After 10 years of teaching at Mattie V., Katharine Bagaley opened her own kindergarten in her home on 7th Street. This was a special kindergarten where the children not only learned to read and write but also to act and dance and put on performances. Some of these "shows" were staged in the Mattie V. Rutherford School auditorium.
Joan Thomas attended Mrs. Bagaley's kindergarten in the early 1920s not long after it first opened. Joan was taught to read by Mrs. Bagaley's Mother using phonics' cards with drawings of elves and fairies that Mrs. Bagaley had made. Years later, in 1977 Katharine Bagaley published a book of all these drawings and phonics. The book was called Mr. Easy Teaches Phonics and I have included a few pages here which were scanned from a copy of this book I managed to locate via the web. A prize!
On one of my many recent visits to Springfield, I went by Mrs. Bagaley's house on 7th Street. We happened to arrive just as the owner was coming home from work and had an interesting conversation with him. Of course he had heard of Katharine Bagaley.
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