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very light one. Due to prompt treatment. On the top floor of the building are eight bedrooms for the teachers and also a living room. This is not enough however to accommodate our teaching force and that is one of the reasons we have requested an appropriation of $100,000 to replace the old frame building. We would like to replace the wooden structure with a brick building to contain single bedrooms for the remainder of our staff, quarters for the Superintendent and his family, a dining room on the first floor, a library and several other much needed rooms.
The new building now in the process of construction will relieve our present congestion and enable us to care for more children.
There are still many deaf children in the state out of school who should be in school. This is due to several causes. Sometimes it is the lack of co-operation of the school and town authorities of the place where the children live. That however is the exception and in almost every place I have found every one in authority most willing to help deaf children to be placed in a school where they can be educated according to the most approved methods. Our greatest difficulty is with parents. It is very hard for them to realize that true parental love and sacrifice does not mean keeping a child at home, depriving it of an education and allowing it to run the streets, but in placing the child in school, where it will be properly trained and educated for its life's work. Once a child is in school, and likes it, his parents become our stanchest supporters.
I have on file a very interesting case. The first time this particular deaf boy was seen his mother said he could not be sent to school because she expected to return to the old country. When our representative returned to see the mother about the child she had moved and left no address. The last time the boy was found our representative stayed right on the premises until the child was committed by court order to the school. When he came to school, he was eleven years old and had lost five years of precious time which he should have spent in school. The mother came with the boy. The boy was so interested in his new surroundings and with the work his new teacher showed him that he never noticed when his mother left and last fall she told me that upon the receipt of the first notice of the opening of school, he packed his suitcase himself and said he was ready to go back to school.
with special reference to the deaf. Some parents carry out the letter of the law by sending their children to the public schools regardless of the progress the child makes. This is unfair to the child especially when there are schools in the state where a child can receive proper training. It is also unfair to the public school teacher, who usually has her hands full with a large class of normal children. She can not do justice to the deaf child, no matter how conscientious she is about her work. In our school with our small classes— there is an average of nine pupils to a class—each child gets individual attention which would be impossible in larger classes. The saddest part about parents not sending their children to school is that it is the children who suffer in the end and that when the parents do realize their mistake the child is often too old to make the proper progress. He aisu resents being put into a class of children much younger than himself. All these complications could be avoided if we had a compulsory law concerning the education of the deaf child. The deaf child should be put in school and should be made to remain in school until he has finished the grammar grades or their equivalent. With the law allowing children to go to work when they are sixteen, many parents take them out of school just as soon as they have reached that age and put them to work regardless of the amount of education they have received. If the parents sent their deaf children to school when they were six years old the most of them would have a fairly good education by the time they were sixteeen but most parents do not send their children until they are eight or nine or until they have to do it, which of course delays the process of education. Those of us who have at heart the interest of the deaf children of the state can not but help deplore such circumstances.
The health of the children has been good. We had the misfortune to lose one of our intermediate boys last year because of heart disease. We had a light epidemic of mumps in the spring of 1923, which though not serious prevented us from having public visiting day near the close of school. Last spring we had an epidemic of scarlet fever among the teachers but not one child contracted the disease.
We have a regular school physician and in cases of eye, ear or throat trouble specialists in New London are employed. The eyesight of the children has been tested
oculist in New London for glasses. All dental work is done by a local dentist. With our younger children there is considerable more work to be done since so many of them are losing their first set of teeth when they come to us.
Our isolation from the village we consider is one of our greatest advantages for it spares us diseases which become prevalent in the community. Situated as we are on a high hill having both salt and country air, our children live in a most healthful atmosphere, which keeps them well. We have comparatively little sickness. As one of our former Governors upon seeing the school said, “This is God's spot for children.”
We are so far away from automobile traffic that our grounds are an absolutely safe place for the children to play, so different from the street playground that many of our children have while at home. Because of the erection of our new building we were forced to change our playgrounds. We have now put them in front of the boys' dormitory. We feel this is a better place than our old location for the brick building shelters the grounds and the playground is warmer in the winter. We have added two steel lawn swings to our playground equipment and four steel benches. We have turned the field just below the front lawn into a special playground for the boys. Here we have put some playground apparatus but the main idea in the new playground is that the boys have a chance to play soldiers, Indians, etc., and such games that boys like so much without being cramped for room and where they can dig up the ground without hurting the appearance of the lawn. Such play is the natural play for children and allows them to develop in a perfectly normal way. The children are supervised at their play at all times.
We have our own pond on which the children skate. This pond is only about two feet deep, which makes it safe for even the younger intermediate children to skate on and coast. If the weather is sufficiently warm before the close of school, the children enjoy salt water bathing under the supervision of adults.
Situated in the country as we are, it is possible for our children with their supervisors to take walks in the woods on pleasant afternoons; a most healthful and pleasant diversion. Every spring they go on picnics to Lantern Hill. The older boys and girls hike there, a distance of seven miles, and the intermediate children