Our school district ( was so overcrowded that it leased space from some of the area churches in which to hold kindergarten classes. Kindergarten was half day, morning or afternoon. I was in the afternoon session, which my mother said was a blessing, since she had a terrible time getting me out of bed in the mornings.
I ate a bowl of Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup for lunch nearly every single day before I went to school.
I attended kindergarten at my very own church, Ruskin Heights Presbyterian Church. The district referred to it as Ruskin Way Kindergarten.
We were grouped by age; I was only 4 when school started and was part of the "baby" class.
I wore a yellow dress to the first day of school and rode the bus with the girl who lived across the street.
Kindergarten was not mandatory, so, while busing was available, there was a fee for it. Since we only had one car at the time, my parents took advantage of the school bus.
I rode Bus #36. When all the kindergarteners on the route were picked up, we all would recite, "Lean back in your seats, face the front, no talking, and off to school we go!" We changed it to "home" for the return trip in the afternoon.
When we arrived at the
This has nothing to do with going to kindergarten, but that same Fellowship Hall was where people in the neighborhood sought shelter during the Ruskin Tornado in May of 1957. It also served as a temporary morgue in the aftermath. You can read more about that here, if you are interested.
My kindergarten classroom was on the second floor, directly above my Sunday school classroom.
My teacher's name was Mrs. Lundgren. She was very young and very pretty, and I adored her.
We made a phonics book starring Soundy The Elf. My mom still has it.
We learned other pre-reading skills through "reading" pictures from Fun With Dick And Jane.
I once got in trouble for talking to Annie Midgley and Teresa Montgomery during story time, and the teacher made us sit at the back of the room with our backs against the wall for the rest of story time. I was MORTIFIED.
Teresa and I were in the same class every year from kindergarten through 6th grade, then had a class together every year in junior high, and several in high school.
That cute little boy Kenny, on the bottom row, and I are still friends.
There was a girl named Vicki in our class who wore a ruffly petticoat and ruffly panties every day. The reason I know this is because she would carefully sit down in her seat so the back hem of her skirt would catch on the seat back, revealing all of her ruffles. I was more than a little in awe of all of this.
I had a dream when I was in kindergarten that I got in trouble and was sent home from school. I walked home (it was about half a mile) and got there just as the school bus dropped off my neighbor from across the street, so my mother didn't even know I had gotten in trouble, and I didn't tell her. It was such a realistic dream that I thought it had really happened, believing it for years and years and years. When I finally mentioned it to my mom, she assured me it was a dream and that, even if I had ever gotten in enough trouble to be sent home (which was beyond unlikely), the school would never have just sent me out the door and pointed me towards home.
My earliest memories of coming home from kindergarten is of my mom standing at the ironing board, ironing my dad's shirts and watching her soap operas while waiting for my school bus to drop me off.
My mom thinks it's terrible that my earliest memories of her from kindergarten are of her ironing, as it confirms that she spent a lot of her time at that loathsome job.
When I was at church, the building was a church. When I was at school, the building was a school. When my mom mistakenly asked me how my day at church went one day after I came home from kindergarten, I firmly corrected her.
Give me some time, and I will come up with my bus driver's name....