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American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf was held at the New York Institution for Improved Instruction in New York City. Five of our teachers and the Superintendent attended this convention. It was a source of great pleasure to us that so many of our teachers were interested enough in their work to spend a part of their vacation attending this convention. We wish it were possible for us to do as one Southern school did. It partially defrayed the expenses of its teachers attending the convention.
This of course is an incentive for a teacher to go because attendance at such conventions usually is a financial hardship on her. The teacher who takes the time and money to go to these meetings deserves special commendation.
As part of our progressive program we have appointed a teacher of wide experience to devote a certain amount of time each day to the giving of special speech work to the younger classes. The advanced classes rotate, going to one teacher for one period and to another one for the second period. This has enabled us to broaden our course of study. We have introduced a new course which has had excellent results. It is a course in biography. The most of the preparation for this class is done outside of school hours. The children are given the names of one or two famous men or women and are required to be able to answer certain questions about them. All information concerning these people is obtained through supplementary reading at stated periods. A prize is given at Christmas and in June to the pupil who has answered the most questions correctly. The work has provided an incentive to supplementary reading and has done much to increase the student's vocabulary.
We have instituted the honor roll system. The name of each pupil who has made ninety per cent or over in all subjects with a general average of ninety-five per cent is placed on the honor roll, which is displayed on the bulletin board every month.
A new supply of earphones was purchased for use in auricular work. We would like very much to have an audiometer to test the hearing of the older children. Through tests made by these one is able to tell the exact amount of hearing each pupil has and can gauge his auricular work accurately. It is especially recommended in cases of latent or residual hearing.
parties. Instead of all the children being at the parties at the same time we have divided them into two classes. The younger children go to the party from 7:00 until 8:15 and the older children from 8:30 until 10:30. We have found this arrangement very satisfactory. It makes the planning of games easier and the children seem to enjoy themselves more. These parties are given once a month, usually near some festive day in that month and the decorations and games are in accordance with the occasion. The Christmas party is always the main party of the year and the children are always well remembered through the kindnesses of our friends. Santa Claus always comes in person and brings a very full pack with him. Our parties celebrate the festive side of holiday occasions but we also take into consideration the serious phase of such times. On Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and various other red letter days of the school year, special exercises are held. The children take part in these and from taking part the meaning of such days is more forcibly brought to their attention. Every Arbor Day we have had special outdoor exercises and have planted several fruit trees. We considered those of more value to us than shade trees, particularly since we were obliged to cut down several of our fruit trees when the new building was erected.
The spiritual as well as the mental and physical welfare of the children is considered. Every Sunday the children go to the church in Mystic for which their parents have expressed a preference. The first Saturday in each month the Catholic children go to confession. Sunday school is held every Sunday at the school for an hour and is in charge of the teachers.
Due to a light epidemic of the mumps we were unable to have our annual open house day in June, 1922. In 1923 we were again prevented from having such a day. Instead of that through the courtesy of one of the dry goods merchants in town we were able to display the industrial work of our children in his show window. It was a very attractive showing and the comments on the work were very favorable. The sloyd work of boys and the sewing of the girls were exhibited. The girls' work included dresses, petticoats, bloomers, pajamas, embroidered luncheon sets, and various other things, all made by the girls under the supervision of the teacher of domestic science. The boys' work included pencil trays, tooth brush holders, tabourets, book racks, sleeve
The girls cook supper for the entire household every Wednesday evening. They also wait on the table that evening. In order that they might have the opportunity of planning and cooking a meal for a smaller family such as they would have in their own homes, every two weeks the girls serve supper to the Superintendent and his wife and two of the teachers. The girls do everything in connection with the meal, plan it, arrange the table and cook and serve the food. In this way, they learn something of the finer side of life and that there are other things about meals than simply the cooking.
Our boys help in the carpentry and repair work that is done about the school. They helped build the new laying house for the hens and helped fix the barn. All glazing is done by them. They feed the chickens and help with the care of the stock. The farm affords a splendid opportunity for industrial training and is an occupation in which deafness is no handicap. All work is done outside of school hours. The larger boys assist in the kitchen, taking turns doing this work. They also take care of the schoolrooms. This work is divided among the boys so that no one is overtaxed. I am of the firm belief that children should do their share of the housework whether at home or at school and that being responsible for a small amount of work within their capacity is building the strongest foundations for that future responsibility in regard to one's work. The girls take care of the dining room and the dishes. On Sundays the boys relieve the girls of that task.
We have been unable to secure a linotype. The demands on our money have been so great that we could not save out the money for a machine. We have hopes of buying a linotype out of the appropriation we have requested for the coming two years.
We have purchased new supplies in all departments. In the industrial departments, new sewing machines have been bought for the girls and new utensils and equipment for their kitchen. For the boys new tools have been added to the sloyd department. Three typewriters were bought for the children and a complete set of bookkeeping materials. New textbooks have been added to all departments and numerous supplies for hand work for the primary grades. A new set of Montessori material was bought for use in the special class and kindegarten.
This is a school and not a charitable institution. It has been found that it is more economical and convenient to take the deaf child to the state school than it is to take the school to the child. That is why we exist. We give the children a good education and fit them for life's battle.
We have progressed and are justly proud of our progress. It is hoped our program of development and improvement will not be curtailed through lack of appropriation.
Through the generosity of the Legislature we have been able to give the reasonable increase in salaries requested by our teachers and to buy more school supplies, to make this school in every respect the best of its kind with the home environment.
ith deep appreciation of the earnest co-operation and helpful assistance of my fellow workers, this report is,