SMNS 2017 Annual Appeal

Dear Community,

Each year, more studies reveal how important early childhood education is for a child’s future and the future of our society. These studies are important, of course. But what really excites me is what I see happening at Saint Mary’s Nursery School (SMNS) every day. We have an incredible community of teachers, parents, caregivers, and children who are deeply committed to learning, and building community, one relationship, one child, at a time.  Your support is essential to our community.

I recently overheard a child say to a teacher, “Daddy at work.” The teacher responded, “Did you know that I am at work too?” The child laughed, “No!”

As I listened to the exchange, I reflected on the fact that being an early childhood educator doesn’t look like most jobs—it requires a level of focus and enthusiasm for a child’s well-being that goes beyond a 9 to 5 mentality. It requires engaging young people and forming relationships with them. Our teachers exemplify this commitment.

Our teachers also know that to be good educators, we must also be enthusiastic learners. I am nearing completion of a second master’s degree and am currently enrolled in an Infant Toddler Mental Health Certificate program. I’m working with all of our teachers to identify the next steps in their own education and I’m pleased to say we have 22 staff who are enrolled in or have recently completed a program of study. In service of our children, we are committed to our own reflection, training, and education.

Your support has been critical to our professional development. It has allowed us to provide paid release time for study, subsidize program fees, and provide raises for teachers who work every day to serve our children. In addition, it has allowed us to continue to provide scholarship funds to low and middle income families.

Can we count on your support so we can continue to bring our best to the families of the 140 children we serve?   Click here to support us.

  • A gift of $150 will subsidize a month of high quality art supplies
  • A gift of $500 will send a teacher to a national early childhood conference
  • A gift of any amount will help ensure our scholarship fund remains available

When I walk in the neighborhood with Mamatha, who has been at SMNS for 23 years, grown ups who were once at SMNS stop to hug her and say hello. Your contribution will help ensure SMNS continues to model the power of relationships, education, and community for years to come.


Traci Childress