and preschool teachers are a breed apart. They love our children and want to see them learn and thrive. They make a huge impact on our little ones' lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to those who have touched mine and my daughter's lives and to the dozens and dozens of others in the Ohio Valley and across the nation.


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