SCHOOLS AND OTHER EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGES IN THE UNITED STATES.
The United States has been called the land of the
school house. In its common schools there are now more than half a
million pupils. Our people believe so strongly in the necessity of
education that nearly everywhere children are obliged to be sent to
school until they are fourteen years of age. In one state a parent
who deliberately keeps his child out of school is liable to be fined
$50 and sent to prison for thirty days. Those immigrants are most
welcome who appreciate best the advantages of education, and are
willing to make many sacrifices to give their children the best
education possible. A good education will not only help a boy to
become a better man, but will enable him to earn more money, be more
respected, and take a position that would be impossible for those
who have left school when they were only fourteen years of age. This
is just as important for girls as for boys. Insist on your children
going to school every day. Accept no excuses. Make the acquaintance
of your child's teacher. She will be your useful friend and adviser.
In America the best instruction may be had
entirely without cost, from the lowest children's schools up to the
university. Children are allowed, but not forced, to go to the
kindergarten when they are five years old. Here they may remain one
year. But when the child is six years old--seven years in some
states--he is obliged by law to go to school. He then enters primary
school. Here he remains for five years. When he is eleven he is
usually able to enter the grammar school, from which he should
graduate when he is fourteen. During these years he learns
reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, geography, history, drawing.
Most American schools, particularly in the large cities, offer a
great many other important advantages of instruction. For in
addition to the studies I have mentioned, they teach manual
training, which helps to give boys and girls a useful preparation
for life. And this is not all, for besides the public schools, in
all our large cities, as well as in many smaller ones, there are a
great variety of technical and trade schools which give instruction
in many branches, either freely or at very low cost. Such schools
teach boys carpentry, plumbing, plastering, painting, steam and hot
water fitting, sheet-metal working, blacksmithing, printing, pattern
making, electrical work, art, mechanical and architectural drawing,
bookkeeping, stenography, typewriting, science, and modern and
ancient languages. In similar schools girls are also taught
bookkeeping, stenography, typewriting, science and modern languages
as well as cooking, housekeeping, all kinds of machine and hand
sewing, dressmaking, millinery, and embroidery.
EVENING BUSINESS SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS.
High schools are public and free, and may be
entered when the boy or girl is fourteen years of age. They prepare
for the university, which offers a great variety of courses in every
branch of learning, and in the special education that is necessary
for every kind of professional life.
In all cities and large towns there are night
schools which are open seven months in the year. In some states the
law gives the night school privilege to ever district with over
10,000 inhabitants. These night schools offer the same course as the
day schools, and are open not only to children who have passed the
age when they are required by law to attend the day school, but also
to adult foreigners, for whose benefit they give special instruction
in English. Ask for the address of these schools.
Besides these public night schools, there are a
great many other special schools held at night where instruction is
given freely, or at a very low cost. Among these are many kinds of
industrial schools and commercial colleges. In New York City, Cooper
Union and the Settlement Houses give instruction in many subjects
that are necessary for young men who are ambitious to get on in the
world. Besides these, after you have mastered English, there are the
correspondence schools, from which you can have instruction by mail
if you are so situated that you cannot attend regular schools.
A FREE PUBLIC EVENING
SCHOOL FOR MEN.
The Chemistry Class.
And in addition to all these, as a kind of
popular university, there is the system of lectures given at the
public schools, during seven months of the year, on history, travel,
industry, art, literature, physics, electricity, and chemistry. They
are accompanied by scientific experiments and are illustrated by the
stereopticon and by moving pictures. Many of these lectures are
given in Yiddish and deal with the history, institutions, geography,
and great men of all nations. Entrance is absolutely free, and no
permission need be obtained. There is not even the formality of
registering your name. Subjects are announced by notices posted on
the school buildings and announced in newspapers. Such courses of
lectures are given at more than fifty schools in New York City.
There are many other educational advantages that
our cities give freely. The public libraries are found everywhere.
Without a cent's cost men and women can go to them and read and
study books and papers in Yiddish and in other languages. They can
have the use of books from which they can learn the English
language, and the laws and customs of the United States, as well as
works of fiction, travel, science, etc. Giving the necessary
references, any resident of the city can have the privilege of
borrowing books. Ordinarily two books may be borrowed at one time,
and these may be kep two weeks. For most of the books the loan may
be renewed for another two weeks on request.
Of special value to Jewish immigrants in New York
City, there is:
The Educational Alliance, at East Broadway
and Jefferson Street. This Society holds evening classes in English.
It gives lectures on American geography, history, government; on
American life, customs, manners. These lectures begin in Yiddish,
and when pupils have made some progress in English, they are simply
given in that language. There are classes in physical training for
both men and women. For the men there are also classes in manual
training and telegraphy. For the women there are classes in sewing
and dressmaking, millinery, Kosher cooking and the care of children.
These classes are all free, or cost but a few cents each night. It
offers many other opportunities--religious, educational, social.
The Young Women's Hebrew Association, 31
West 110th Street, New York City, heartily welcomes all Jewish girls
and young women. Besides classes in English to foreigners, in
dressmaking, embroidery, stenography, typewriting, bookkeeping,
singing, Hebrew, and physical culture, it has a free Information and
Employment Bureau, social and literary clubs, lectures, dances,
entertainments, and Friday evening religious services. It has a
dormitory, and offers an excellent, attractive home at low cost.
The Hebrew Technical Institute, 36
Stuyvesant Street, New York City, trains boys for practical work,
and offers a three year course comprising a trade and English.
The Hebrew Technical School for Girls,
15th Street and Second Avenue, New York City, offers courses in
stenography, typewriting, bookkeeping, dressmaking, hand sewing,
millinery, embroidery and designing. Pupils must be over fourteen
years of age and must know English. Has an employment bureau for
graduates. Cost very low.
Among other educational opportunities are these:
In New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at Fifth Avenue
and Eighty-second Street, which is the largest art gallery in
America and is rich in both ancient and modern masters.
In New York, also, there is the Museum of Natural History, at
Seventy-seventh Street and Central Park West, which is remarkable
for the number and extent of its collections of stuffed animals and
birds from every part of the country; collections of Indian work,
models of Indian life, relics of our ancient American civilizations.
The Aquarium at the Battery, in New York, is said
to be second only to the famous aquarium in Naples. The Botanical
Gardens in Bronx Park are particularly rich in wonderful collections
of native American plants. Its Zoological Garden is in many respects
the best in the world.
Wherever you go, it is always very easy to find
out just what educational opportunities of this sort are freely
offered to the public. They will serve not only for your amusement
and pleasure, but for the best education of which you are capable,
and so permit you to earn more money and more fully enjoy life.