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On sundays, the children attend the school in the morning and afternoon, and go regularly to church; where they have been much noticed, on account of the neatness of their appearance, and the propriety of their behaviour. On week days, the school hours are from nine in the morning till noon, and from one till four in the afternoon. All the children are taught, reading, knitting, and plain work; and such as appear most capable of improvement, are also instructed in writing and in accounts. Great pains are taken, to make them ac quainted with the leading principles of religion and morality, and with the peculiar duties of those useful, though humble stations in life, which it will probably be their lot to fill.
They seem in general to make as much proficiency, in the various branches of their education, as could reasonably be expected; and appear gratefully attached to their benevolent teachers; whose instructions they receive with much satisfaction, as well as
docility. In these respects the distribution of little rewards* for improvement has produced so powerful an effect on their minds, as to have rendered any other method of exciting diligence, and ensuring regular attendance, almost unnecessary.
The age at which children are admitted, and the time they may continue in the school, are not fixed by any general regulations. Their attendance there is perfectly voluntary and is not expected during harvest, or at any other time when their parents can find more profitable employment for them, or particularly need their services at home. They are permitted to bring work to school, when their parents or friends can supply them with it. When they are not thus provided with employment, they are furuished with work by the ladies, and are allowed the usual price for it. This was for some years paid them in money, as
* The plan adopted with regard to these rewards, is deserving of attention. It will be published in the Appendix.
soon as each article was finished; but it was determined a few months ago, to keep, their earnings till the end of the year, in a box provided for that purpose, with a separate division for each girl; and then after deducting the payment to a female friendly society which has been established by the Miss Franks, to give the value of the remainder in some of the most useful articles of clothing; as shifts, petticoats, &c. These they are taught to cut out, and to make at school; for which purpose, and for knitting their own stockings, three weeks are allowed. None of the parents have expressed the slightest disapprobation of this alteration, in the manner of disposing of their children's earnings. The children themselves appear highly delighted with it. Many of them remember exactly how much money they have in the box, and are very solicitous to add to their stock. Some of them persuade their parents to pay for them the contribution to the friendly society, in order that there may not be on that account any diminution of their little hoards. It is hoped
that these little hoards, besides answering their immediate purposes, will form them to habits of industry and frugality, that will continue through life; and that many of the possessors will, when engaged in service or other business, very frequently replenish the private fund of the abovementioned friendly society, by placing in it small sums of money at interest.
These young ladies furnish their scholars with work at home, as well as during school hours; being chiefly the making of gloves, knitting of stockings, and also shoes and socks for infants; to which of late has been added platting of split straw. The articles which the children make, are in a few instances disposed of to shopkeepers, but more generally to private persons, who are disposed to encourage the charity. During the summer months many are sold at Askeron; where a collection of them is kept by a poor woman, the mother of eight children, four of whom attend Miss Franks' school.
The clear profit derived from the sale of the articles made by the children, after deducting from the price received the cost of the materials and the payments to them, together with some small presents of work from a few ladies, contribute to form a fund, for providing various rewards for diligence and good behaviour in the school; and for furnishing a donation in clothes and useful books, together with a small sum of pocket money, proportioned as exactly as possible, to the length of time they have attended the school, and to their general deserts, on their becoming servants or apprentices.
The foregoing account is a striking example of the effects of industry, directed to the most useful ends, and unremittingly applied. That three young ladies should by their own exertions, in a few years, form, and bring to perfection a school of above 60 girls, conducted without the assistance of mistresses, and regulated only by their