Nancy Savage established Ottawa Opportunity School in 1968 with a small group of concerned friends. They had a great deal of enthusiasm and enrolled eight children. They hoped to provide these children with a variety of interesting and enriching experiences. Opportunity School was established primarily to meet the needs of children whose families would not otherwise be able to provide an opportunity for a preschool experience.
The First Presbyterian Church, where Nancy Savage was a member, quickly took on this venture as a mission project. The membership was willing to finance the new project as well as provide the necessary space to house the program.
As time passed, the program grew beyond anyone's expectations. Suddenly, more room was needed and outside financing had to be sought. It was also necessary to recruit more teachers to add to the small volunteer staff that pioneered the program.
Although some families pay tuition, the objective is still to serve all families including those who cannot afford to pay. The goal is to admit one student on scholarship for every student who pays tuition. These scholarships are provided by United Way of Eastern LaSalle County, the Child Welfare Guild, Sunrise Rotary and many other generous and caring groups and individuals in the community.