History

Our school first opened in 1945 as a kindergarten. In 1959 the school was licensed by the Illinois State Department of Children and Family Services. After the Harlem School District offered kindergarten, we expanded to include a four-year-old pre-school in 1970. Four years later, a three-year-old program was opened in an effort to serve the community better and fully utilized the church facilities.

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In the year 1944, there were no Kindergartens in the Harlem School System. Upon the suggestion of Ms. Chell, wife of the Pastor, the newly formed Miriam Circle, whose President was then Ruth Herbert decided to sponsor such a project. The purpose was to bring Christian training to four and five year olds and to prepare them for Kindergarten.

Our school first opened in 1945 as a kindergarten. In 1959 the school was licensed by the Illinois State Department of Children and Family Services. After the Harlem School District offered kindergarten, we expanded to include a four-year-old pre-school in 1970. Four years later, a three-year-old program was opened in an effort to serve the community better and fully utilize the church facilities.

Gladys Anderson, Director and Curriculum Planner, was assisted by Esther Brown and Marian Soderberg. Twenty-three children were enrolled for six weeks in the Spring. Most of these were members of Grace Lutheran Church. Classes were held in the area which is now the kitchen and Bethlehem Room.

The Miriam Circle handled all the business affairs with a board of four members chosen each Spring and Fall. All the members of the Circle were involved by furnishing “snacks” for the children and concentrated orange juice was furnished by the Government.

MIRIAM CIRCLE
Organized Kindergarten in 1944
President Ruth Herbert,
Vice President, Esther Brown
Secretary, Beverly Wick
Treasurer, Catherine Mincemoyer

 

Back Row L to R: Alice Richardson, Ruth Herbert, Nellie Oswald, Kay Newton, Esther Brown, Verna Foster, Beverly Wick, Ruth Peterson
Middle Row: Edith Cadwell, Catherine Mincemoyer,?, ?, Irene Williams, Signe Engstron, ? , ?, Evelyn Gustafson
Front Row: Signe Chell, Hazel Harrtman, Bea Lundsten, Fern Potter, Janet Warden, Merle Hanna, Doris Bly, Janet Conklin

¬†MIRIAM CIRCLE (Written in the 40’s?) A group of ladies not active in any women’s activity met at the parsonage in December, 1944, to consider organizing a new circle for the younger ladies to meet in the evenings. At the meeting held in January the following officers were elected: President, Mrs. Frank Herbert; vice-president, Mrs. H. Brown; secretary, Mrs. D. Wick; treasurer, Mrs. C. Mincemoyer. Known as the Miriam Circle, and after some time of faithful sowing in pioneering the work, this Circle too enjoyed healthy growth, and now numbers some thirty active members. Mrs. H. Brown became the Circle’s second president followed by Mrs. Merton Lundsten, and Mrs. Donald Wick. Mrs. Kenneth Warden is the present president; Mrs. R. Foster, vice-president; Mrs. Roy Gustafson, secretary; Mrs. M. Hanna, treasurer. The main project the Miriams have sponsored has been a Christian Kindergarten in the church for the community. They have also been concerned for the Sunday-school children and have given seasonal parties for them.