Aldrich celebrates with a carnival

This year, the Aldrich Memorial Nursery School is celebrating 65 years of providing preschool experiences and activities based on a simple concept: the importance of play in learning and a child's development.

That philosophy remains a core element of the school's philosophy since its founding by Dr. C.A. Aldrich, a former Mayo Clinic physician whose research formed the basis of the school's philosophy. This year will also be the 58th year that the school will be hosting the Aldrich Carnival, set for May 1.

"It's a fabulous day for (people) to come and spend a couple hours playing together and creating and using their imagination," said Michelle Rossman, president-elect of the Aldrich school board of directors.

Rossman said the carnival is the school's largest fundraiser, with money raised from the event used to fund financial assistance for in-need students as well as many of the school's programs. The school serves about 40 students, and the school disbursed more than $20,000 in financial aid this year.

The carnival usually draws more than 1,000 people. A children's museum is the year's theme, with each room in the school focused on a particular theme, such as "Down on the Farm," "All about Food" and "Undersea Creatures."


Beside the themed activities, the carnival will feature giant inflatables outside the school, sports activities such as T-ball and soccer, and a vintage fire truck that children can explore. There will be a bake sale, and lunch will be served.

Like most carnivals and fairs, people buy tickets to attend one of the themed rooms, with the average cost of a room being about $1.50. There also will be a raffle and a silent auction.

"It's a carnival and we have many preschool-focused activities, but there is also tremendous raffle and silent auction prizes that even if you don't have a preschool-aged children," there is reason to come, Rossman said.

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