Laurance Armour Day School: 40 Years of Caring

Anne and Thomas Burgeson

By Anne Burgeson

As my 3-year-old son, Thomas, and I drove home recently from the Laurance Armour Day School (LADS) — the preschool and day care facility that’s run by Rush University Medical Center — he pointed out something. “The walking man says you can go, mommy, but the red hand means you have to stop,” he said, talking about the different symbols in the crosswalk sign. I knew where he had learned this important lesson — from his teachers at LADS, and it’s one of many things he learns there every day.

As LADS celebrates 40 years, it’s amazing to think about the impact the program has had on so many lives. To date, more than 3,500 children have said their first words, taken their first steps and made their first friends there, and their parents have had an equally life-changing experience.

Focusing on learning through play, the school’s curriculum harnesses children’s natural interests, filling the students’ days with activities that both engage them and teach concepts and skills that are important to early childhood development.

LADS is a very special place, and until I had a child there, I didn’t understand its impact. Being a working parent can be challenging enough but having one less thing to worry about — that your child is happy, safe and well-cared for — makes a big difference. When I drop Tom off at LADS, I don’t worry about him. I know he’s in good hands. Why? Because he is in a caring, supportive environment that’s true to the Rush culture. He’s going to have a great day. And, he’s going to learn many things that are essential to his development— everything from how trees grow to why it’s important to share and help one another every day.

What does it say about an organization that makes a commitment to a program like this? It says that Rush cares about its employees and faculty, which is consistent with how Rush cares for its patients.

Having my son at LADS gives me one more reason to be proud to work at Rush. I look forward to telling Tommy all about it when he gets older.

Anne Burgeson is the internal communications director at Rush University Medical Center.

Laurance Armour Day School is marking its 40th anniversary on Saturday, September 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a fun family celebration. All are invited. For more information, call (888) 352-RUSH.

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