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devoted to thrift teaching and thrift practices, to the end that our nation may furnish the brilliant example of the healing powers of thrift during the twentieth century.
As a means of financing the war thru thrift, the war garden offers exceptional opportunities. The money spent for canned vegetables by people who can just as well produce these products at home may be and is being releast for war service in communities where war gardens flourish. The labor, cargo space, and expense of transporting these canned products from the canning factories to the consumers is saved by home production and releast for war service.
In Oklahoma the military plan of organization has been adapted as largely as possible to the local organizations. This proves very effective, especially among the children. Many devices have been employed to stimulate interest and impress upon the people as a whole the importance of producing as much food as possible at home, whether that home be a small city lot or a large ranch. The movement is not confined to the children. The adults are being reacht thru the agency of the county councils and war committees. Rubber stamps bearing such suggestions as "Food Will Win the War; Help Produce It," "Grow a Garden,” etc., have been used freely on outgoing mail. Posters with specific directions for planting, cultivating, and conserving garden vegetables have been distributed. The public press has generously devoted pages of space to the movement, the articles printed being prepared by the specialists in charge of the Garden Bureau.
The results of this campaign and organization have been very gratifying indeed. The back yards in cities have become productive vegetable gardens, the farms where heretofore no vegetables were produced are now supplied with home gardens, some of them planted in the middle of fields, where they will be undisturbed by chickens, this being the first year such farms have seen fit to grow their own vegetables. Reports received up to June 1, 1918, showed that there were 338,500 war gardens in Oklahoma, having an estimated value of $16,000,000.
This home-garden movement in Oklahoma is typical of the movement thruout the nation. It is so important as a means of teaching thrift that we as school men and women should begin now to plan to inherit the organization that has been built up and administer it, if necessary, in the future that will follow the war, as a means of keeping alive those impulses of thrift that have been born admits the storm of war.
DEPARTMENT OF KINDERGARTEN EDUCATION
FIRST SESSION—TUESDAY AFTERNOON, JULY 2, 1918 The meeting convened in Carnegie Music Hall at 2:00 p.m., with Miss Netta Farris, presiding. In the absence of the secretary, Miss Poor, Miss Farris appointed Miss Ella Ruth Boyce as acting secretary.
The topic for the afternoon was “Conservation of Child Life," and the following program was presented:
“Conservation of Child Life":
“In America”-Elizabeth Harrison, president, National Kindergarten and Elementary College, Chicago, Ill.
"In Europe" - Fannibelle Curtis, supervisor of kindergartens, New York, N.Y.
Miss Ella Merritt, of the Children's Bureau of the Department of Labor, gave an account of the work of the Bureau.
Music for the program consisted of two groups of songs sung by Pittsburgh kindergartners, Mr. Will Earhart conducting, and Miss Grace Everson, composer, at the piano.
A nominating committee was appointed to report at a business meeting after the joint meeting of Kindergarten, Elementary, and School Garden Association, July 4, as follows:
Anna Harvey, Brooklyn, N.Y., chairman.
SECOND SESSION--THURSDAY AFTERNOON, JULY 4, 1918 Joint Session of Kindergarten, Elementary, and School Garden Association, Carnegie Music Hall, at 2:00 p.m.
General Topic-Americanization Miss Farris, presiding for the Kindergarten Section, presented Dr. Caroline Hedger, of Chicago, who spoke on “The Kindergarten as a Factor in Americanization.”
The meeting was held in Carnegie Music Hall at 4:30 p.m., Miss Farris presiding.
The report of the nominating committee was called for. In Miss Harvey's absence Miss Winchester reported for the committee as follows:
President—Ella Ruth Boyce, director of kindergartens, Pittsburgh, Pa.
PAPERS AND DISCUSSIONS
WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO CONSERVE
ELLA ARVILLA MERRITT, CHILDREN'S BUREAU, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR,
WASHINGTON, D.C. Merely to enumerate all the activities of our national government-to say nothing of those of state and city governments—which help in the conservation of child life in its broadest sense would require more time than we have to devote to this subject. It seems wisest to confine this discussion to those phases of government work with which I am most familiar—the varied activities of the Children's Bureau.
It is the duty of the Children's Bureau, according to the act which created it, "to investigate and report upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of children." With the single exception of the enforcement of the United States Child Labor Act, which is now declared unconstitutional, and which will be discust later, the scope of the Bureau's work is limited to those two duties—to investigate and to report. If we investigate fully enough and report loud enough somebody else may do something. And it is this obtaining of cooperation which is one of the most important and most interesting phases of our work.
Prevention of infant mortality is perhaps the most obvious method of conserving child life, and the first field investigation undertaken by the Bureau was an inquiry into why babies die and what the conditions are under which they have the best chance of life. This inquiry, beginning in 1913, was planned to extend over several years and to cover various typical communities thruout the country. Studies have been made in nine citiesJohnstown, Pa.; Montclair, N.J.; Manchester, N.H.; Brockton, Mass.; Saginaw, Mich.; New Bedford, Mass.; Waterbury, Conn.; Akron, Ohio; and Baltimore, Md.
In making these studies the mothers of all babies born in a certain selected year are visited by the women agents of the Bureau. Since "infant mortality," technically, means the percentage of babies born who die before they reach one year of age, we select a year just far enough in the past so that the babies will have had a chance to survive that dangerous first year. In their interviews with the mother our agents discover and record the most essential facts affecting the baby's life and health.
The results of these studies are twofold: the effect upon the particular community and a contribution to the body of knowledge of the social causes of unnecessary infant mortality. The whole city becomes interested. The help of the mothers has been generous. Publicity is given to the work by the press, by clergymen, by city authorities, and by local organizations. The problem of how best to safeguard the lives and health of its children (for the same conditions that make babies die weaken the children who survive) is brought vividly to the attention of the city as a whole, and efforts to remedy specific local conditions are stimulated.
Leaving these more elaborate, intensive studies, we may consider other methods by which the Children's Bureau is bringing before the people of the country information as to the needs of mothers and young children. Since the establishment of the Bureau cooperation has been maintained with women's clubs in the different states. Birth-registration tests, some of them under the direction of the Bureau, have been made by different communities, and the need for better birth-registration laws have been emphasized. Reports on the different kinds of infant-welfare work done in a large number of communities in the United States have been summarized. A series of popular bulletins on the care of mothers and children have been planned-bulletins no less scientific because written in simple language. Two of these, Prenatal Care and Infant Care, were publisht during the first two years of the Bureau's existence and another (Child Care) is in press.
But some definite method of arousing nation-wide publicity and interest seemed essential, and to meet this need Baby Week was suggested. The first nation-wide Baby Week was held in 1916, under the auspices of the Children's Bureau and the General Federation of Women's Clubs, and another was held last year. Baby Week is a distinctly community celebration, its aim being to arouse public interest in the local needs of maternity and infancy and to emphasize the community responsibility. It is carried out thru the cooperation of public and private organizations, state and local health officials, extension divisions of universities, and all types of local and national child-welfare institutions. One of the definite results has been an increasing realization of the importance of public-health nursing and of the spread of knowledge of proper methods of maternity and infant care. Follow-up work carried on by the different communities has resulted in many cases in definite improvement in local conditions—the employment of more public health nurses, organization of infant-welfare stations or free clinics, or provision for medical and dental examinations in the public schools.
It is generally recognized that certain groups of children-dependents, defectives, and delinquents—are in need of special care and attention on the part of the state. Three studies of mentally defective children have been made by the Children's Bureau. Two of them, A Social Study of Mental Defectives in Newcastle County, Delaware, already issued, and a Study of Mental Defectives in Sussex County, Delaware, practically completed, have been carried on in cooperation with the United States Public Health Service. A study, of state agencies caring for dependent children is planned. The problem of juvenile delinquency has been taken up from two points of view. Studies of juvenile delinquency in rural New York and of children before the courts in Connecticut are in the press, and a general survey of methods followed by juvenile courts is being made by means of questionnaires sent