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The Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina
Electronic Edition.

Connor, R. D. W. (Robert Digges Wimberly), 1878-1950.


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Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
2003

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Source Description:
(title page) The Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina
Connor, R. D. W. (Robert Digges Wimberly), 1878-1950.
60 p., 8 ill.
Raleigh
Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction
[1906]

Call number Cp371.6 N87p1 c.2 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)



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THE WOMAN'S ASSOCIATION
FOR THE
BETTERMENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL HOUSES
IN
NORTH CAROLINA

BY

R. D. W. CONNOR
OF THE
NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

        "THE PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS ARE THE COLLEGES OF THE PEOPLE; THEY ARE THE NURSERIES OF FREEDOM; THEIR ESTABLISHMENT AND EFFICIENCY ARE THE PARAMOUNT DUTY OF A REPUBLIC. THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN IS THE MOST LEGITIMATE OBJECT OF TAXATION." --J. L. M. Curry.

OFFICE OF THE
STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
RALEIGH


Page 2

        "IGNORANCE IS EITHER A GOOD THING FOR A COMMUNITY OR IT IS A BAD THING. THE MEANS WITH WHICH TO BANISH IGNORANCE CAN BE VOTED INTO A COMMUNITY OR THEY CAN BE VOTED OUT. A GOOD SCHOOL-HOUSE, A GOOD TEACHER, AND A GOOD LIBRARY ARE THE DEADLIEST FOES IGNORANCE HAS: THEY CAN BE VOTED INTO ANY COMMUNITY IN NORTH CAROLINA."--Charles L. Coon.



Page 3

AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT.

        In the preparation of this bulletin I have been greatly aided by the interest displayed, and the information furnished, by the officers of the Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina, especially by Miss Mary Taylor Moore, corresponding secretary, and by Miss Mary K. Applewhite, recording secretary.

        The officers of the association will be glad to answer any questions, or furnish any information, with regard to the work, plans and purposes of the association.

R. D. W. CONNOR.


Page 4

        "VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, INASMUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME."--Jesus.



Page 5

INTRODUCTION.

        Recognizing improvement of public school houses and grounds as one of the first steps in the direction of improving the public schools and inspiring the confidence and pride of the people in these schools, I have, during my administration, beginning February, 1902, endeavored to foster and use every possible means for the accomplishment of this desirable end. A ceaseless campaign has been carried on by county superintendents and other school officers, by campaign speakers and other patriotic citizens, by the press of the state and by bulletins issued from time to time from my office for better public school houses and equipment and for beautifying the school-rooms and improving the school grounds. In 1903 a pamphlet containing plans, cuts, bills of material and specifications for improved school-houses, prepared by competent architects in accordance with well established principles of modern school architecture, was prepared, printed and distributed from the office of the superintendent of public instruction. The school law was amended so as to require all new school-houses to be constructed in accordance with the plans contained in this pamphlet or with some plan approved by the state superintendent of public instruction and the county board of education. In 1903 the loan fund was established by act of the general assembly creating a permanent loan fund, amounting now to $254,065 and increasing each year by four per cent. interest on the entire amount loaned and by the proceeds of the sale of swamp lands belonging to the state board of education. One-tenth of this fund, together with the annual interest on the entire fund, and the annual proceeds from the sale of swamp lands is available every year as a loan for building and improving public school houses. The loans are repayable in ten annual installments, with four per cent. annual interest. This loan fund has proved one of the most serviceable agencies in stimulating and aiding the erection and improvement of public school houses. In March, 1902, at the State Normal and Industrial College at Greensboro, the Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina was organized, and it has proved one of the most practical and powerful agencies in promoting the work of improving public school houses and grounds in the state.

        Since June 30, 1902, 1,133 rural public school houses have been built at an aggregate cost of $490,272.44. The value of the entire public school property of the state has been increased from $1,466,770.00 to $2,632,659.00; the average value of rural white public school houses has been increased to $295.00; 1,267*

        *January 1, 1906.


rural public school libraries,
Page 6

containing 100,000 volumes, valued at $40,000, have been established. The number of districts without houses of any description has been reduced from 840 to 553. The number of log school-houses has been reduced from 829 to 549. For the year ending June 30, 1905, 440 new houses were built, the average cost of which was about $400.00. As before stated, all new houses erected since March, 1903, have been built in accordance with plans approved by the state superintendent and the county board of education, and have, therefore, been built in accordance with the established principles of modern school architecture.

        Since 1902 much valuable work has also been done in furnishing and beautifying school-rooms, in painting school-houses and in improving school grounds, of which there are no complete and accurate statistics.

        Recognizing the Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses as one of the most helpful agencies in the accomplishment of all this work, and as one of the most practical and effective means of carrying it on, I have requested Mr. Connor, of my office, to prepare, with the assistance of its officers, this bulletin about the history, the plans and purposes, and the work of the association.

        For myself and my co-laborers, for the public school children of the state and for all friends of the public schools, I desire to express to the members of this association grateful appreciation of their valuable and unselfish service, and to express the earnest hope that the association may extend its organization and its work to every county in the state, and to every school district in every county.

J. Y. JOYNER,
Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Raleigh, N. C., January 2, 1906.


Page 7

PART 1.

THE ORGANIZATION.


Page 9

OFFICERS
OF
THE WOMAN'S ASSOCIATION
FOR THE
BETTERMENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL HOUSES
IN
NORTH CAROLINA.

        
President Mrs. W. R. Hollowell Goldsboro, N. C.
Vice-President Mrs. E. E. Moffitt Raleigh, N. C.
Treasurer Mrs. L. E. Powell Whiteville, N. C.
Corresponding Sec. Miss Mary Taylor Moore Greensboro, N. C.
Recording Sec. Miss Mary K. Applewhite Greensboro, N. C.
Field Workers Miss Leah Jones New Bern, N. C.
  Miss Viola Boddie Nashville, N. C.
  Miss Edith Royster Raleigh, N. C.
  Mrs. W. R. Hollowell Goldsboro, N. C.
  Miss Mary T. Moore Mt. Airy, N. C.


Page 10

CONSTITUTION
OF
THE WOMAN'S ASSOCIATION
FOR THE
BETTERMENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL HOUSES
IN
NORTH CAROLINA.

ARTICLE I.

        SECTION 1. The name of this organization shall be "The Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina."

ARTICLE II.

        SECTION 1. The object of this association shall be to unite the women citizens of North Carolina, for the purpose of awakening their interest in the improvement of public school houses in our state. It will undertake to have local associations in every county. Through these it will endeavor to interest a volunteer association in the neighborhood of every public school house, which will help to beautify the premises by planting trees and flowers, placing pictures on the walls, or otherwise improving the school environment of our future citizens; to furnish entertaining and instructive amusements and to encourage the establishment of local public libraries.

ARTICLE III.

        SECTION 1. Any white woman interested in the betterment of public school houses in North Carolina shall be eligible to active membership in this association.

        SEC. 2. Those who cannot give their time to active work and who wish to become associate members, may do so by paying an annual fee of one dollar.

ARTICLE IV.

        SECTION 1. The officers of this association shall be: a president, a vice-president, a recording secretary, a corresponding secretary, a treasurer, all of whom shall be elected at each annual meeting.


Page 11

        SEC. 2. The duties of the president shall be to preside over all meetings, to appoint committees, see that all officers and committee members are notified of their elections, or appointments, and to see that all committees are organized and set to work as soon as possible after their appointment. She shall hold the district vice-presidents responsible for the work of their respective districts. On retiring from duty she shall present a written report covering her term of service, with recommendations concerning the future work of the association.

        SEC. 3. The duties of the vice-president shall be to share the responsibility of the president, and in the absence of the latter she shall assume the duties of both officers. The president, treasurer, recording secretary, together with six other members of the association, not residents of the State Normal and Industrial College, shall constitute the executive committee. These six members shall be appointed by the president, the treasurer, and the recording secretary.

        SEC. 4. The duties of the recording secretary shall be to keep full minutes of all business meetings of the association and of the executive committee. She shall call the roll at annual meetings and keep on file all reports read there, and also a list of all members of the association.

        SEC. 5. The corresponding secretary shall conduct all correspondence of the association, and serve as a medium of communication between the central association and the county associations, to whose correspondence she shall give prompt attention. She shall notify all officers of the association and all county presidents concerning the date and place of meeting two weeks before the annual meeting.

        SEC. 6. The treasurer shall have charge of all the funds of the association, under the direction of the executive committee. She shall collect all dues and keep an account of receipts and disbursements, which shall be made with proper vouchers.

        SEC. 7. If any vacancy occur in the offices it shall be filled by the executive committee of the association.

ARTICLE V.

        SECTION 1. The annual meeting of the association shall be held during the annual session of the North Carolina Teachers' Assembly, unless the executive committee shall decide in some particular year to hold the meeting at some other place.

ARTICLE VI.

        SECTION 1. This constitution may be amended at any annual meeting by the votes of two-thirds of the members present.


Page 12

HISTORY.

        During the year ending June 30, 1902, there were in North Carolina 8,094 public school districts. Of these 840 were without school-houses of any description; 829 had log huts. The total value of all the rural public school property in the state was $1,466,770, and average value for each house of $202.20. As these estimates include the value of the sites as well as of the buildings, it will be seen that the value of the average public school house for that year was considerably less than $200. This average house is accurately and faithfully described by Mr. Charles L. Coon. He says: "The school-house is a shabbily built board structure, one story high. The overhead ceiling is not more than nine feet from the floor. There is one door in the end of the house; there are six small windows, three on either side. There are no blinds and no curtains. The desks are home-made, with perpendicular backs and seats, all the same size. There is a dilapidated wood stove, but no wood-box, the wood for the fire being piled on the floor about the stove. The stove is red with rust and dirt, never having been polished and cleaned since it was placed in position for use. The floor of the house is covered with red dirt and litter from the wood. There are several broom-sedge brooms lying in one corner of the room. The occupied blackboard space in this house is just eighteen square feet. The blackboard is, however, too high for the children to use well and it is too small for anything but a bulletin-board. There is no teacher's desk, or table. There is one chair. The children's hats and cloaks are hung on nails around the room. The walls and windows are covered with dust, and seem never to have been washed. All the children's books are soiled and look very much like their surroundings. There are no steps to this school-house. An inclined plane of dirt answers that purpose. The yard is very muddy during the winter, and the general appearance of the place anything but attractive."

        Evidently here lay a field in which a great and patriotic service could be rendered to the state. The initial movement, looking to the improvement of this condition, came from the young women of the State Normal and Industrial College at Greensboro. On March 20, 1902, at the call of President Charles D. McIver, more than 200 of them met in the college chapel to formulate plans for undertaking the necessary reforms. From this meeting resulted the organization of The Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina. On April 3d the first public meeting of the association was held at Greensboro. Governor Charles B. Aycock and State Superintendent J. Y. Joyner were present and gave their hearty endorsement to the plans and purposes of the organization.


Page 12a

Illustration

PLEASANT HILL, HENDERSON COUNTY (OLD).

Illustration

PLEASANT HILL, HENDERSON COUNTY (NEW).


Page 13

The members were also assured of the cordial and active support of the Southern Education Board.

        The significance of the organization was promptly recognized. Letters and messages of endorsement came from all parts of the state. Public-spirited women hastened to enroll themselves as members; the association, which at first included only school girls of one institution in its membership, soon counted on its roll hundreds of women in every part of North Carolina. Teachers and county superintendents eagerly welcomed an organization the object of which was to uphold their hands and give assistance in an important part of their work, which they had not been able to do individually. A leading newspaper which has long been in the forefront of the fight for improved school conditions in North Carolina expressed the feelings of the public in the following words: "The recent organization of the women of North Carolina into an association to promote the building and improvement of school-houses in the rural districts is an event of deep satisfaction. If that organization can be extended into every school district in the state, it will revolutionize the public schools of the state.* * * The poor school-house is a lion in the path of rapid progress."

        The constitution of the association provides that, unless otherwise ordered by the executive committee, the annual meeting of the association shall be held during the annual session of the North Carolina Teachers' Assembly. In accordance with this provision, the first annual meeting was held in June, 1902, at Morehead City. At this session plans were formulated for the first summer's campaign. Ten young women offered their services as field workers to canvass certain counties for the purpose of arousing general interest in the work and of organizing branch associations. The Southern Education Board generously paid their expenses. The reports of two of these field workers--one in the east and one in the west--will be found in another part of this bulletin.

        The second annual meeting was held in Greensboro in May, 1903. The large number of men and women in attendance is the best evidence of the interest which had been aroused in the state by the previous year's work. "From the mountains to the sea, from New Hanover to our sister state on the north, came women with the wisdom of experience, women with the widened view that comes from travel and a knowledge of the outside world, women whose youth, while lacking the caution of experience, furnished the enthusiasm and courage which are the life-blood of any new enterprise. Here met the young mother with the consecrated old maid, the wife of the politician with the busy helpmeet of the farmer, the woman of society with the country teacher whose busy life and small salary permit few diversions during the long, busy evenings other than the solution of partial payments to prove her fitness in the eyes of her critical patrons." It may not be out of place to say here that this intermingling


Page 14

of women from all sections of the state, women who move in different classes of society, women whose lives touch and are colored by the various phases of our complex civilization, in a common, patriotic, public service, is one of the most important results of the work of the association. It means for them all, regardless of their position or condition in life, a widening of views and a broadening of sympathies that must prove helpful to them and beneficial to the state. A number of county superintendents also were present at this May meeting, all of whom entered heartily into the spirit and work of the organization. Several interesting reports were read, which revealed the important and significant results of the year's work, and showed the great possibilities of the association. "Some of the reports of the work done read like fairy stories, and yet they were true," says the efficient corresponding secretary of the association. A few of these reports will be found in another part of this bulletin.

        Two other annual sessions have been held--one at Raleigh in the summer of 1904, during the summer school at the North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College; the other at Greensboro in June, 1905, during the annual session of the North Carolina Teachers' Assembly. The reports read at these meetings revealed a constantly increasing membership and a continuously growing field of labor with proportionate results. The Woman's Betterment Association within the three years of its life has become one of the permanent educational forces of the state.

PURPOSES AND PLANS.

        The motives which actuated the students of the State Normal and Industrial College in organizing the Woman's Betterment Association are well expressed in one of their bulletins: "Realizing that under present conditions, and with the present surroundings of the average school-house, it is impossible to train the youth of the state properly, and realizing further, that unless the women of the state take hold of this very important matter it will remain neglected, the students of the college have organized themselves and call upon the other women of the state to join them in making attractive and habitable the houses in which our children spend five days of each school week."

        The purposes and plans of the association are tersely stated in Article II of the constitution: "The object of this association shall be to unite the women citizens of North Carolina for the purpose of awakening their interest in the improvement of public school houses in our state. It will undertake to have local associations in every county. Through these it will endeavor to interest a volunteer association in the neighborhood of every public school house, which will help to beautify the premises by planting trees and flowers, placing pictures on the walls, or otherwise improving the school


Page 15

environment of our future citizens; to furnish entertaining and instructive amusements, and to encourage the establishment of local public libraries."

        As summarized by the president of the state association, this clause requires the members to hold the following objects constantly in view: 1. To interest the patrons of the public schools in the condition of the houses in which their children spend so much of their time; 2. To make the school-house the center of the social life in the community in which it is located; 3. To make the school-house the model of cleanliness and beauty for each home therein represented; 4. To cultivate a love for the beautiful in the children of the state.

        The plan of organization contemplates three branches: 1. The state association; 2. The county association; 3. The local association. The state association has its headquarters in Greensboro. Its membership includes the members of all county and local associations. All white women in the state are eligible for membership. They pay no dues; service only is required. Men who are interested in this work and desire to help, may become honorary members upon the payment of a fee of one dollar. The state association, as Miss Moore says, "attempts little of the real work of improvement. Its principal work is to organize branch associations and to help them carry on the work. It necessarily deals largely with theory. It gives suggestions and depends upon the branch associations to prove their practicability. It gets reports of the work from the different parts of the state and tries to keep the branch associations in touch with each other. * * * The county associations are composed of the public-spirited women in the counties in which there are organizations. * * * It is the county association that has to do the real work of improvement. The plans for work differ in different counties. Some work by means of the local or voluntary associations organized at the school-houses, while others depend upon each teacher to interest the people of the community so that they will assist her in improving her school and grounds. The local or voluntary associations* * * are those organized at the separate school-houses. They are composed of the teacher, the children and the parents. The members of the county and local associations are the ones who clear off the grounds, plant trees and flowers, paint the house, wash the windows, get new furniture, and put books and pictures into the room."

RESULTS.

        The results of the work of the association reveal the great need there was, and is, for such an organization in North Carolina. It is exceedingly unfortunate that no accurate and complete reports of this work have been obtained. While many people are overly zealous to advertise their work, others seem to be equally as eager to keep a knowledge of theirs from the public. For the student of conditions


Page 16

the latter type is the harder of the two to forgive. Work has been done in North Carolina through the influence of the Woman's Betterment Association, by hundreds of people who have never taken the trouble to give an account of it to the officers of the association. The necessity for making accurate and complete reports can scarcely be too strongly emphasized; the members and officers of the associations do but part of their duty if they leave this important part undone. Every person who does any work for the association should file a report of that work with the secretary of the county association, if there is one; if not, then with the secretary of the state association, before the first day of May of each year. The secretary of the county association should file with the secretary of the state association a summary of the reports received from the local association. In another place in this bulletin will be found a suggestion as to the kind of report that ought to be made.

        Perhaps, however, enough reports have been received to enable the importance of the work which the association has done to be clearly understood. One of the most important results of this work has been the bringing into the field other co-operative forces working toward the same end as the association. The State Normal Magazine, published at the State Normal and Industrial College at Greensboro, has offered its pages for the publication of the reports of the work of county associations. Miss Moore well says: "If possible, each county should send at least one report each year to this magazine. In this way those interested in the work may have one source to which they may go for information in regard to the work and progress of the association." The subscription price to this magazine is only fifty cents a year, and so is within reach of every association. The following paragraph from the report of Miss Moore shows the value of this co-operative work: "Since the organization of the association many hundred letters have been written to county superintendents, officers of local associations, and teachers. Literature has been distributed over most of the counties of the state. Through Mr. J. B. Upham, who has charge of that department of the paper, The Youth's Companion has very kindly given us a large number of pamphlets on 'Ideal Public Schools,' 'How to Set Out Shrubbery,' etc.; also three thousand copies of 'Free Public Education,' a little pamphlet setting forth the need for free public education and having the name of the Woman's Association printed on the back. The Youth's Companion also gave pictures, which many of our, schools have been fortunate enough to secure. Mr. O. J. Kern, superintendent of public instruction, Winnebago, Ill., sent many valuable suggestions on the improvement of houses and grounds. The Perry Picture Company furnished us with a large number of mounted pictures suitable for school-room decoration, and many sample pictures to be distributed among the teachers. Mr. L. H. Bailey of Cornell University sent one hundred and fifty copies of 'Agriculture Bulletin No. 160,' which


Page 17

have been distributed. Mr. Clarence H. Poe, editor of The Progressive Farmer, offered to publish any article on our work that we would send. Letters have been received from many county superintendents which show that they are in hearty sympathy with our work. On all sides the association receives expressions of hearty sympathy and co-operation."

        During the first three years of its existence the association sent representatives into forty-five counties in the state. In fifty-four counties, county associations have been organized--twenty during 1902, fifteen during 1903, and nineteen during 1904. The exact number of local associations in the state is not known, as many have been formed which have not been reported to the state association, but the reports that have been received show an average of three for each county reporting. If this average holds for all the counties which have county associations, the number of local associations in the state is something more than one hundred and fifty. The membership has grown, of course, in the same proportion as the number of associations. The estimate of the number of houses improved through the work of the Woman's Betterment Association is based upon the average number improved in those counties which have reported. These reports show an average of six to each county association. The average increase in the value of these houses in the fifty-four counties having county associations is $150 (not including new houses), making a total increase in the value of school-houses through the influence of the association of no less than $48,600.

        Perhaps the best way in which to give an adequate idea of the work done by the association during the first three years of its existence is to present a condensed account of its work in a few of the counties from which reports have been received. In Caldwell county eight schools obtained libraries. Cleveland county organized an association which affected all the public schools in the county. During 1903 the county association raised $150 for improvements. There were twelve libraries established and twelve houses improved through the influence of the association, the value of which was increased from $1,800 to $5,000. In Columbus county the association improved thirty schools. Two of these schools raised $50 for pictures. Cumberland county reported that every school in the county was reached by the association, and that $75 was raised during the year for improvements. In Dare county a large number of pictures were placed in the schools, $150 raised for libraries and $50 for other improvements. An "enthusiastic branch" was reported from Greene county affecting twenty-three schools. The association raised $50 for libraries and $115 for other improvements. In Henderson county every woman teacher in the county was a member of the association, all the schools of the county were reached, and $60 was raised for libraries. Madison county association reported $11.45 for pictures, $55


Page 18

for libraries, and $250 for other improvements. In Rockingham county there was a large association, affecting seventy-two schools. They raised $50 for pictures, $165 for libraries, and $25 for other improvements. During the year five hundred pictures were hung on the walls of the public school houses and twelve libraries were established. Two houses, valued at $2,300, were built through the influence of the association. Sampson county reported that sixty schools were affected by the association, $10 raised for pictures, $275 for libraries, and $1,500 for other improvements. Libraries were placed in twelve schools and two hundred pictures were hung. In Surry county an association was organized with seventy-five members. Every school in the county was reached. Through the influence of the association twenty-three new houses were built, increasing the valuation from $1,200 to $5,750. Wake county reported an active association, affecting fifty per cent. of the schools. In Wayne county an association was organized with 230 active members and fifteen associate members. During the year forty-three schools were reached. The association raised $75 for pictures, $464 for libraries, $120 for other improvements, hung 206 framed pictures, and helped to establish forty-one libraries.

        The following brief report from Mrs. Hollowell, president of the state association, will give an idea of how these results have been accomplished, and the kind of labor that is necessary. She says:

        "I represented the work to the county superintendents when they were in Raleigh. I attended the teachers' institute in Beaufort county. This was held at Washington, and here I organized an association. Money was raised for two scholarships. I went to Clinton in Sampson county to speak to the teachers' institute. I represented the work of the woman's association at the state meeting of the Woman's Federation of Clubs at Concord. Then I went to Charlotte and spoke to the woman's club; then, at Fayetteville, I reorganized an association. I spoke in Tarboro to the teachers' institute, and formed an association of thirty-two members. I attended the Randolph teachers' institute. At the institute held at Whiteville, Columbus county, I organized an association. Here money was pledged for two scholarships to some summer school. I had one meeting at Chadbourne. I attended the Teachers' Assembly at Wrightsville and spoke on the association work. Much interest was manifested, both by the teachers and by the county superintendents. I attended an institute in Wayne county. Here money was pledged for a scholarship to some summer school. I attended the summer school at Raleigh and spoke to the teachers on the association's work."


        Miss Jones, another very efficient worker, gives the following summary of her work for the association: "Since the organization of the Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina I have represented the association, during my vacations, in fourteen counties, organized five county associations and


Page 19

thirty-seven local associations, spoken to seven county teachers' institutes, reaching teachers from eighteen counties; spoken to people at five summer resorts, visited thirty-nine different places, and have met in all fifty-seven appointments, speaking to audiences that varied from six to two hundred and fifty in number."

        Other reports, in more detail than these, will be found in another part of this bulletin.


Page 20

THE COUNTY ASSOCIATION.

        The best time to organize a county branch of the Woman's Betterment Association is at some meeting of the county teachers, either at the county teachers' institute or at a regular meeting of the teachers' association. All white women of the county, whether they are teachers or not, should be invited to become members of the association, the only condition being that they shall be willing to contribute to the work of the organization. But it must not be forgotten that the teachers must take the lead in this work, as in all other school work. It will be impossible to interest others unless the teachers themselves are actively interested. Any one who is willing to do so may organize a county association. She should first communicate with the officers of the state association, who will be glad to give suggestions and aid, and, perhaps, to send a representative to help in getting the association under way. The purpose, plans and work of the association should be explained to those who expect to become members. School-house architecture, school-room decoration, the proper care of school-rooms and school-yards--these and other similar subjects relating to the well-kept school should be carefully and fully discussed before the members by those who have made themselves familiar with these things. The value of co-operation as contrasted with unorganized efforts should be strongly impressed upon the members. Although an individual teacher, by her unaided efforts, may improve her school-house and grounds without belonging to an association, yet her work will not mean as much to the community as it will mean if it is done by the co-operation of the patrons of the schools and other public-spirited citizens of the county. The uniting of the people of the county in a common effort to promote a public enterprise is not the least important phase of this woman's movement.

        After these discussions are closed, all who desire to do so should enroll their names for membership. Those so enrolled should then adopt a constitution, a model of which appears below. This constitution will enumerate the officers to be elected, and an election should be held at once. Great care should be taken in the selection of these officers. They should not only be interested in the work, but also should have time to give their attention to it. The success of the association will depend largely upon the enthusiasm and ability of its officers. They should visit the schools, attend the sessions of local associations, give suggestions and encouragement to the teachers and officers, suggest courses of reading, and outline programs for the meetings. Much good can be accomplished if they will secure permission from the editors of local newspapers to discuss in their columns the plans, purpose and work of the association. Most editors will be glad to help in the work in this way. At the annual


Page 20a

Illustration

NORTH WILKESBORO, WILKES COUNTY (OLD).

Illustration

NORTH WILKESBORO, WILKES COUNTY (NEW).


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meetings of the county association reports from all the local associations in the county should be read. It is a good plan to have certain of the teachers who have done the best work to read papers telling how they accomplished their results. A report of all the work done in the county during the year should be sent to the corresponding secretary of the state association. The importance of this can scarcely be overestimated.

        The following is suggested as a model for the constitution of county associations; it can be changed to suit local conditions:

CONSTITUTION
OF
________ COUNTY ASSOCIATION
FOR THE
BETTERMENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL HOUSES.

ARTICLE I.

        SECTION 1. The name of this organization shall be The ..... County Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses.

ARTICLE II.

        SECTION 1. The purposes of this association shall be:

        I. To arouse interest in the educational conditions, problems and work in ..... county.

        II. To interest the people of the county in the improvement of their schools.

        III. To establish a local association in every school district in the county.

ARTICLE III.

        SECTION 1. Any white woman interested in this work may become an active member without the payment of any fee ; any white man may become an associate member upon the payment of a fee of fifty cents.

ARTICLE IV.

        SECTION 1. The officers of this association shall be : a president, a vice-president, a secretary and treasurer. There shall be an executive committee, composed of the officers and four other members. All officers shall be chosen by ballot at each annual meeting.

ARTICLE V.

        SECTION 1. This association shall hold an annual meeting at such time and place as shall be designated by the president.


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ARTICLE VI.

        SECTION 1. This association shall send, through its secretary, a full report of the year's work to the corresponding secretary of the State Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses, on or before the first day of May in each year.

ARTICLE VII.

        SECTION 1. This constitution may be amended at any annual meeting by a vote of two-thirds of the members present.



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THE LOCAL ASSOCIATION.

        The third clause of Article II of the suggested constitution for county associations says that one of the purposes of the county organization shall be "to establish a local association in every school district in the county." This is the real end for which the state and county associations exist. It has been well said : "Whatever method the county association may pursue to reach its end--letters, visits, leaflets, scholarships--the end is the organization of an active, aggressive, progressive and untiring local association in each district for the betterment of its own school-house." This local association should be composed of the teacher, the pupils of the school and the parents of the pupils. The teacher must never lose sight of the fact that he or she must be the real leader in this work. There are few communities in which the people are not willing to follow the intelligent leadership of an active, interested and interesting teacher ; there are still fewer communities in which the people will do anything if the teacher is inactive, uninterested and uninteresting. The responsibility rests on the teacher, and there is where it ought to rest.

        What can the local association do? To paraphrase the language of Mrs. Hollowell, it can have a new school-house built, or the old one repaired and painted ; it can have rough and comfortless benches exchanged for good desks ; it can have blackboards multiplied ; it can have the floor scrubbed, the stove polished, the windows washed ; it can have shades or curtains added to the windows ; it can have pictures placed on the walls ; it can secure a library and keep it growing ; it can bring into the school good magazines and papers ; it can give interesting and profitable entertainments, which will be of no less value to the community than to the school ; it can beautify the school grounds by having stumps removed, grass and flowers planted and play-grounds laid off ; finally, it can uphold the hands of the teacher, help her, encourage her, and stimulate her in her difficult and trying work. This work will interest the community in the community's school and the community's children ; it will teach the few to subordinate personal advantages to the welfare of the whole ; it will discourage those two most bitter and most fatal foes to educational progress--local prejudices and neighborhood misunderstandings. This is the work that the local association, and only the local association, can do.


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CONSTITUTION
OF THE
LOCAL ASSOCIATION
FOR THE
BETTERMENT OF THE_____PUBLIC SCHOOL.

ARTICLE I.

        SECTION 1. The name of this organization shall be the Association for the Betterment of the .......... Public School.

ARTICLE II.

        SECTION 1. The purposes of this organization shall be:

        I. To arouse interest in education and to insist upon the importance of every child being in school every day of the school term.

        II. To unite all the people of this community for the improvement of our public school (1) by placing in the school facilities for health, comfort and education, together with objects of beauty; (2) by planting trees, shrubs and flowers in the school grounds; (3) by encouraging the establishment of a public library in connection with the school; (4) by making the school the center of the community by furnishing wholesome and instructive amusements; in a word, to improve the physical and intellectual environments of our future citizens.

ARTICLE III.

        SECTION 1. Anybody interested in the objects of this association may become an active member by the payment of an annual fee of .... cents for adults, .... cents for children. Any one unable to give active service may become an honorary member of this association by the payment of an annual fee of .... cents.*

        *Each local association must decide for itself on the advisability of including Article III.


ARTICLE IV.

        SECTION 1. The officers of this association shall be: a president, a vice-president, a secretary and treasurer, and a librarian, who shall be elected at each annual meeting.

ARTICLE V.

        SECTION 1. This association shall meet regularly once a month, or oftener at the call of the president.


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ARTICLE VI.

        SECTION 1. That this association may be in touch with the general work for the betterment of public schools throughout the state and county, it shall enroll itself with the secretary of the county association for the betterment of public schools and send to her a formal report of its progress at least twice a year.

ARTICLE VII.

        SECTION 1. This constitution may be amended at any annual meeting by a vote of two-thirds of the members present.



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ANNUAL REPORT OF LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS.

        Each local association should file with the county association a report of the work done during the year. If there is no county association, then the report should be sent direct to the corresponding secretary of the state association. The report should show the following items:

I. ORGANIZATION.

        Year beginning .........., 190..; ending .........., 190..

  • 1. Name of county.
  • 2. Name of township and district.
  • 3. Name of school (every school ought to be named).
  • 4. Name and post-office address of teacher.
  • 5. Names and post-office addresses of committeemen.
  • 6. Names and post-office addresses of officers of the association.
  • 7. Enrollment in school.
  • 8. Average daily attendance in school.
  • 9. Number of members of association: pupils, parents, associate.

II. INTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS.

        
  Number. Amount Spent.
1. Library books .... ....
2. Book-cases .... ....
3. Papers and magazines .... ....
4. Unframed pictures .... ....
5. Framed pictures .... ....
6. Pupils' desks .... ....
7. Teachers' desks .... ....
8. Square feet of blackboard .... ....
9. Maps and globes .... ....
10. Curtains and shades .... ....
11. Stoves .... ....
12. Wash-basins .... ....
13. Towels .... ....
14. Door-mats .... ....
15. Brooms .... ....
16. Square feet of kalsomining .... ....
17. Square feet of interior painting .... ....

III. EXTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS.

        
  Number. Amount Spent.
1. Building .... ....
2. Square feet of exterior painting .... ....
3. Windows washed .... ....
4. Window-panes put in .... ....


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  Number. Amount Spent.
5. Window-blinds hung .... ....
6. Wells dug or cleaned out .... ....
7. Buckets .... ....
8. Water-stands .... ....
9. Wash-stands .... ....
10. Closets .... ....
11. Stumps removed .... ....
12. Rubbish removed .... ....
13. Walks laid out .... ....
14. Ditches or drains made .... ....
15. Grass-plots laid off .... ....
16. Trees planted .... ....
17. Shrubs planted .... ....
18. Flowers planted .... ....

IV. FUNDS RAISED.

        
  Amount.
1. By associate membership fees ....
2. By contributions ....
3. By entertainments ....
4. By other methods (itemize methods) ....


REPORT OF COUNTY ASSOCIATION.

        The report of the county association to the state association should be a summary of the reports of the local associations to it. The best report which any association can make is a photograph of the house and grounds before improvement and a photograph after improvements.


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PART II.

REPORTS FROM THE FIELD.


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        "I SEE A DAY, AND GOD GRANT IT MAY NOT BE FAR DISTANT, WHEN WE CAN DOT OUR NOBLE STATE, BEGINNING WITH ROWAN COUNTY, WITH THESE MODEL LOG SCHOOL-HOUSES. THEN THE OPPROBRIUM OF 'THE LOG CABIN AND THE PINE TREE' WILL BE DONE AWAY WITH, AND WOMEN WILL COUNT IT AN HONOR TO BE OF THIS 'LOG-HOUSE WORK.' WHEN WE REALIZE WHAT SUCH THINGS MEAN, OUR BOYS AND GIRLS WILL LOVE THE COUNTRY SCHOOL; THEY WILL BE CONTENTED WITH THE COUNTRY NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE SUCH 'LOG SCHOOL-HOUSES,' WHICH BREAK THE WEARY MONOTONY, ARE MAINTAINED; THEY WILL LOVE THE LAND THAT CALLS FOR THEM TO STAY AND YEARS IN UNCULTIVATED LONELINESS FOR THEM TO RETURN."--Mrs. Charles Price.


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Illustration

WILLIAMSBURG, NO. 2, ROCKINGHAM COUNTY (OLD).

        

Illustration

WILLIAMSBURG, NO. 3, ROCKINGHAM COUNTY (OLD).


Page 30b

        

Illustration

WILLIAMSBURG, NOS. 2 and 3, CONSOLIDATED, ROCKINGHAM COUNTY (NEW).


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WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA.

Report of Work Done by Miss Mary Taylor Moore in Western North Carolina During 1902.

        Last summer, at the meeting of the Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses held at Morehead City, there were ten women who promised to do all in their power during the summer to accomplish the objects of this association. They resolved to arouse the interest of the people in the matter and to form branch associations to carry on the work. It was my privilege to be one of the ten.

        My district lay in the western part of the state, a mountainous section. But, before beginning work there, I happened to be in an eastern county while a teachers' institute was being held. Feeling that such an opportunity of laying the matter before the people should not be missed, I arranged an hour at which I could speak informally to the women present. While I felt that it would be much easier to speak to the women alone, the men who were interested in the matter were invited to stay. A good many of them did so. As briefly as possible the objects of the association were laid before them, their attention being called to the need for better school-houses and the ways in which the houses that now exist may be improved. Finally, I urged them to form a branch association, so that the work of improvement might be carried on systematically in their county. They seemed much interested and readily organized, with thirty-three members. This was in a cultured section, where the work was taken up by women of prominence. The wife of a justice of the supreme court and many other well-known women joined in the work with the public school teachers, all being drawn together by a common interest, the welfare of the children of the state.

        Turning toward the west, I knew not where to begin. That section is sparsely populated, so a house-to-house visitation, such as was being carried on by some of the other women, was impossible; nor could I hear of any school-closings or big picnics to attend. So there was nothing to be done but to confine my work to the teachers' institutes and place the matter in the hands of the teachers, thus getting them interested and trusting in them to interest the parents of the children.

        In going to the first of these institutes I rode many miles, finally reaching a little town perched right up on the side of the mountain where the institute was to be held. In this county the school-houses were in a deplorable condition. I believe it was here that the county superintendent said the cracks in the sides of some of the houses were large enough to throw a dog through. But the superintendent was


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progressive and the teachers seemed interested and willing to improve conditions. To this place I took with me some good cheap pictures and other things necessary in a school-room, to show that they were cheap enough to be procured even by the poorest communities. Here again I spoke informally to the entire institute, and a large and enthusiastic branch of fifty-three members was formed. A good many of the men became associate members by paying the one-dollar fee that is charged a man before he can become a member. It was said that the young woman elected president of this branch was the only teacher in the county who had made any attempt at improving the appearance of her school-room during the previous year. This association held a second meeting the next day to decide on a plan of work for the year. The school districts were apportioned to different members, who were to have personal supervision of them. As it is impossible for them to meet oftener, these members will report on the work that they have done at annual meetings of the institute.

        In the next county that I visited conditions were better. Several new school-houses were being built, and some of the teachers had already taken special interest in the cleanliness and pleasing appearance of their school-rooms and grounds. In this county is situated the handsomest rural public school house in the state. It is built of solid granite, the wood-work being of hard-oak. At this place we had a more general meeting, the teachers giving each other and me many valuable suggestions and experiences. After having organized, a plan of work was laid out that can hardly fail to produce good results.

        The last place that I visited was the most discouraging of all. Here I spoke not only to the teachers but to the people from the surrounding country who had assembled to hear an educational address by an ex-superintendent of public instruction. These people not only were not especially interested, but declined to become so. A few, however, organized, and it is to be hoped that they can at least do something to create a sentiment that will call for better and cleaner school-houses.

        As yet, not very many practical results have been reported from that section of the state, but I trust that since the matter has been laid before them the teachers will take up the work to such an extent that the dirty and worthless school-houses that exist to-day may soon become things of the past.

MARY TAYLOR MOORE,
Secretary of the Woman's Association.

August 1, 1903.


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EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA.

The Work of Miss Leah D. Jones in Several North Carolina Counties During the Summer of 1902.

        The following is a condensed account of the work of Miss Leah D. Jones of Craven county, one of the supervising teachers in the practice school of the North Carolina State Normal College, in promoting better educational conditions in several North Carolina counties during the summer of 1902:

THE BEGINNING.

        My aim was to reach as many communities as possible and to interest as many individuals as possible in the work of the betterment of the public school houses.

        My first step was to see the superintendent of Craven, my own county, and to write to the superintendents of Jones and Onslow. I found that there was to be no teachers' institute in any of these three counties, and the lack of interest in education made it impossible to get a gathering of people by simply calling a meeting to talk about school-houses; so I made up my mind to attend picnics and church meetings wherever I could hear of them and could reach them, and there talk to the people, gathered for other purposes, on this all-important subject.

        From the superintendent I got a list and a map of the townships of Craven county, the school committeemen of each township, the county board of education, and the teachers of the county. I then sent one of our little pamphlets to each of these, and wrote a letter to each committeeman asking him to notify me of any gatherings of any kind to be held in his neighborhood, and also asked if there would be any chance of my getting a meeting of the ladies to discuss the school-house question. I wrote similar letters to the superintendents of Jones and Onslow. I received replies from only six out of the thirty letters to committeemen and superintendents.

        Then I determined to find out the meetings myself and to hunt up the school-houses and go into the very homes of the people and talk to them there. Our superintendent had been in office only a short time and was not able to tell me names.

        My youngest brother was at home for a vacation; so I pressed him into service as driver, hired a horse and buggy, and on Friday, June 27th, we crossed the river and "took to the woods," not knowing a mile of the road. This district had been inaccessible to New Bern until within the last two years, except by small sail-boats.

        We knew of a Mr. Latham, a very intelligent, well-informed and public-spirited man who lived across the river; so we inquired the


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way to his house and went there for dinner. He and his family were intensely interested in our proposed work, and, besides some valuable suggestions and information concerning the conditions and dispositions of the people of that section, he gave us the names of all the school-houses in that and the adjoining townships, also the names of some of the most prominent people in each neighborhood. He drew us a rough map of the county and neighborhood roads, with the school-houses in their respective places.

        Immediately after dinner we started for the Sheffield school-house, and found it three and a half miles from New Bern. It is an average country school-house, twenty by twenty-five feet. It is ceiled overhead and has six windows, also a rostrum about one-third the size of the room. Immediately behind the stove, which stood in the center of the room, stood a post, from which the bark had not been peeled, supporting one of the rafters. The furniture consisted of rough benches, all of the same height, with no backs except a narrow strip five inches wide at the top, the stove and a four-by-three-foot blackboard that had once been black, but was now sleek and shiny. This house was in the woods, near the road. The road was the only play-ground.

        From the school-house we went to eight of the homes in the neighborhood. I went in and talked to the ladies, told them that I wanted to get every woman in the neighborhood interested in the Sheffield school, and that I wanted to get them together and talk with them about it, and asked if they would not meet me at the school-house Saturday a week. I told them that I had pictures to show them and that I needed their help. The first one suggested 2:30 o'clock as the hour for the meeting, and each of the others agreed to it and promised to get word of the meeting to as many others as possible. I told them that the women must come and that the men and the larger girls and boys might come if they desired. After stopping every one I met on the road and talking to them, we reached home at dusk, having finished my first day's work.

AT MAYSVILLE.

        On July 1st I went by rail to a school commencement at Maysville, Jones county. There was an address in the morning, but no chance for me to talk to the people or even meet them. It was very warm, and all hurried home, as most of them lived several miles in the country. In the afternoon I went up to the church, where they were preparing for the entertainment to come off that night, and there I met a number of the students--girls and boys about grown.

        At night the people came from all the surrounding districts and from several of the adjoining counties. The little church was full, even to the aisles, and people were standing around the windows on the outside. About three hundred people were there.


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        The children did well, but the entertainment lasted until 12 o'clock. At the close I told those tired people about our association, said a few words about the necessity of the work, and asked the ladies to meet me at the school-house the next morning at 10 o'clock. Five ladies, three school committeemen and half a dozen young men, students of the school, met me. The school-room was located in a dwelling-house. It is sixteen by twenty-four feet, is newly ceiled and has seven windows. The stove was a borrowed one, the desks rough, home-made and all the same size, and the one sleek blackboard was only one yard square. Those present seemed interested and promised to work for the school. The committeemen said that they would see that better seats and a good long blackboard were in place before the fall.

        There was no play-ground, and so I went with a committee of the students to see the agent of the Maysville Land Company, and a large adjoining lot owned by the company was loaned for the purpose. The young men said that they would put it in good shape and plant some trees.

        After the meeting I went to the homes of those who had not come out. Maysville is a small village. The people are good and of average intelligence, and there were forty children of school age, but I was told that it was the first time they had had a good school to run three months in the history of the village, which is not very ancient. They had engaged the same teacher to return for the fall term.

        The two great mountains in my way were utter indifference and lack of unity. The little petty jealousies, one wanting the school-house in one place and another in another; one wanting a certain teacher and some one else wanting his daughter, or his cousin, or his aunt, made unity of effort almost impossible.

        The struggle usually ended by all who were not pleased keeping their children at home. Such were conditions that I found in most communities. So I usually had to convince the people of the positive necessity of education, and the responsibility, not only of the parents, but of all citizens, before I reached the point where the house came in. But I visited only two places where I did not leave an Association for the Betterment of the School House and promises to stir up interest in the school and the teacher.

AT HAVELOCK.

        July 3d I went to Havelock, twelve miles from New Bern, on the A. & N. C. railroad. I reached there at half-past ten in the morning. Marie Buys, a normal graduate, met me, and together we went from house to house, visiting every home in the district except one, which was three miles away.

        The school-house was about like that at Sheffield, unfurnished, save with rude benches. It was situated in a pretty bit of woods, back some distance from the road, and if the underbrush had been cut away and walks made, would have furnished very attractive


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grounds. We planned the walks while I was there. On my first visit we interested a young girl who went with us to that school-house and to the homes in the district. There were only about eighteen children in the district. One of the committeemen of the school said there was no use talking education or beautifying school-houses to those people; that they were blockheads and that the committeemen should fix things to suit themselves.

        Miss Buys' father invited the Havelock Sunday-school to have its picnic in his yard. He had also invited people from other villages and neighborhoods, so that I had a chance to talk to forty or fifty people from Croatan, Havelock, Harlowe, North Harlowe, Adams' Creek and Hancock's Creek. After dinner was over the yard was strewn with paper, box-tops, etc. I gave an object lesson by suggesting that we should not leave our friend's yard in such a condition, and the litter was soon collected and burned.

        One gentleman from Croatan went home from this meeting and stirred up the neighborhood by cleaning up the school-yard, the church-yard and the grave-yard. Miss Mamie Hill of Havelock, the young woman who went around with us there, got the people together and cleaned up the Havelock school-grounds, scoured the floors and washed the windows of the school-house, and planned for a basket party to raise money to whitewash the house. The whitewashing was postponed on account of the breaking out of smallpox in the village. A second attempt was made, but another case of smallpox prevented it, and I have heard nothing from there since.

SHEFFIELD SCHOOL-HOUSE.

        Saturday morning, July 5th, I left Havelock. It was the day appointed for the meeting at the Sheffield school-house. It was so warm that I was ashamed to ask any one to drive me over to the school-house in the middle of the day, but I had made the appointment, and I felt that I must go, so I asked my brother to let me have his office boy, a colored boy who had been a servant in our family since he was a child. We started at half-past one. The road all the way was about four inches deep in sand. I really did not suffer myself, as I was so busy thinking of the horse and wondering whether anybody would be out to meet me. But when I finally reached the school-house the sight of men, women and children fully repaid me for having come in a walk every step of the way. There were twenty people there, with some children, and some of the children brought messages from their mothers which showed interest. They brought benches out, and we talked and argued very informally about the school, its conditions, its troubles and the causes of them all. In this district there were sixty children of school age and only twenty were enrolled last term. Some were in favor of compulsory education, and some thought that the fault lay in the teacher.


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        We discussed the best plan to adopt to get compulsory education, and finally decided that we would first have to get most of the people to want it; we discussed the best way to get better teachers and to get the best work out of a teacher, whether she be good or poor, and decided that the people must stand by the teacher and help her and encourage her; we discussed the best way to enable the children to get the greatest benefit from the school, and decided that we must have them attend regularly and that we must make them comfortable at school.

        Then we looked at the house and the grounds, to see what we could do just with our hands. The men, or several of them, said that they would ceil the sides of the house if they could get the lumber, and that they would saw off some of the seats for the little ones, so that their feet would not swing all day. Other men and the large boys said that they would cut out the underbrush and fix a walk so that the grounds would be better; and the women said that they would see that the floor and windows were cleaned and that they would put a basin and towel in place; they said they would make a little flower-bed just the width of the steps on each side, get woodbine and bluebell vine from the woods and plant at the corners of the house. They said they would plant ferns where the droppings of the eaves would keep them damp. One man said he would give a dollar for any needed expense. It came unsolicited, and I added one to it.

        We then organized an association; we called it the Woman's Association, but the men all joined. They had no idea how to conduct a meeting, but I acted as secretary and chairman too, until the president was elected. Then I read the minutes of the meeting and the enrollment of the members and left them with their minute book started. I usually take with me a blank-book for that purpose. Since that meeting the house has been ceiled and the outside whitewashed, and the seats have been made more comfortable.

ORIENTAL SCHOOL-HOUSE.

        Wednesday night, the 15th of July, I went by boat to Oriental, in Pamlico county. Thursday morning I started out and went from house to house. That night about fifty ladies and a few men came out to the Methodist church for a meeting. We formed a good strong association. Oriental is a thriving little village, with about ninety children of school age. The homes are attractive, and there are four very pretty little churches. About five years ago a stock company was formed to build an academy. The shareholders soon lost interest and wanted their money back, so it was sold to one man. He continued the work on it for awhile, and then stopped, and it has been at a standstill for three years.

        For the past two years the school has been taught by two teachers in uncomfortable rooms over a store. When the public school is over, most of the people pay tuition and thus retain the teachers for


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four months longer. I tried to impress them, not only with the necessity of their having a good school in Oriental, but with their responsibility to the children of the surrounding country.*

        *Oriental has since voted a local tax and now has a good public school house which cost $2,500.-R. D. W. C.


SMALLPOX INTERFERES.

        On the Saturday before going to Oriental, Mr. Brinson, the county superintendent, had asked me to meet the county board and the committeemen of No. 2 township, who were to hold a meeting in his office on that day. I told them of the work I had undertaken, a little more fully than I had been able to write them, and found them ready to assist me in every way possible. They said that they would inform me of any gatherings to be held, and would try to interest the people. They said that the work was sadly needed, and told me of some districts in which the conditions were even worse than those I have mentioned. In one district the goats had had possession of the school-house all the summer. In one, the people were so divided as to where to locate the school-house that they would not have any. They insisted upon my going to those two districts and said they would meet me at the station and take me where I could be entertained comfortably. Mr. Brinson said that he would go with me. They insisted that we go in time to be in the neighborhood the Sunday before, when they had preaching. We agreed, and appointments were made for meetings at three places. The meetings were advertised thoroughly and I suppose we should have met most of the people, but the smallpox broke out in the neighborhood and prevented our going. Those people are aroused, however, and Mr. Brinson will go down this fall, and I hope for some good to come, even from the attempt.

BEECH GROVE AND LIMA.

        At the same meeting of the board, Mr. Lane, another member and a very efficient one, insisted that I should try to meet the people of Beech Grove and Lima. He knew of no gathering but a quarterly meeting on the 18th and 19th, and he feared we would not get the people together even though he saw the people and sent messages, which he was willing to do. The quarterly meeting meant preaching on Saturday morning. Saturday night, and Sunday. The school-house is just beside the church, so I asked Mr. Lane to announce at the close of morning service that I would like to talk to the ladies at the school-house a short time that night. He asked them to come a half hour before church time. Mr. Lane lived near the church, and as it was six miles from my home I was to go to his house for an early supper and return home after services.

        Saturday supper found both my brother and myself at Mr. Lane's. Dr. Swindell, the presiding elder, was there, and I found that, fearing


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Illustration

ALLIANCE, PAMLICO COUNTY (OLD).

Illustration

ALLIANCE, PAMLICO COUNTY (NEW).


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the people would not come in time and I would not get a good meeting, those two had decided to let me talk to the whole congregation in the church at the beginning of the services. This embarrassed me, but the minister assured me that it was his suggestion; that my work was important, that he wanted as many people as possible to hear about it, that he wanted to hear about it himself, and that he would "divide time" with me.

        It was somewhat of an ordeal for me, for I had not made any set speech before; I had just talked to the people, oftenest sitting down among them, sometimes standing in their midst and letting them talk back. And this was a different audience and Dr. Swindell thrown in. But I began and told them about our Woman's Association, and I kept on. I told them of the Southern Education Board, of the increased interest in education all over the country, and of the stand our state was taking for it. I spoke of the condition of the school-house and grounds and of the effect they had upon the children in their work. I kept on until I had shown my pictures, organized an association, written and read the minutes of the meeting, which took nearly all of the preacher's time. But he then talked to them awhile on the same subject, emphasizing and bringing out beautifully the points I had tried to make.

        The school-house is situated in a beautiful grove. It is nicely ceiled, and the seats, though home-made and all the same size, looked more comfortable than any I had yet seen. There is a chart and a very small blackboard. A pay school is carried on after the public school closes.

        Monday morning, the 20th, I went to Lima, took dinner at the home of one of the committeemen, an intelligent, well-to-do farmer, who has had fair advantages and who intends to give the same to his children. Lima is a small district and has only eighteen children. The school house was new and neat, but there was no play-ground and the house was neither painted nor ornamented in any way. It was the property of three men--the committeeman spoken of, and two others. They supplement the school money and get a good teacher, one who can teach music being required, and keep the school open for nine months, but it is only their children who go more than four months. I formed no association there.

ROANOKE ISLAND.

        On July 23d I went to Roanoke Island to the celebration of the North Carolina Historical Society. I knew that at that time I would be able to reach more people on the island than at any other time, and I felt that others hearing of the work might become interested and do some work in other parts of the state. I went so as to be there all of Wednesday before the celebration exercises, which came off Thursday. Wednesday morning I met the Methodist minister. The celebration was held at Manteo, the chief town of the island. He took me to the hall, which the ladies were busy decorating and


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preparing for the next day. I met a number of them and found that they were quite ready to talk school in the midst of their work. The people of the island are very intelligent, and I found most of the women intensely interested in the school question. They keep a good school by subscription, employing three teachers. There are 120 children in the town, but only 90 are able to go during the pay term. They have a large school-room, but the most miserable desks, the dirtiest walls, and a big blank block gone to weeds and not a shade tree in sight for a play-ground. The house belongs to the Odd Fellows. The women want the town to build a good house, but they say that the men are the trouble.

        We tried to get a time when I could meet the women; everybody was busy and something appointed for every hour of the time, beginning with church that night. A minister from Elizabeth was to preach, and they said that everybody would be there, so we decided to ask the ladies to remain a short time after church. When the minister made the announcement he said that "the ladies must stay, and the men may stay if they like." Not a soul left, so I made my second speech to a church full of people. My aim was to make everybody see that everybody must work together, and must work and think and talk for the school, and must make the school not only inhabitable, but attractive. I tried to meet as tactfully as I could the conditions as I had learned them that day. The women were pleased; they told me that I had "hit the men right and left," and a number of men came up and spoke very kindly, endorsing all that I had said. We formed an association. The next morning, just after breakfast, two of the ladies came to the hotel and said that the ladies wanted me to come up to the hall and talk to them before the speaking began. I went with them and found a large crowd gathered, for speaking was to begin at ten and people were coming early to secure seats. The thing that struck me most about these ladies was their missionary spirit. They wanted the women of Sky Co and Wanchese and North End to become interested and to work for their schools.

        They watched the people come in and get seated, and wherever they could find four or five, or five or six ladies together and it was possible to get a seat among them for me, they would come and say: "Now, we want you to talk to these ladies over here," and they would have the subject introduced before I got there. So by quietly moving my seat here and there I talked to a number of people while the crowd was gathering, and arrangements were made for meetings next day at Wanchese and Sky Co, the other two settlements on the island.

WANCHESE AND SKY CO.*

        *Wanchese and Sky Co now are both local tax districts and have good houses.--R. D. W. C.


        Wanchese is a settlement spread over the south end of the island. You could hardly call it a town. The homes are away off in the


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woods, but I suppose that none of the homes are more than half a mile apart. They have a good school there taught by a man and his wife. The house consists of two large rooms, upper and lower, and two one-story rooms, built as wings on each side of the main building and opening into the large hall on the lower floors. This hall has a stage across the rear end and the two wings are also used for the school. The upper hall is the Masonic meeting-place. These walls were all prettily ceiled and painted; mottoes were on the walls, and the rooms had manufactured desks, the only ones I saw during the summer. We organized a good association. I could not get a meeting at North End. The school-house seemed to be new, but is very small.

        There is no school-house at Sky Co and only fifteen children. It is a very small new settlement, but even there the people are divided. I could not get them to organize, but they promised to build a house and to organize later on. There are very few negroes on the island, but the few I saw are well behaved and well thought of.

JACKSONVILLE.*

        *Jacksonville is now a local tax district and has recently expended $1,000 in repairs on the school-house.--R. D. W. C.


        July 28 we went to Jacksonville, Onslow county. Jacksonville is the county-seat and could support a good school. They have a large house, 25×40 feet, and a large lot, but both were sadly out of repair; miserable furniture, no blackboard worthy the name. The house had been open all the summer; not a tree on the grounds. There had been no school in the place half the time. It was the story of disagreement. A number sent their children away to neighborhoods where there are well-established schools. I had written the county superintendent of my coming, and asked him to appoint a meeting of the ladies. He came to see me as soon as I arrived and told me that he had planned a meeting in the church that night. In the afternoon I drove out to Cedar Lane, four miles off, but did not get any of the people together on account of a heavy thunder-storm. That night a good crowd met me at the church. We organized an association of twenty-five members. The ladies seemed interested and began at once to plan improvements on the school-house and grounds. A month later a gentleman told me he was in the village and attended an enthusiastic meeting of the association.

SUGAR MAPLE.

        On July 29 I went out in the country six miles from Jacksonville and visited the Sugar Maple school, which was then in progress. Mr. Cooper, the county superintendent, met me there. The house, which is weatherboarded and shingled, is set down in the woods by the side of the road. An acre of ground belongs to it, but no use was made of it, as the underbrush was thick. Inside the house was not only unattractive, but dismal-looking. The walls were as black and weatherbeaten


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as the outside and the rafters festooned with cobwebs. There were twenty-six children at school the day I was there, and a sleepy-looking young man in his shirt sleeves was teaching, or rather he was hearing a lesson. The seats were of the rudest kind, and some of the little ones could hardly get their chins above the desks. Only five or six were about grown, and three of the young men were very intelligent. I talked with them awhile in an easy way and tried to draw them out, but when I asked if they had ever seen or heard of a special thing or person most of them would look at me blankly, while one bright-faced little fellow would call out, "I hain't!" I held up the portraits of Washington and Lee, and only three knew them or knew anything about them when told who they were. I talked with them a good while, formed an association among the pupils, and left a picture with them.

BRIER NECK.

        That afternoon I went to the Brier Neck school-house, nine miles in another direction, spent the night at the home of one of the committeemen. The school-house is comparatively new-looking, but they are going to build a larger and a better one on the public road. But it will not be in the center of the district. I gave some suggestions as to the building of the new one. That committeeman is very much interested in the school. I did not meet the people that afternoon. I was on my way to the Alum Spring picnic, where I knew I would meet people from all over the county and several of the adjoining counties. I went to the picnic next day and, as I expected, found quite a crowd. It is a good section of the country. The people are intelligent, but most of those who are interested in their children send them away to some small school instead of building up one in their midst. I spent the morning going around meeting and talking to the people. After dinner I asked some of the ladies to go up into the pavilion with me. A good crowd started. People will follow a crowd, so the pavilion was soon filled with women. I stood in the midst of them and began telling them what the women of the state had undertaken to do. Then the men began to gather around the outside, a few at a time, and more came, and more, till I think about every one on the grounds was listening to me, and I had to talk as loud as I could. At first I had the ice shaver and the pink lemonade shaker to talk against, but some one soon silenced those, and everything was as quiet as if we had all been in a house. I talked a long time, and after I had finished I formed associations for Catherine Lake, Brier Neck, Lake View, Gum Branch, Richlands, and won the promise of individuals to organize and work up associations at Hubert, Sparkman and Half Moon.


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KIT SWAMP.

        The committeemen had sent word around that Mr. Brinson and I would be at Kit Swamp school-house at half-past ten on the morning of the first day of August, and at Forrest in the afternoon of August the 13th. At the former place, which is in Craven county, eleven miles from New Bern, we found only six people. It was in tobacco time, and the women help prepare it for market.

        We talked to them very informally for more than an hour and found out the condition of the community and the troubles. And those present seemed very much interested. Two of the number were a committeeman and his wife, and one an earnest young man who expected to teach at Truitt's next term. Those there decided to organize, and we did so, and I left them with a book and the minutes of the first meeting. I had filled the seat and foot of my buggy with old magazines: Munsey, Cosmopolitan, McClure's, Youth's Companion, St. Nicholas, Ladies' Home Journal and some teachers' journals. I left some of these in the hands of the president and told her to have a little shelf built for them and let the teacher use them as a little library, giving them out Friday afternoons to be taken home. Even if the children could not read them and understand them they would enjoy the pictures, and some of the parents might enjoy them, and the teachers' journals would be helpful to the teacher. I gave a number to the young teacher, who said he was going to organize an association at Truitt's.

ZORAH.

        One of the committeemen wrote me that there was to be a big picnic and baseball game at Zorah on the sixteenth. The ball game was to be between the Zorah neighborhood and Reelsboro, Pamlico county. There were about three hundred people present from the surrounding country, counting men, women and children. And, as usual about election times and before, we met several of the candidates for nomination for the various county offices. The school-house does not look any better than the one at Kit Swamp, but the people seemed intelligent and well-to-do. They had built a kind of arbor, or pavilion, covered with branches, for dancing, and around this the people gathered while Mr. Brinson talked to them of the importance and necessity of education for every one, and I told them of the helpfulness of a comfortable and attractive school-house and pictures, and how they might improve and beautify the school-house by a little effort. We then organized associations for Zorah, Reelsboro and Olympia.

RESULTS AND SUGGESTIONS.

        I cannot give much in the way of direct results of my work. Mr. Brinson, the county superintendent of Craven, is very much interested. He is a man of ability and judgment and will work for the interest of the schools and will not be biased or led by any political or other


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influence in his official acts. He and Mr. Nunn, one of the leading young lawyers, and Professor Harding, superintendent of the New Bern schools, have agreed to respond to invitations from the neighboring schools to address them on stated occasions.

        I have sent framed pictures to four schools. Three houses have been ceiled inside and whitewashed outside. One of the committeemen told me that after church in his township the men, instead of talking politics, as usual, were now talking schools. A man told my father that his son, who had been hard to get to school, had made up his mind to go every day, and had already boxed some flowers for the school-house. A few stray facts like these are all the direct results that I know, but I believe the people of the country can be reached and can be aroused. They need encouragement. They need teaching. The work needs to be followed up. They need teachers most of all; good, strong teachers. The salaries paid the teachers are too small. The people are opposed to taxes. The majority of them have little to tax or to pay taxes with. If some good, strong teacher could go into the country districts while the schools are in progress, spend a day or two in each school, go back and forth with the teacher, talk with and encourage her and direct her, and then meet the parents and get down to them as a friend, wonders could be worked. It would be as trying, in many instances, as work in foreign fields, but it could be done. Or, if every county could have an enthusiastic working school man for superintendent and let him have that for his only business, the rural school problem could soon be solved.

        But as we can get neither of these in many counties, my idea has been to try to form strong associations in the towns that will divide up and take especial interest in the schools nearest to the towns. For instance, if there are six country schools within a radius of eight miles around Greensboro and we could get thirty women in our association, let it divide into groups of six, and each group become interested in a particular school, visit it, etc.


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Illustration

LIBRARY OF BOBBITT'S SCHOOL, VANCE COUNTY.


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Illustration

BOBBITT SCHOOL, VANCE COUNTY.


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HOW A WAYNE COUNTY SCHOOL WAS IMPROVED.

BY JOHN S. TEAGUE.*

        * Mr. Teague won a scholarship to the A. & M. College summer school, offered by the Wayne County Association to the teacher of the county who should make the greatest improvement in his (or her) school-house and grounds during the year.


        When I first came to Watery Branch, Wayne county, two years ago, I found a house with not room enough for the children, situated in the woods with a path in front leading to the door. The building was surrounded by shrubbery of every description, from the tall oak to the tiniest fern, intermingled with dead brush and decayed leaves that could count their age by the decades. Dead stumps of all sizes peeped up here and there with their snaggled teeth offering definance to the passer-by. A wash in front on the side of the road was slowly but surely eating its way to the house. Many of the limbs of the trees were kissing old mother earth. All of the trees needed an introduction to the pruner's knife and not a few were anxiously waiting in old-maid fashion for a husband by the name of Mr. Ax who would lift them from their sad state and dress them in costumes to be an ornament to the people.

        If an artist had by chance gone into the building he would not have found anything to tickle his fancy or please his eye save the children, and perhaps the teacher. Here were children hungering and thirsting for books to read, but sadly waiting to be filled. Nothing there to woo them to come to this sacred place save the whistle of the wind and the song of the mocking-bird. With very few books to read, no yard to play in, no flowers in the yard or the house to send forth their fragrance for them, no pictures on the walls for them to look at, no shades on the windows, not comfortable room enough in the house--is it any wonder that so many of the boys and girls never came to school?

        To-day by the co-operative work of parents, pupils and teacher, we have turned these dry bones into a living personage. Fifty stumps have been taken up, thirty trees uprooted, logs cut and put into the wash and dirt thrown over them and made level. There are flowers of several kinds in the house on shelves made for the purpose, and flowers in the yard. The limbs from the trees have ceased to kiss the earth, but with the aid of the pruner's knife, those left are pointing heavenward, inviting all to let their lives do likewise.

        Twenty pictures are in the house, seven of them nicely framed. Shades are over all the windows. We have a library of books neatly cased. Our seating capacity has been enlarged one-third by taking out an old rostrum.


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        We gave two nice entertainments and collected $42 with which to pay for our library, pictures, shades, etc. We still have on hand $14.25 with which to have planted two rows of shrubbery from the front of the house to the road.

        It is with pride that I point to the fact that the children were the most anxious to help in this beautifying work. Instead of disliking the old place, they are proud of their school. Their books are kept neater, the faces and hands cleaner, and their hair is usually combed. Somehow the boys do not mind building fires, sweeping the yard or cleaning off their feet at the door. The girls are delighted to sweep the floor and dust the desks. No spider has a chance of life on these premises, and last, but not least, our worthy county superintendent enjoys visiting us.


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EAGLE ROCK SCHOOL, WAKE COUNTY.

BY MISS ANNIE ABERNATHY.

        When I took charge of the Eagle Rock school in September last I found a house in the middle of a large yard grown up in briars, weeds and broom-sedge. Just in front of the door was a road made by drivers taking a short cut from one public road to another.

        The interior of the house was no more inviting, containing only desks and two small blackboards, the floors and walls being much discolored. I had to begin with small things. I found two nice, large calendars, and hung one in each room. I also told the trustees that three more blackboards were needed, and these they willingly gave.

        Then I learned that one of the trustees had a large map of the United States. I went after this map and got it. Indeed, he lent it with pleasure when I told how much it was needed. Shortly after this the county superintendent visited the school, and I asked for a globe to be paid for by the county. He replied that it would be a pleasure to present the school with one, which he did. It has been of great service.

        But the yard gave me the horrors. I laid the case before the children and called upon them for help toward a new order of things.

        Then I appointed December 13 as work day on the yard, and sent requests to several patrons to be there on that day, and in the notes specified the tools each should bring.

        When I drove up with my wagon-load of tools and workmen on the 13th there were waiting for me a strong force of hands and eight horses and mules. They plowed, and chopped and dug, and harrowed, and laid off walks, and when we left things were marvelously changed.

        The following Friday was appointed arbor day, and all the people of the community, whether patrons or not, were invited to bring trees. Nature recognized her friends, and gave a lovely day, and the people came. The children rendered some appropriate selections. Miss Royster followed with an address, and then we went out and planted the trees. There were forty-seven planted, mostly elms and maples.

        One gentleman sent word that it was impossible for him to be there then, but to have three places marked, and when I began the new year his trees would be there. They were. He named one for me, one for my assistant, and one for the preacher. The preacher--ungrateful one--has died, but the teachers, as was to be expected, are holding their own. Out of the fifty trees forty-six lived.

        The map trustee had some rye and he volunteered to sow it on the ground and so prepare the soil for grass next fall.

        A letter to our congressman telling about the work and asking for trees brought seven choice varieties from Washington, which have been tended with great care.


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        I sent a little sketch of our arbor day to the Youth's Companion, and by way of encouragement this paper sent the school a set of historical pictures and a handsome United States flag. What a happy time that was!

        The five pictures were neatly framed and glazed through the efforts of five little girls, and do brighten the walls so much. Each little tot was allowed to choose the picture she wanted to frame, and her name and the date were written across the back. This gladdened their little hearts and was, at the same time, an object-lesson showing that efforts bring results.

        About this time I interested the large girls in buying a carpet to cover an unsightly rostrum. They were instructed not to take more than five cents from any one, but that one might be visited by each of them in turn. The money came right in, and the carpet was soon down.

        A crying need here was a well. Water for the school (eighty-eight children) had to be brought a long distance. So I borrowed a buggy and mule and drove round the country soliciting subscriptions to dig a well. Some promised cash and others agreed to haul stones for the wall. One man said that he would make up any deficit there might be when the work was done.

        The well had not been digged, however, because a digger could not then be found, but one has now been secured, and the work will commence.

        The Ladies' Association organized by Miss Royster has planted fourteen flowering shrubs, violets, lilies, chrysanthemums, honey-suckle, clematis, Virginia creeper, and thirty-four rose-bushes, and the congressman has remembered us again with packages of seeds.

        When the rye was planted I had left a large square made by the angle of two rooms, in part. Most of the flowers are set here. My friendly trustee gave cedar posts for the two open sides, and this square is wired in. I sent to a livery stable and asked for wire that comes around bales of hay. This isn't very strong, but answers as a protection now, and next year perhaps a better fence may be forthcoming.

        Plans for a library are now on foot, and eleven volumes have been donated. This work is engaging my attention now, and by the close of another year my school hopes to make a good library report. The hope is also indulged that the ceilings may be painted white and the walls tinted a soft color.

        Things are looking pretty now. The rye is green, the violets have bloomed, and the roses are budding. The trees are making a brave show, and on Friday I tried to see how many made shade enough to cover me.

        It does me good to stand in the door and contrast the present with the showing we made in December; and, with the exception of the well, it has cost almost nothing, for the carpet and frames came by getting a nickel here and there, and no one is poorer.


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MISS ABERNATHY'S SECOND YEAR'S WORK AT EAGLE ROCK.

        Some efforts were made last year to improve the Eagle Rock Academy and grounds, but that was only a beginning and called for more. The most pressing need that confronted us this year was water, as our earlier plans in this direction failed to mature. So we sent a petition to the board of education and the board agreed to pay for the well if our patrons would haul the rocks with which to wall it. This was an easy matter and that well has been a blessing since October.

        When we planted our trees and flowers no place was found at which to stop until we had covered the entire school ground. This left no play-ground and our useful boys felt that they had been displaced to make way for the purely ornamental. As a consequence the flowers stood to them in the character of interlopers--a condition to be remedied speedily. I called upon the owner of the adjoining grounds and asked that the boys be allowed the use of a certain part if they would clean it off. He consented to this and the boys chopped down bushes, dragged off brush, and burned out broom-sedge, until they had a beautiful ground, and all was again serene and calm.

        Early in the fall a trustee promised to give me fertilizers for my roses if I would get it carried to the school ground. One Saturday shortly after this, several little boys met near the school-house to play ball. This was as it should be. I formed them into a bucket brigade, armed them with hoes and marched them to the academy, where they labored cheerfully until every bush had received attention. Then they returned to their game, which had lost none of its zest because they had stopped long enough to help beautify their little world.

        About this time a traveling nurseryman stopped a night with us. He heard us speak of the improvements made and others contemplated, whereupon he, too, wanted to lend a hand; he gave to us a nice magnolia, which was received with a gratitude unfeigned.

        But I was anxious to have a carpet of green spread under the trees and roses. So I went to see two of the trustees in regard to it. One promised to send his plows to break up the yard and also to give enough rye to sow the ground; the other said he would send his disc harrow to break the clods and cover the seed. The work was therefore done promptly without much trouble to either.

        In the meantime something was being done in the interior of the house. Each room was provided with a neat waste-paper box. Our merchant sent a large calendar--just the very thing for a school-room--and also a case of maps which our congressman had sent to him. A Raleigh friend sent a railroad map of the state. As this was on rather thin paper it was carefully lined with a heavier paper pasted on and the whole was tacked to the wall with plenty of brass-headed tacks. A lady in the neighborhood gave two handsome art calendars of four


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sheets each, which were separated and trimmed and artistically grouped on the wall, making a brilliant dash of color. Collier's Weekly sent one of our boys a picture of Dan Patch. This was fastened up and delighted our little boys, and possibly, too, some of larger growth. The large girls undertook to raise money to buy several pictures, but we knew that we could not spend much on these, as there were several other things to buy. So we decided to invest in the 10-cent gray cardboard mat picture. We have put up seventeen of these with brass fasteners. By using some discrimination in the selection of subjects and shapes of mats and by exercising our best taste in grouping them, the effect is surprisingly good.

        The doors and windows opening from the rostrum had never been painted and looked terribly dingy. There was no need for them to continue so. I bought two cans of paint and a little brush and soon had them painted a soft pearl gray. It is well laid on, too. I also bought a wash-pan, a thing not exactly ornamental, perhaps, though it has its place with small boys.

        But during all this time the great desire of my heart was for books. Misses Womble and Royster of Raleigh had given one book each, and with these for a nucleus we began to devise ways to add others. A minister promised one, a teacher one, and a citizen of Raleigh sent ten or twelve volumes. Although the number of libraries due to Wake county had been taken, still I sent in an application. After some weeks a statement that orders had been issued for supplementary libraries, and lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest. I marked the day with a white stone.

        To get the ten dollars from the community which would entitle us to the thirty-dollar library was not easy, but finally the money was in hand and now the books are here. I should like to tell just how we have used these books and how the non-readers are induced to become readers, but that is another story. But books alone are not sufficient. Pupils need to read papers and magazines, and thus to keep themselves posted on current events. So the reading-room followed. Our miller gave the timber for a nice broad shelf and dressed it, and one of my large boys nailed it up in the music-room. Then the pupils were asked to bring their papers. One brought one and another another, and the postmaster promised to give every day whatever he could legitimately give away. Thus by a little neighborhood co-operation we have the Youth's Companion, the Biblical Recorder, The Progressive Farmer, Charity and Children, The Orphans' Friend, The News and Observer, The Morning Post, and others. The old copies are removed every morning and fresh copies put in their places. Our book-case was placed in this room, and the box of magazines sent by the Raleigh Circle of Colonial Dames, a bench and some chairs were added, our pretty piano wheeled into place, and now the reading-room looks very inviting. Really, the array of fresh papers would do credit to a more pretentious school than ours. The


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pupils derive much pleasure and profit from the reading-room, and by contributing to it themselves have come to understand what a beautiful thing is the spirit of helpfulness.

        It happened that a large tree planted last year died, and instead of removing it we thought it better to nail on some cross-pieces, thereby converting it into a trellis over which to train a vine. A friend planted a wisteria which, we think, will cover the trellis in a year or two.

        A flower garden has been made in the angle formed by one room jutting out from another, and this was at first enclosed by scrap wire taken from bales of hay. But this wire broke badly and afforded but poor protection. I spoke of this to the gentleman with whom I board and he volunteered to give enough timber to put a substantial fence around it. The little boys dug the post-holes and the larger boys made a good strong fence and hung a gate. This will protect our best flowers during vacation.

        After the library, the need which appealed to me most strongly was the painting of the exterior of the house. The building is an old one, remodeled, having had many additions made to the original. Five sides showed from the front. The old paint was white, the blinds green, the facings yellow, while two walls and a great tower rose up in front unpainted, weatherbeaten and just as nature made them. That house--a patch of white, a patch of green, a patch of yellow, three great gray blots--every time I went up the front walk I said, with Bob Burdette:

        "Until each staring, frenzied wall

        Looks like a crazy-quilt gone mad."


        It was a nightmare past enduring. I bought some paint, got instructions about mixing it, borrowed a ladder, and my carpenter boy and I laid it on. I covered the lower part and he covered the higher part, and between us we covered about 800 square feet of weatherboarding with two coats. We did not reach the back of the building, but we treated all that shows from the front and we made a vast improvement. The door was hung four years ago with no glass in it, although the glass was bought and two persons appointed to put it in. But the door hung there four years without glass because the men had never happened to meet there when they had the glass with them. I ran around until I found where the glass was and then put it in myself.

        What has been done has cost very, very little money, but a visitor who was here at commencement said that she could scarcely believe it to be the same old place she had left two years ago.

        The green yard, the growing young trees, the budding roses and the white house makes a pleasing picture. Inside has kept up with outside. Maps and pictures ornament the walls. For a center-piece we have Washington and Lafayette, with Old Glory draped above them.


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A GREENE COUNTY SCHOOL.

BY MISS SUSIE KIRKPATRICK.

        Our school opened in November in the lower room of Mr. H. A. Hooker's pack-house, this room having been used for a number of years as a school-room, as there is no public school building in the district. The pack-house is situated in a beautiful oak grove, but in the rear of the building the undergrowth has quite taken possession. The yard was carpeted with autumn leaves and grass and here and there ungainly stumps were in evidence.

        After getting acquainted with my pupils and their parents and arranging my classes, I began wondering how we could secure a library, for have one we must. Some one suggested a basket party. Five of the largest girls in school, two or three young ladies in the neighborhood and I took baskets with lunch for two, to be sold to the highest bidder. From them we realized $15.

        In the meantime the president of the county branch of the Woman's Betterment Association wrote to me about the scholarship offered for improvement in school-houses and grounds. As soon as the children heard of it they very enthusiastically joined in the improvement movement. Before many weeks had passed the leaves and grass had been removed and the boys had uprooted as many as twenty stumps.

        We then began to improve the interior of the building. We had a new stove-pipe put up and twelve window-panes put in to replace those which had been broken. A blackboard was given to us by the county superintendent. We wanted pictures for our walls, so we gave an entertainment, at which we raised a small amount with which we purchased a map of North Carolina and pictures of John Alden and Priscilla, the Stag at Bay, Longfellow and his Home, and three pictures of fruits and flowers, the first two having pretty frames. Hearing that the Youth's Companion would give pictures to the schools interested in improvements, we wrote and received pictures of Washington, Lafayette, the Signing of the Declaration of Independence and the surrender at Yorktown. I advanced the money with which to buy a portrait of General Lee, which, together with the pictures received from the Youth's Companion, I had framed.

        Our desks were home-made, very rough and uncomfortable, and so high that the smallest children had to stand while writing. We turned our attention towards getting new ones. From Washington's birthday celebration we realized ten dollars. I then offered a copy of Longfellow's poems to the child raising the largest amount for the purchase of desks. They went to work at once in the community and at the end of two weeks had collected fifteen dollars. The county


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board of education then gave thirty more, so that we have now nine patent desks and every child attending that school next year will have a comfortable seat.

        In the spring we returned to the yard, laid out flower-beds and planted sweet-peas, pansies, cannas, violets, chrysanthemums and other flowers. We also have hyacinth bulbs to set out in the fall.

        A gentleman in the community interested in the work sent a man who worked four days trimming trees and clearing the ground of grape-vines and broom-sedge. Then he laid off a fine base-ball diamond for the boys.

        A Betterment Association was then organized. Besides all the pupils, we have every mother and sister co-operating with us in this work. We hope by another year to have at least a few honorary members.

        The girls took great interest in keeping the room tidy, washed the windows occasionally and kept flowers in the library most of the time. A number of United States flags and one Confederate flag were given to me. On appropriate days we decorate with them.

        Altogether we have made about one hundred dollars worth of improvements inside the school-room. One child remarked: "Our room will look like a parlor when our desks are put up." I shall try to impress upon them that it is to be their home and that they must keep it as such.


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SNOW HILL SCHOOL, GREENE COUNTY.

BY MISS MATTIE L. ALBRITTON.

        Last August when Miss Edith Royster organized the Greene county branch of the Woman's Botterment Association, of which I was made secretary, I realized what an opportunity we had for the improvement of our surroundings.

        In presenting the result of our work I would first give a short sketch of the building that was in use in Snow Hill previous to the organization of our association. This building was a disgrace, not only to the town, but to the county and state as well. It had been built some fifty or sixty years ago and very little had been done since to improve it. Indeed, the hand of time had brought the house to a most dreary and cheerless condition. The walls were broken, the window-sashes so worn that putting in a new glass was a mere expenditure of time and money without real benefit. The blackboards were almost too bad for use. The desks had been carved and abused by "Young Americans" for several generations. The cracks in the floor, the sagging doors, the yawning weatherboards, entirely relieved us from the study of ventilation. Indeed, my pen fails to portray the desolate and bare appearances in and around the school-room. We had a library, though, and many little brave hands and hearts to help us to better the condition of things.

        We accordingly began the work. Our principal, Mr. J. E. Debnam, drew the plans, and through his untiring energy and with the aid of our friends and the good old county of Greene, we have now an elegant and commodious building. In this building are three very large, well ventilated and well lighted recitation-rooms. Two of the rooms are separated by folding doors, enabling us to throw them into one when needed for public entertainments. We also have in this new building a cloak-room and a cozy little library finished in oiled wood, the capacity of which is much greater than its contents, though we hope to do a great deal to fill that later. Yet we have somewhere between one hundred and fifty and two hundred dollars worth of well selected books.

        The interior of the recitation-room is beautifully finished with oiled wood, which, with the white walls, is very pleasing. The black-boards are good in quality and sufficient in quantity. There are a number of pictures of our statesmen and other strong men of our state and nation on the walls. I have the primary work, and the pictures of birds which I have in colors and in black and white are especially enjoyed by the little tots. Nor do they fail to enjoy and appreciate the other pictures which have been hung in their room.

        The pupils held a festival last year with our help and with the receipts, together with a small sum they made later, bought an organ,


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Illustration

SNOW HILL, GREENE COUNTY (OLD).

Illustration

SNOW HILL, GREENE COUNTY (NEW).


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thus enabling us to have good music and songs every morning along with our devotional exercises. Our school bought and uses an unabridged dictionary, and our principal presented to the school a book-rest for its accommodation, so that even the little tots can handle Father Webster.

        In addition to the number of pictures that have been bought our school has purchased a large number of library books and one dozen and a half United States flags. I have had presented to me for my room a North Carolina state flag and to the school a flag of the Confederate States. These were the gifts of the president of our Greene county branch of the Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina.

        We have framed and hanging in a conspicuous place a copy of General Lee's farewell address to his army. Under the picture of Washington and his cabinet we have two swords crossed under a shield, making quite an effective picture, with two flags of the stars and stripes above.

        Sixty yards of red, white and blue bunting with which to decorate on gala days are now the property of the school.

        Indeed, with our new patent desks, pictures, flags, etc., our rooms are very cozy and inviting. The books, organ, pictures and decorations of all kinds with few exceptions were purchased by the children with money made by them at entertainments and festivals. The school children enjoy the work and have an "association" of their very own, with officers of their own choosing. Many of their mothers have given us their names and help and four gentlemen gave us the one dollar each necessary for them to join.

        The money that was made at an entertainment during our commencement in May was used in painting the new school-house, which, with its body of sandstone gray with white trimmings and terra-cotta blinds, presents a neat and attractive exterior.

        The belfry, open and imposing, contains a relic of the eighteenth century, an old bell one hundred and eleven years old. It is the very bell that was used to call our grandfathers and fathers to school at the same old site. Its tone is as clear to-day as when it left the foundry in old England. A tall flag-staff caps this belfry, from which Old Glory, when the days are bright and breezy, floats over the descendants of those who bade it wave for their country and her freedom. The day on which we raised our flag, all giving it a loyal salute, was a gala-day indeed. The children enjoy the sight of the flag in a greater measure, I think, because they bought it themselves.

        A closed fence has been built between us and the objectionable view of the back-yard of a negro cabin, the entire cost of which was paid out of the children's fund. The wood-pile had long (dis) graced the front yard. That has been removed and the yard carefully cleaned. A well of cool clear water is now on the yard, the water


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for the school having been supplied heretofore from wells of private parties some distance from the school.

        The old building, so long an eye-sore, has been removed and the new building, with a charming background of tender green, situated in a pretty, clean plot of grass, free from all débris, is, indeed, a picture that fills our hearts with pleasure in our work well done, and stimulates our minds and hearts for greater things in the future.


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A LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE.

A Dream of the Future Based on Present Conditions.

BY MRS. CHARLES PRICE.*

        *This paper was read at the annual meeting of the Woman's Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina, May 5, 1903.


        I wish not to try for effect, but simply to tell what happened at our little Ellis school-house. Ellis is not only the name of a distinguished governor--our war governor--Vance's immediate predecessor, but the very place of his birth and rearing. He lies buried in the quaint old churchyard in my town.

        My attention was directed to this particular school, because I passed it so often in going to and coming from a recently acquired farm. This poor little school-house was so forlorn, so badly built, so rudely finished and altogether so different from my idea of a country school, that I should have passed and repassed it without interest or comment, but for meeting the two sisters--the dear little faithful teachers--Minnie and Della Swicegood. They were in the toils of house-cleaning for the school that would open the next week. I stopped to see whether I could help the good work. I was most hospitably received, and my suggestions for the comfort of the school were gratefully observed.

        New window-panes were put in, and Perry pictures, to make little spots of interest on the bare walls, were added. My next visit was when the school was in full swing, with a house jammed and packed like sardines, with sixty-two unusually promising boys and girls. They sat on uncomfortable benches, with the rudest of home-made desks. The room was so full there was no set-aside place for the teacher. She sat here, there and anywhere, so patient and uncomplaining, so astonished and pleased at my interest, that I was rebuked. The average age of the children in that room was fourteen years, in the primary room, ten. The attendance--here I pause to ask you to consider the remarkable fact--the average attendance was sixty out of a possible sixty-four. Many walked two miles to begin work at 8:30 o'clock in the morning. They were never late, and oh! such obedient, good children, so zealously trying to learn. Four families in the neighborhood did not patronize the school, for reasons we hope to overcome.

        There are two occasions that stand out: One at Christmas in the Baptist church, just across the big road. The neighborhood was in such a turmoil. Men, fathers and grandfathers could not get down to work for some days afterward. They had never had a Christmas


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tree, had indeed never seen one. One man said: "Why, it will be full of presents. I heard from the committee that the presents would cost fifteen cents apiece! I reckon they will be mighty nice." The children were wild with joy.

        The other occasion was Washington's birthday. The little teachers were very busy, and so little older than the oldest pupils that I had to wait for a word before I could be certain which was the teacher. Many ready responses made me know the children were familiar with our immortal hero. I said: "What was the best thing about him?" A freckle-faced, bright-eyed boy answered: "He could not be got to lie."

        The teacher's method was to offer prizes. The children preferred books to anything else. The school term was four months, but the money held out for five months. I had never heard why, unless it was like the oil and meal, by divine blessing. We did not know it then, and we concluded to make it an additional month by popular subscription. The teachers had no trouble in getting up the desired sum. I headed the list, and my example was readily followed. All gave willingly. I shall stop here to pay a merited tribute to the woman who trained these teachers; whose work has been faithful and efficient; who has equipped scores of girls in all our surrounding country to be better, stronger women. Miss Eaton of Mocksville is her name. Our next term will begin early in November, so that we can have nearly, if not quite, six months.

        The practical results of my efforts have been:

        1st. The pupils were stimulated and the teachers very much encouraged by my visits.

        2d. The patrons were moved to more interest in the school, and became keenly alive to the school interest when presented to them.

        3d. The prizes stimulated many to increased efforts.

        In view of the results obtained in this instance, I would respectfully urge that each school be visited by one woman appointed by the county superintendent. This duty need not be onerous, as due attention could be paid to appointees being convenient to the school-house.

        I have determined to build a model log school-house. I shall use my first money in employing a first-rate architect to give me a plan. It will look like the pretty houses we have all admired in Asheville, the shapely pine logs cemented with glowing red. I shall make a canvass of the entire neighborhood, and I know my logs will be cheerfully given. I want a goodly number, too, for I shall have several rooms in the house.

        It is indeed a poor subject that is not fertile enough for a dream. Heaven help it to mean more. I see my log school-house in multiplying numbers, with commodious rooms, convenient water, to keep little hands tidy, for "a clean body goes a long way towards making a clean soul." I see modern games for approved outdoor exercise, for "the fun of it," not always the exercise that comes from hard labor. I see


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a library with the best books that men and women write, placed in a room big enough to offer inducements for a lecture, with a platform that might serve as a stage for plays; and if our Baptist brothers across the way are willing, a country dance. Call it any name, so it fulfills its object of "amusement for country children."

        I see a higher and nobler entertainment; we will call it an industrial department. We will teach boys and girls that there is no nobler industry than farming. We will teach by actual experience that wheat to pay must not succeed wheat, but clover or peas. We will show them that corn must produce more than one ear to the stalk, that it takes less work and more thought to make farming pay better than any other vocation; and we shall do it as an object-lesson. Land is cheap everywhere in North Carolina.

        We will teach the girls chemistry by showing them how to make good bread, teaching them to use soda sparingly, or not at all, and always with sour buttermilk or cream of tartar. We will teach them the properties of yeast, so that light-bread will delight the eye and the taste, and incidentally restore the health of the family. We will teach them to sew and fashion plain clothes and make them fit.

        "Is this a dream? Then let me dream again." It must be a reality. It must be an immediate reality. I think the house, with the logs given, could be built for three or four hundred dollars, or even less, for I mean to utilize my men and boys, and the girls, to make them love what they help to create. If there be left a dollar we will pass it on to the next district for their log school-house.

        I see a day, and God grant it may not be far distant, when we can dot our noble state, beginning with Rowan county, with these model log school-houses. Then the opprobrium of "the log cabin and the pine tree" will be done away with, and women will count it an honor to be of this "log-house work." When we realize what such things mean, our boys and girls will love the country school; they will be contented with the country neighborhoods where such "log school-houses," which break the weary monotony, are maintained; they will love the land that calls for them to stay and yearns in uncultivated loneliness for them to return.

        Do you know that the statistics in New York, and I think here in North Carolina, tell that by far the greatest number of women patients in the insane asylums are farming people? Cause: Loneliness--laconic reason for so sorrowful an evil. I would try, as a help or relief, my log school-house and its accessories. The architect will tell us just how many trees to plant. Dr. Winston, that indomitable educator, just how to begin our little experiment farm, and he will furnish us a teacher to tell us how to make everything else plain. Dr. McIver can and will clear up the way to begin it all, for it will only take his tongue to tell the story. The pockets will be open to him, for his eloquence is convincing. Perhaps the echo will reach Tulane, and the success, named Edwin A. Alderman, may give us


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his approval, which will sound through America, as all of his words do, and our success can make a pathway.

        Oh, I have counted the cost! My library can be begun by editions of Eliot and Scott, Dickens and Thackeray, Cooper, Encyclopedia Britannica, all for $12. I saw the advertisement. There is the beginning of my $400, but if every other help fails, I shall turn to Booker Washington and reverse the situation and ask him to help me attain this object, and that will settle the question, and, perhaps, the mighty problem the world talks about.

        In conclusion, whether we give time or talent, much or little money, ourselves, or give influence: "Who gives himself with his alms feeds three--himself, his hungering neighbor and Me."