Memories of the Rosenwald School

KHS collections: 1995ph2.25AAFRA4. Class at Rosenwald School, Frankfort, KY. ca. 1957.

As a young girl, Pam Reaves, a librarian at the Kentucky Historical Society, attended the Rosenwald Laboratory School located in Frankfort, KY. She shares her memories of Rosenwald School in today’s blog:

“The Rosenwald Laboratory School has been part of the Kentucky State Campus since the early 1950’s. The building still stands, although it is no longer used as a school and has been shadowed by one of KSU’s new dormitories.

It was called the Rosenwald Laboratory School or the Rosenwald Training School because we were a practice institution of the elementary education majors of KSU. The school was small. There were under seventy students most years. The classrooms contained several grades. K-3 was the primary department. The intermediate grades were grades 4, 5, & 6 and the junior high department was grades 7 & 8. We were really like one big family. Everyone knew everyone.


We were able to enjoy a lot of extra surprises because we were part of the KSU campus such as the time we got to enjoy the singing of Marian Anderson and the time we got to see the Louisville Orchestra.

We always had a school bazaar in March and the teachers and part of the Frankfort community would come up with all kinds if witty things to make our yearly event a success.

There was always that personal connection. I think the teachers knew everything about us. Most of them lived next door to us.

I remember one cold wet winter day almost half of the school went out for recess time and we got our leather shoes wet, too wet to wear. One of our teachers took it upon herself to dry them so we would not get from wearing wet shoes.  She put our shoes in the oven to dry and they all shrunk. Imagine having to tell all of those parents their children needed new shoes! I think we all had two pair of shoes: our Sunday shoes and our school shoes. It was not like today’s gallery of shoe choices. We only had the brownies or the saddle oxfords. This only showed how much the teachers always went beyond their duties to look out for us.

Another wonderful memory of Rosenwald is when we had every seamstress in Frankfort sewing our white organdy dresses for the Operetta we performed every year at the close of school.

Kentucky Historical Society’s digital collection contains Rosenwald photos and some of the KSU history of the early fun years at the Rosenwald School of Frankfort. Please come visit us and enjoy these wonderful collections!”

–Pam Reaves

Above image right: 1995ph2.19AAFRA1. Last school picture of Rosenwald Laboratory School, Kentucky State, 1977. 

Above image left: 1995ph2.31AAFRA1. The old three-room Rosenwald School, ca. 1952, locally known as the “Model School.” ca. 1952