United Day Nursery
Flood of 1997

Chapter Three

We are Open!

Lake Agassiz School
United Day Nursery at Lake Agassiz School

United Day Nursery Director Suzie Thorson writes...

At our staff meeting May 5th, there was a lot of hugging and crying going on - but it was great to see everyone and hear their story. It was very important to let everyone tell their story and to be good listeners. Then I started the meeting and shared as much information as I knew about what we had lost and about starting as soon as we were ready to start and that they would be paid for all the days we were closed. After a lot of discussion, we decided to open on Wednesday (in just two days). We would bring as much as we could from United, and Cookie said we could use almost everything of Head Start's.

Together we figured we could start on Wednesday, May 7th. Staff helped that afternoon and the next day to haul pickup loads of stuff to the Head Start building. Chris and I organized the enrollment process. Children already enrolled went to one desk and the other children went to another station to fill out all necessary forms. It was wild, but it worked. We were exhausted by Friday. It was good to have a weekend to rest up. The hardest part of that week was when a parent came up to me and said, "I'm sorry that you don't have any place to go after this." I answered, "We are going back to United - it is structurally sound." I stayed calm, but I was devastated that someone would say that.

We brought our computers over to Head Start. Chris and Delores set them up. We tried to settle into some kind of a schedule - we desperately needed it. Delores and I were in a very, very small office, but it worked.

We had 77 children by noon on the first day. Enrollment continued to increase - by the end of the week, we had 135 children enrolled. Our meals came from the Red Cross until May 29, when Dona cooked lunch for us. We had hotdish and we all cheered!

Go to Chapter Four...

What do you remember about the first meeting at Head Start?

United Day Nursery staff members write...

What were your thoughts regarding the first days we were open?

United Day Nursery staff members write...

In what way could you see the flood affected the children?

United Day Nursery staff members write...

Go to Chapter Four...

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