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Celebrating a Life For Children - Peggy Schirmer

by Bonnie Neugebauer and Lucy Stroock
November/December 2004
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/celebrating-a-life-for-children-peggy-schirmer/5016080/

Margaret Fellows Schirmer, better known as Peggy, died August 8, 2004, at home surrounded by her family. A life-long peace and justice activist, familiar to many NAEYC Conference participants, Peggy spent the second half of her 89 years working to make a safer world for children.

Born and educated in England, Peggy came to the U.S. as a young woman interested in economics and justice, particularly working conditions for women. After marriage to fellow activist Boone Schirmer, while raising their children, she worked as a seamstress and was a representative for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union negotiating wages and prices for piecework. Throughout their childhood her children remember participating in protests with their mother: against segregation, for hot school lunches, and against the Vietnam War.

In her fifties, Peggy went to Tufts University for a degree in early childhood education. She taught preschool and became director at the Radcliffe Child Care Center and then at Cambridge Headstart. During 1970 she traveled to Mexico to learn Spanish and to Cuba to work with the Cuban Ministry of Education. In 1985 she went to China, the Netherlands, and Denmark to learn about child care in other cultures. Her perspective was ...

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