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Locke, Bessie (1865–1952)

Locke, Bessie (1865–1952)

American educator. Born Aug 7, 1865, in West Cambridge (now Arlington), MA; died April 9, 1952, in New York, NY; dau. of a factory owner; took business classes at Columbia University.

Formed East End Kindergarten Union of Brooklyn; served as financial secretary (1896–1923) and later trustee of Brooklyn Free Kindergarten Society and was noted for fund-raising abilities; was leading founder (1909) of National Association for the Promotion of Kindergarten Education (became National Kindergarten Association, 1911) of which she served as director and executive secretary (until 1952); served as chief of kindergarten division of US Bureau of Education (1913–19), chair of kindergarten extension division of National Congress of Parents and Teachers (1913–22), and director of National Council of Women (1921–46). Her efforts are seen as having made possible the opening of 3,260 kindergartens.

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