Murphys preschool a 30-year tradition



The giggles and shouts of small children still reverberate around the old Murphys Grammar School on Jones Street.

Built in 1860 at a cost of $4,000, the two-room schoolhouse served as the area's elementary school for more than a century, until its students moved to the new Albert Michelson Elementary School in 1973.

But the lovely old schoolhouse surrounded by evergreens on the hill remains a place of learning. Now, however, the children are preschoolers.

Murphys Preschool, a nonprofit parent-cooperative, holds classes for children ages 3 to 5 from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from September through May.

From puzzle and painting time to story time and snack time, the kids learn how to share, create and play together, preschool Director Pam Chisholm said. They also take field trips to the Murphys Fire Station to learn about the engines, and to the local music store to learn about instruments.

"The children are curious and eager to learn," Chisholm said. "It's a joy to work with them because they're anxious to please."

Chisholm also appreciates the parents' involvement. Because Murphys Preschool is a cooperative, every parent is required to contribute three hours one day each month.

"They are a teacher's aide during their time here," Chisholm said. "They participate in the classroom and outside on the playground."

Parental involvement is synonymous with Murphys Preschool. In fact, parents began the whole enterprise. Two young mothers, Jeannie Airola and Kathy Grover, started a preschool playgroup.

In the beginning, the playgroup met in the Congregational Church in Murphys. But when the old grammar school became available, the two mothers, along with other parents and kids headed to 65 Jones St.

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Friday October 21, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Sheriff details investigation of Marshall murder-suicide


Philip Marshall acted alone in killing his two teenage children, a pet ... more

Donnell Vista: Majestic and mystifying


Donnell Vista Point on Highway 108 is a remote and mystifying lookout ... more

Columbia Elementary board ousts superintendent


Five days after receiving a 2 percent raise, Columbia Union School District ... more

Paying the price


Chris Lusardi, of Sonora, is one of thousands of Tuolumne County residents ... more

County wants changes on wildfire risk assessment


Tuolumne County officials are preparing to fight in Sacramento for local residents ... more