Monthly Archives: May 2010

Indy 500 and Day Nursery have long history in our community

Madeline worked with great concentration on weaving together a black and white checkered flag.

I have been reminded by the media several times this month that  the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is celebrating  its Centennial this year.  Day Nursery would like to welcome the folks from 16th and Georgetown into our club.  Not that we’re bragging, but we had already been serving the community for 10 years when the Speedway roared to life.  As our Executive Director, Carolyn Dederer noted in Leading the Way: A New Century of Excellence in Early Childhood Education, “Society’s understanding of brain development and the profound responsibility of early education has changed dramatically since Day Nursery’s founding in 1899.  Yet, instinctively, those early pioneers recognized the value of caring for the young and the vulnerable.”  The long history of  the Indy 500 and Day Nursery came back full circle in my mind this week when I was visiting the Preschool 1 class at the Day Nursery Indiana State Government Center.  Teachers Tonia Jaggers and Connie Anderson Muncie had the 3 and 4-year-old children in their classroom engaged in a wide variety of activities, including weaving a black and white checkered flag out of construction paper. Activities such as this race-themed project help develop a child’s fine motor skills.  As the child’s small muscles in the hands and wrist develop, they are able to perform self-help skills and manipulate small objects such as scissors and writing tools.  As children learn what their bodies can do, they gain self-confidence.  In turn, the more they can do, the more willing they are to try new and challenging tasks.  Who knows, maybe some of the Day Nursery children will grow up to be race car engineers. 

Teacher Tonia Jaggers works with Gracie on her Indy 500 flag.

Team Day Nursery makes big showing at Walking for Dreams

Radio Disney IndianapolisIf you were near the downtown Indianapolis canal on Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t hard to tell that something big was going on. Team Day Nursery (74 members strong!) joined with over 20 other area not for profit organizations to participate in the Walking for Dreams Family and Pet Walk which originated in the basin near Buggs Temple on the north end of the canal. The event, managed by the Sycamore Foundation, was founded in 2004 to pull together local organizations who did not have the manpower or could not afford to do a fundraiser like this on their own.  This was our first time participating in the walk and we were very pleased with the participation from staff and Day Nursery families as well as our supporters from the Day Nursery Auxiliary (thanks to Co-President Joan Lyday and past president Jenny Rosebrock for coming out) and our board of directors. I also had the chance to meet Day Nursery Wiles Center alum Rachel McCaffrey and her mother Beth who works for Mental Health America, another agency participating in the walk.  Rachel will be a freshman at Knightstown High School in the fall.  A special thanks goes out to AGIS and our representative Mollie Bean for underwriting our staff entry fee. The Day Nursery Employee Health & Safety committee is always on the lookout for activities that promote a healthy lifestyle and AGIS has been very supportive of the committee’s efforts. We also appreciate Olivia Roney from Crouching Tigers coming out to walk with us.  Many of our students know her as the instructor of the martial arts class at their center.  Also I wanted to shout out to Erin Slack, Day Nursery’s Human Resources Director and Beth Rodriguez, our Director of Development for their work in making sure this event went off smoothly. Donations from the event will go toward arts programming in the Day Nursery centers.  Pledges are still coming in so I don’t have a final tally on the amount raised but by all accounts, it was a successful event.  Here are a few pictures from my vantage point at the registration table.

Little Gentlemen and Ladies start your Engines

Recipe for a race car: A cardboard box, a little paint, some construction paper and lots of glue. It’s the month of May in Indy when race car projects abound in our classrooms. These pictures come courtesy of the Day Nursery Federal Center where they have been busy building race cars to “drive” and flags to wave during their parade scheduled for this Friday afternoon at 3:30. Wanna bet the winner requests an ice cold glass of milk? students making checkered flagsworking on race car

making a cardboard race car

Water Safety lessons

Day Nursery preschoolers are in week 2 of their water safety sessions at the IU Natatorium on the IUPUI campus.  Lessons are taught by the staff of the IUPUI Natatorium using the SwimAmerica curriculum.  During the six sessions, the class of 4 through 6 year olds is broken into small groups of 3-4 children per instructor with the goal of getting each child comfortable with the pool and increasing their confidence in their swimming abilities.  The students travel to the campus via chartered school bus and the Day Nursery staff members accompany the students and stand poolside to cheer on the young swimmers.  Thanks to Day Nursery State Government Center teachers Theresa Jameson, Toni Hayward, and Connie Anderson for sharing these pictures from their trip to the pool last week.

Search the web and help Day Nursery

Have you heard about the easy way to raise money for Day Nursery? Just start using Yahoo! powered as your search engine and they’ll donate about a penny to us every time you do a search!

In addition, do all of your shopping through their online shopping mall,, where you can shop at more than 900 top online retailers and a percentage of your purchases will go to Day Nursery. You pay the same price as you normally would, but a donation goes to your cause!

Starting today, GoodSearch will donate $1 (up to $5,000 total) for every toolbar that is downloaded between May 19th at 12 noon and May 21st at 12 noon Eastern! To help Day Nursery benefit from this contest, please download our toolbar now by following this link.

Our new toolbar is free to download and allows you to raise money for us virtually every time you search or shop online! Once added to IE or Firefox, each time you shop at more than 1,400 stores (from Amazon to Zazzle!) a percentage of your purchase will automatically be donated to Day Nursery – at no cost to you (and you may even save money as the toolbar also provides you thousands of discount coupons and free shipping offers!). The toolbar also has a search box and each time you search the Internet, about a penny is donated to our cause. 

 Please hurry and do this now so that we can earn the $1 bonus per toolbar!

And, please pass this along to all of your friends. The two minutes it takes to add this toolbar to your browser can make a lifetime of difference for Day Nursery children!

Get the toolbar NOW!

May is for Moms

I am a bit late posting about Mother’s Day but these pictures were so great I wasn’t going to let them slip by.  While all of our centers had great Mother’s Day activities, I wanted to highlight the Day Nursery Ruth A. Lilly Center today and thank them for sharing these pictures of some of our students, their siblings and their Moms.

Day Nursery Hendricks County students support our troops

Day Nursery Hendricks County students and their parents are reaching out to US troops overseas this week as part of a social studies lesson leading up to this month’s Memorial Day observance.  Assistant Center Director Jackie Williams, a 30 year veteran of Day Nursery, has been working with the center staff to create a center-wide event that helps the children understand the reason for Memorial Day and to put a face on the people who are serving our country.  In addition to helping the men and women in the military, this service project also helps young Day Nursery students learn valuable Social Studies lessons, one part of the six content areas they will continue to study when they get to elementary school. Williams and infant teacher Crystal Gardner started connecting with teachers and families to pair a soldier with each classroom. Each class packed a box with supplies and goodies most requested by troops overseas. Students in the preschool classrooms wrote or illustrated notes of encouragement. In the younger classrooms, the teachers assisted the children in making hand and foot prints to send along with the packages. Each teacher wrote a note to the soldier and sent along photographs documenting the students’ participation in the process.  The 10 boxes, filled with DVDs, personal items and snacks, will be on their way soon.

Jackie Williams and Crystal Gardner
Assistant Center Director Jackie Williams (left) and infant teacher Crystal Gardner coordinated the donation project.