First Kindergarten Opens In U.S.

1854

Margarethe Meyer Schurz, a German immigrant, establishes the first kindergarten in Watertown, Wis. The school, which primarily served the German community, is conducted in German. Schurz will later meet teacher Elizabeth Peabody in Boston and inspires her to establish the first English-speaking kindergarten.

As a teenager in Germany, Schurz attended classes taught by kindergarten founder Friedrich Froebel on his theories about educating children. He used games, songs, stories and group activities to teach children about cooperation and ease the transition to school.