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The Plant and Flower Guild does not suggest anything in the nature of reformation yet. I once got control of a very troublesome gang, whose members came like little gentlemen to my apartment to get the rosy cheeked apples that they were sure would come on a certain day at a certain hour, and they were much impressed with the fact that some one was willing to take so much trouble for children who were unknown to the sender.
I have also drawn on the Public Employment Bureau, various religious organizations, Clinics, Hospitals, the C. O. S. and the A. I. C. P.
Added to these organizations are others which represent an almost undeveloped field. I refer to such organizations as Woman's Clubs, The Woman's Municipal League, The Local School Board, Parents' Associations and others.
There are in these groups well educated, intelligent women, who, having raised their own families successfully and having the time and inclination, are waiting for some one to invite them to devote their time to some useful activity.
The school and these persons rarely form a connection, the reason for this being twofold. People outside the school, seeing its organization and its many activities think it fills completely the need of the child. Others are shy of the ponderous school system and its necessarily rigid administration.
The assistance of such volunteers will be readily secured when the teacher makes her needs known, when she understands definitely what the child requires and when she asks her volunteers to perform a specific mission.
The well-informed, tactful teacher prepares the way for this worker and forestalls errors, by acquainting her with the rules and regulations of the school. Faith in the worker and her work communicates itself to the child and renders the help given effective.
The teacher, also, by her counsel and advice helps the parent to become open minded and receptive. Parents' Meetings aid materially in bringing about opportunities for friendly relations and increase the parent's confidence in the teacher.
Topics relating to educational matters make a serious impression on parents and such topics as are discussed at Parents' Meetings educate the members to read on the movements of the day.
One day, I stopped at a stoop to talk to a tired, busy mother and mentioned some movement in the educational world. A smile lighted up her face as she said, “I read all about that on the educational page of The Globe.” Sometimes I wonder to what extent it would change the character of the newspapers if the publishers could know the reaction of their work. It is the most powerful coöperating force in the community.
The well-informed teacher will also understand the necessity for the individual consideration of the child. What a boon it is to a child to have some one interested in his little affairs of life. How a boy will
his heart to the person genuinely interested in him and what a revelation he makes of his hopes and dreams. “The House of the Heart" is easy
of access to the one who knows how to enter. This work will also be so skilfully directed that no two interests will clash. Several persons interested in the same child will not interfere with one another. At one time, there came under my supervision a boy whose mother was insane and whose father drank. I felt powerless in the face of these obstacles and their natural consequences. The boy had a very unusual teacher and she was the center around which the work revolved. To her, I gave the facts of his home life. She was infallible in her attention to that boy's daily lessons, his appearance, and his conduct. She reported retardation and average, a tutor was secured for him. Next, the parish visitor of a neighboring church was interested and through her the clergyman, a Sunday School teacher, and a sort of Big Brother. A scholarship was obtained for him—and a friendly visitor made regular visits to the home to advise and encourage the mother. Each of these workers contributed a little to the welfare of that boy—but in the aggregate it was so much that the change and development seemed too miraculous to last, but it has endured three years.
Another boy, an orphan whose grandmother died leaving him to the care of an indifferent relative by marriage, was taken care of by the clerk in the school, his regular teacher, a Sunday School teacher, a parish visitor, and a tutor. The clerk looked him up when absent or tardy, the Sunday School teacher and parish visitor clothed him. Carfare was provided so that he might go to his tutor, and when he was left entirely homeless, his Sunday School teacher took him into his home until he could be placed somewhere. He is now a fine, strong boy, living in the country and learning to be a farmer.
The secret of good coöperation is very simple. It is just this,-believing that one's own effort is important and indispensable and that the effort of every other member in the community is just as important and indispensable as our own. Team work applied to any movement means success.
Have a pail of clean, hot water, two clean cloths and Dutch Cleanser. Wet one half of the table and sprinkle Dutch Cleanser over it, scrub with a clean scrubbing brush and wash off. Wipe dry with the second cloth. Treat the other side in a similar way.
KATHERINE A. REDMOND AssISTANT TO PRINCIPAL, PUBLIC SCHOOL 6, BRONX, (FORMERLY TEACHER OF AN UNGRADED
CLASS IN PUBLIC School 58, MANHATTAN) Michael's home is located in the middle west side of New York, between those sections known as Hell's Kitchen and San Juan Hill. The family as I first knew it consisted of the father, two sisters and Michael. Of the mother little is known except that she was of English birth and died when Michael was very young. The father, who was a Civil War Veteran, placed the three children in a home and he entered the Soldier's Home at Bath, N. Y., after the death of the mother. The children remained in the home until the oldest girl, a bright, capable child, was old enough to keep house. Then in 1911 the father and children returned to New York, where the father died in 1914 leaving Michael in his sister's care. Prior to 1911 little is known of Michael save that he could learn little and had a most violent temper.
Michael was born in New York October 5, 1900 and entered the public school in 1911 from an institution. His memory of his life in the institution is limited to a vague idea of a big yard where there was grass and a garden where vegetables grew.
Michael was first examined for the, Ungraded Class in 1911. It was recommended that he be placed in an Ungraded Class until such time as he could be sent to an institution for the feeble-minded. As there was no Ungraded Class in this school and no vacancy in a nearby school, he was not entered in an Ungraded Class until September, 1913. He was reëxamined in June, 1913. This reëxamination recommended an Ungraded Class until he could be sent to Letchworth. Subsequent examinations February, 1914, October, 1914, and November, 1915, recommended institutional care, but his sisters would not consent. In 1913 Michael's Binet score was 5 years, in 1915 it was 52/5 years. His school record is exceedingly poor. He spent two and one half terms in 1A and one term in 1B after entering the public school. When he entered the Ungraded Class he knew nine words, turkey, hen, bag, flour, duck, help, carry, eat and Michael; he could count to 50, copy from written models, and write his own name. His progress in the Ungraded Class has been very slight. He can read in Book I of the Progressive Road Series but fails to recognize the same words in other books. He is able to make change as high as ten cents and knows the various pieces of money. He can make eighteen of the twenty-six letters without a copy but cannot combine them into words. His expression is usually confined to a single word. He seldom uses a complete original sentence, but when angered will shout or mutter some violent expression. His motor control is poor, his memory poorer still and he seems unable to form any logical as
sociations. His violent temper makes it impossible to allow him the use of tools as he sticks the sharp or pointed tools into his companion's flesh. He can however make an excellent raffia basket once it is started, and he can cane a chair if someone starts the first cane in each direction.
In appearance Michael is small and walks with a slovenly inanimate gait. His fingers are short and stubby with rough, clammy skin and thick horny nails. His tongue is thick and when he speaks gives one the impression that it is too large for his mouth. His eyes have a vacant stare
a and his hair is thick, coarse and shaggy. Michael's temper is uncontrollable. When he first entered the Ungraded Class, without the slightest apparent provocation he would jump from his chair, throw or tear anything within his reach, scream, “Murder, murder,” and rush from the room. When the fury had spent itself he was exhausted and for hours would sit and mumble to himself. These spells of violence have not occurred so often during the past year. I do not attribute this to better control but rather to failing health and vitality as he seems to be developing tubercular tendencies. His teeth and tonsils greatly need attention but the family will not permit the needed corrections.
During the winter of 1915-1916 Michael had a severe attack of pneumonia after which he was sent out of the city to regain strength. This was his first absence from school since entering in 1911. In the spring of 1916 he was in the hospital again for a short period recovering from an injury which he had received on the street. Once in 1915 he wandered away from home and was not found until the next day. He had been taken in charge by an officer in Hoboken and was unable to tell where he lived.
Though Michael is sixteen he attends school regularly, due undoubtedly to the fact that he is incapable of doing any work outside. He will in all probability, become a public charge and eventually find his way to an institution.
Here we have a boy too low mentally to profit materially by attendance on an Ungraded Class. It was impossible, however, to induce his sister to place him in a proper institution and the Ungraded Class was the only alternative to the street. It seemed wiser, on the whole, to permit Michael to get what he could in this class than to give him over to entire neglect and a life in the streets. The Ungraded Class was the “half loaf” for Michael
m filter attai 3.
Money was granted by the New York legislature, 1917, for eight cottages at Letchworth Village and for a dormitory for women needing special supervision at the Newark State Custodial Asylum. All told, authorization has been given for work to cost $1,114,000. This is much more than was at first contemplated by the State authorities.
After being amended to include the feeble-minded, the Hospital Development Commission bill was enacted. This commission, which includes the responsible members of the financial committees of the legislature, is to determine upon a financial policy and formulate a program of development for the next decade.
The Lockwood bill to require Ungraded Classes in schools throughout the state passed and has been approved by Governor Whitman.
AN ACT To AMEND THE EDUCATION LAW BY PROVIDING FOR THE EDUCATION OF
CHILDREN WITH RETARDED MENTAL DEVELOPMENT The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly do enact as follows:
Section 1. Chapter twenty-one of the laws of nineteen hundred and nine, entitled “An act relating to education, constituting chapter sixteen of the consolidated laws," as amended by chapter one hundred and forty of the laws of nineteen hundred and ten, is hereby further amended by inserting therein a new article to be known as article twenty-b, and to read as follows:
ARTICLE XX-B CHILDREN WITH RETARDED MENTAL DEVELOPMENT $578. Children with retarded mental development. 1. The board of education of each city and of each union free school district, and the board of trustees of each school district shall, within one year from the time this act becomes effective, ascertain, under regulations prescribed by the commissioner of education and approved by the regents of the university, the number of children in attendance upon the public schools under its supervision who are three years or more retarded in mental development.
2. The board of education of each city and of each union free school district in which there are ten or more children three years or more retarded in mental development shall establish such special classes of not more than fifteen as may be necessary to provide instruction adapted to the mental attainments of such children.
3. The board of education of each city and of each union free school district, and the board of trustees of each school district which contains less than ten such children may contract with the board of education of another city or school district for the education of such children in special classes