Shower Baths

Installing shower baths in school buildings has become such a settled practice at the present time that but few school buildings can be found, particularly in the poorer quarters in some cities, which are not equipped with showers, and lockers for the holding of clothes while the children are having a bath. This practice is found so satisfactory that it will become more firmly rooted with time, until no architect would think of designing a public school without including shower baths. This becomes the more necessary now that gymnasiums and playgrounds where athletic sports are conducted are becoming part of every well-equipped school building. After a game of basketball, football or a half hour in the gymnasium a shower bath is almost indispensable to the exercisers.

*Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, France, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland make national provision for the medical inspection of school children. In America and Germany it has not yet become universal, only certain of the cities having taken up the work.

Swimming-Pools

The teaching of swimming is being considered seriously by school authorities throughout the country, as it has been for many years by educational authorities in Great Britain and Europe, where swimming-pools in school buildings are by no means scarce. In this country, likewise, swimming-pools have been provided in school buildings in some cities, where they are in the nature of an experiment, and no doubt the benefits derived will cause their spread to other localities. In inland cities, where natural bodies of water are lacking in which children could learn to swim, the providing of swimming-pools in the school buildings should be seriously considered by the designing architect. Where natural water courses are available the provision is not so necessary, although it would seem as though the art of swimming should be taught in all schools.

Kitchens In Schools

In schools where cooking is taught a room fitted up as a kitchen, with sinks for drawing water and cleansing dishes, ranges for cooking food and heating water, tables and all the usual fixtures, will be required. But there is another reason why kitchens will be required in schools of the future.

At the present time it is safe to say that two per cent, of the children attending school are hungry. This not only causes mental inefficiency, for nobody can work or study to the best advantage while tortured by the gnawing of hunger, but it is furthermore one of the causes of crime. Why, then, should not public schools serve a wholesome noonday lunch to the pupils, even though the practice would seem revolutionary and socialistic? In cities where cooking is part of the curriculum the municipal government does not hesitate to provide foodstuffs for the students to cook, and eat if they see fit; then why should the school authorities refuse to provide a like or even a greater amount for underfed school-children?

The same good end would be attained in either case and the necessity would justify the expenditure. At all events, the architects in large cities will do well to keep in mind the possibility of kitchens being necessary in school buildings. Since the foregoing paragraphs were written London, England, has taken up the subject of feeding schoolchildren, as may be seen by the footnote.*

*SCHOOL LUNCHES TAX ITEM

London County Council to Support Feeding of Needy Children