Back to

Child Centers and Outside Programs Records

Title: Child Centers and Outside Programs Records
Date: 1916 – on-going
Quantity: approximately .42 linear feet (1 document box)
Collection Number: 12

Access to the collection is unlimited. Researchers are allowed to view all pieces of the collection. The archive is open by appointment only. Call the Reference Librarian at (617) 879-2222 to make an appointment.


Requests to publish material from the collection should be submitted to the Library Director.


The collection was the donation of Wheelock faculty, staff, and alumnae.

Processing Information:

The collection was re-processed and updated by Adrienne Pruitt in 2005. The collection was initially organized by Theresa B. Davitt. The collection was rearranged based on archival principles. Accession correspondence as well as inquiries into information from the archives was removed from the collection. Acidic materials such as newsprint were photocopied onto acid-free paper and then discarded unless the original had some intrinsic value.


The following catalog entries provide controlled subject access to the collection. All these entries are searchable in the Wheelock College Library’s online catalog to find materials of related interest.

  • Wheelock College – History.
  • Wheelock School – History.
  • Wheelock College – Alumni and alumnae.
  • Teachers colleges – Massachusetts.
  • Universities and colleges – Massachusetts.
  • Boston (Mass.) – Education.
  • Head Start program (U.S.).
  • Wheelock, Lucy, 1857-1946.
  • Lucy Wheelock Kindergarten.
  • Lucy Wheelock Child Centre.
  • Wheelock Child Garden.
  • Kindergarten facilities – United States.
  • Day care centers – Massachusetts – Boston.


Lucy Wheelock founded the Wheelock Kindergarten Training School in 1888 to provide education for teachers of young children. From the beginning, classroom observation and practice teaching were a vital part of the program. Wheelock students taught in various settlement house kindergartens, and the Alumnae Association provided funding to several child centers. In 1897, supported by the Alumnae Association, the South End Kindergarten opened at the South End Settlement House with eight children under the direction of Mary V. Thompson ’97.

Over the years, the name of the South End Kindergarten changed to the South Bay Union Kindergarten and then, from 1915 to 1922, to the Lucy Wheelock Kindergarten. In 1923 support for the Lucy Wheelock Kindergarten at South Bay Union waned, and the Alumnae Association diverted the funds to an endowment for a planned model kindergarten to be named after Miss Wheelock. In the meantime, as the endowment gathered sufficient funds, Miss Wheelock started the Child Garden School at Wheelock in 1923, and kindergarten and primary grades were taught there for the rest of the 1920s. With funding from the Alumnae Association and the personal financial support of Miss Wheelock, the Roxbury Neighborhood House opened a kindergarten called the Wheelock Child Centre, which ran from May 1933 until June 1938.

In 1938, the Alumnae Association began a drive to fund the endowment for the Lucy Wheelock Child Centre in Roxbury. On January 28, 1939, in celebration of the School’s fiftieth anniversary, the Alumnae Association was presented with a deed for the property in Roxbury on which the Centre would be built. The brick Colonial-style building was dedicated on November 26, 1939, and opened with twenty-five children, overseen by Barbara Hopkins ’34. Following a reorganization of the Alumnae Association, the Lucy Wheelock Child Centre was sold in the spring of 1955.

The tradition of collaborative service to the community continued, however, with a wide variety of initiatives that include Head Start and several day care centers, charter schools, summer classes, and tutoring programs. Head Start was created in 1965 as one of President Johnson’s Great Society programs, and was designed to give educational and developmental support to pre-school age children from low-income backgrounds. Dr. Elizabeth Ann Liddle ’47, then director of graduate programs at Wheelock, helped to plan the teacher training components of Head Start, and Wheelock was one of the first colleges to train teachers for the program in the summer of 1965.

The first Head Start Regional Training Office for Massachusetts was at Wheelock, led by Dr. Joan Bergstrom as the first Regional Training Officer. Wheelock continues its relationship with Head Start today. Partnerships with Lesley College, Colleges of the Fenway, the Urban College Program, and TEAMS-BC, as well as many conferences and forums sponsored in conjunction with other institutions, demonstrate the frequently collaborative approach to education and community service at Wheelock College.


The Child Centers and Outside Programs Records are divided into two series: I. Child Centers and II. Outside Programs and Conferences.

Series I: Child Centers.

Child Center records consist of materials related to the settlement houses, kindergartens, and child care centers staffed and frequently funded by Wheelock faculty, students, and alumnae. These include clippings, annual reports, programs, fundraising appeals, a catalog for the Wheelock Child Garden, and photographs, a print, and a sale poster depicting the Lucy Wheelock Child Centre.

Series II: Outside Programs and Conferences.

Contains clippings, memos, newsletters, programs, invitations, flyers and brochures for various collaborations, programs and conferences associated with Wheelock College, including, among others, Head Start, the Urban College Program, the Malden-Wheelock Teacher Corps, Creative Classrooms, and the Colleges of the Fenway. The records of Head Start include memos, clippings, and programs for the 1967 Director’s Meeting and Head Start Week. The Malden-Wheelock Teacher Corps records include a brochure and newsletter. This series also contains the publication "A Decade of Commitment: School-College Collaboration In Boston: 1975-1985."

Further information on Wheelock child centers may be found in Collection 16. Records of the Alumnae Association. Additional materials on conferences at Wheelock College may be found in collection 15. All College Events and Programs, which contains records of conferences, lectures, and events sponsored solely by Wheelock and not by outside institutions.


Box 1
Series I: Child Centers

  • Lucy Wheelock Kindergarten, South End House, 1916
  • Roxbury Neighborhood House benefit program, 1916
  • Wheelock Kindergartens (excerpt from The Wheel, 1924)
  • Wheelock Child Garden - Clippings, 1923-1924
  • Wheelock Child Garden Catalog, 1929-1930
  • Lucy Wheelock Child Centre – Fundraising Appeal, 1938
  • Lucy Wheelock Child Centre – Clippings, 1939-1952
  • Lucy Wheelock Child Centre – Dedicatory Exercises Program, November 26, 1939
  • Lucy Wheelock Child Centre – Photographs (PC6.287-363)
  • Lucy Wheelock Child center, Photographs (PC6.940-952)
  • Lucy Wheelock Child Centre – Print, n.d., and Sale Poster [1954]

Series II: Outside Programs and Conferences
  • Boston Partners in Education, 1990-1991
  • City Camp, 1991
  • Colleges of the Fenway, 1996-
  • Community Teamwork, Inc., 1987
  • “Connections” collaboration (with Boys & Girls Clubs) 1995
  • Cooperative Relationship with Lesley College - Memo, 1972
  • Creative Classrooms, 1987-
  • Decade of Commitment: School-College Collaboration in Boston 1975-1985
  • Early Childhood Programs Conference
  • Eight Week Training Course in Child Care - Title V. Work Training Program - Program Description, 1968
  • Family Child Care Project, 1993
  • Fatherhood Forum, 1984
  • Head Start
  • Learning in Community, an Ecological Approach, 1995
  • Learning / Teaching Collaborative (with Brookline public schools)
  • Malden-Wheelock Teacher Corp. Collaborative
  • Meeting the Needs of Educators, October 1991
  • NAEYC – National Association for the Education of Young Children, November 1991
  • New England Association for Nursery Education conference, 1956
  • New England Children’s Film and Video Festival
  • PALMS – Partnerships Advancing Learning in Mathematics and Science
  • Parenting After Divorce: Papers from a 1980 Conference for Professionals, 1981
  • Playing for Keeps
  • Project WELCOME
  • Stride-Rite Intergenerational Day Care Center in Cambridge, 1987-1991
  • Teacher Education Initiative, 1994
  • TEAMS-BC – Teacher Education Advancing Math and Science in Boston and Cambridge
  • Upward Bound Program, Wheelock College
  • Urban College Program, 1993
  • “Violence in Schools. Seminar, June 17, 2000
  • Voices of Love and Freedom, 2000
  • Washington Education Project, 1988
  • Wheelock College In-service Institute, Resources and Services for Educators
  • Young Achievers Math and Science Pilot School, 1995