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V. Financial management. The dairy council is financed by contributions from all branches of the dairy industry. Many interests contribute only to the nation-wide work of the National Dairy Council, while others support a local unit organized for intensive effort in a prescribed area but closely affiliated with and assisting in forming and carrying out the policies of the national organization.
VI. How extensive. The dairy council to-day has 19 branches and affiliated units. A few figures will give some idea of the scope of its work. In one city alone this year the dramatic department gave stories and plays before 190,900 people. The National Dairy Council last year distributed 5,000,000 pieces of literature and reached more than 2,000,000 people in audiences.
VII. The spirit of the organization. The above is a description of the methods through which the dairy council carries on its work, but no organization carrying on educational work can expect to achieve the highest success unless the ideals which actuate the members of the organization are of the highest form. From this you can readily see that any description of dairy council methods gives but an imperfect impression on the printed page, because the spirit of cooperation and idealism can only be expressed in acts, rather than words. That the dairy council workers are imbued with the highest ideals of service is now recognized by all who come in contact with them, from president down to office boy. This spirit of service and maintenance of ideals has been easy to establish because the character of the work invites into the organization the very finest type of workers and special care and effort has been applied in selecting the various workers in the different departments of the organization. The work done by the council has, for this reason, as well as the practical results following, been a distinct contribution to human welfare and a tremendous educational force working for the best interests of the dairy industry.
Chairman Willits. I have now the pleasure of introducing to you the greatest dynamic force in any one person that there is in the United States-Miss Jean-who will speak to you on “ Health of our school children.” [Applause.]
HEALTH OF OUR SCHOOL CHILDREN.
Miss SALLY LUCAS JEAN, American Child Health Association, New York City.
A group of doctors about five years ago, in connection with the New York Academy of Medicine, became interested in the prevalence of malnutrition among school children in America. They formed themselves into a group, adding educators and socially minded individuals, and formed an association to raise the health standard of the American school child.
Their first step was to ascertain whether or not malnutrition was existing in all classes as had been surmised. It was found from studies in existence and from studies that were made at that time that about 20 per cent of the children in the schools of America had malnutrition.
The causes of malnutrition were known and the remedies were known. It only remained to get over the remedies to the children.
How was this to be done? In analyzing malnutrition one of our experts has said “Insanitary surroundings, improper habits of life, lack of sleep, and unsuitable food, all ofttimes due solely to ignorance, may be responsible for just as much malnutrition as is caused by poverty and disease.”
That was written about five years ago. It is believed to be true today. With this in mind an attempt was made to reach the children through the teachers. It was found in the very beginning that the teachers themselves had not had sufficient training to teach health to children. Fifty-two per cent of the teachers in America have not been trained to teach. Those are figures of our United States Bureau of Education.
The skeptic said, “How can you teach teachers who have not had any training to teach at all, to teach health? They do not know how to teach, so how can you train them to teach scientific subjects?” And so the essentials of health were reduced to the very simplest terms, with the understanding that we were going to reach this 52 per cent of untrained teachers, as well as the 48 per cent of teachers well prepared.
What are the laws of health, what are the essentials? They are well known to all of us—light and air, sunshine, sleep, rest, proper food, daily elimination, water, play. All of these things make for health.
Yes, but all of these things have been said many times and they have not made much impression. What do we mean by them? How are we to reach the consciousness of these teachers and the consciousness of these children? It was realized at that time that the first step was to develop a method which would interest the child himself, the teacher acting as the teacher of health in interesting the children to practice health habits, following these very simple rules.
Using modern psychological principles, a game was devised that took for its rules the simple laws of health put into the simplest form possible.
We know that a daily bath is desirable, but we also know that the majority of the population don't get a bath once a week. It seemed rather absurd to talk to the busy mother in the country or the busy mother in the city who had to heat her water and fill a tub to bathe her children daily, in addition to all the other duties that were hers. It seemed rather futile to talk to people who had only one tap of water, perhaps not in the house, perhaps water having to be brought from a distance, about cleaning their teeth three times a day.
And so two of the laws that were developed were to take a bath at least once a week and to clean your teeth at least once a day. Others were to sleep long hours, with windows open, and to play out of doors.
The question of foods was much more difficult. But there are some grounds upon which we can all stand and upon which all experts will agree. We know that children must have a certain amount of roughage. They must have a certain amount of vegetables and fruits every day. They must have milk every day. We did not talk about vitamins. It was not necessary to talk of vitamins, but it was necessary to see to it that vitamins got inside of the children. [Applause.]
And so the plan was devised to put into the very simplest terms these facts that we wanted the children to benefit from. So we said at least a pint of milk every day for every child of school age. We did not talk about butterfats. That was not necessary. We wanted to make them realize that milk had something to do with the things they wanted to do—increasing their efficiency. However, we didn't talk about increasing their efficiency, but we talked about playing baseball and running a race, being able to have a pretty complexion, having glossy hair and a good figure, and all the things that go to make up the desirables of our boys and girls.
The foods that are discussed to-day, chiefly through these rules of the game in this country, and all over this world to some extent, are the vegetables, green vegetables, and fruits and milk, to be taken by every child every day. How has this been done? How has this message been gotten over! That is the great question which we are all asking.
It is not enough for the laboratory to be able to discover the great truths. It is not enough for them to be printed on shiny paper in nice gray covers to be handed out to a few scientific people. We must be able to get over the great scientific truths to the ultimate consumer. [Applause.] The man and the woman of the street, the woman in her home, the child in his classroom must know these things, must feel them, must care about them. As we have stated, it is not necessary to give it to them in scientific terms, but they must have the information and they must have the knowledge whereby we can insure the formation of habits.
Our great Doctor McCollum, who has guided so much of the modern teaching of nutrition in the last few years, has said that " the white bread and other cereals, muscle meat, and potato type of diet which is so common in America and parts of Europe is causing physical deterioration. No animal can grow satisfactorily on a food supply of this type, nor can one remain long in the possession of full vigor after growth has been attained. Only when such a food supply is supplemented with liberal amounts of milk, leafy vegetables, and fruit will it prove satisfactory.
With such statements as that we were quite willing to stand by the idea of the leafy vegetables, the fruit, and the milk for our children-but for all children, not for a favored few. Now about the favored few. Where does our work begin? In the largest and most prominent and most expensive private schools of this country the amount of malnutrition is as high as it is on the east side of New York. That is an astounding fact, but it is true. It isn't quite so true now as it used to be; it is beginning to be changed. However. it goes to prove that it is largely a problem of education.
With this in mind, teachers were asked to weigh children once a month and put in the child's mind through the use of a chart which was very simple and which the child himself could use, what he should weigh for his height, giving a standard to him and establishing in his mind an ideal of health. Eighty-four on a piece of paper meant something to the child. Even the teacher who had had no training could understand 84 as a standard and the children could understand 84. When they stepped on the scale and found that they were 62 there was an interest, there was an enthusiasm, to know what was the matter.
As one boy said to me a long time ago in work in a school in a foreign section, "Aw, Miss Jean, watcher think makes me like that? He was 62 when he should have been 84. Now lots of children are asking“ watcher think makes me like that?"
The teacher must be able to answer that question. Mind you, she may not have had the training to be able to answer the question, so we must give it to her in the simplest possible terms. And so we have these simple rules of the game-“Do you do these things, Samuel ? " “ Do you do these things, Mary? “ These are the things that go to make you strong and big and vigorous.”
Please note this: Never has there been for a moment the slightest suggestion that we deal with the 62. We would not talk about the condition that existed except to point toward the goal, the practical ideal which we wish our children to reach. That 84 was before the children, not the 62. The goal was the 84, the rosy cheeks, the strong shoulders, the ability to play baseball, the ability to be strong and beautiful. All of these things were the goal toward which we were working. And our teachers are beginning to understand that this is true.
But how to get the practice of health habits after the child had the goal in his mind! Oh, it is easy enough to know, " Oh, yes, I must do something about this,” but habits are not formed out of an impulse. The emotional interests that can very easily be aroused have very little value unless there is some one there who knows and understands and can continue to interest and stimulate until habits are formed.
What are some of the methods? You are practical people. You will want to know how to do this thing, how it can be done better in your neighborhood than it is now being done.
First of all, we must train our teachers, get back into our normal schools and our training colleges. We have had to begin at the wrong end. We knew we were beginning at the wrong end. We had to begin with the child before we had the leaders prepared to teach him, but that was the only way at that time; it is not the only way to-day. Teachers' training centers all over the world are eager to know how to teach health to children, how to train teachers to teach health to children in the very best possible way.
Some of the methods which have been devised are familiar to you and you are to have an opportunity to see a demonstration of them here.
Several years ago Cornell University asked some assistance of the association with which I am connected in preparing and planning an exhibit in connection with the Milk Show in New York. We devised a plan for the teachers to write plays on health. One of them said, “Oh, but teachers don't know. How can they write plays? They are not playwrights and they don't know health.”
We gave them the very simple essentials of health and suggested that awards be given to teachers. Not to children, mind you, but to teachers, to encourage their investigations, to encourage their interest, and plays were written. They were to be judged by experts from one of our leading universities, not from what the children
said they knew or from what the teachers said that they knew, but from the plays that the children were to give, to demonstrate whether or not the teachers had a sufficient knowledge to demonstrate the possibilities of teaching through dramatics.
I must admit that at the first performance I was a bit nervous because it was the first attempt that we had made to do this sort of thing with a great city school system such as New York. But the children stepped out in their inexpensive little costumes made in classrooms and acted out these plays with delightful spirit and vigor.
I recall particularly one little girl of about 6 who stepped on in a very frilly little dress and bare feet and legs. She did a very pretty little aesthetic dance. I thought, in my dull ignorance, “What has this got to do with health? What has this to do with such a play as this?” Then a boy stood beside her. He had on a gold crown made of paper, and carried a broomstick covered with gold paper which made him a king. As the little girl finished and stepped back the boy said. “Well done, fair maiden, but art thou not tired?” The fair maiden drew herself up to her fullest 6-year height and said, * Tired? Why, no; I don't get tired. I drink milk.” [Applause.]
You can't doubt that that child was interested to know something more about milk and what it did for her. Weariness, tiredness, all were tied up in her mind with the positive thought that milk gave strength for work and play.
Of course, we all know that milk alone does not do these things, but we have to teach one thing at a time, and this was a lesson on milk. As you are particularly interested in that subject, you will be interested in some other methods that have been used for teaching the value of milk.
Last year one of the great universities asked the assistance of the American Child Health Association in making a demonstration in their practice school as to the possibilities of teaching health through history to a fourth grade. A well-trained teacher was selected from our staff who had “majored” in history and had been deeply interested in health.
For over one semester she taught these fourth-grade children the possibilities of the lives of the colonial children in comparison with theirs, and how the colonial children lived. That happened to be the period of history that they were studying. It was very interesting to have those little boys and girls name an imaginary little girl of colonial days “Faith,” who was represented by a paper doll pinned upon the blackboard on the particular day they were to compare their lives with hers.
What time did Faith get up in the morning? What sort of clocks did Faith use? What did Faith eat for breakfast? What sort of clock do I use? What time do I get up in the morning? What do I eat for breakfast? Those were all quite natural questions for children.
Then came the difficulty of knowing, of discovering just what those colonial children did do in the way of practicing health habits. Unfortunately, our histories in all countries are written from the political point of view and not from the point of view of the people's daily lives. [Applause.] Here may I say I am one who believes that the