Last bell for Miss Frances

Last bell for Miss Frances
Baby boomers should remember Miss Frances, who hosted Ding Dong School from 1952 to 1956. You might call her the mother of Mr. Rogers.

Dr. Frances Horwich died in 2001 at the age of 94. Her estate is auctioning of memorabilia, including a collection of cartoons revealing that Bil Keane has been drawing the same children for half a century.

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Comments

  1. Carol D. Nastasi says:

    I just retired from a 38-year career as a teacher, of primary-grade children, in the Bronx, NY Public Schools. When I was a child, I would watch, “Ding Dong School, whenever I was home for illness, holidays, etc.. I was a few years older than Miss Frances’s targeted audience. However, I enjoyed watching her for her methods and ideas. She was my inspiraion for my wanting to become a teacher. I just want to say, “Thank you” for starting me on the way to my career as an educator and nurturer of young children.
    I wish that her shows would be re-run on television, at the present, so that today’s youngsters could experience “attendance” at Ding Dong School!
    I hope that I will live a long-fulfilling life, as did Frances Horwich.

  2. Carol D. Nastasi says:

    I just retired from a 38-year career as a teacher, of primary-grade children, in the Bronx, NY Public Schools. When I was a child, I would watch, “Ding Dong School, whenever I was home for illness, holidays, etc.. I was a few years older than Miss Frances’s targeted audience. However, I enjoyed watching her for her methods and ideas. She was my inspiraion for my wanting to become a teacher. I just want to say, “Thank you” for starting me on the way to my career as an educator and nurturer of young children.
    I wish that her shows would be re-run on television, at the present, so that today’s youngsters could experience “attendance” at Ding Dong School!
    I hope that I will live a long-fulfilling life, as did Frances Horwich.

  3. Todd Victor Leone says:

    I was born in 1952, a few months before “Ding Dong School” premiered. Now I’m 52 years old. But I still remember Miss Frances, whom I found out later on was Dr. Frances Horwich, because my made sure I watched her every day. I vividly remember — when I was probably two years old — the ringing of her handheld school bell and the little them song:

    “I’m your school bell, ding dong ding,
    Boys and girls now hear me ring.”

    The show was rather short — it was geared for pre-schoolers and kindergartners, mostly. But it helped me to have a lifelong interest in learning. By the time kindergarten came along, I wanted to go to school!

    I remember seeing a clip from the show when I was an older child and I was surprised by Miss Frances’s careful diction — she pronounced every word with precision so that children would not only understand, but would learn how a word was actually pronounced.

    I firmly believe that conscientious students are made in early childhood. The last few minutes of every show were for the parents and Miss Frances would ask children to go get their mothers to watch the final few minutes. My mom always did.

    This groundbreaking television pioneer is right up there on my list of television people who helped make my childhood a good thing. Later there was Mr. Wizard, whom I loved. But first there was Miss Frances, God bless her.

    Todd Victor Leone
    San Francisco, California

  4. Todd Victor Leone says:

    I was born in 1952, a few months before “Ding Dong School” premiered. Now I’m 52 years old. But I still remember Miss Frances, whom I found out later on was Dr. Frances Horwich, because my made sure I watched her every day. I vividly remember — when I was probably two years old — the ringing of her handheld school bell and the little them song:

    “I’m your school bell, ding dong ding,
    Boys and girls now hear me ring.”

    The show was rather short — it was geared for pre-schoolers and kindergartners, mostly. But it helped me to have a lifelong interest in learning. By the time kindergarten came along, I wanted to go to school!

    I remember seeing a clip from the show when I was an older child and I was surprised by Miss Frances’s careful diction — she pronounced every word with precision so that children would not only understand, but would learn how a word was actually pronounced.

    I firmly believe that conscientious students are made in early childhood. The last few minutes of every show were for the parents and Miss Frances would ask children to go get their mothers to watch the final few minutes. My mom always did.

    This groundbreaking television pioneer is right up there on my list of television people who helped make my childhood a good thing. Later there was Mr. Wizard, whom I loved. But first there was Miss Frances, God bless her.

    Todd Victor Leone
    San Francisco, California

  5. i have the ding dong school official membership certificate, button and color picture of Miss Francis in mint condition. Anyone interested?

  6. i have the ding dong school official membership certificate, button and color picture of Miss Francis in mint condition. Anyone interested?