Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

4,577

RESUME OF TWENTY-SIX YEARS.
Received July 31, 1912....
In homes subject to supervision

1,258 In homes adopted

334 In homes restored to parents..

298

1,890 Attained majority and self supporting.

2,001 Died in homes and in school.

214 Returned to the counties from which they came because_improper subjects for this school.

209 Present July 31, 1912...

263 Average age of children when received, years. Average time of residence of children in the school before being placed

in homes, months.

4.577 7.41

7.6

The foregoing indicates that the movement of the population has been active.

Children are received in the first instance upon orders of the courts adjudging them dependent or neglected. They come from every county in the state, the Probate Courts having jurisdiction and issuing the orders of admission in all counties having less than 50,000 population, and the District Courts in the counties having more than 50,000 population. Children are also received and readmitted on being recalled or voluntarily returned from homes in which they have been placed.

More children have been cared for in the school during the last two years than in any other like period in its history. The number received for the first time is larger than in former years while the number returned from homes and readmitted is about the same. The number returned from homes has not varied greatly in the last five years, the average per year being 210 or about 16 per cent of the number out. The records show 525, the number received from all sources this year, to be the largest, and 438 che average number received annually for five years.

The biennial period closed with 263 children present, 53 more than were present at the beginning of the period, the largest number present at any time being 275 on June 24, 1912, and the smallest number being 200 for several days in April, 1911.

It will be noted that while the average daily attendance was 222 in 1911 and 242 in 1912, the total number cared for in each of these years was about three times greater, being 615 in 1911 and 739 in 1912, so active has been the movement of the population. The daily attendance at this school is not easily controlled, so large a constituency contributes to its population under conditions which the management is not able to restrain. All of the 86 counties of the state may contribute their quota and a percentage of those out in homes are returned and from both sources, their coming is frequently unannounced. The fluctuation in attendance has occasionally resulted in a crowded condition but such condition has been soon relieved through the placing-out work, which is constantly going on.

Of the 263 children present at the close of the period, 188 were boys and 75 were girls, about the usual proportion of boys and girls. One hundred twenty-six boys and 43 girls were under 10 years of age, the average age of the entire school being 7.9 years. Twenty-seven were babies. With the babies as with the older children, the girls are in greater demand for adoption than the boys. Some of the children present are not available for homes for various

A few are physically defective, some are held for the time being to enable their parents to become able to take them, and others having been tried in homes and returned are held for training to prepare them to succeed in homes or support themselves. Boys from 4 to 8 years of age are considered by applicants as of an undesirable age and are not wanted as are the attractive babies and the older children.

reasons.

CARE IN THE INSTITUTION. Statistics can convey only in the coldest way an outline of the work done by the state for its dependent children. They cannot express the real value nor the spirit of a work which consists so largely of personal service. The children have not only been housed in the comfortable buildings and clothed and fed but have been given schooling, manual training, medical treatment, nursing and the personal care so necessary in the daily lives of young children.

The cottage plan upon which the institution is established permits of the division of the children into family groups and gives opportunity for individual care. Especially do the babies, of which there have been present at all times during the last two years all that could be comfortably accommodated, require individual care and mothering. Their care and feeding is a problem that has received the most thoughtful attention. They have been directly under the care of an experienced and capable trained nurse, and wet nurses have been employed to feed or partially feed such as have come in a poorly nourished and weakened condition. Excellent results have followed the feeding of such infants in this way. In fact, such feeding seems to be the only means of saving the lives of some of them.

All children received have been carefully examined by our physician and many physical defects, often the evident results of neglect or ill treatment, have been discovered and remedied. Among such defects most frequently observed may be mentioned adenoids, enlarged tonsils, defective breathing, impaired vision, and mal-nutrition. Surgical treatment has been resorted to when necessary.

In some instances children too nearly blind, or with hearing too defective to be taught in this school have been transferred to the school for the blind and the deaf at Faribault.

In the absence of disease in epidemic form, good health has generally prevailed. There have been two epidemics, one of measles in the spring of 1911, and one of whooping cough in the spring of 1912. There were no fatalities resulting from these epidemics and no serious consequences

although considerable inconvenience and discomfort were experienced and it was necessary to restrict the 'admission of children during their continuance. The mortality list, Table No. 11, in the appendix, shows the number and causes of all.deaths in the school since it opened. This shows 4 deaths in 1911, in a total population of 615, and 12 deaths in 1912, in a total population of 739. All but 1 of the deaths in 1911 and all but 4 in 1912 were of infants received in poorly nourished condition.

With few exceptions the children received during the biennial period have been bright and promising. The exceptions include 10 who are mentally defective, fit subjects for the school for the feeble-minded at Faribault, one of whom has been transferred to that institution and application has been made for the admission of the others. One boy was found to be incorrigible and returned to the county from which he came and from there sent to the state training school at Red Wing. In all such cases it has been thought best to remove the children from the school as their presence is harmful and the law does not contemplate their retention here.

Crippled children who can walk and help themselves are not excluded. It has been feared that such children would accumulate in the school in time to the detriment of the placing-out work but such has not proven to be the case.

The number of such children present now is only 8 and while they cannot be placed in homes they are not so seriously crippled as to prevent their becoming self-supporting if they can be given the necessary training. Four who were proper subjects for treatment in the State Hospital for Crippled Children have been transferred to that institution during this biennial period. The results of the treatment that they have received there have relieved their sufferings and corrected their deformities to a marked degree.

The discipline in a school like this is not as difficult as in schools for older children. A kindly atmosphere pervades the whole institution. While obedience to proper authority is required, whipping and other severe forms of punishment are not necessary and are not used. Encouragement for right doing and the rewards which follow good conduct are made prominent and are effective with our little people. Occupation is an important factor in the discipline. Each child old enough has his hours for work, for study and for play, and with due attention from those in charge there is little opportunity for conduct that calls for punishment. Things impossible to little children are not required and there is a large measure of wise letting-alone. It does not matter if a boy does turn a handspring over his bed when he is sent to make it up if he only leaves it neatly made.

THE DAY SCHOOLS.

During ten months of the year the children of school age attend regular day school. It is the aim of the principal and teachers to conduct our schools along modern improved lines, though the changing population and previous lack of schooling of the children offer some limitations. Then, too, the increase of enrollment during the last two years from an average of about 165 to that of 180 with four schools covering seven grades makes necessary an over burdened schedule of studies for each teacher to manage. The librarian has given special attention to backward children, but even with this help and the help of the special industrial teachers, should the increase of children continue, and the same number of grades be taught, another teacher will be necessary.

In spite of these difficulties most commendable work has been done in all of the rooms. Those children who stay here but a few months out of the ten have been able to enter their proper grades in other places. There are six children attending the Owatonna schools, five in the eighth grade and one in the high school.

The work in the different departments has been as follows:

Kindergarten: Children from four to seven years of age attend the school. The average enrollment is about 55 with two sessions daily, nine to eleven A. M. and two to four P. M. The attendance at the morning session is aknut 30 and at the afternoon session about 35. About 12 children attend both sessions. The work is outlined as follows: Gifts-First to sixth inclusive; occupation-stringing beads, parquetting, drawing, sewing, moulding in clay; observation-form, color, numbers, studies in neatness and symmetry; calisthenics, songs and games.

Primary school: The work in the primary and intermediate schools overlap to a certain extent, both because of the greater number of children who come to us between seven and nine years of age and the lesser demand for children of that age. So it happens that while the primary room is intended for first grade wurk, the highest class is doing full second grade work. The average attendance is about 46, and the school is kept for two hours morning and afternoon, with a fifteen minute recess in each session. Number work covering the combinations is carried on principally by oral and blackboard instruction and reading and writing are taught by modern methods. As much time as possible is given to hand work, freehand drawing and nature study. The books used are Brooks' firsť reader, Baker & Carpenter's primer, Grover's art literature reader, book 1, and word study is taught by means of charts and illustrations of different kinds.

Intermediate school: This school covers work done in the second and third grades and the sessions occupy two and a half hours forenoon and afternoon with a fifteen minute recess each session. Mornings have been given to reading and spelling with three classes in each, and afternoons to arithmetic, language work and stories from nature and travel. The work in this room is especially designed to inspire in the pupils of this age a real interest in study and a keen observation of the world about them. For this purpose the teacher has had to be much of an interpreter and by a good deal of outside preparation has been able to span the interval between the age demanding amusem only and that enjoying real study. The books that have been used in this room are Milne's Arithmetic, The Art Literature Reader, books II. Brooks' second and third reader, Baker & Carpenter's reader, book III., a primary geography by Fairbanks, an introduction to language by Reed and an art reader by Cady and Dewey.

Senior school: The senior school includes all children above the third grailc. The lowest grade is doing fourth grade work and the highest seventh grade. The average enrollment is 35. There are two sessions daily, from nine to eleven-thirty A. M. and from two to four-thirty P. M., with fifteen üinutes revess each session. This school is studying reading, history, geography, language, grammar, arithmetic, writing and spelling. The text books used are Montgomery's history, Steps in English, and Read & Kellog's grammar, White's arithmetic, Frye & Tarbell's geography and Brooks', Carpenter's and Baker's art literature readers. The work in geography is supplemented by Carpenter's readers and Stoddard and other lectures.

Industrial department: The average enrollment in the sloyd classes has been about 115. This work for the last two years has been given to boys and girls, but with the introduction this year of a special sewing and domestic science teacher, wood working will be taught to the boys only. Sloyd classes have been conducted during the school hours, all children above the primary grade being given two periods a week, those in the primary room having had one period a week with necessarily simple work. Instruction has been given in the correct use and care of tools, in the economic planning of the lumber needed in making any object, and in the cutting of the same from long boards, in the testing of wood surfaces, in the making of joints, in the study of woods, all of which involves much training of the . senses of sight and touch. This work is both practical and enjoyable to little and big children and its activity and tangibility seem to meet a special need among our children.

Music department: The enthusiasm which music affords is contagious and one need only listen to the splendid singing of our State School Song to appreciate how many a new child is made happy and loyal at the very beginning. All children above the kindergarten assemble in the Music room for a half hour each morning for drill and singing. A good deal of time is taken up with the learning of songs for Sunday and special occasions. Aside from this, because of the continually changing constituency of the school, systematic and advanced note reading has not been attempted. During the past year, however, the simplest tone combinations have been taught by means of the American Book Company's chart and correct breathing and intonation emphasized. Only good music has been introduced and even the play songs and comic songs the children love have been of a musical nature. Ragtime Sunday school songs have never been taught, it being believed that the dignity and reverence of worship may be instilled in the youngest child. A choir and special music have helped also to make our Sunday school service a pleasant one. Also the past year saw a boys' orchestra started and a drummer boy has made possible a good deal of work in drills and marches. The planning of all special entertainments has been under the direction of the music department. Appropriate programs have been {iven at Hallow-een, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, and Flag Day. These observations are always anticipated by the children and the individual parts assigned encourage self-confidence. In addition a more elaborate cantata or costume entertainment is usually planned, and town people invited. The children have also taken part in some of the Owatonna programs. One of our girls who has unusual talent and who has had some outside instruction in piano, was during the last year given a prize at Pillsbury Academy as the pupil who had made the greatest improvement in the year's work in music. The family with whom she has recently been placed are now giving her a thorough musical education.

« PředchozíPokračovat »