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"As to suggestions, I would say that I have talked the matter over with Mrs. Abbott, second vice-president of the National Federation of Music Clubs of America, who has charge of this branch of the work of the Federation, and who says that the Federation would be more than glad to co-operate in any possible way with your organization in providing additional musical opportunities for the foreign element, especially working toward the promotion of community sings, which should develop into choruses doing part singing. The necessity of speaking and reading English becomes very apparent to the alien who wishes to join in an English chorus, and cannot. When I was associated with Mr. W. C. Smith on the Mayor's Committee for National Defense under Mr. Mitchel, the value of music in arousing interest in foreigners and securing their attendance at gatherings was notably demonstrated.
"We also feel, and in this the Federation would also like to assist, that if chorus singing and other musical attractions played a more important part in our public school educational system, that it would prove a very popular feature with the foreign element."
CHRIST CHURCH HOUSE, 336 West 36th street, New York City, Theodore F. Savage, November 20, 1919:
"We have handled a somewhat delicate situation here, in that a large proportion of our old families have been of German descent. I am glad to report that practically all of them have come to see the proper attitude of American citizens, and have most loyally supported the country. I think this has been partly due to the work of our Church. A few irreconcilables have never caused any trouble. We do not handle other alien groups, as our work is almost entirely with Americans, at least of the second generation.
"May I take the opportunity of expressing what a great many people have felt, that your Committee is taking the wrong course in dealing with the this whole problem, and I think we are in a position to get the reaction of the ordidinary citizen. You are trying to follow the old but constantly disproved fallacy, that ideas can be combatted with force. This can never be done satisfactorily, and I feel that
far more can be accomplished by at least trying to understand the causes which have produced the social unrest, rather than by trying to knock on the heads those who have become restless.
"I write this because I have absolutely no sympathy with these radical movements, but I fear them very much, and I feel sure that the attitude of our daily newspapers and perhaps the attitude of your Committee in trying to use terrorism will be one of the greatest causes for the growth of this unrest."
THE EMANU-EL BROTHERHOOD, 309 East 6th street, New York City, Tobias Roth, superintendent, December 23, 1919:
"I wish to state that I am heartily in sympathy with the work of the Joint Legislative Committee to investigate the seditious activities in the state, and beg to inform you that, at the present time, we have under contemplation the formation of an Americanization forum, through which we hope to take up the discussion of national, state and local problems.
"At the present time we have a class in English to foreigners, conducted at our building in co-operation with the Board of Education, and we hope not only to conduct this class, but to organize an additional one.
"As soon as my plans for the Americanization forum are completed, I shall be glad to communicate with you further and if, in the meantime, you have any further suggestions to offer in line with this work, I shall be pleased to hear from you. Assuring you of our readiness to co-operate with you."
FRIENDLY AID SOCIETY, 246 East 34th street, Elizabeth B. Bowles, head worker, December 1, 1919:
"Our neighbors, at present, are largely Irish and Southern Italian with a sprinkling of six or eight other nationalities. "Our work is strictly non-sectarian and non-partisan.
"The chief aim of all our activities has always been to arouse in our neighbors, especially in those of foreign birth or parentage, a feeling of loyalty and of responsibility to our government, both local and federal.
"In order to impress upon them the various ways in which our government protects the welfare and interests of the workingman and his children, we have frequent talks,
often illustrated by stereopticon slides, on the work of the different city departments, on the factory and child labor laws, on the legal rights of tenants, etc.
"We also have health talks in both English and Italian, on tuberculosis, preventable blindness, the care of children, etc. In addition to this, we sometimes show them pictures of different parts of our country; as to many ignorant immigrants, New York City represents the whole of the United States.
"We urge those who are living in this country and enjoying its opportunities and protection to avail themselves of the privilege of taking out citizen papers, and to use their votes to put men in office who are loyal to our government, and who will use their influence to protect the rights of the people.
"We have at present no classes in English, but urge people to attend the excellent ones at P. S. 27 on East 41st street, and at the International Institute on East 30th street. One fine feature of the English class at P. S. 27 is that it combines recreation with instruction, having a social evening once a week with music, games and dancing, for those who attend the classes.
During the war, we asked one of our Italian neighbors to act as interpreter for the Legal Advisory Board which met here, and through him we have kept in touch with a number of young Italians who were in the service, and now form one of the community clubs of ex-service men and their friends which meet in this house. We have two service clubs, and are also the headquarters of the Murray Hill Branch of the American Legion.
"Two of our resident workers enlisted early in the war in the ambulance service, and on their return from France last spring, came back to the Settlement, and have charge of this part of our work.
"As we find that many men are too tired after a hard day's work to wash up and go regularly three or four evenings a week to an evening school, we are planning to open, with the assistance of some members of the American Legion, an evening class once a week for those who want to learn to read and write English with a view to taking out citizen papers.
"It is practically impossible for an Italian mother with her large family of little children to attend English classes, but we hope after Christmas to have a class for them, to which they can bring their babies and all the children under school age, who will be cared for, while the mothers are in the class, after which a brief time will be devoted to refreshments, music and games, to make the class more attractive.
"We have done this in past years, but have never been able to get as large an attendance as we would like, as many of the Italian women in this neighborhood have no ambition to speak English, their children acting as interpreters when necessary.
"It is through the children that we are most successful in reaching the non-English-speaking parents.
"If we can instill in the children a respect for rightful authority, and a regard for the property and rights of others, and arouse in them a civic pride and sense of personal responsibility in keeping the streets and sidewalks clean and the fire escapes clear, they in turn will instruct their parents.
"In making out the returns for the State Military Census, and the questionnaires for the Legal Advisory Board, and in our investigation for the State Housing Committee, we found that a number of Greeks, many of them subjects of Turkey, have come to this country since the beginning of the war to escape military conscription. Very few of these speak English, or have their families with them. They are chiefly employed in the hotels and restaurants in the district. From the nature of their work, it is impossible for them to attend the evening classes in the schools.
"You ask for suggestions:
"1. We find that the nature of their work prevents many men from attending evening classes.
"2. We find that many men dislike the classes held in the public schools because the seats in the classrooms are intended for children, and are uncomfortable for adults.
"3. Many men will not attend classes held in the settlement houses or in church houses, because they consider them philanthropic institutions.
"4. After a hard day's work, men desire relaxation and amusement, rather than instruction.
"Query. Would it be possible for the Americanization Committee to use some of the old saloons for their work,
where classes in English could be held during the day as well as in the evening, and where also opportunity could be afforded to read American newspapers, and to play pool and checkers, and to buy coffee and other light refreshments? Also where there would always be someone to answer questions about taking out citizen papers, war risk insurance, workingmen's compensation, etc., and where men could sometimes be put in touch with opportunities to find work, and where lists of free lectures, concerts, etc., could be posted.
"The English classes could be held in the rear room of the saloon, so as not to interfere with the social side, through which the men would be chiefly attracted at first."
HEARTSEASE WORK FOR FRIENDLESS WOMEN, 413 East 51st street, New York City. Louise B. Scofield, December 22, 1919:
"Your letter re the education of adult foreigners has been received. As our letterhead indicates, we do an evangelical work among women and babies and while we do meet a few foreigners most of the women are American born. When we do have foreign girls in the home, we do all we can-reading and teaching American history. I do not think we reach the class you are interested in.”
KIPS BAY NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, 799 Second avenue, New York City, George Debevoise, president, November 20, 1919:
"Your request for information about the Americanization work carried on by the Kips Bay Neighborhood Association. has been received, and we are very glad to give you any information we have.
"All Americanization work done in this district by our Association is in co-operation with the evening school at Public School No. 27, of which Mr. Alexander S. Massell is principal. With the assistance of Sara C. Clapp, executive secretary of the Kips Bay Neighborhood Association, Mr. Massell has been able to work out some very interesting ideas for the Americanization of foreigners. It is the opinion of both Miss Clapp and Mr. Massell that Americanization is a social problem; that if the foreigners can be brought together in a social way, the rest is easy. With this in mind, a community evening for foreigners has been held once a week in Public School 27 for the past three years