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compulsory education laws, child labor regulations, working opportunities, labor and license and occupation ordinances and statutes, the operation of minor courts, methods of depositing and sending moneys, rights and obligations. "5. Pamphlets should be prepared meeting antiAmerican propaganda and given free circulation through all available agencies. The 'question and answer' style may be profitably employed. Simplicity and forcefulness are essential.
"II. Experience. The operation of our government, the vastness of our resources and the beauty of our land must be visualized in order to be appreciated. "(a) The various departments of government— the courts, City Hall, Board of Aldermen, the street cleaning, police, water-supply and park departments, etc., should be open to inspection by groups of children under competent guidance.
"(b) Schools with farming features should be established in the country near large cities and conducted in conjunction with the city schools. To these should be sent groups of children of all grades for a period of two or three weeks, the expense their board and keep to be borne by their parents. "(c) There should be established inexpensive trips for selected parties of school children to nearby cities, such as Boston, Philadelphia or Washington, the history of the several routes, surrounding country and the respective destinations to be learned by means of object lessons.
"1. State supervision of Settlement Houses.- Until the state takes over the work now done by these organizations it would be most unwise to interfere with their method of operation except as provided by present laws which furnish ample authority for inspection and correction of any abuses that may be found to exist.
"2. Pro-American propaganda.-It may well be that other agencies are adaptable to the theory that Americanism must be sold' on the well-settled merchan
dise principles of talk in favor of one side and one side alone. The Neighborhood House would lose much of its value as a factor for Americanization were it to close its forums to critics of American institutions on the ground that an audience may fail to grasp the truth because they are given a choice. between that and the false. The newcomer is quick to suspect, and not without justification. He comes into the Neighborhood House now because he relies on its disinterestedness. If the one side only is presented, it will either emphasize whatever prejudice he has against it or drive him away altogether. The position of the Neighborhood Houses, that truth cannot suffer in the long run from contact with fallacy, cannot be impaired without destroying the value of Neighborhood Houses. The interest of the community lies in making it possible to present the American ideals in a manner as attractive and vigorous as that which characterizes pernicious and subversive propaganda.
"3. Co-operation with foreign-born. In shaping pro
American activities, is should be remembered that the different race groups have certain peculiar characteristics and can make peculiar and valuable contributions to America. No small part of the unrest and so-called radicalism is the direct result of ignoring those facts, of not seeking to understand them and of evidencing frankly and brutally a total lack of desire to understand them. No measures affecting the foreign-born population should be finally adopted without consultation with the local leaders of the foreignborn groups affected. Their advice will result in changing the form of a measure without affecting its intention, but in these problems form is vital and often distinguishes a good and effective measure from one which is not only useless but positively harmful. "4. The Neighborhood Houses in principle oppose the repression of ideas except where change, economic or political, by force, is advocated, pernicious principles no less than worthy ones thrive on repression. The latter alone can survive free discussion.
"Among the subjects which have been omitted from the foregoing outline are reform in the treatment accorded prisoners, dignifying the process of naturalization, improvement of tenement conditions, and the suggestion that through carefully prepared literature or in classes, public officials or agents who necessarily come in contact with the foreign-born should receive instruction in their peculiarities of conduct and psychology, their comparative helplessness and the value of sympathetic, humane treatment.
This report is necessarily general and suggestive in character. If you desire development of any of its features in greater detail, we shall be glad to amplify or discuss the matter further."
c. Testimony Before Committee
On January 17, 1920, the Committee held a public hearing before which appeared Mrs. Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch, Director of Greenwich House, and one of the organizers of the United Neighborhood Houses of New York. Mrs. Simkhovitch was a member of a special committee appointed by the United Neighborhood Houses of New York to consult with this Committee on matters pertaining to the education of the adult foreign-born. Mrs. Simkhovitch's testimony in substance is given below:
"The objects of the United Neighborhood Houses of New York are best expressed in Article II of the Constitution, which reads
"The purposes of this Association are to increase the influence and enlarge the usefulness of Neighborhood Houses through co-ordination and co-operation of effort, to promote the establishment of additional Neighborhood Houses, to act upon public matters in which Neighborhood Houses are inherently interested and to foster an enlightened public opinion respecting such matters; to represent affiliated Neighborhood Houses in applications or appeals to municipal, state or national authorities for governmental action safeguarding public health, improving public education or furthering the good order, effort or convenience of the community. And the Association is established for the additional purpose of speaking publicly in behalf of organizations therein affiliated through statements to the press, publications under its own direction, or its representatives before public or semi-public bodies.
"The object of the Neighborhood Houses individually is to elicit all the values there are in their respective neighborhoods and to bring them to the front as an expression and to bring to them the values of American life.
"The Neighborhood Houses are for the most part located in districts where the majority of the population is either foreign-born, or the children of foreign-born.
"It is rather difficult to describe the activities of our Neighborhood House, for we have fourteen different departments. Our work supplements that of the public school, but never undertakes the same work.
"We have civic clubs in every one of the Neighborhood Houses. There are Roosevelt clubs in practically every house and many of those are civic clubs. There are constant opportunities for civic education presented to adults.
"Our teachers are generally volunteer workers who are interested in our houses. Sometimes we get them from Columbia University. Although this is very satisfactory in many ways, still we are not able to conduct as large an educational work as we should be able to do if we had a regular paid staff. We have had public school teachers to teach English, but they require twenty-five, and if we do not have that many in a class, we have to get a volunteer teacher.
"We find the attendance very good, because there is a social atmosphere that is lacking in the public schools.
"Our teaching of citizenship is accomplished through the civic clubs I have mentioned and through public meetings. We find that the foreign-born take kindly to it and appreciate what we do for them in this respect.
"We do not think that the teaching of English can be accomplished in night classes, because the pupils are too tired after their day's work. I found one Italian group in favor of compulsory education in English, and I think that on the whole the foreign-born would stand for it if it were on factory time.
"We believe that teachers should be better paid, and that teachers for night school work should, when possible, be persons who have not had to teach all day. We think that they should have a knowledge of the background of all the different groups of foreigners that are coming to us, and should be sympathetic to those groups and understand their
psychology and their difficulties and be sympathetic with their general attitude. They should be able to teach the nature of American institutions as well as the English language. I think the average person is quite ignorant of the principles of our government, and I think it might be an idea worth considering to have constitution clubs throughout the country. I think you could find very few people—even thorough Americans who have read the Constitution of the United States since they were ten years old.
"We think that there might be instituted inexpensive trips for school children to such nearby cities as Boston, Philadelphia or Washington, so that they may see the background of the institutions of our entire country.
"If the state were to provide schools and teachers to teach citizenship to the foreign-born, I believe that the classes would be well attended if the proper person were in charge. An outline of the courses could be prepared and placed in the hands of a group of people who would know what would be readily consumed. I think you would always have to consider what the audience was. If it were a radical audience, it would be advisable to show common sense and then present the material with as much force as possible. I think the idea of public discussions is a very useful idea. The United Neighborhood Houses would never allow any sort of presentation of any idea which related in any sense to a violent overthrow of our government, but as to the idea of presenting ideas which involve a gradual change in our institutions which can be accomplished by constitutional methods, we think such a thing is necessary, desirable and fundamentally American. We all feel that truth will prevail, so to speak, and that the presentation of material with which we are in sympathy would be likely to receive a more ardent support than any adverse material, but I do think that it is very desirable to present everything. If a subject is being discussed, of course, then discuss it, provided that no material is allowed which is of a nature which tends to the question of violent overthrow of our institutions. I think on the whole that open forums are a good influence. There are those who use the open forum to air their grievances, but I think it is better for them to do so than to do it in secret.
"Of course our centers are not primarily government