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Grant helps Turlock Nursery School get spiffed up
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Turlock Nursery School, which has been in operation since 1972, has an enrollment of 28 students. The school, which has been at its current location — 415 Grant Ave. — since 1978, received an $80,000 grant for renovations to the facility. - photo by Photo Contributed

Turlock Nursery School, the oldest such school in Turlock dating back to 1972, is getting a new look.

Turlock Nursery School received an $80,000 grant from the Marin Community Foundation and is using the funds for a new roof; fresh exterior paint; energy-efficient lighting and fans; play-structure repairs and upgrades; tree removal and replacement; and new sidewalks for improved accessibility and safety.

Located at 415 Grant St. since 1978, the last time such a significant remodeling took place was in March 2000, when the school faced the challenges from a fire.

“We had a new roof put on after the fire in 2000,” said Turlock Nursery School director Jaime Dunn. "We’ve really been in need of a new one.”

One of the TNS families made the initial outreach to the Marin Community Foundation, according to Dunn, who said that she and the board of directors expressed their gratitude for the grant, which will enable them to complete upgrades to their nearly 100-year-old schoolhouse. 

Dunn emphasized the significance of Turlock Nursery School in the community.

"TNS is a community gem,” said Dunn. “It is a place for young families to learn, grow, and become a community of like-minded friends. I am still connected with former TNS parents 20 years later. My children are still connected with their friends from preschool.”

The Marin Community Foundation has been a supporter of organizations in the Central Valley and the Bay Area for nearly four decades. Its latest grant — $80,000 to Turlock Nursery School — was recommended by Candida Covington from the Covington Family Fund.

According to Dunn, more renovations are in the works.

“The grant covered all of our projects,” said Dunn, who pointed out that Turlock Nursery School serves 28 students. “We are currently looking forward to repairing fencing. We’re getting quotes for the fencing and then we might move forward with a shade structure. But we want to make sure that we’re staying on top of things and staying within our budget.”

Assistant director Ashley Castro is also putting together a music wall for the students. Basically, it’s a wall that holds noise-making elements, such “It’s all sensory based,” said Dunn. “it’s a good sensory experience to explore sounds and how they’re made. We are a play-based preschool so it’s important that our kids learn through doing.”