Cooperative Nursery School Webpage

2007 - 2010 News

2100 Whitehaven Road
Grand Island, NY 14072

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Open Enrollment - January 2010

   The Grand Island Coop Nursery School will have open enrollment from February 1st thru February 15th. Morning and afternoon classes available: Mon., Wed., Fri. - 4 yr olds, Tues. & Thurs. - 3 yr olds. For further information call 773-3670. The school is located at 2100 Whitehaven Road. Mail the
application form to PO Box 608, Grand Island, NY 14072.

Coop Nursery School Open House - January 2010

   The Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School will hold an Open House from 1-2 p.m. Friday, January 15, 2010 for the 3- and 4-year-old program located at 2100 Whitehaven Road (773-3670).

Coop Nursery School Family Fun Celebration, Basket Raffle - April 2009

   The Grand Island Coop Nursery School will hold a Family Fun Celebration and large Basket Raffle beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 25th at Trinity UM Church, 2100 Whitehaven Road.

Coop Nursery School Open House - January 2009

   The Grand Island Coop Nursery School will hold an Open House from 1-2 p.m. Friday, January 23, 2009 during classes. Applications will be available for the 2009 - 2010 school year. For further information call 773-3670. The school is located at 2100 Whitehaven Road. See
Registration Form

Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School
Celebrating 60th Anniversary - 1948-2008

(left) Bonnie Janowsky - 2004 - (right seated) Teacher Nancy Major and Director Vicki Wilkinson; (standing) teacher Julie Estenoz - 2005.

Teacher Appreciation - 1987 - teachers, Bonnie Janowsky and Ann Jarzab

Photos taken in 2007.

See also 1957 Photos,  and  1958 Photos

   "NURSERY SCHOOL STARTS JUNE 20TH" was the headline on the front page of the June 6, 1949 Island Dispatch. The article began with: "Hurrah! The Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School is a reality at last!"
   An official Nursery School never entered the minds of the eight friends and neighbors, all members of the PTA at Charlotte Sidway School, who organized a little play school for their children during monthly meetings of Home Bureau in the Sidway School. These mothers took turns supervising the preschoolers. According to a story written by Lenore Tetkowski in the mid 1950s, "The children, who had no daily playmates and who saw few neighbors, were so happy at these monthly play sessions that their mothers became acutely aware of their need to be together more often." The Island was a very rural community in 1948 and the pre-school children as well as their siblings did not always have other children to play with.
   Eventually, the women decided to hold the play times in their own homes, taking turns supervising, and at the same time, "realizing deeper needs were being filled: learning to share, learning to communicate, learning about adults other than one's own parents, learning to do things in a group," Mrs. Tetkowski wrote.
   The following are credited with the formation of the Island's Cooperative Nursery School:
Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Mildred Brobeil
Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert and Phyllis Janke
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur and Dorothy Mazenauer
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Quinn
Mr. and Mrs. John and Betty Wheeler
Mr. and Mrs. Chester and Bea Daggett
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher and Gertrude Cotter
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick and Alice Strauss

   Husbands as well as wives were recognized at the time, "for while the mothers carried on numerous bake sales, made endless phone calls and drove pre-war cars full of pans of cookies, hand-me-down equipment and children, day after day, it was the fathers who pitched in and refinished old wooden cases, built and painted coat racks, and renovated old toys," Mrs. Tetkowski said.
   "A most stimulating meeting of the mothers with Mrs. Mary B. Parke, head of the Nursery School Department of the University of Buffalo School of Education, inspired the group to continue its hard work and gave it professional understanding of the values of nursery school experience for children. With Mrs. Parke's help, Miss Margaret Mary Woepple, one of the five accredited nursery school teachers then in the Buffalo area, was hired to be the teacher of the group, and membership was open to all interested families," according to Mrs. Tetkowski's article.
   It was in June of 1949 that the group became known as Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School, and classes were opened to Island preschool children and held in the Mazenauer home on Oakfield Road. The school was then moved to the more centrally located board room of the old town hall and then into the old Fire Hall with use of its large hall. Mrs. Alice Strauss was the chairman of the school at that time.
   Trinity Church officials, in September 1951, offered available space to the nursery school and the operation was moved to Trinity's original church, now known as Historic Trinity. Mrs. Eleanor Kinton came on board as a highly respected teacher-director in 1952, a position she held through 1960. Ruth Holden served as her assistant teacher. Due to increasing enrollment, an afternoon class was added in October 1953. The school moved to the newer Trinity building where classes have been held since 1986.
   In 1960 the school was incorporated by the New York State Dept. of Education and Mrs. Daniel Barkow was employed as teacher/director. Mrs. David Rosenberg followed her, from 1961 to 1963.
   Mrs. John (Isabel) Allen took over as teacher/director in 1963 and shared the schedule with Trudy Wendt, along with Martha Martin. Barbara Macaluso was hired in 1968 and taught at the school until 1984. Bonnie Janowsky served as Mrs. Macaluso's assistant and then became the teacher/director with Joan Skalski and Judy Polizzi as her assistants. Mrs. Janowsky taught at Grand Island Coop for 24 years. Ann Jarzab, Martha (Marty) Shue, Donna Aughey, Dina Verso and Lisa Klein also worked with Mrs. Janowsky. Vicki Wilkinson has been teaching the school for the past 11 years, assisted by Julie Estenoz (2005-2007). Mrs. Wilkinson was named teacher/director in 2005 and has been working with teacher Nancy Major since that time.
   Located at 2100 Whitehaven Road, in the "new" Trinity UM Church, the co-op is a partnership between parents and teachers, with parents helping in the classroom. Parental participation with teachers is the backbone of the school and sets it apart from regular schools.
   The school’s instruction is based on a hands-on learning environment in an atmosphere that offers opportunities for children to develop at their own pace, develop self confidence, social and emotional maturity and growth. This includes an academic program where learning is made fun with games, songs, and constructive projects concentrating on pre-K development and Kindergarten preparation. As from it's beginning parental cooperation is still the cornerstone of the Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School.
   Grand Island Co-op offers morning and afternoon classes in the 3- and 4- year-old age groups. The 3-year old program is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the 4-year-old classes meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in preparing the children for kindergarten. Call 773-3670 for enrollment and tuition information.
Posted September 18, 2008

Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School Visits Fire Company - 2008

(left) Grand Island Firefighters Edward Krecisz and Lana Brilhard, Carla Casullo (a mother), Teacher Vickie Wilkinson and Firefighter Sergio Buriano pose with students of Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School - click for larger view.
   The Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School students from the Tuesday/Thursday morning class had a visit from members of the Grand Island Fire Company on Tuesday, May 27, 2008. The firefighters brought this big fire engines to the nursery school at 2100 Whitehaven Road.
See Where Are The Fire Trucks Going Today? for an additional photo and more information.

Coop Nursery School Thanks Community - May 2008

Coop Nursery School students enjoyed a visit to the Aquarium of Niagara - Click the group photo for larger view

   Parents and staff of the Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School sincerely thank the many families and local businesses for the generous donations the school received for the Family Fun Celebration and basket raffle on Saturday, April 26th in conjunction with the school's 60th anniversary.
Thank You!
Wheelhouse Marine, The Vogue Salon, Flower A Day, The Chocolate House, Curves for Women, Contract Interiors, Eddie’s Art Shoppe, DeSignet International (, Mallwitz's Island Lanes, Rocky’s Pizza, Cookie Lee, GI Chamber of Commerce, The Beach House, The Village Inn, West Herr of Hamburg, Pizza Hut, Firth Jewelers, Wavelengths, The Copy Cat, TJ Nails, Supercuts, Xpress 1 hour Dry Cleaners, KOA, Duby’s House and Pet Sitting, Creekside Dentistry, D Marie’s Hair Salon, Dr.Colosi DDS, Subway, Comic Book Cafe, The Island Prescription Center, Pam’s Hallmark, NAPA Auto Parts, McMahon’s Family Restaurant, Grand Island Animal Hospital, Casullo Collision and the many families that donated their time and baskets.
   Registration is open for the 2008 - 2009 school year. Call 773-3670 for information.

Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School
60th Birthday Celebration & Basket Raffle-2008

2007 Graduating Class - click for larger view.
   The Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a Basket Raffle on Saturday, April 26th from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 2100 Whitehaven Road. All friends and alumni are welcome to come celebrate by supporting the Grand Island Co-op in hopes of winning one of several fantastic, donated raffle items.
   The Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School was founded in 1948 by a group of nine families. Since 1953, the school has been operating at Trinity United Methodist Church with a staff that includes certified teachers, and an inrollment of 72 students annually. The Co-op as it is commonly referred to, believes in a hands on learning environment. Children are encouraged to learn, discover and grow at their own pace. Socialization is very important at this tender young stage. The children also participate in a readiness program geared towards preparing them for kindergarten.
   Cooperative Commitments are an integral party of the Nursery School. By its very nature, a cooperative school is one where parents work together to run the program. At GICNS there are many large and small jobs that need to be done to keep the school running smoothly. In a cooperative nursery school, the teacher will count on parents to help with their various routines. The teachers and the parents act as a team working together for the benefit of the children.

Coop Nursery School Students Enjoy Lunch With Santa - Dec. 2007

(left) Jacob and Joey Cali                                                Ava DeFranks                                                Jenna Clark and Ava DeFranks
Click photos for a larger view.

   Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School arranged "Lunch With Santa" on Saturday, December 1, 2007 at the school, 2100 Whitehaven Road. Coop Nursery School students and siblings enjoyed crafts, face painting, and a visit from Santa Claus. For information about the school, call 773 -3670.

Coop Nursery School Open House - December 2007

   Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School will hold an Open House at the school, 2100 Whitehaven Road, from 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, December 4, 2007. Parents and children are welcome. There are openings for both age groups (3 & 4 y/o). Tuition is adjusted for semester enrollment. For more information, call 773-3670.

Coop Nursery School Orientation - September 2007

   Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School announces openings in the afternoon classes. An orientation in the family room of Trinity UM Church, 2100 Whitehaven Road, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 10, 2007 for interested parents (no children, please) For further information, call 773-3670.

Coop Nursery School Class of 2007

Click photo for a larger view.

   Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School Class of 2007 participated in a graduation ceremony May 30th at the school. Registration applications are still being accepted for the 2007 - 2008 school year. This class will be the future Grand Island High School class of 2020.

Family Fun Night At Coop Nursery School - May 2007

   Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School's annual Family Fun Night took place Friday evening, April 27, 2007 at its headquarters in Trinity UM Church on Whitehaven Road. Current students, and new students and their families enjoyed a night of games and refreshments all with a Pirates & Princesses theme.
   The Cooperative Nursery School is most appreciative to the following: Kelly's Country Store, Supercuts, Firth's Jewelers, Dan the Man, Wheelhouse Marine, A Plus Quality Heating & Air, MOG, Dr. Notaro Chiropractic, Dr. Huggs, The Holiday Inn, DeSignet International, CURVES, West Herr Of Hamburg, River Oaks, GI Chamber of Commerce, Niagara Frontier Publications, The Beach House, Pizza Hut, Subway, The Village Inn, Aceti's Wine & Spirits, WGR 550, Mallwitz's Island Lanes, John's Pizza & Subs, NAPA Auto Parts, The VOGUE Salon, Say Cheese Pizza, Flower a Day Florist, The Chocolate House, Contract Interiors, Eddie's Art Shoppe, and the many parents and families who also donated to the event.
   The students recently visited the Aquarium of Niagara and had fun in the Touch Tank. For more information about the Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School, scroll down.

Sidway Principal Visits Coop Nursery School - 2007

Click photo for a larger view.

   Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School students in the Monday/Wednesday/Friday class enjoyed having Sidway School Principal Denise Dunbar, read a story to them. The little students are going to be on Channel 2's "As Seen On TV" with with Mary Friona after Channel 2 representatives visit them on Wednesday, February 7, 2007. For more information about the Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School, scroll down.

GI Coop Nursery School Open House - Registration for 2007-2008

Click photo for a larger view.

   Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School will hold an Open house at the school, 2100 Whitehaven Road from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, February 15, 2007. Parents and children welcome. Registration for the 2007-2008 school year will be accepted. For more information, call 773-3670.

GI Coop Nursery School - Registration for 2007

Family Fun Night, May 2006 - Click photo for a larger view.

   Registration for the Grand Island Cooperative Nursery School is being accepted for the 2007-2008 school year. Call 773-3670 or 773-7761 for information. See "Application."
   The nursery school is based on a “hands on” learning environment. Parents and teachers work together to help the children grow and learn at their own pace.

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