Sadie Ginsberg, child care expert

September 22, 1993|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Staff Writer

Sadie Dashew Ginsberg, an internationally recognized expert on child care and childhood education, died at the Chesapeake Manor Extended Care Center in Arnold on Thursday of heart failure. She was 92.

Mrs. Ginsberg began her crusade to promote early childhood education and day care programs in 1924 as one of the founders of the Child Study Association of Baltimore, an organization devoted to helping parents do a better job of rearing their children.

"The point that Sadie was trying to make was that children learn from the time they are born and that you have to nurture both the brain and the body," said Sandy Skolnik, executive director of the Maryland Committee for Children. "This was a good woman."

Mrs. Ginsberg "was active in saving day care after World War II when it was thought that Rosie the Riveter would return home and give up her job," Ms. Skolnik added. "Since . . . there was the economic need for both parents to work, a mechanism was needed for high-quality programs for all children, and Sadie recognized this need."

As Mrs. Ginsberg put it in a 1942 interview, "Even though we win the war through an all-out effort, if the care and training of our children have been neglected by both family and community, the next generation will inevitably be the kind of human material incapable of rebuilding the 'brave new world' we are fighting for."

She was born in East Baltimore and reared on Gay Street, the daughter of Russian immigrant parents, Jacob Dashew and Eve Chircus, who came to the city in the late 1890s from Odessa. Her father established a sewing machinery equipment business, J. Dashew Inc. She was a 1918 graduate of Western High School and received her bachelor's degree from Goucher College in 1922. She took graduate courses at Columbia University, Goucher and the Johns Hopkins University.

In 1953 she founded the Children's Guild for emotionally disturbed children and was a director there from 1962 to 1964.

Stanley Mopsik, executive director of the guild since 1981, said, "She was way ahead of her time and she was incredibly positive about what could be done with the children here. . . . Our 40th anniversary celebration, which we are holding in October, was dedicated to her."

In 1964 she became coordinator of the Head Start training project for Baltimore. She was a project officer for the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunities for Parents and Child Centers from 1967 to 1969. And she was a consultant to the National Day Care Licensing Study Task Force on Fire and Building Codes.

Mrs. Ginsberg was an adviser to many hospitals and state agencies including the John F. Kennedy Institute; the Maryland Office for Children and Youth; the state departments of education and health; and the Medical Research Institute of Worcester, Mass.

"Into her 70s and 80s she still traveled all over the world lecturing and advising on childhood programs," said her daughter, Judith Bender of Arnold.

She held various teaching positions from 1945 to 1973 at Johns Hopkins, Goucher, the University of Maryland and Towson State University, and was widely published.

During her career and retirement she continued to be honored for her work with children and parents. She was honored by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke in 1991 with a "Sadie Vera Dashew Ginsberg Day" in 1991 and was named to the Mayor's Hall of Fame in 1992.

The former Cross Keys resident married Leon Ginsberg, a clothing executive in 1922. He died in 1989.

Services for Mrs. Ginsberg are private.

She is survived by a daughter; two granddaughters, Lisa Bender and Jory Bender, both of Arnold; and four great-grandchildren.

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