[Congressional Record Volume 153, Number 18 (Tuesday, January 30, 2007)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E210]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                        HON. CAROLYN B. MALONEY

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, January 30, 2007

  Mrs. MALONEY of New York. Madam Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the 
Little Missionary's Day Nursery, the oldest continuously operating non-
sectarian school in New York City. Founded in 1896 by Miss Sara Curry, 
the Little Missionary's Day Nursery is dedicated to providing 
affordable day care in a warm, nurturing environment in which children 
of diverse socioeconomic, ethnic and religious backgrounds are 
encouraged to take their first steps in embracing lives inspired by the 
values of a sound and well-rounded education and a spirit of sharing 
and caring.
  The Little Missionary's Day Nursery has remained true to the 
progressive dream of its visionary founder, Sara Curry, a remarkable, 
energetic, and accomplished woman who dedicated her life to improving 
conditions for the underprivileged children and families of Manhattan's 
Lower East Side. Then, as now, ``Loisaida'' was a haven for immigrants 
from all over the world, many enduring conditions of severe deprivation 
and adversity. Practically a century ahead of her time, Sara Curry 
grasped the need for many mothers to secure quality, affordable day 
care in order to enter and stay in the work force to support their 
economically struggling families. In fighting narrow-minded 
contemporary strictures against working women that were then prevalent, 
Sara Curry--and the Day Nurseries that she founded--helped provide an 
engine of opportunity that allowed countless families to lift 
themselves out of poverty while inculcating values of learning and 
compassion in their children.
  In recognition of her indefatigable and effective stewardship of the 
institution, Miss Curry was lovingly dubbed the ``little missionary'' 
by grateful parents and supporters. And, to honor her more than four 
decades of compassionate and visionary stewardship, the institution was 
renamed the Little Missionary's Day Nursery in her honor. In 1901, the 
nursery purchased its own building at 93 St. Mark's Place, which has 
remained its home ever since. Today, under the capable leadership of 
Director Eileen Johnson and Board President Herman Hewitt, the Little 
Missionary's Day Nursery continues to serve the families of the Lower 
East Side, dedicating a portion of its income to providing generous 
tuition assistance.

  This year, the Little Missionary's Day Nursery is honoring three 
outstanding individuals at its third annual Sara Curry Awards Benefit. 
The honorees include the renowned Gloria Steinem, the inspirational 
writer, lecturer, editor, and women's activist who has become an 
international symbol of the struggle for women's equality and dignity. 
An equally deserving honoree of the nursery this year is the dedicated 
public servant, the Honorable Margarita Lopez, a champion of the Lower 
East Side and its historic progressive values, who represented this 
incredibly diverse and exciting neighborhood with distinction for two 
terms on the New York City Council before assuming a position of 
citywide leadership as a member of the Board of the New York City 
Housing Authority. The third honoree is Ms. Margaritte Malfy, the 
remarkably accomplished chef and restaurateur. In addition to her 
accomplishments as an artist and as the co-owner and co-executive chef 
of La Palapa Cocina Mexicana, Ms. Malfy has dedicated her prodigious 
energies to many worthwhile causes that benefit the people of the Lower 
East Side, and indeed around the world, including human rights and 
children's organizations such as Art/NY, the Nepalese Children's Home 
in Nepal, and, of course, the Little Missionary's Day Nursery.
  Madam Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Little 
Missionary's Day Nursery and its three remarkable honorees this year as 
well as the tremendous contributions this outstanding educational and 
child care facility and its graduates have made to our Nation.