Newspaper Page Text
the fahmer : april 2s, 1914.
1 ; i- v
GITIES CALL TG PARENTS'
How The Street Urchin Loses Life and
Is Taught To Swear and. Gamble
' THE NEED AND OTPEB-VISION5; OF
. Discussion bj J .Herbert Wilson.
Two-''.' thousand years' . since the
Greeks save very free born child .a
chance to play. Nearly two thousand
years since a man In Ju-dea. pro
claimed th lights of childhood. One
tuindred and thirty eight years-since
the Declaration of independence as-eei-ted
the Individuals " "unalienable
right to the pursuit of happiness" -and
yet in the year 1914 even In the United
etates' of America tweny-two millions
of children -were without year-round
playgrounds. . .- i, "'
It is estimated that one-third of the
jiopttlatlon of vthia-onnti?3j"is twenty-
one .years of as,-,'Diriatne popula
tion, of yoi city" or town by three. Is
your community adequately providing
for the recreation 'of your ypung peo
ple. - 'Some of us have a few summer
playgrounds. "We may have a Y. M.
C. A. or a Y. :'W: CV A., or a hoy's or
gu-rsclul, or all of them; twit these
enly reach a small part of our young
people. " Most noticeable ' is the lack
of any opportunity for clean whole
pome recreation fon-the working girl.
The greatest asset of any city is, in its
5-9UO iboys and girls, t The future of
ar ooantry, the future ofyour lndi
vrTtiaJ . communities depends upon the
character And term- of citizenship
which is being Instilled. into the lives
'of thus "boys and girls of today. . ; . :'.
We -are spending large sums of mon
ey on onr schools and .the .instruction
Kttt ujp children f or five or six. hours
a. day. then" after school hours, most
of our children are allowed to run the
streets with no supervision whatever,
-and menchuof the good -result .which, we
xpeet from their schooling is i coun
teracted by the evil which comes into
their lrvS during their leisure time.
Tfc M ' n9 Mali -or atovMA ' ts O i t Hilt
Ing the process of themanufacture of
eteel goods we stored" them in a leaky
"!rarehoue'-aB"tol6iir chances , on .
their -being octroyed. lsy,rain.N
f NEED; OE" PI'YGl50I?Nl'6i.v .
Many people think that playgrounds
n -e ijnnecessaty and that our. children
Would not make use' of . them. This
rtttuinda me of a ' conversation that
took, place in the club the other evert
ing. '-'-, Several of us were discussing'
' the fact' of How -much more' it cost to
run .a house now .than it did ..a : few
years' ago; We -have an attendant
who has been" with us" sbmethirig: over
. twenty years, .who is .incline Xo take
libertjes gometimea He overheard the
conversation and said, "You .all know
my wife. Is aTays axing me fo. money.
Last Sa'day she wanted fo . dollars.
Sunday she wanted ; sebenty - cents,
Monday she, wanted seben dollars' and
yast'day she wanted .fo dollars agin."
One of us asked. liim What, the ; dt3
with all that money. He said1: ? "I
dunno, I netober give her any." Many
children" would do with playgrounds,
because they have never , giveii them
any. . --- ,.i --' , '"'..'.''. ;,..;-- - :.. ''"',
Eecareation is the need of every nor
mal .hoy and girl, ana every ; enna
" should be ' given . opportunities ' for
clean, wholesome recreation. The in
dention of. machinery and .our modern
forto of industry has caused, great
' changes In OTJf every day life. For
merly the majority ' of the people lived
In rural districts. : The children "went
to school two or, three - months in a
year... they had ail active pa'rt.in the
business of the farm,, even the small
est children had 'some regular chores
to attend -to. VA great part of their
time wa sperrt out of doors, and' their
work- and irceBeatiori. were- so .inter
aningied that the result, was usually
Wtrong ana healthy' children. ..'
CTIKSALL THE PEOPLE i
T&day'istthe day when' economy of
production requires that the process
jpf manufacture as far as possible shall
jfoe carried on under one roof. . This
Shas br6ught men in Increasingly large
numbers to the cities. " Not only have
jtbe cities. called the "people from our
own rural districts, tout our call ' for
habor has gone out - to . the uttermost
(parts, of the earth,, and the people of
jthe , uttermost parts of ..'the earth have
jreeponded. nntil we have in. New Eng
pm d, . and in : Connecticut especially, . a
condition with which: no other country
Sias been ooonf rented in the history
jpf the world. Many of our : cities
' jgire made up of a population, '. over
Vne-half of which .is foreign born,
or of foreign born parentage. Each
pot ' the thirty or more - nationalities
Which , go to-make up the population
fjt Connecticut,. ' hare good - qualities
iwhlch might be made- to contribute to
She general welfare of the state. The
problem is to bring out' the good, and
eliminate the bad. I believe that our
pities will eventually accomplish , this
result, and they will accomplish it
directly through the :mObiliaing in
fcence of the puWie playgrounds.
STREETTS DANGEROUS PIjAX
' ' GKOXUTDS. ' :':..
-Will you. go with me Into a. crowded
tenement and select 'a typical . boy ,or
girl of today, watcb them in their
home life and in their play. . They
have no' opportunity for recreation in
the home, they have little or no yard
space, and where you do flnd a yard
It is so often filled withi rtibibishj
that it is a very poor place to play,
tThe street which for years have been
the common meeting place and play
"' grourid for children, are becoming ex
ceedingly dangerous. -; A. short time
ago a friend of mine was riding InJier
e,utoroobile In-New Britain. Some chil
dren .were playing on the side "walk,
and one boy being chased by another,
ran out Into the street without leok-
Insr where he was going. He darted j
In front of my ' friend's automobile,
which ran over and killed him. .. It all
happened so quickly that the driver
absolutely had .'; no time " to ; stop , or
.turn out.. Two weeks ago'-when l-iwas
In TVaterfMiryi -at' little girlf'rajv behind
a trollev car. and a car cocming from
the opposite direction ran over her,
practically severing her head from her
'body. Two months ago I s?rv a boy
'who had been playing on the railroad
tracks. A train had run over his leg
;. gg a gart of his foot, find hej
TO LITTLE GHILD
will 1 be crippled for 7 life. During ten
days the- newspavers reported that
twenty-two children were killed and
ninety-five children were injured
while playing on- the public streets of
this country. ;- ' .' 1
v In answer to the questions asked of
a large number of; school , girls as to
what they did with their leisure time,
many of them answered: "i and .-my
friends go walking on, Main street.
They form a habit; that -leads to the
making of indiscriminate acquaint
ances and their lives are ruined. Who
is to blame? Is the child ,to blame
for playing in the ronly open spaces
which he -has? Is the motor-man,.
chauffeur, or the railroad company .al
ways to, blame, or is the community to
blame for hot furnishing ; spaces ; for
play". ' i -Children have' a right te Splay,,
and will play, but ' no boy , will leave
a swimming pool, or a well equipped
baseball ground t play 6n the trolley
tracks. . .,' . . ' ...y
i For lack of Hbetter places , to play
many L children v will be found playing
on the cities dumping grounds, on the
dangerous streets, . pitcing. pennies
and shooting craps in. secluded alleys.
Is this the kind of play , we wish our
children to have? They should have
clean, open spaces tor - ' wholesome
character 'building pkiy..) 'ij; .,-' V -,:
NO PIjACBOII BOYS TO
V v In :many- cities, in .fact in" most cit
ies during, holidays and afters School
hours the school yards are.closedand
no-; children are allowed ,to playi in
them.."';; ';'.-;;- '.'V- ;.-V;"'
If the boys attempt to play ball in
the streets they - are chased . away or
arrested .by the "cop." If tlfey-are' for
tunate enough to: find a vacaant'lot on
which to play it is soon taken for. &
building,'- .;. ':. . j. v-:,,''
- A. friend of mine who lias watched
the iboys-of South Norwalk for several
years,- in telling me r of their, experi
ence of being forced from, one vacant
lot to another,; each one a little -further
from, their homes, called It "The
Tale of s the; Hunted,; S"tehe says the
hmrkafi fitiBt -)t&Aie& driven
from . . one lot ; to another, " until . she
had commenced to wonder if the time
would not soon . arrive,, when, in that
city, there would be no opportunity
for' play. She welcomed the sug
gestion' Of pulblic playgrounds, and is
now -working toward -the securing "of
play spaces fort the children ,of South
Norwalk. -' ' - - -v - ' "
3' Fortu nately ' or ; unf ortunately" ' my
early- life was spent on" the ' outskirts
of ' a . growing city. ; .When I wai
eight years old I remember, our 'play
ground was a large tract , of- land,
containing two 'baseball.- diamonds,
some small trees and shrubbery with
plenty of opportunity for playing wild
Indians. But in a short times this sec
tion was cut up into 'building lots, and
my family moved into a, house in that
section. ' We : still! had vacant .'lots
here and there ' on- which we- eould
play, -but . we lost them one ' at a time
until we were evenaually f orced : into
the streets. .. I remember distinctly,
while flying a "kite; being phased! from
the streets by a policeman 'because,
the kite scared the horses on the street
cars.; JTow that, street is paved with
asphalt, trollies and automobiles ' make
it an exceedingly dangerous place 'for
children to play, and -'there are no
open "spaces 'within three quarters of
a mile. - In . order that these, children
may have nature's right to play pre-served,-.it
will be necessary for Syra
cuse to dpend a large amoant, of mon
ey for a playground in that section of
the city. . A. ; playground could have
been secured : thirty; years ago fpr
very much less than it can now, for
f 1,000 "will not nuy'asmuch land in
that section today- as 100 would 30
years ago. - i '
Btrf -.. PIVVYGROUfffDS' NOW.
viThe right time for any "city to se
cure playgrounds Is now, before the
land advances " in value. Four or
five years ago some-.of the'pe'ople of
New Britain agitated the' proposition
of buying land for a public park and
playground, but failed to get the ap
propriation made. rrbis spring they au
thorized a bond issue for that purpose,
but as the' first track ?of..land was cut
up, into building 'lots, they had to go'
a mile and a :. half farther from the
center, and purchase a piece of land
no better suited to the purpose, and
pay as much for it as the other; piece
would .have cost five, years ago A. few
years-, ago- New York- city- paid $1,
800,00d for a tract of land of less than
two acres. '. '-,.'' ' '.
Under present conditions the chil
dre nare really losing their play life
and many "of them "are, becoming-Just
loafers. Last year in Cleveland, De
troit. -Kansas City,' Milwaukee, Ifontr
clair. Providence and Richmond, cit
ies of various sizes in widely separated
sections of the country, . 24,000 chil
dren were observed -during the -process
of recreation surveys.. Fif ty per( cent
were idle absolutely doing nothing;
thirteen per . cent were working, . and
only thirty-seven per cent were play
ing, and over half of these were) Just
fooling, pushing' each other, teasing
smaller children, shooting craps or
pitching pennies ' There was .very
little constructive or educative play
which would be of any real benefit to
them, such play as Wellington spoke
of when he said that "the battle f
Waterloo was Won on the cricket and
football fields of England." . Many of
the children of today do not know how
to play. . You can test this fact " for
yourself by remembering the dozen or
more games which -were popular
when you were children, and then ob
serving . how few of them are being
played today. ,'.:
GOOD STRONGER THAN EVUi
' There is a real need for children to
play if they are to be healthy. They
cannot play on the. streets without
great, danger, .therefore they, j must
have .: play spaces. - Children-. arO: -born
with ythe instinct to play, to run,, to
throw, chase and be chased are strong
racial instincts and : must have some
outlet. ' Judge Lindsay says there are
no - bad boys, and in the same sense
there are no "good boys." Life is
made' up of good and evil, tout I thor
oughly believe - that good is stronger
than evil, and if given the "same op
portunity good will predominate. In
nearly every instance offenders in our
juvenile court are there simply be
cause they have followed a racial in
stinct to, throw, and iii throwing stones
havebroken windows. , They waitto
."be chased, -and have done something
to get the policeman to chase them.
In some cities boys;,-are arrested: ft or
playing" baseball on - the .streets. If
these children were given opportun
ity to play under . good '.conditions 'I
am sure that they would prefer It.
An ideal Tecreation' system would
furnish opportunity for small"" chil
dren to play within a short distance
from their homes, it will furnish op
portunities for tjaseball for the older
boys, play space tdr the older ' girls
public swimming pools and "baths and
neighborhood recreation centers, pre
ferably ; i believe in- connection with
the .school houses. , -r. "'; -: -
j PLAY 2rRECTORS NEEDED.
5 Some cities with large equipment
nave made failures of their recreation
work beeause pf a lack . of trained
leadership. Every man and every wo
man on each . Individual playgirourxa.
"mustr; have the characteristics bfo-a
leader. We might just as well 'Open
o-ur school houses without any teach?
ers .as to :open" playgrounds without
play directors,, The aim of , both
schools and- playgrounds ,is;- to' build
character and make for good citlzen
shipy. Good character is made, more
through playing of games, and the
manner in which they are played,
than vln. the scchool houses. ; Bad -use
of leisure time always makes for bad
character. - The boy without ' a play
ground is farher to the man without
a; job. On a recent visit to Newark I
made an, inspection of their play
ground system. All of . their! play
grounds with r the - exception, of one.
were- very well attended, and there!
was a y fine spirit;; displayed by .the
Children. The playground where
there were but few -children in attend
ance, and- these not doing much but
Standing ;a round, was' one of-the best,
equipped playgrounds in the city but
the right- leadership was - lacking.
1her wasvto be -a change In play
directors-. the next day;-; The- super
visor; told me that it was . the lead
ership: which made - atl - the difference.-
: He' spoke of one man who was
full of enthusiasm and a ,fine ' play
ground director: ; This man he told
me, .had buijt up the attendance of
three hundred playgrounds. , ;-; ; - i" -
.. Philadelphia a few years ago, at a
cost, of one million dollars,-tore down
the buildings from one entire square
and put to playgrounds. A friend of
mine who was interested in , play
grounds visited Philadelphia, and one
day pointed to this playground 'and
asked a poUceman,' ."What '- is -that
thing :gver thjr? The policeman re
plied that it was a playground, and
when asked what it was for he said:
"It is a place for the children id
play, . . .and you ought to come here
when " school is out, about half, an
fcour later. .iilf yojo could; have seen
this- place . before we . had the - play
ground this would do youP-heart good.
This Was one of the worst sections "qf
the city; j On that side' was a negro
settlement, and on this side over Mere
was an Italian settlement, .. and they
quarreled 'and fought all the timet ; It
took two -or. three policemen to look
after this section of. the city. -Now
we havJ.got a.-Wontfer of a man run
ning this - playground. -;. But , .come
around in half 'an hour when the chil
dren are out of school and. see." My.
friend returned "Just as the school was
closing, and was met toy the policeman
"See them come," said . he as he di
rected my- friend's attention to the
road on' one . side- and the other .
filled with the children trouping to the
playground. . The playground ; . soon
filled, and in a few ' minutes the chil
iidren "were busy; some with one activ
ity and some with another. The po
liceman said "That "man is worth a
dozen -policemen. I don't see how he
"does it ibut he does." - v
HEALTH REQUIRES PLAY
1 v 1 . GROUNDS. '" '.
- , .We need playgrounds to build up
the health of our. children, sitting still
as they do for so many hours at school
desks,"- they need very active , play to
counteract this, sedentary occupation.
With the increased time required' by
them In the school houses and the
eliminating of the chores which. lthey
used to have o do, some active form
of . play . must Jbe j promoted to- keep
their bodies in a good physical -balance..
':. ' ' - - - -;' ...' ' '..
We need playgrounds to assimilate
the , large number of children"- of va
rious nationalities which we have in
our commonwealth. ' When "the first
playground in 'New Britain, was start
ed, we noticed-that in choosing up for
a . game of baseball," .a Swede would
choosp all Swedes, an Italian-all Ital
ians irrespective of their . ability as
ball players. But if you visit there
now you will 'find two Irish ; boys
"choosing , Swedes,, Germans, Poles,
Italians and other nationalities accord
ing to their ability to play the national
game,, and as far as dividing into
groups goes it is according to ability
only... The playground is the greatest
leveler of nationalities and caste, that
I'know of. '-.'- -'- ; ','v ' ; v
" We need playgrounds'to develop all
those altruistic . aspects of character
which it is- not possible to develop
in the schools. We have many restrlc
tive laws "to promote the welfare -of
our children, .but ' it is time that
something should be done along con
structive lines towards the formation
of character and' good habits. , - The
children of our crowded tenements are
not the ' only -. ones that !,need' play
grounds. They ,are needed byevery.
child in our community, Just "as much
as our public schools are needed. .
CHILDREN ADDICTED -
:: - v. V ''- 1 ,TO SWEARING
"' All 'children should have the ben
efit . of playing with, . their " fellows.
Many children are kept at home to
play by themselves because their par
ents do not wish them to swear and:
learn bad habits of other t children,
and in many ways you cannot tolame
the parents; , I happened' to -be at
home last Saturday and there -.was a
ball game in progress in a nearby lot,'
between teams made up of the. chil
dren from two of our most select res-,
idential streets. ' There was more
swearing during that one game- than.
yov, would, hear on -a. public-; - play-.j
games - where boys learn to cheat if
they can do so without being caught
A supervised playground in this section-
would mean ' that this swearing
and cheating woud be eliminated, and
that the playground would become a
- wholesome moral, force - as well as
i simply a place for- physical ' develop
- The greatest ' opportunities for the
improvement o f the - .race " come
through the use which -Is made of the
leisure time. - W"espehd; $20 ,to ?2'5
per year "per capita, toieducate' our
child, and then in many . -instances
through' the misuse 'of the child's leis
ure, bad influences, come' into his life
which --nullify all the time and money
which has been spent on his educa
tionX .'. --'-. ;"::-.;;'. -j, ' ..r -;
' Our large factories which are the
life of our city have created condi
tions which we have, never had to deal
with before. A boy or a girl- will work
at a machine all day performing ov
er and over- again the. same mechani
cal motion. 1 .This - boy or" girl must
have some Intensely Interesting play
outside of factory hours, to counter
act this work If they are to become
useful citizens. , Our men- need; dif
ferent reereation than our '-boys; pur
Women . heed -.something that has not
yet been' discovered; our girls need
some sort of - reccreation where they
can meet young men under favorable
and legitimate conditions. At pres
ent the only place many girls have A3
the public dance hall,-which la run on
a commercial basis only to make mon
ey. - There are plenty of problems
to be solved along the lines of public
recreation. ; ' , , - - ::. . ':-,
, ; In ; our ' public school ibuildingswe
-have larger-plants which are .used only
six or seven hours a day, five days, in
a j week, f or : about; thirty - weeks - a
year, .which with comparatively slight
expense could be made available for
recreation ? purposes almost" every day
in every week, of the year.'. ;' - ; ' ' ;'-'.
- RECREATION SECRETARIES.
', Eighty-three cities .out' of the -643
which are ; conducting ; 'X r'ecreatioh
now have recreation secretaries "who
are" - employed by the municipalities
to give their entire time to the rec
reation problems., The work of these
recreation secretaries covers: ;
Organization ahd - executive man
agement : ot outdoor playground sys
tem; " selection and training - of play
leaders; selection, purchase and Instal
lation of equipment; planning of
buildings -.for recreation purposes. : '
I Bespansibility for recreation ten
ters.' - - - -
Responsibility for.' children's: garr
dens. .-:..- ' ' . , - - - ::-
Responsibility for conducting badge
tests for, both boys andgirls through
ou the city. , ' - , '".',.-'
- Arrangements f qr the celebration of
h Arrangements for pageants. ;,
s Co-operation in the -promotion of
Boy "Scout activities. " -. ,. . 1 .
Co-operation In the. promotion of
Camp Fire Girls Activities. . '. - , -
Arrangements for summer camps.
j Provisioh for band concerts, and
Other-- municipal music. -
Studying recreation , conditions In
different sections of the city to attempt-to
meet any special conditions
found. t -
Arrangements for ice skating .in
winter," if necessary through flooding
of -vacant" lots.' v i ,-k-- - .-.-
- Arranging for coasting - places,' -, lr
nScfssary, having- certain ;, streets
Bet aside and properly guarded. - i- .
;; Promotion ' of school athletics, of
school baseball, basket-ball. Volley
ball leagues and Of all recreation - ac
tivities ,f or -school boys and girls .out
side of regular school hours. ,.- ' ' ;
,,, If you feel (that you - would like to,
have started in your city an . adequate
comprehensive " recreation . system
which will in time" givei every person
opportunity for ' play ' and .. recreation,
not only, to$ a few months at a time
but. for the year around, the "Play
ground and": Recreation Association of
America - will toe- glad to co-operate
with you 'and with the help of one of
their, field secretaries will accomplish
this .result. i: So far - in' every city in
jyhich they have worked they have
accomplished, results that are entire
ly satisfactory to ; the , . community
which invited them to ome. ,;
- I saw. recently, in a city.of 130,000
inhabitants, an example of American
needs ad opportunities which are im
portant, tout.Jittle ; understood; ' ; '
F6ur years ago he city council ap
propriated $7,000, V. for playgrounds,
that it became a "recreation move
ment; backwards, 1 growing weaker
year "by year. . Finally, ' the . original
friends of. the movement said, ' a, year
ago: "Th'e latest' appropriation- (only
$2,500) is the last that Exville will
ever ' make . for playgrounds; we have
tried them and found them' unsatisfac
tory." ;.. v v..;'.'- 5,' . . .,:,'" '"
. "How many "Exvilles are there?"
Altogether 533 American cities were
active . .in playground or - recreation
movements , last year. , ; , But only-, 285
had supervised playgrounds. The oth
er 248, at least, are in danger of au-to-vaccination-!-of
having such inade
quate, unsatisfactory playgrounds that
the people will become discouraged
and the development of effective rec
reational facilities will be prevented or
postponed.- ;.;.. ':;-'.:-.. ---, " .
- WHAT SAVED EXVILLE.-
"What is the answer?" iEJxactly
what saved Exville. - - One of the nine
field secretaries of the Playground and
Recreation Association of America
gave, on request. ten weeks about
one-fifth of a year of competent ser
vice. .-: : This cost, for salary and all
expenses, - $1,000. It gave. Exville:
First, an understanding of her : own
needs; second, a" vision of- what a mod
ern recreation movement means- in
the . .most , successful, cities) tlrird. a
program- practicable, progressiye, ir
resistible. - - - -' ' : - "
- This $1,000 will 'bring to Exville's
children at least $7,500. this year, and
within a few years,, from $100,000 to
$500,000; And, the very first expen
diture - will be for a. commissioner or
director of 'recreation to select and
train play leaders, to exercise, a grow
ing inuence over all forms of recre
ation, and, in short to do for leisure
time) . "what the superintendent; xf
schools does for the hours of fprmal
Five days time of a field secre
tary in a town of 8,000, at a cost of
about $100 secured a smillar' result for
their city. '
Another man writes from a city in
the mjddle west: "We feel that we
have jumped a clear gap of ten years
in our local recreation situation. We
have been going along in a hap-haz-ard
way for some years, with nc early
prospect of having" the work assumed
by tliose -who ought to assume It .
the. municipality. And . yet in these
three weeks this happy result has
been accomplished. : Our relief and
delight is quite beyond --words. :- - -
Your field secretary : ought not . to
have the (Whole credit. I have heard
criticism of the "work of the Play
ground and Recreation s Association of
of America, and have failed. to see the
point - of such criticism. But now, I
know the absolute ' folly of such criticism..-
No possible concerted action
f our loyal local playground group
could possibly have achieved what
your authoritative expert has achieved.
In less than two months he has given
a - centralized , proporly-eo-ordinated
system of .municipal "recreation -: to
three municipalities, leaving the com
munity in each.- case with all elements
fully harmonized. This appeals to me
as a ' tremendous achievement,, and if
this sort -of thing is being done else
where -by your : other , fild .men, then
your association is doing a basic piece
of constructive social work second to
none in the land. v :"- !
. .. I . believe I, see the ideal which you
possess, and '-which - has. been ani
mating the work you have been . do
irfg. In directing -the association," and
must take the liberty of adding my
feword of faith and confidence in ; it. If
yoii. can give America a decade more
of i.such! constructive work, , you will.:
have changed the direction of Amer
ican lif ev . This is strong' language-,
but itarises from f deep couviotlQn,
and I am sure, may, fairly be regarded
as representative or the attitude, oz us
all. here." ,. -4 ' i "'
MOVEMENT SWEEPING AMERICA,
Like a great but growing tide, the
Playground -movement is sweeping ov
er America. '"It is too rapid." Yes, but
Why ? Because It is timely.. Because it
answers to some of the social instincts
in; men's minds and hearts. -
From ZO. to -. io! cities are new . re
cruits each 'year.- Over V8,000 play
leaders were employed last year; nearly-
$6,000,000 were . expended last year,
in addition to large bond issues for the
securing of land. -" "" ' ; ; , ',' . :
-This tide can not bechecked. xs It
can be guided. Such -guidance- is one
of America's gravest needs and largest
opportunities, -What,, we Should do
is, to get . together and provide all the
children all the young1 - people ' with
wholesome places and ways in which
to play; and-let us do this,' using the
same machinery with which we" have
done the rest.- Let 11s have more
great playground commissions, as part
of the essential structure of our" munc
ioipV-1, county, state and federal, gov
ernments. Then will- life - be' happier
and richer in real things.' Let us -use
our government so that , we shall ret
alize truly the. sentiment expressed in
the Declaration of Independence that
"We hold these truths to be. self-evident;
that all men are created, equal"
and : with . "unalienable rights' to - life,
liberty, and the"ju"suit of happiness."
. And the ast four words. If j they
mean anything at all certaining mean
playgrouhds for children. - ( ,
TO CHILDREN 111
-... . - -.v ' - .. : ' .
VOCATIONAL OR INDUSTRIAL. ,
TRAINING AND THE. . -,v
f ' !." DEPENDENT CHILD
By Mary C. Welles, General Secretary
- The Consumer's Leagne of Conn-
Dependent or institutional children
may be roughly grouped -into, three
classes; the, normal; children, who are
placed in norphan - asylums, county
homes, etc.; the sub-normal physical
ly.' who are in most. cases sub-normal
mentally,' who are ' placed in homes
for- crippled childreif, for- incurables,
etc.; and the sub-normalnorally, who
are sent .to state ; reform , - schools,
nouses of correction, and the like. The
problem is in each one of these groups
a different one. . "
The largest of these groups includes
the healthy, normal pliild most often
found. In, the orphan asylum. '
What is his special need in the way
of vocational training?. v
Does it differ from the need of the
grammar' school child of the same Age
who-must leave school earlyo go to
work t ' , '-.- ' ' .' ' -,. -'' '
' It jdifCers in one particular . only. In
every, other particular,-his need is the
same- need exactly. ' , - : ' , ' '
HOMELESS CHILD- ENTITLED TO
' :''' . "' ' LIVING WAGE. :, - .'- '; '; -'
The one particular difference is this:
That the homeless child should 'be en
abled to earn a living " wage immed
iately upon leaving the institution., His
training should look forward to" that.
Here comes One test of what the in
stitution has done for him. ; ' " -'.
The ordinary grammar schdol ehild
who goes to work at the age of four
teen "or fifteen is not expected to earn
a living wage at first. He may serve
an ". apprenticeship on small pay, .if
need,, toe. In most cases he contrib
utes to the family wage, but does not
support himself. . " " . ,. t
If an institution . Is , highly endowed
so that the question of expense-does
hot enter In, and If it mothers enough
children so. that they may toe grouped
into small classes and do not need in
dividual instruction,- the- problem of
"vocational training , is one of selection.
method and correlation with the or
dinary subjects of English, arithmetic
and geography;. x : - ' '
, - It should "be "borne- in mind that
most children under sixteen have riot
developed tastes very generally, and
do not ' know their own ' aptitudes. It
is not safe . to assume that this boy
should takeu u'p . printing and that - one
cabinet -making or' agriculture. Rather
such an Institution may give a boy a
survey over a number of subjects that
he may. find himself,- as it were, -yet
give : him enough special -training In
one so that he may be able to hold his
own when he leaves the institution. .
- It is quite likely, however, that he
may not remain permanently eVen in
that particular work. , ,-'
NATIONAL COITRTS BAD.; f
If the institution is not sufficiently
endowed, it is most likely that the
children will attend the public, schools
and will have the - advantage of the
pre-vocational, courses or the trade In
struction which may be offered there.
. But schools are slow to establish
these courses. Moreover an institu
tion having control of the child's time
outside of school hours has thereby an
opportunity and a responsibility.
- In Indst institutions of this .class, It
seems to be. the rule to set the chil
dren to work heldping, the girls dust
ing, cleaning, preparing vegetables,
etc., the boys-cleaning," working on the
grounds, making repairs on the house
etc. - "' ;- - - -. ' $
Now, considerable time daily must
toe spent on this work.1 1
It saves the Institution money for
service, and teaches the child to be
PUBLIC DANCE HALLS
AND BALLS SHOULD GE HUi:
Conditions Throughout Country Said
. ; To Be Bad Threatening Wei-
y;V:'::;C'v&re:Of Nation ...
r V - '
COMMERCIAL RECREATION - LEG
.'; ISLATTON. : ,-.'' v' v
Miss Julia Scboenfeld.
'Legislation is designed to protect
the( youth' of the city,, boys as well as
girls, from "evil influences."
Recent investigation In Chicago,
New ' York, Milwaukee, Kansas . City,
Cleveland and elsewhere has revealed
methods toy which commercial -recreation
. enterprises operate. Conditions
were exposed which show that corrupt
inuences dominate many of these pub
lic places. Innocent amusement places
were seen turned ' Into vice-breeding
dens, and. instead of simple: social
pleasure one saw drunkenness and im
moralltly.. The police Witnessed all,
but stood . idly by, falling to see the
crowds of young boys and girls. who
were there in violation, of law. ,;
.f s: ' j ' DAJfjjB HATia. ' -In
some .public dance" halls' tough
dancing was practiced; indecent liber
ties were permitted. Prostitutes min
gled with the youthful throng of mer
rymakers, thus gainingy recruits t tor
the' underworld. Evil-minded men
danced with innocent young -girls.
Frequently rooming houses or disor
derly places in the neighborhood were
operatediby the same" 'men who man
aged thev. dance hall. '
' It was . shown ; that . the dance hall
in many cases . existed for the sale of
liquor. : the dance lasting- tout, a, few
minutes while the Intermissions were
long. , . '- ; - - ' ' , - ' '
The investigations showed the close
connection of these , conditions with
crime. 1 .' ; -- ;- ' -'.- : . ,
v WHAT, IS A PXTRLIC DANCE?
' , A public dance i or - public toall" ilk
any dance or ball to which admission
can ' be- bad by the payment of a f eo
pr byhe purchase, possession Or pre
sentation of, a ticket or token or In
which a charge is made forbearing for
clothing or other ; property or, any
other dance to which the public may
gain admission ' with or. without the
payment of the fee. , - '
. The- following requirements should
be sought for in "working out legisla
tion1 fordance lialls: : " .' '- , , -.
1. A license should be required for
the premises .used for dance halls and
not for the man who operates the hall.
This places upon the owner of the
hall responsibility . for the : conduct, of
the place..' V,' .v. - - .-.'--' V i-
t Permits -for public balls arid dances
should be exacted and satisfactory ref
erences furnished, in, order: that the
type of frequenters . of : public ' halja
may toe ... regulated, s. . :,.. '? ,
2. Regulations Of the building and
fire departments should toe demanded
in order tip insure proper sanitation
and adequate fire protection. ' Halls
should be1 properly lighted .and .' all
rooms should ' toe kept open. ' This
gives an opportunity ; to close the
small,' dark, poorly-ventilated dance
hall..--." .'''.'' " .v.. .:" . " "; i"
i 8. The. sale of liquor; should be
prohibited, v ?', . t
4. The giving of . return checks to
dancers should , be 'forbidden,' so that
the saloons, '.and immoral places that
exist in a .neighborhood . maj not be
utilizd. during the - dancing period.
Dance halls should not be allowed in
connection :with rooming houses or
hotels.;.-; sr's -' "', ': )-."' ',''
"' 5.' 'Immoral dancing should-be -forbidden.
,-:, ;.. - " , ;, ;.- '
6, " A" reasonable hour for closing
thedance. should toe; enacted. Half
past twelve is suggested,- with 'a pos
sible special permit to te issued, tor
later hours on occasion. ' ;
- fl. " Attendance of minors under-18
should toe forbidden unless -accompanied
by parent or; guardian.
8, Inspection should toe demanded
arid revocation of license or other pen
alty imposed for violation.
: ftc -License : fee, should toe at.or
graded according to the size of the
dancing space. , , V .4
- MOTION "PICTTJRES. ;
The rapid growth and ' phenom
enal success of the i motion picture
show has produced many undesirable
features which were brought to light.
Investigation showed that the houses
were peorly lighted and badly ventil
ated. They, were overcrowded and
handy and useful, "tout ,it can- not toe
called-vocational training. ' ;' '
It does not fit a girl to be a c6ok
or nursemaid, or a boy to be p. market
gardener or carpenter. ' ' -' .
' Mahy-tshlldren when they leave the
institution do not fit; in anywhere. It
would seem that these . institutions
might urge the special needs ,of their
children, wards of; the public, as they
are upon the' state or the city. .;
On,the one hand," , they might - ad
vance the claims of these children to
special instruction and training for lu
crative employment in the ' public
schools, pre-Vocational courses In the
upper .-grammar grades, , and trade
schools courses for .those who enter
the high school at an -early age.
Again, they might urge upon the
directors and patrons the desirability
of so systematizing the work that what
ia done now in the. way of helping
may be turned to account in the way
of special training.
Since these children may, toe re
tained in the Institution a number of
years, often until they are sixteen
years old, a particularly good oppor
tunity is offered these irectors and
patrons to do a particularly good piece
of vocational training on their own
premises. ,'. Furthermore, - If they
would Join hands with the organiza
tions which are advocating pre-voca-tional
training in the public schools,
and would actually help to secure the
Introduction of such work, they would
not only extend-their influence outside
of the institution' into a large public
field but would simplify, their own
problems to a considerable extent.
"United, we stand; divided, we fall"
may be interpreted to mean "Working
together, we advance, and none, so
bold to hinder' us; . Working- by our
selves, we drag along with everybody
dangerous because of inadequate Art
protection. " Degrading and vu' . f
vaudeville features- existed.
While the influence of the Nation.!
Board - of - Censorship .- ha fcrour'-,:
about a higher standard in rn." .-.i
pictures, yet many objectionable f ;rr
were found. There were rn y pe- 1
feature films which had not t--s
viewed by the National Board! a-l of
ten the requirements of the ?.' '
Board, were not carried out wh-m th
films were shown. Children ware per
mitted -to enter at all hours in vio
lation of . State and municipal la. -However,
the motion picture
did not show the same degree of !
redatibn as, the dance t ball. T-.r
conditions were really the re'j;t c.f
inferior city regulations, creln''
and a lack of Intelligent service on t ;
part of the inspectors."
MOTION t PICTTJRES AND rr,v-: T
i .'.-:t. ' ARCADES. .
- Motion pictures shall be &trA
display on a screen or ot h r
whereby pictures are displays!
characters or objects In mrA inn,
whether or not accompanied by rr. . -sic,
lecture, recitation or monsf.
"The following requirements m'r'r.
be sought for in working out led ac
tion for motion picture ihowt:
I. . A license for the prerni t:i J
for motion picture shown.
2. Definition of motion r,"ct-jr-?
and motion picture theatre.
3. Regulations of the building
fire departments to insure propr m -Hation
and adequate fire proton-! -,r..
4. - Standards of lighting n-1 v.--tilation,
mo framed aa to foe thorctt rh
ly , enf orcible.
'5. Placing the question of ee.n ,--ship
with' the licensing b-.' -r
which will. regulate the mrt ,
of the show, since throu,.i f- r .
thority 't is possible to r7cin -suspend
a license, if the show ; . -
up to a normal .standard,
. . Requirement that ci.: ;--?
not toe permitted to attend no; - - -ture
shows during school hoir r -ter
eight o'clock in the ven:r y.
BILLIARD AND POOL T.Cfy T -.
In' the billiard and pool h- '
in the bowling alleys wer c' ,
many of the degrading co-i - - -i
that were in the dance halls, i a
ized at all season toy man anrf
they hare been exploited ur.t,i
they are assoclataed with uni("
and objectionable cond'ticms. C-.r-J i-i-bles,
craps, in fact gs-iuJalirg In
form, was found; often the
were schools, for crime; youn ,
were seen standing about, njn' r
eagerly to the vile talk r.l --.
that were bandied about by'-
habitues. ; '
Many of the halls were e-rrn-'
with saloons and much drer.-'
was seen. Few cities ht in
any careful legislation and tr.e o
vision has been left entirely to - : -,-lice
department, which in rr.i.-i
was shown to be ineffectua.1.
sens have not seen awake t th r
ditlons that Axlst nor hare tr.tr ' . - "
a remedy. , Here the ioci: f ; .r
tunity for constructive login, r,r u
..The. passing of laws-and the
lishment of regulations for commr
cial amusement enterprises im r,t k . .
recent date that.lt is quite iropo-.
as yet to speak f. results, 'but i,i t.-.
Cities where-the work has ben f : '
lowed, Kansas City, Denver and C1w
land, the judges of the Javenl) c.-.r-
have stated that 'Juvenile crime sr.
immorality have greatly deraft-l.
There -have been,-many tntr;rH
competing with the - comrr,r' . ;
amusement enterprises and -w;-.,-
have proven successful and hf!;.l t-
pull up the standard of the ..-,.-
halls and motion picture nhowt
It is far the better plan for a r -munity
to work 'in conjunction -i
the men who are in the enrr: -;
amusement enterprise and hip f h r-
to raise their standard instead of op
ening competing enterpriser.
In . my personal work Ihrri-is
the cities I have found that t.".e rr . i
engaged in the business r t
to give to the public what li - r
wants and public opinion we ! ' -
ganised and well direoted will cwt?--
conditions and place this feature r r
recreation on a more whol"'i.-r - a
in our way." As necessity is tr. r-
er-of invention, so is co-opera t u '
father of progress.
-X THE SECOND GROtTP.
The problem of our seon-1 r-'
the sub-normal physically, ati'J i." .
mentally, is a peculiar and we.l-r. '.!
desperate one. . -
-'It Is -to create in the crlppiel r
the boy with a leg and a hauf. f'
girl with a wizened arm or twi.f
hesfd, the ambition to be self -sup por
ing. ' ...
Such children know that th?y h'
no chance in the struggle for lif:
great rewards for effort will ever
theirs;' they naturally fall back in
the arms of the public that quit-
naturally mothers them and f -
more responsibility for their tut'i
than the child that tugs at it rn,
These children are usually tmi ' 1
sedontar' work that does not revi'
a very high degree of concentraf :
like caning chairs, basketry, rux-rr 1
ing, etc The products of this -w.
are often quite lucrative, and the ch
dren are usually given a pf-rcnra..; .
the sales, sometimes a third, thf ;-:
two-thirds, going to the .tnU?ut:
and for the c,oat "Of materialw.
One suggestion la modestly vr' i
teered. here, that the-total amr,?jr '.
the sales be given the -chiM, anl ' -out
of it he should pay for h -materials,
rent and instruct !on r
profit to -rite retained by him.
The charge for rent uni ir'r- '
may- be put low enough to 1 - -all
cases a fair profit for Tr.li -v. r -cidentally
he would learn tynr
ing. As his proficlr ?
the sales-price of his. ; -' "
rise, his profits woa; : - -ambition
might develop 1 ;