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an open fire, fried bacon and sandwiches is the usual menu and it certainly tastes good after a climb to the top of Lantern Hill.
Through the kindness of the Y. M. C. A. of New London our boys are allowed to use the Y. M. C. A. Lodge on Long Pond over week-ends. The lodge affords protection at night and the days are spent in fishing, swimming or rowing.
The girls under the supervision of some of the teachers have spent several week-ends at the Y. W. C. A. Camp at Niantic overlooking the Niantic River. Here the girls had a most delightful time hiking, swimming and boating
Parties are held once a month for the children. Two teachers are in charge of each party and all the teachers and officers are expected to be present and join in the games. These parties are held near_some special day during the month as Hallowe'en or Thanksgiving, and the decorations and games are in accordance with the spirit of the occasion.
We have adhered to our same theories in regard to the children's diet. Plain wholesome food with plenty of it has always been our aim and with the help of our fa ·m we are able to furnish an abundance of milk, eggs, fowl, pork and fresh vegetables. We have installed an electric ice cream freezer and we have ice cream for the children twice a week. The teachers and officers eat at the same tables and have the same food as the children. We expect them to supervise the children's eating and table manners. It is surprising how few of our children like green vegetables and milk when they first enter school—these being two very essential foods for children. We believe it is part of the training of the child to be trained in proper eating, especially in regard to mineral foods. The children soon learn to like all vegetables and when we see the change in their physical appearance we know such training has been good for them. The children are given something to eat every day at recess time.
Our water supply is procured from a spring on our own premises. Despite all the dry weather our water supply has never failed us. A member of the state health department made an analysis of the water, making doubly sure that the supply was pure. Our children with the help of the supervisors and all of the teachers are under supervision at all times whether they are asleep or awake, at work or at play indoors or outdoors. We believe that the regularity of school life is one of the main reasons for the physical improvement they make while under our care. Every child has regular hours for rising, eating, working, playing and retiring. We make sure each one has sufficient playtime, sufficient food and sufficient sleep. His day is carefully planned so as to promote his mental, moral and physical growth.
Our methods of teaching are purely oral. Subjects are taught through speech, speech-reading and writing. Every year we have made changes in our corps of teachers, some leaving to be married, others to teach in other schools. Though we have had an unusual number of applicants for our normal class, we can still take only two every year as we can not accommodate more in our present quarters.
As usual, a number of repairs and changes have been made in the buildings. Every summer the interiors of the buildings are painted and any other repair work which can be done to better advantage when the children are not at the school. Many improvements were made on the farm. A new laying house for our hens was built with the help of our large boys. We had the misfortune to lose our herd of cows when given the tuberculin test by the State Commissioner of Domestic Animals in 1923. We immediately disposed of the entire herd and replaced it by a new one. Our present herd is the same one bought a year ago. It has been tested three times since then and each time we have had no reactors. At the time we lost our herd we applied to the Board of Control for a special appropriation to build a new barn. This was denied us but feeling it was useless to put a new herd in the same barn we thoroughly disinfected the barn, tore down the old wooden partitions and put in cement. New stanchions were put in, extra windows, ventilators and another door and new water bowls. Our herd now consists of twelve Holstein cows and one bull. We have enough milk for all the pupils to have milk three times a day with ice cream twice a week.
This past winter we had a fine flock of five hundred White Pekin ducks and a few thousand Rhode Island Red chickens. The ducks we found were not as satisfactory in our school for eating purposes as chickens so we abandoned duck raising as part of our farm department. We exhibited some of our poultry at the Norwich Fair and our pen of Rhode Island Reds won first prize and our ducks second prize. We have found Rhode Island Reds most suitable for our purposes in the matter
twenty fowl to a meal. Our 1200 capacity incubator
as filled to capacity three times and we had very good results with our baby chicks. We had a larger proportion of hatches than most people in our neighborhood. When our supply of eggs in the summer time is in excess of our demands, the extra ones are put down in water glass to be used as needed.
Each winter we have killed eight hogs, which furnish us with most of the lard we use and all the fresh pork we give the children. We still put up in glass jars every summer enough vegetables to last us practically all winter and they, together with the root vegetables grown, give us plenty of fresh vegetables. We like to put up all the vegetables we can for we know the quality of what is done in our own kitchen. We know that the food is fresh, clean and well cooked.
In spite of the dry seasons, our crops have been good and, in addition to our vegetables we raised the winter's supply of ensilage for our cows. At present we have only one silo. We have requested an appropriation of $5,000 for a new barn and out of that money we would also like to build another silo and wagon and implement shed. We really need two silos full of ensilage to feed our cows during the winter. We feel that the farm is a necessity and we know that the farm products help to solve to a very great extent our food problem.
There are still many more changes which we would like to make but as is always the case, such things cost money. The Legislature has been very generous in the past and we feel that good use has been made of every cent of the money which has been appropriated. It is a matter of great satisfaction to know that, during the past years despite the fact that salaries have been increased and our living demands have been greater, we have kept our expenditures within our appropriation. In order to keep on growing and expanding, we must have money. We feel as if our maintenance request is very moderate, $187,000 for the next two years. With that money we hope to make even greater strides toward progress. Out of the appropriation granted at the last session of the legislature we have paid for the actual maintenance of the children, all administration expenses and all repair work, both temporary and semi-permanent, such as the building of a large chicken house and the repair of the barn. What is given to us we make do and we have had no special appropriation except of course the one for our new dormitory. We feel as if we have made every penny count. We are in need of more equipment for our schoolrooms, better blackboards, new desks in the schoolrooms and books for our library. We have hopes of securing a linotype machine so that we may teach linotyping to our advanced boys and girls. If we get the requested appropriation we can do this.
We have the same aims—a good school with a home environment where the moral and spiritual well-being of the children is cared for as well as their physical welfare. The child's life to be the fullest must be considered in all its phases. No opportunity is lost for the personal touch between the officers and teachers and in that way we hope as far as possible to give a home atmosphere, which is so easily overlooked in an institution.
It has been a great pleasure to work with the members of our Board. I have received sympathetic cooperation and helpful advice from each member of the Board and this has been a great source of encouragement and help to me in my work.
I wish to add a word of commendation for our corps of teachers and officers, whose loyalty and whose faithful and efficient services during the past two years have contributed largely to the success of our work.