Spectrum Before
The Spectrum - Before

United Day Nursery
Flood of 1997

Chapter Two

A Plan Comes Together

Spectrum After
The Spectrum - After

United Day Nursery Director Suzie Thorson writes...

A couple of days after arriving at Harriet's, I started thinking - What should I be doing about United Day Nursery? How bad is the church? How can I get a hold of Board members? How can I get a hold of staff? How? How? How? After a couple more days of this kind of thinking, Chris (our Assistant Director) and I talked about it, and I tried to get in touch with some Board members. It didn't work. Chris and I then called the Grand Forks Herald, the TV stations, and the radio stations asking Board members to call me at Gilby. It worked. Several members called, and I asked them, if possible, to come to a Board meeting on Thursday, May 1st. at the Village Inn (one of the very few restaurants open at that time) to make some decisions about United Day Nursery's future.

In the meantime, I called Dr. Mark Sanford, Grand Forks Superintendent of Schools, and asked him if they had a building that we could use for child care. This would get people back to Grand Forks either to work at their jobs or to work on their homes. Two hours before our Board meeting, I received a call - we could use the Head Start building. Wonderful!!!

Thursday, May 1st, five Board members showed up for the Board meeting. It was so good to see everybody. We decided decisions had to be made even though we did not have a quorum. I asked them two questions. The school offered us the Head Start building for a temporary location, should we take it and when should we start? They said "YES" and to start as soon as we could get ready. Second question, could the staff be paid for the days we were closed? Answer, "YES". Good news - a real morale booster.

An announcement was put in the Herald, on TV and radio for all staff to call me or Chris at our Gilby number. Another announcement was put in for a staff meeting on Monday, May 5th at the Head Start building. On May 4th, the Herald ran a good article about United Day Nursery reopening, and the need for child care in Grand Forks after the flood. (This article was also published on the Herald's web site and started the chain of events that led to this web site.)

Several meetings were held with Larry Hoiberg, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Sharon Gates, Principal of Lake Agassiz School, and Cookie Mitchell, Director of Head Start. The purpose was to find out what we could use and what we could not use. At one of these meetings, we were asked to provide free child care for any children that needed us. The state would reimburse us for our expenses.

Go to Chapter Three...

How did you feel about providing free child care?

United Day Nursery staff members write...

Go to Chapter Three...

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