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Weeks, Mary Harmon, 3408 Harrison Street

When Mary Harmon Weeks began her teaching career in 1868 at the age of 17, she had to promise the principal of Central High School, that she would keep her age a secret since she was younger than many of her students. Weeks was one of two teachers on staff at the one year old high school. She taught nine subjects, but later her teaching load was reduced to mathematics and English.

An author as well as an educator, she compiled and edited an eight-volume series entitled "Parents and Their Problems and Child Welfare in Home, School, Church and State" in 1914. One hundred and sixty–four authors, including Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Weeks herself, were featured in the series.

In 1889, the year she placed her daughter in the city´s first kindergarten, she organized a mothers– union, a group of mothers of children in the class. Weeks began a three–year campaign for establishing kindergartens in all the city´s public schools that resulted in school board approval in 1894.

In the 1890s Weeks was one of the founders of the National Congress of Mothers and the Parent–Teacher Association. She organized the first PTA in Missouri. Her commitment was lifelong; she traveled to the PTA national convention in Richmond by herself when she was 86.

Weeks joined in the founding of several women´s clubs, including the ´81 Club, Tuesday Morning Study Club, Bancroft Club, and Kansas City Athenaeum.

Kansas City Women of Independent Minds , Jane Fifield Flynn

Mary Harmon Weeks
Mary Harmon Weeks
Courtesy the Kansas City Athenaeum