A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

‘Mrs. White’s Kindergarten’ honors NKY education pioneer with exhibit at Behringer-Crawford Museum

Do you remember the name of your kindergarten teacher?

Hundreds of former students of the late Betty White not only remember her name, but also the crafts, games and music that she used to help them develop essential life skills.

The founder of Mrs. White’s Kindergarten bridged the educational gap when Kentucky suspended the public kindergarten system in 1959, teaching 450 children in her Fort Wright home over the next 19 years.

Betty White

Betty White’s contribution to Northern Kentucky’s children is commemorated in a new exhibit at Behringer-Crawford Museum. The opening of Mrs. White’s Kindergarten takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24, giving past students a chance to reminisce and today’s generation of preschoolers a glimpse of what their grandparents’ classrooms were like, complete with blackboards, crayons and cursive writing.

Former pupil Gabrielle Summe, now Kenton County clerk, and members of the White family will speak and invite others to share their memories of Mrs. White’s school.

The United Way of Greater Cincinnati, which is partnering with Behringer-Crawford on the importance of early education, will show a video on “My Pre-K,” the organization’s initiative for kindergarten readiness and early childhood education.

Admission to the opening reception and the museum is free for museum members, educators, former students of the school and members of the Northern Kentucky Heritage League. It is included with regular museum admission for all others.

Tickets may be reserved here.
The Mrs. White’s Kindergarten exhibit is funded in part by Betty White’s family and the Northern Kentucky Heritage League.

Mrs. White’s 1959 class

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