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How Wisco brought kindergarten to America

by Jan Schroder
kindergarten in America

As kindergartners head back to school (or back online), parents in America have Wisconsin to thank.

The concept of kindergarten originated in 1837 with German teacher Friedrich Froebel. His intention was to actualize the ideas of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. How exactly? To create a space for young children to foster their creativity, social skills and feed their “natural curiosity.”

Almost 20 years later, German immigrant Margarethe Schurz opened the first kindergarten in the U.S. in Wisconsin’s very own Watertown. It all began when she started caring for her daughter and four neighbors, and eventually led to an expanded community program.

– Margot Calmar, The 100 Companies

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