Parents watch with delight and anticipation as they see their child hit milestones -- walking, writing their first letters, going to their first day of school.

Village Nursery School is sharing that joy.

This year marks the 60th anniversary for Village Nursery School as an educational organization nurturing and building a love of learning for children ages 2 through 6 years old. Started by members of the Couples Club of the Harvard Unitarian Church in 1953, Village Nursery School launched with 16 students as a nonsectarian preschool in rooms of the old Unitarian Church.

With Dr. Abigail Eliot joining the board of advisors in 1955, she established the guiding educational policies of Village Nursery School. Dr. Eliot was a nationally known pioneer in early childhood education and the founder and director of the Eliot-Pearson School of Nursery Education at Tufts University.

The school grew and moved to the Finkelpearl House in Shaker Village, to the Fellowship Building of the Unitarian Church, and then to space at the Harvard Elementary School (now the Hildreth Elementary School) until in 1996 the school accomplished the feat of raising the funds to build their own building on Poor Farm Road.

The school continues to evolve, expanding the school grounds in the last year to include a ballfield for a wider array of outdoor play activities, use of adjacent conservation trails in lessons on nature, wildlife and ecosytems, expanded programs that include toddler, extended-day and after-school science and art programs.

Maintaining this vibrant community, a new director, Erin Keiran, herself once a student in the hallways of Village Nursery School and then a teacher at the school for close to 20 years, now leads the school into its next milestone phase. One of the oldest continuously-operating schools in the area, Village Nursery School has educated thousands of students over the decades.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the school, Village Nursery School is holding a gala on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 6-11 p.m. at Shaker Hills Country Club in Harvard. The gala will be an evening of heralding the milestones of Village Nursery School and time to enjoy time with friends over cocktails and dinner while raising funds to continue to support the plans and mission of the school. A variety of wonderful auction items will be available.

Tickets are $50 per person. Visit villagenurseryschool.org or call 978-456-3993.