Preschool Renamed in Honor of the Grauers
Family Center’s Arch Street Preschool, the town’s oldest preschool, was officially renamed “The Grauer School” in honor of longtime board member Laurie Grauer and her husband, Peter Grauer, at a ceremony on school grounds last week.
“Laurie is an extraordinary supporter of our mission in every way,” said Family Centers CEO Bob Arnold. “Not only through dollars, but in her time and in hosting multiple events. She’s enthusiastically brought in other supporters to help people understand what we are trying to accomplish.”
Founded in 1907, the preschool located at 40 Arch Street never had a formal name and was known to the community as just the Arch Street School. Now, the renamed school provides quality preschool education for low-income families in the area.
Grauer, who has served on the Family Centers board for over two decades, was honored alongside her husband in the unveiling of the brand new school sign with the help of the current preschool class.
“She’s worked behind the scenes to ensure our programs have the wherewithal to help the families in our community who need it most,” said Arnold. “Laurie’s commitment to Family Centers is both deep and impactful.”
This year, the Grauers set up the Laurie and Peter Grauer Scholarship Fund, which will provide scholarships to help families with essential preschool education.
“It’s the one place where I thought I could make a difference,” said Laurie Grauer.
Arnold expressed the importance of early childhood education that will be provided by the newly named Grauer School.
“It’s like building a house without a foundation,” said Arnold. “If you don’t build that strong foundation, it will show every step of the way.”
According to Arnold, 70 percent of the school’s students come from a household where English is not the first language.
“There’s no question that it’s essential for this community, because we have a large number of families that really need their children completely exposed to learning at a very young age,” said Arnold. “In her role on the board, Laurie has been sensitive to all of those issues and has been behind our attempt to create a comprehensive approach to these families to really help in every possible way. In recent years, as our numbers have swelled of families that really can’t afford the cost of quality preschool, she has been there every step of the way.”
The preschool with a rich history was the first to open all day to accommodate working mothers during World War II. It also is one of four Family Centers’ preschool sites that is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The ceremony concluded with preschoolers handing sunflowers, donated by McArdle’s, to the longtime contributors.
“Some might describe Laurie and Peter as the quintessential power couple,” said Arnold. “I would place the emphasis on the power of caring, because it really just seems in their nature to care. Laurie and Peter are a community-minded, philanthropic, dynamic duo who generously support human services and education from the preschool to the university level. But most importantly, they are family-oriented. They understand first hand the challenges of raising children even under the best circumstances.”