The Overfield Story
In 1960, Julia Hobart established the Overfield Nursery School to meet the needs and enrich the lives of not only her children, but all children in the community. Twelve children made up that first class, which met in the Overfield Tavern Museum–one of the first buildings in Troy, built in 1808. For the next 28 years, school was in session in the back of the museum; children learned in an environment focused on exploration, creativity, collaboration, and appreciation of nature. In 1970, the innovative program was recognized and granted licensing by the State of Ohio.
By 1988, 65 children attended the Overfield Early Childhood Program, which ran five days a week. When the school received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children in 1988, the Hobart Brothers Company saw fit to offer the Edward and Martha Hobart house and grounds as the school’s new home. A renovation thoughtfully optimized the space for young children, and in September 1989 the cheerful yellow doors opened to 100 children and nine teachers. To ensure the school’s success and continued growth, Julia and William gave Overfield the funds to purchase the house and grounds in 1998. During this time, a viewing of the Reggio Emilia exhibit, The Hundred Languages of Children, at the Dayton Art Institute inspired Julia to interweave the Reggio philosophy with the school’s focus on child-centered, project-based learning.