Our school was named after Barbara M. Tufts, a generous and energetic woman. Ms. Janet was kind enough to share with us a little about this extraordinary woman:
Barbara M. Tufts (she always used the M) was involved with the nursery since its inception in 1967. The Co-op started with eight children one morning a week. When Barbara became the director, classes were held five mornings a week, providing an enriching developmentally based program for all children. During Barbara’s 33 years at the nursery (half her life) all children were given the opportunity for a preschool experience.
Barbara had an unbelievable energy level. She was on the town council at her death, being the highest vote getter despite being out of the public spotlight since 1993. Prior to that, she had served eight years on the council, four as its president.
Barbara was president of the East Greenwich Rotary, served five years as president of the West Bay League of Women Voters, was involved in Girl Scouts, was a member of Greenwich Bay Women’s Club, served as President of the Academy Foundation, which provides low-income housing, and participated in countless other civic activities.
Dr. Donald W. Tufts was Barbara's husband of 46 years and was a faithful supporter of the preschool physically and financially. He was a gentleman of many great accomplishments, as much in his remarkable and extensive career, as in his public life. He was someone who shared the same civic-minded spirit as his wife, involving himself in numerous community interests.
Donald was also passionate about teaching and is remembered by friends, colleagues and family for his kindness, generosity and genuine concern for others. His many contributions and dedicated service to the communities he lived in will always be appreciated and remembered.
"Dr. Tufts was a sophisticated, intellectual man with charming, courtly manners. He never dwelled on his accomplishments or himself. He is remembered by all for his kindness, generosity and genuine concern for others." (Obituary, Glouceser Times)
Thanks to his children, the Donald Winston Tufts Memorial Scholarship Fund was established so all children can attend regardless of their family income.
Over the years there have been Barbara M. Tufts Days three times in town. She did so much for so many people, a lot of it nobody even knew about. She was an inspiration to all of us, and we still miss her.
Barbara’s mission was to allow any child the opportunity to learn. From its inception, the Cooperative has striven to enable all interested children to take advantage of its program, regardless of their family's economic situation. Tuition can be paid according to a sliding scale determined by family income and scholarships are available to families in need. The school’s reduced income means that we rely on fundraising events and volunteer labor to operate.
The Co-op welcomes and encourages all forms of volunteering. You cannot volunteer too much! Should you have any questions or concerns about volunteering or ideas about other ways you can participate in the Co-op, please speak to your room parent or your child’s teacher.
-Janet Joyce, Director (2008-2014)
Janet Joyce taught for 29 years and served as the Co-op Director for 6 years. She began working at the Co-op in 1971.
The thing Miss Janet enjoyed the most about teaching is “making a difference in that child’s life for that period of time.” The things Miss Janet enjoyed the most about the Co-op were the parents' involvement, the policy that all children can come to this establishment, and the developmentally-based teaching approach which gives the school the opportunity to be ready for all children even if some aren’t quite ready for school.