Another little girl was nine years old, but could not talk. A University Extension Society worker found that she was not kept at school because it was too much trouble. The child was taken to a physician who operated and corrected the tongue-tie.
A girl of twelve said she must stay home to "help mother." The mother was found to be a janitress, temporarily incapacitated by rheumatism. A substitute was provided until the mother was well, and all the children were properly clad for school.
After the adenoid operations in a New York school that occasioned the East Side riots of 1906, the physicians and principals who had persuaded parents to permit the operations were fearful lest the summer in unsanitary surroundings might make the demonstration less complete. Over forty children in three parties were sent away for the summer, where they had wholesome food and all the milk they could drink and fresh air day and night. When they returned in the fall the principal wrote: "The improvement in each individual is simply marvelous. We shall try to continue this condition and shall constantly urge the parents to keep up the good work by means of proper food and fresh air."
In none of these instances could the teachers have accomplished equal results for the individual children or for the families without neglecting school duties. By informing other agencies as to children's needs, teachers started movements that have since helped practically every school child in New York City. Dispensaries are setting aside separate hours for school children; fresh-air agencies are giving preference to children found by teachers or school physicians to be in physical need; relief agencies are making "rush orders" of every note from teachers; the health board is more active because volunteer agencies have added their voice to that of teacher and health officer in demanding adequate funds for physical examination of school children.
"Central" Found The Mother Sick In A Hospital, The Father Killed—The Children Were Boarded In The Country Until The Mother Recovered
Cooperation is at present easier in New York than in any other city. Charitable societies, hospitals, dispensaries, are probably more keenly alive to their responsibilities and are at least more apt to have acquired the habit of cooperation when asked. Yet even here I have been told repeatedly by teachers: "If we have to wait for that hospital or that charitable society, our children will go barefoot." In small communities where hospital and relief agencies are for emergencies only and generally inactive, it seems that the first thing to do is to ask some friends to establish a small relief fund, just as it is easier to give a child a five-cent meal than to teach its mother how to prepare its food. But the school-teacher will find that it takes very much less energy to arouse the relief society than to maintain her own relief work. In fact, in many cities nothing could do more to strengthen hospitals and charitable societies than to put them in touch with the needs of school children. For a principal to make known the fact that school children are neglected will help the charitable society and hospital to get the funds necessary to do their part better than they are now doing it and better than the school could ever do it. Finally, one reason for a breakdown of charitable societies is not their own inadequacy, but rather the failure of the school and church to make use of an agency better equipped than themselves to give material relief. The teacher sees the child every day, while the relief society will never see it and has no reason to see it until some one calls attention to it. The very first step, and an indispensable one in relief policy, is for teachers to be on the lookout for children not adequately provided for, and then have the physical evidence discovered at school followed to the home for the cause of the child's distress.
Home-To-Home Instruction In Cookingan&Aelig;Mic Condition Of Child Due To Bad Cooking, Not To Lack Of Income
Cooperation removes the cause of distress; doing may aggravate it. Teachers would do well to draw up for themselves a chart which will show exactly what part of the community's work can be best done by their school. On the following page is charted the social work now being conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. So far as agencies exist to deal with any individual or family problem coming into the social-work square, the hospital aims to utilize that agency. Its own direct dealing with neurasthenics, with hygiene education, with sexual deviates, is primarily for the purpose of giving adequate treatment to the needy, and secondarily to demonstrate how adequate treatment should be organized for the community. Please to note that governmental agencies are not mentioned in Dr. Cabot's chart. This does not mean that he would not emphasize the importance of those agencies, but that up to the present time, for the particular cases dealt with in his clinics, governmental agencies can be reached most effectively through the private charitable agencies in the reference square. So the teacher will frequently find that the relief bureau, children's society, public education association, or church can get better results for her pupils from public health and correctional agencies than can she by writing directly.
In country districts no plan has yet been worked out for adequate relief. Fortunately, however, the distress is generally of such a kind, and the teacher so well acquainted with all the parents of her district, that it will not be difficult to procure such attention as is necessary. Country schools should be furnished by county and state superintendents with clear directions for getting the treatment afforded in the immediate vicinity. Where teachers are alone in seeing the need for cooperation they can quickly interest young and old, physicians, dentists, pastors, health officers, in home visiting, street cleaning, nursing, helping truants, needed changes of curriculum, etc. Getting things done is easy because it is human to love the doing; getting things done is doing of the highest order.