Kingston – A Kingston nursery school is hoping the community can help them find a new affordable space to call home. The Helen Tufts Nursery School is being forced to vacate the church it has occupied for more than 5-decades. The pre-schoolers have to be out by next summer. As Nikki Jhutti reports, several low income families could be impacted.
For the last 50 years the Helen Tufts Nursery School has been welcoming children who wouldn’t normally get the chance to have a pre-school experience. The facility is a place where kids can learn, grow and are encouraged to get back up after falling down. The unique program helps low income families. It runs 4 hours a day and offers transportation and meals. The staff are also trained in early childhood education.
Krysty-Ann Bastable/Enhance Support Work/Cook
“To feel respected and important within our community and to have that access to other resources they might not have. Definitely feel like you’re contributing to the greater good.”
But after more than 5-decades at the First Baptist Church in Kingston – the nursery school has been told to find a new home for June 2018.
“The fear is that we won’t find a space that will suit our needs…”
That’s Susan Collins-Nixon. She’s the program director here. Collins-Nixon says the search for a new venue has already begun.
“The nursery has exactly a year to pack up and find a new home. But the challenge will be to find a space this large with an affordable rent.”
Helen Tufts pays 750 a month for this 2-thousand square foot facility. Collins-Nixon says finding something similar will easily cost them 2-thousand dollars a month – a price tag they can’t afford.
Susan Collins-Nixon/Program Director
“I don’t have a problem trying to find one and working hard to getting one and doing more fundraising cause I’ll do anything we need to do and my staff are very supportive as well.”
The nursery is sharing it’s story in hopes that someone in the community will be able to help.
Those close to the facility say it’s crucial the doors say open.
Wayne Leeman/Bus Driver
“Kingston needs to step forward and do something here, they really truly do.”
The nursery school has reached out to the city as well as a number of other churches to see if any spaces are available. It also plans to host a number of fundraisers over the next year. Collins-Nixon says closing the doors is not an option and she won’t stop searching until Helen Tufts finds a new home. Nikki Jhutti, CKWS News Kingston.