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Turlock Nursery School receives a helping hand
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The Noz family generously donated time and resources to Turlock Nursery School to help fix leaky pipes that would have costs thousands of dollars to repair (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

When Turlock Nursery School Director Kelly Pangrazio discovered that her antiqued schoolhouse had a major leak in its underground pipe system, one alumni family generously stepped up to help in a huge way.

Casper and Diane Noz met at a TNS function, their children attended the school and their grandchildren have also laughed and learned within the four walls of the schoolhouse. Having built his own castle and event venue in Snelling, Kasteel Noz, Casper was the perfect man for the job when it came to the leaky pipes at TNS. He saved the school from suffering a major financial strain during the coronavirus pandemic this week, donating time, tools and knowledge to fix the problem.

“He hopped right under the house and found the problem immediately,” Pangrazio said. “He said, ‘Let’s get a work party out here. We can do this.’”

Armed with shovels and can-do attitudes, Casper was joined by parents of TNS students and school employees on Thursday as they kicked off the project, digging trenches to install brand new piping from the front of the schoolhouse to the play yard in the back.

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Turlock Nursery School parent JodieLee Chaplin helps dig out the old pipes in the front of the schoolhouse (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

Having been unable to operate since March due to social distancing guidelines throughout the state, Pangrazio said the school was extremely grateful for the help as they have been unable to collect tuition money.

“It means a lot because right now was the worst possible time to find something like this,” she said.

As a parent participation school, where family members are ever-present in the classroom, it was no surprise to see moms and dads working hard in the mid-June sun.

“This project would be costly, so what do you do? You call a bunch of the parents,” said parent JodieLee Chaplin. “Everybody brought their shovel and a bucket of water, and we’re out here to get the job done for our children so that way when fall starts they’re ready to go.”

Casper said it was his daughter, a TNS Board member, who told him about the leak.

“My daughter volunteered me,” he said with a laugh. “My kids went to nursery school here and so do my grandkids, so I thought I might as well help them because they don’t have the money to do this.”

He added that it was nice to see so many parents come out to help, especially since they “have way better backs” than he does. Casper’s humorous outlook kept everyone working in high spirits while they chipped away at the job, which should be completed in just a couple of days. TNS is also hoping that the City of Turlock will waive the $700 water bill they received due to the leak.

Regardless, the money they’ve already saved thanks to the help of the Noz family is a blessing, Pangrazio said.

“We would be in the hole thousands of dollars or more. We’re all inspired by Casper and his enthusiasm to come here and help on his own time. He’s going to make sure the job is finished and he’s helping us actually afford to do it without going into debt.”