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About Us

Torbank Nursery School’s Beginning

It was early summer 1956 in Torbank (a neighborhood in Ossining).  Young mothers Mojave Weissman and Betty Green were sitting on the back porch over a cup of coffee.  Viewing the new building of St. Paul’s-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, Mojave said, “This would be a good place to have a nursery school.” “I think so too,” replied Betty.  Nothing more was said that afternoon.

A week later Mojave approached St. Paul’s pastor, the Reverend Mr. Benson Fisher, with her idea, finding him interested and enthusiastic.  Mr. Fisher had hoped, he told her, that someday, someone would organize a cooperative nursery school in Torbank.

Thus, the Torbank Community Nursery was conceived.  The first classes were held in the fall of 1956 after much research, hard work, and cooperation from neighborhood parents.

For its first 32 years, Torbank occupied rooms in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Ossining.  For the past 19 years, the school’s home has been the Ethical Society Building on Pinesbridge Road.  Throughout its entire history, Torbank has been totally nonsectarian.  No religious instruction is given.  All faiths are represented in the school.

Why Cooperative?

                A statement from Torbank co-founder Mojave Weissman

The original aims of our unborn cooperative nursery were to create a community service for Torbank – a nursery school of the highest educational standards at a tuition that everyone in the community could afford.

Our educational aims…never wavered: to create a learning situation for both parents and children in an atmosphere geared to the needs of the pre-school child.  To help the parent understand and deal with the “ages and stages” of the pre-school child and to help the children learn to work and play constructively with their peers, using creative materials and equipment appropriate to their stage of development.  To give the mother the opportunity to understand her child in interaction with the other children of his own age.  To give parents the opportunity to study child development and compare problems with other interested parents.  Finally, to do all this in an atmosphere of community cooperation…that would make a lasting impression on our children of the value of cooperation.

·         Mojave Weissman

The Torbank Philosophy

Parents of our students are involved in all aspects of the school, from the management of the school to classroom participation.  Our program provides an atmosphere in which our students can experience the world with enthusiasm and interest, and in which our students can learn to creatively express themselves through art, music, and language.

 Torbank’s program:

·         Enhances the child’s self-image

·         Inspires the child’s confidence

·         Stimulates intellectual growth

·         Develops physical strengths and skills

·         Promotes independence and creativity

·         Instills kindergarten readiness in our Pre-K program

Governance

Torbank is governed by an Executive Board consisting of parents elected by the general membership.  The Executive Board meets every month and all parents are encouraged to attend the meetings.  All major policy decisions must also be approved by the Board of Trustees.

Torbank is a non-profit nursery school funded by tuition and parental participation.  In order to provide special equipment and services, there are fundraising events throughout the year in which parent participation is recommended.