About Us

img_5563

A life Devoted to Children’s Activities

Mrs. Jerry (Buni) Harvey Hooper began teaching dance classes at the Elks Club in 1958 for summer youth activities. Buni’s father “Pop” Harvey (Town of Parker Pool Manager 1956 to 1967) organized the Tap N Twirl Baton Club in the late 50’s to 60’s; Mother Lila was costume seamstress. Buni continued to give local children enrichment activities in dance, twirl, swimming and lifeguarding for 10 years from 1958 to 1968. The class venue was the town park. Graduating in 1961 from Parker High School enrolled in Arizona State College (Now Northern Arizona University), majored in Theater Arts, and Physical Education. Buni danced with the ASC Modern Dancers and twirled with Palo Verde High School and Parker High School Bands as well as competitions in Arizona and California. She continued on a lifelong study of dance, twirl, fashion modeling, and cheer leading for local children.

In 1972, together with husband Jerry (Class of 1964,) opened the Gingerbread House, Parker’s first licensed child care center. Buni received the Junior Woman Club “President of the Year for Arizona” from the General Federation of Junior Women’s Club. The Parker Preschool at Gingerbread House achieved National ‘NAEYC Accreditation’. and the Discovery Club Afterschool program received ‘Best Afterschool Program in the Tri-State Area’ from the Az School Age Coalition. Buni was the recipient of two awards for Special Recognition from the Governor of Arizona, and spoke at state child care events & Trainings.

From there, Buni went on to open the Mish Mash Studio and became a licensed Choreographer, produced Arizona Western College Jazz Dance classes and Jerry’s Self-Defense classes (Jerry is a 3rd degree Dan Martial Arts Expert).

Always interested in improving children’s confidence, Buni learned about youth pageants, and graduating from the Barbizon School of Fashion Modeling; directed the first ever sanctioned Miss America affiliated pageant for the title of “Miss North Yuma Country”, and “Miss Parker” in cooperation with the County Fair. Buni produces five yearly pageants including Fair and Western pageants and enjoyed directing Parker Rodeo Queen.

You can bet that years of experience, knowledge, continued learning, and a big heart are exactly what contributes to the success of the Gingerbread House. So come and bring your children by for extended education and a great adventure, right after school!