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The bad, and yes, the good of the Great Depression in York County, Pa., Part II

This photo from York (Pa.) Day Nursery’s Web site shows community support for the center in 1962. The nursery is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Also of interest: Samuel Small tops York, Pa. community contributor list and First Pinchot Road in York County example of Great Depression-era stimulus project and Great Depression not only pinched in York County, it punched.
Many of York County’s great community institutions started during the Great Depression.
York Little Theatre.
York Symphony Orchestra.
Martin Memorial Library.
I wrote about the silver lining of the dark Depression in the blog post: “The bad, and yes, the good of the Great Depression in York County.”
This year, another Depression-era community service, the York Day Nursery, is observing its 75th year. It marked an early moment for day care in nursery school form in the York area. Meanwhile, at Crispus Attucks Community Center, the social services center for the black community, Helen Thackston directed the day-care program from 1932 to 1964.
The short story of York Day Nursery:
The Visiting Nurse Association started the day care for mothers who needed to earn a second income for their family during the Great Depression… .

York County artist Ophelia Chambliss is shown with her paintings at York Day Nursery in 2008. (York Daily Record/Sunday News file photo)
The first effort came in 1932 and then officially started in 1934 under the alphabet soup federal government agencies. Then in World War II, defense factory work demands caused many moms to further rely on the nursery for day care.
A longer history appears on East Philadelphia Street nursery’s Web site.
It began:

In 1932, Ms. Netta Ford, the Director of the York Visiting Nurse Association, became interested in Temple University’s Early Childhood Education Laboratory, an experimental nursery school in Philadelphia, Pa. It was during the “Great Depression,” and Ms. Ford recognized that such a school would enable mothers to seek jobs to augment the family income and, at the same time, meet the physical development and, educational needs of the small children in the community. Using materials from Temple University’s Early Childhood Education Laboratory and donations, she set up the school – York Day Nursery – in the old carriage house at 218 East Market Street, using the Visiting Nurses Association’s property. She supervised 15 children and was assisted by several volunteers. Lack of interest and financial backing resulted in the closing of the school.
As the depression continued, children became the innocent victims. With the help of Dr. Victoria Lyles, an elementary education supervisor for the York’s public schools, Ms. Ford developed a plan of action to reestablish the nursery school through the Works Project Administration (WPA). One of this federal agency’s many programs was to develop emergency nursery schools for ages two to four year old children whose parents were either out of work or on a WPA job. In 1934 the school reopened… .

Read more at the York Day Nursery’s Web site.