NEWBERRY — Built in the 1960’s, the home of Mother Goose Kindergarten, 1813 Circle Drive, has received an upgrade, which helped rekindle memories of the past.
Newberry residents Cayci and Charlie Banks were responsible for the upgrades to the home.
The Banks’ purchased the house in the spring with a goal to flip it, but still keep memories of the kindergarten alive, while giving the house a more modern floor plan.
Carol Foster, who attended Mother Goose Kindergarten, said that although it has been many years since her kindergarten days, she does remember her graduation ceremony and also memories of having a trampoline to play on.
“It’s been so long ago I really don’t remember much except that she had a trampoline, which not many people had back then, and we thought it was great,” she said.
Foster added that after attending the unveiling of the renovated house, she couldn’t help but wonder how everyone was able to fit in the basement.
One person that is familiar with Mother Goose Kindergarten is Paula Nichols, the daughter of Lula Cuthbertson, who ran Mother Goose Kindergarten.
“This was before kindergarten went into the public school system. So, she would have anywhere from 30-40 children in our basement that she controlled by herself, pretty much. Kindergarten was from 9 a.m. until noon and they would watch cartoons and then go downstairs for school,” Nichols said.
She added that her mother taught children how to count and how to write their names.
“Every night she would memograph pages, you would do a page at a time, things for them to color or to learn to write. She had Christmas floats in all of the Christmas parades in Newberry,” Nichols said. “My mom did field trips with the kindergarten class to the post office, fire department and library. I remember at the post office they saw how the envelopes were fed through a machine to mark and date when a letter was mailed. It’s crazy how those type of things stay with you.”
She also recalled a time when her mother transformed her grandfather’s tractor into a camel that pulled a trailer with the class, and taking golf carts to make a Christmas train, with all of the children riding along.
“She always had commencement programs at the end of the year, which now that I have two grown children, thinking about what my mom did for these programs at the end of the year, I have not seen anything like what she used to do. She would have two parts, one where it would be a skit part and one would be the actual graduation,” Nichols said.
She added that in the skit every child was used and had something to lead the group in, demonstrating what they learned throughout the year.
Nichols’ mom also played the piano, which they used to sing songs. She also remembers her mom telling stories using a felt board that she would stick figures on in order to tell the story.
“She would control the class with the piano, with a certain chord meaning ‘sit down’ or another chord that meant ‘stand up,’” Nichols said. “I just think about all that she taught, that many children and controlled them pretty much by herself, it’s pretty remarkable when you think about classroom’s today.”
The Banks’ also have a connection to the house.
“When I was renting my mom’s house to college students, Cayci used to rent there. I thought ‘Wow, this has really gone 360 degrees,’” Nichols said.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.