Early in 1953, ten Palos Verdes Peninsula women joined together to form a back-yard play group for their children. Later in the summer, the Palos Verdes Hills Cooperative Nursery School was incorporated under the State of California as a non-profit organization, and a license was obtained from the County Department of social welfare for pre-schoolers from the ages of three years to five years.
In early years, the school met on the Palos Verdes College grounds in Rolling Hills three days a week. Financial obligations were met through fashion teas and rummage sales. Then, in July 1955, the idea of a Peninsula Residential Directory was born. The directory would contain the names of all residents and merchants on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
In 1956, the school was increased to five mornings a week with two alternating groups, accommodating a total of sixty children. Two paid directors and six mother-teachers were and are to be on the premises each day during the school hours.
In January 1958, an new location was purchased at 3412 Lariat Lane, Rolling Hills (*which is now 6 Lariat Lane). A building was constructed and equipment and other facilities were added to the grounds. Also, a monthly newsletter was started and a yearly handbook compiled to inform the members of school progress, policies and procedures.
In the year 1961, the mortgage on the building was paid off. The enlistment of the consultation services of Pacific Oaks Friends school in Pasadena was obtained to help revise good techniques in working with pre-school age children. Certificates of Honorary Membership were awarded to various people for their outstanding contributions to the school over a long period of time.
Many hours of labor have been put into supplying, building and maintaining all the play equipment, materials and facilities. Major work projects of upkeep and repair have been handled by many fathers of the pre-schoolers.
Yearly, a President and various Chairmen are elected by the General Membership to govern the nursery school. Even with this annual change of officers, the growth and leadership of the school has continued to improve and expand. Concluding her term as President is Mrs. Arthur Vieweg, 2506 Harbor Sight Drive, Rolling Hills.
Activities enjoyed by the children are numerous. These include art work that encourages freedom of expression, songs, books, records, playhouse facilities, handicraft supplies, and an excellent selection of outdoor equipment. These available activities allow a wide variety, both physical and aesthetic, for experimentation, learning and self expression.
The Peninsula Directory, now in its eight year of publication, is completely organized and mailed by the mothers of attending pre-schoolers under the direction of a Directory chairman. It is the main source of income for the nursery school and contributions by those receiving directories aid in the maintenance and upkeep program of the school.
“The underlying purpose of the Palos Verdes Hills Cooperative Nursery School is to meet the educational and social needs of our children and parents, and to stimulate an active interest in furthering the education of both.” These words, quoted from the monthly newsletter heading, might better express the continual purpose and aim of the members and directors of the Palos Verdes Cooperative Nursery School.
Mrs. Ronald L. Ziegler – Publicity Chairman, Palos Verdes Hills Coop Nursery School