Sunshine Daycare is a happy place. But there was great sadness when Mrs. Nazario passed away. "That was a really hard day" says Director Janine Sciarabba. "Because I felt like we lost a really special person on this earth."
Norma's Cousin, Jeannette Nazario, also teaches at the school. "It was very hard and to this day still hard for me. I remember her every single day."
Jeannette says parents loved Norma because she loved their children. Ann Nemirovsky's son Julian was in Norma's three year old class. "When I saw the Golden Apple Award on TV I thought that would be an ideal way to honor her. She really had a way with these children and she was so much fun."
Mrs. Nazario and her husband didn't have children but they treated the kids at school as their own. Norma was born in Puerto Rico and taught lessons and songs in English and Spanish. More than anything, Mrs. Nazario will be missed because she was always a happy person.
Jeannette says "It doesn't matter if the day was gray. She always made everybody smile and she always kept a smile on her face."
"She'd make a cloudy day into a sunny day," says Janine. "She could put a smile on anyone's face. She'd make you feel good."
Norma Nazario is a News 8 Golden Apple Award Winner and she will be missed. You can read the letter we received nominating her below.
Dear Channel 8,
Norma Nazario taught the three-year-old children at Sunshine Daycare and Preschool in Irondequoit. At the age of 44 years, she died Monday, January 12, 2008 due to complications of a stroke.
She worked with a very loving style toward each child under her care and was patient, kind, tons of fun, wonderfully natured and had an awesome sense of humor. Norma was truly an educator to those at the very beginning stages of lessons in kindness, sharing, honesty and many other basic principles of a good life. She described each child as "her kid" and never appeared frustrated, angry or short.
A Nurse and counselors came to the daycare to help the children understand her being gone. During the counselor's visit, they asked the children to mention some of their fond memories of Norma. They stated that she taught them colors, numbers, special songs and often brought in different fruits and vegetables for them to touch, feel and try. She would teach the children in english as well as spanish, thus exposing them to a different language than they were readily able to learn at home.
Norma loved to sing and dance. They all loved "Pajama and Movie Day" with her on Wednesdays. They said that she taught them to be quiet and listen to others and that she loved Disney charachters. Sunshine Daycare serves as a preschool to parents who are unable be at home full or even part time to enroll their child in a preschool program.
My family travels from Brighton to Irondequoit twice each day because of the comfort and satisfaction we have with sending our children there. The staff are dedicated, caring and offer excellent programs that teach and nurture. Norma was a great teacher. I am very honored and to have known her.