Frances R. Horwich, “Miss Frances” of the “Ding Dong School” television program for preschoolers, died of heart failure on July 22. The pioneer in children’s TV was 92.
Ms. Horwich, an early-childhood educator, served as the headmistress of the award-winning televised nursery school on NBC from 1952 to 1959. The program won the 1953 George Foster Peabody Award for children’s programs.
Featuring such classic activities as finger painting, clay modeling, and the proper use of crayons, “Ding Dong School” was an early model for educational programming for youngsters. During the show’s last five minutes, Ms. Horwich would urge her young viewers to call their mothers to the room so that she could instruct them on how to finish projects left undone.
A version of this article appeared in the August 08, 2001 edition of Education Week