Monday, August 11, 2014

Made in Wisconsin: 1st Kindgergarten in the United States

Turns out, mirabile dictu, the first kindergarten in the United States was in Watertown, Wisconsin. In 1856, Margarethe Meyer Schurz, wife of the noted German-American statesman Carl Schurz, organized the first kindergarten in the building at the left. 

I lived in Watertown for a year and never knew this fact!

We live in a time when politicians are debating how to fund pre-kindergarten educational programs, knowing the benefit that early and organized programmed education can have on developing minds. 

I have very fond memories of my own kindergarten experience, proof, I suppose, that my teacher must have been a committed and talented educator. This took place for me at Lowell Elementary School, on Madison, Wisconsin's blue-collar East Side. My kindergarten room was on the first floor, just left of that forested area in the middle.

And the fact that the first kindergarten happened in Wisconsin is a testimony to the commitment that State has for education in general. I am grateful for the excellent public schools I attended, from kindergarten all the way through, eventually, the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Keith Massey was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He has his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Biblical Hebrew, with a minor in Arabic. After 9/11, he served as an Arabic linguist at the NSA. He is currently a Latin teacher at a public high school in New Jersey.

Keith is the author of Intermediate Arabic for Dummies. His fiction novels follow the adventures of Andrew Valquist, roughly patterned after himself--a man born and raised in Wisconsin who gets pulled into the world of international intrigue. 

Keith's novels are A Place of Brightness, Amor Vincit Omnia: An Andrew Valquist Adventure, Next Stop: Spanish, and In Saecula Saeculorum.