The Mary Jean Borley Memorial Scholarship was established in 1980. It is awarded to female students, currently residents of Muskingum County, who are planning to pursue degrees in fields related to the welfare of young children and their families. Scholarships are awarded from the interest of the monies invested from the funds accumulated as a result of operating the Jack and Jill School Nursery School from 1940 to 1978. Mary Jean Borley was the first teacher and continued to be involved in all facets of its operation.
Mary Jean Borley Scholarship History
- In 1940, a new educational opportunity for pre-school children opened: The Jack and Jill Nursery School. Jean Borley was the first teacher and co-founder. Mrs. Wm. Faircloth, chair of the AAUW Education Committee, was co-founder. The school was modeled after the Ohio State Child Development Center.
- School’s objectives: Encourage children to get along with others through group play; 2. Develop muscle coordination through the use of large play equipment; 3. To develop vocabulary and language through story-telling and conversation.
- The first class was 6 students and they met two mornings a week from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the home of Charlotte Abele on Roosevelt Ave.
- In 1941 – Moved to Sheridan School at the top of East Main Street Hill, and Mrs. May Bates became a teaching assistant to Mrs. Borley.
- 1942 – Third move to the home of Mrs. Bates on Fairmont Avenue. Mrs. Bates was now the teacher and Mrs. Borley became the Education Committee Chair – which she did until 1951.
- 1945 – 4th move – to the Forest Ave. Presbyterian Church. 1946 – Moved back to Sheridan School and a second two-day session was added. Mrs. Alonzo Nutter was hired as a teaching assistant. She brought a new dimension to the music program. Stayed with the school until 1968.
- 1948 – Moved to Pioneer school where the school stayed for 20 years. There were now 50 children attending two two-day sessions.
- 1952 – One of the sessions increased to three days a week. Four and five year olds attended that with the 3 year olds in the two day a week session.
- 1963 – Attendance was down and only one two-day session being held. The teachers had a vigorous telephone campaign and recruited more kids, restored the program to five days a week and even a waiting list! Class size was limited to 26. One teacher wrote there was only one other preschool in town, which was at the Grace Methodist Church. A small yellow bus and a station wagon picked up and took home the children. There was a juice and cookie snack.
- During this 20 year period the committee participated in a refund plan by the State of Ohio for sales tax stamps – collecting, sorting, weighing. One member said, “I remember bushels of them.” The funds were used to create an emergency fund in case they ever had to pay rent or improve transportation.
- In the first 25 years of the school, 1081 children attended. (Free space was available thanks to the church, committee members and Zanesville City Schools.
- 1969 – final move was made to Ohio University Zanesville where the school remained until 1978. They paid $100 a month rent. The classes were on the second floor and the committee had to go to Columbus and ask for a waiver of fire regulations. They were required to practice drills with the children being taught to hold onto a knotted rope and exit down the stairs. Aides were added to the staff.
- By early 1975, the school was having financial difficulties. Was repaying a loan made by a committee member. But they took a field trip to the library around that time and, in the petty cash record, entered the $.10 fee for the parking meter.
- On October 28, 1978, the newspaper announced the schools closing after 28 years.
During the pre-school’s existence, 26 teachers and aides and three drivers served on the staff. The school involved parents in special events. In 1959, the mothers were invited to go to a play at Dennison University whose theater was presenting “Scattered Showers” – a humorous depiction of the life of mothers of pre-school children. In 1960, parents were invited to an evening with Dr. Eugene Capocassalse – a child psychiatrist. The committee members took care of the equipment, repairs, etc. – contributed books, made doll clothes and toys and provided goodies for parties and special events.
In 1980 after co-founder Mary Jean Borley died and the assets of the school were sold, the Mary Jean Borley Memorial Scholarship was awarded. So we are still providing for young children by awarding scholarships to Muskingum County women pursuing degrees in programs such as child development, family counseling, child psychology, preschool through elementary education, pediatric medical programs, etc. That year $22,447 was invested in CD’s with $1566.46 in checking. Then most of money transferred to an investment account with Merrill-Lynch and the income from that fund supports the scholarship.
By 1989, 19 recipients had received scholarships – the number is probably closer to 60 now.