Editor’s Note: For our May cover story on mom and actress Kelly Macdonald, click HERE.
Founded by Sara Curry in 1896 as a refuge for children spending their days on the streets while their parents worked, Little Missionary’s Day Nursery—or “Little Mish”—is an authentic piece of Lower East Side history and a veritable institution of early childhood education. Housed in a historic brownstone on St. Mark’s Place, today Little Mish—which offers programs for ages 2-4—prides itself not only on carrying on Sara Curry’s tradition of compassion, but also on its unique emphasis on emotional education.
“It’s a very special school because of the nurturing and warm emotional philosophy,” says Eileen Johnson, Little Mish’s executive director. She also adds that the school takes learning beyond the standard nursery curriculum by incorporating structured enrichment activities—think music, dance, art, and cooking—into each child’s day.
A spirit of community involvement is what’s behind a recently-launched fundraising campaign to expand the daycare to the upper floors of the school’s building. “We’d been renting out the upper floors for many years and we’ve gotten ourselves to a point where we can take over the upper floors and convert them to classrooms,” Johnson says.
Currently, Little Mish hopes to raise $200,000 by September (they’ve already raised $50,000), to upgrade the building’s fire alarm, plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as to renovate the fire escape and the interiors of the building. To help meet their goals, Little Mish is calling on all interested parents and community members to check out their website’s donation page and their Indiegogo campaign online to contribute whatever they can in order to help bring their vision to fruition!
Additionally, Little Mish is hosting their 10th annual Sara Curry Awards Ceremony and silent auction on May 10 at the Manny Cantor Center—MC’ed by “House of Cards” co-star Michael Kelly and featuring comedy by Jim Gaffigan, both Little Mish parents—to aid their fundraising efforts. Join them for a night of food, drinks, prizes, comedy, music, and dancing for a great cause!