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Sanitation in Many School Buildings
Deplorable ...

113 Simpler Reading Materials Needed for

50,000,000 Adults ... .. 115 Rising Enrollments in Nonpublic Schools. 11€ Legislation as It Affects State School Administration

122 taiste at:ts Stats12 23:ts Sta' 612 at:ts

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Volume 32

Number 8 Cover photograph, courtesy, Department of Public Information, United Nations, carries the caption, “To live together in peace with one another ...." The photograph appears in a recently issued Office of Education publication, “World Understanding Begins With Children," by Delia Goetz, Specialist in Preparation and Exchange of Educational Materials, Division of International Educational Relations. The bulletin, 1949 No. 17, should be ordered from the Superintendent of Documents, Washington 25, D. C., price 15 cents.

Page Sanitation in Many School Buildings Deplorable

113 Simpler Reading Materials Needed for 50,000,000 Adults

115 Rising Enrollments in Nonpublic Schools_

116 Bringing the Smithsonian to Your Pupils_

117 New Publications of Office of Education

118 The Office of EducationIts Services and Staff

119 How To Obtain U.S. Government Motion Pictures, 1950. 120 Legislation as It Affects State School Administration --- 122 Vocational Education Through the Cooperative PartTime Diversified Occupations Program-

126 Summer School Guide

126 Study Braille Codes of All Countries

126 New Books and Pamphlets

128 Selected Theses in Education_.

128 SCHOOL LIFE Subscription Blank

128 Educational Aids From Your Government_ Inside Back Cover Education Directories and Statistical Guides ---- Back Cover

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School Life is indexed in Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, and in Education Index.

"With few exceptions, State constitutions make it obligatory upon their respective legislatures to provide for the establishment and maintenance of efficient systems of public schools ...

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p. 122

Published each month of the school year, October through June. To order SCHOOL LIFE send your check, money order, or a dollar bill (no stamps) with your subscription request to the Superintendent of Documents

, Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C. SCHOOL LIFE service comes to you at a school-year subscription price of $1.00. Yearly fee to countries in which the frank of the U. S. Government is not recognized is $1.50. A discount of 25 percent is allowed on orders for 100 copies or more sent to one address within the United States. Printing of SCHOOL LIFE has been approved by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget. OSCAR R. EWING....... Federal Security Administrator EARL JAMES MCGRATH... Commissioner of Education RALPH C. M. FLYNT......... Executive Assistant to the Commissioner GEORGE KERRY SMITH... Chief, Information and Publications Service JOHN H. LLOYD............ Assistant Chief, Information and Publications

Service Address all SCHOOL LIFE inquiries to the Chief, Information and Publications Service, Office of Education, Federal Security Agency,

Washington 25, D. C.

THE Office of Education was estab

lished in 1867 “for the purpose of collecting such statistics and facts as shall show the condition and progress of education in the sev. eral States and Territories, and of dif. fusing such information respecting the organization and management of schools and school systems and methods of teaching, as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems, and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the


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by Nelson E. Viles, School Plant Management, Division of School Administration

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CHOOL PUPILS may become inured in school. They use common sanitary and Sanitary conditions in the schools have

to the lack of adequate school sani- drinking facilities and make common use been improved during recent decades, but

tary services but they never become of various supplies, tools, and facilities. many new and old buildings are still poorly immune to the possible effects of poor Many of the school children lack ade. maintained. The conditions in some build. school sanitation. Headline publicity is quate home sanitary facilities for body ings indicate an unawareness of the imgiven to the lack of trained school teachers service or protection. Some of them have portance of and the principles to be foland to the need for school buildings because suitable bathing facilities only when at lowed in school sanitation. The following of overcrowding, but we often fail to show school. Health and sanitary patterns es. are only a few of the illustrations of some that millions of children are now attending tablished in the school probably will have of the bad conditions. school in buildings lacking the necessary a marked effect on future living standards

Is Yours Like This? facilities and services to protect their health. and habits. The schools should endeavor

A three-story and full basement junior We should realize that: Every child forced to educate the whole child. He should be

high school in a metropolitan area, housing by law to attend school is entitled to a given an opportunity to develop ideals,

1,300 children, has one dark dirty odorous healthful environment.

health protection, and living patterns that basement toilet room at one corner of the Children coming from various homes to will assist him to adapt to later life con- building for the 620 to 670 boys housed school are potential carriers for any disease ditions. It may be as important to help therein. There are only five or six lavagerms that may be present in their homes. him develop desirable concepts of sanitary tories with no hot water. There are no These children are often crowded together living as to help him attain proficiency in hand-washing facilities near the dining and have many personal physical contacts some phases of educational achievement. room. There are no showers. Toilet


In one

room floors are wet; slate urinals are odor- tractive, have accumulations of dirt, chew. should be positive ventilation separate

The walls are rough and positive ing gum, etc., in them. In many cases from other ventilating systems for the ventilation is not available for the room. lavatories do not have hot water, or tem- building. The floors should be of imper- . The lunchroom near the center of the build- perature is not regulated, and the hot and vious materials. It is particularly imporing in the basement has a kitchen next to cold water are delivered through separate tant that the floor around the urinals be ima small dusty playground. There are no spigots. Lavatories are not adjusted to pervious, preferably nonslip, and that it ventilating facilities other than through the the size of pupils using them and, in some slope to the urinals. The walls, floors, windows. This is not a slum area building. cases, towels and soap are not provided. ceilings, and toilet stalls should have It is in a nice residential part of the city. In many cases toilet stools are dirty and are smooth surfaces to facilitate cleaning and

A rural consolidated elementary school is difficult to maintain. Sometimes they are be nonodor absorbing. Odors either of located in a good farming region, rural elec- not properly set. Bad conditions such as decaying organic matter or of deodorizing tricity is available, water is supplied by an the following are too common: Small water

blocks should be absent. Thorough daily approved well and is under pressure. The seal in stool, rough or chipped stool sur

cleaning should be a must. Dressing boys' toilet room, accessible only by going faces, iron and other water deposit streaks

rooms should be adequately ventilated. outside, has three or four stools. Only one on stools, seats broken, dirt in throat or up

Lunchroom service.—The growth of the has been in operative condition for some

lunchroom service during recent years has under rim of the stools. weeks. This stool was a frostproof bowl

created demands for space and services not

The toilet rooms should be so designed with no water seal. The stool was badly

available in most of the older and many chipped, water stained, badly encrusted, and that they may be maintained easily. There

new school buildings. In many cases the odorous. The urinals were a short dirty

lunchrooms have been put in the basement galvanized iron trough. The place was

Some Needs in School

or other poorly adapted areas. If the filthy but had to serve about 140 boys each


schools expect to provide lunch service they day.

should make plans to meet the most rigid The above are not isolated cases.

1. A public awareness of need is es- existing State and/or city sanitary requiresection of a city there are 2,400 pupils with- sential School officials should

ments for commercial caterers.

In too out any shower service in the schools, with realize the importance of and know

many cases verminproof storage with no hot water in the lavatories, with a part of the basic principles of school

proper temperature controls is not availthe pupils housed in a building over 100 sanitation.

able. years old, and with all rooms crowded, in

2. Responsibility for school sanita

A study by the Cleanliness Bureau ? on fact many of them are on double sessions. tion should be fixed. If the school

sanitary facilities in 1949 reported that less The citizens of this city are not fully in- organizations or school officials

e-half of the schools in America have formed of the conditions in their schools. cannot do the job it should 'be

acceptable sanitary and washing facilities. If they were aware of such conditions they turned over to those who can do it.

Conditions were generally worse in the might feel it undesirable to permit their chil- The health of the children should

States having the poorer buildings and dren to attend school until improvements not be endangered while we wait to

having less funds for operating costs. One are made. School officials have an obliga. determine the line of authority or State reported that not more than 10 percent tion to inform the local citizens and patrons to train a new set of officials.

of its schools were equipped with adequate of the needs of their children.

3. School-sanitation programs should sanitary facilities, another that only 25 per

be set up on a planned basis. Areas of Poor Sanitation

cent of its schools had adequate hand-wash

Standards of performance should ing facilities. School officials felt that speIt is not feasible to describe or even list be established. Each school official

cific attention should be given to the imhere all of the various areas in school build

or employee should understand his

provement of sanitary facilities. School ings where sanitation becomes a serious

or her obligation in maintaining officials also report that REA programs had problem. In the two areas mentioned here

these standards. Deviations should

made it possible for many rural schools to sanitation often is not satisfactory and the be reported immediately.

provide running water and other desirable effects of poor sanitation in these areas may

4. The program
once established

sanitary facilities. It was generally felt be felt quickly.

must be maintained. Maintenance

that all schools should have running water, Toilet rooms.--A lack of adequate plan- will require an adequate inspection water flush toilets, hot and cold water for ning and poor installations are partly re- service. This inspection service wash basins, and shower-bath facilities, and sponsible for the low sanitary standards in

should be coupled with enforce

should provide soap, towels, and toilet patoilet, shower, and other sanitary service

ment powers. It is realized that

per. Many of the older washrooms are rooms. In addition maintenance is often

in many cases these procedures will

poorly planned and poorly located. inadequate. The following is only a par- extend beyond the autonomy of the tial listing of some of the conditions often

small local school district. When Preventive Sanitation found. Drinking fountain heads are not the health of the children is in

Every school building should be designed always properly shielded. The flow is not

volved we cannot afford to give for sanitary service. An examination of regulated and pupils' lips may touch open- more attention to local control de

(Continued on page 125) ings when drinking. Fountains are not ad. sires than to the protection of the justed in height to the pupils using them. child and his health.

1 Report on Pilot Questionnaire Addressed to School Many are not properly cleaned, are unat

Forty.second Street, New York City. p. 3.

than one



Administrators in 48 States.

Cleanliness Bureau, 11 West

Simpler Reading Materials Needed for

50,000,000 Adults

by Homer Kempfer, Specialist for General Adult and Post-High-School Education


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Grade level


Grade level






-HE READING LEVEL of most books, is in intermediate material of diverse con

Frequency of

Subject pamphlets, and magazines is too diffi. tent easy enough for those who have only Letter writing

4 cult for millions of American adults accord. a modicum of reading skill. This dearth


3 ing to the results of a recent inquiry. of material endangers the skills of those Miscellaneous

3 Fifty-six librarians and evening school adults who have learned to read only at the

What's the Answer? principals throughout the United States second-, third., or fourth-grade level. were asked: “At what grade levels of read. Reading skills, like other language skills,

The best answer, of course, is to eliminate ability is there the greatest shortage of must be maintained and, if at a low level, illiteracy entirely and to raise reading suitable reading material for adults ?must be improved for efficient use. Several

skills to full adult level both among adults Answers reported below show a gap be- million adults, aside from the outright illit

and the stream of youth passing the comtween the barely literate level and the full erates, are too weak in reading skill to profit pulsory school ages each year. This would adult level.

even from tabloids. Much of this

repre- (1) require more money for buildings and Frequency of

teachers to extend and improve our elesents either failure to acquire sufficient skill

Frequency of l..

mentary education so that youth could not 14 6.

or deterioration of reading skills once 15 7-

18 possessed. The shortage of easy reading grow up in illiteracy and (2) an energetic 3. 21 8.

14 27 9.


materials is a major contributing cause of literacy campaign among our millions of 5. 32 High school and both. The increased effectiveness of ad

illiterate adults. above----

vertising, the enlargement of markets, and Another answer, partial at best, is to prePlenty of other evidence points up the the general improvement of both vocational pare

and distribute materials of diverse conneed for easy materials—at the sixth-grade and general competence which could result tent, suitable for adults of low reading level or below.

from making all adults functionally literate ability. 1. Nearly one-seventh of our adults age is incalculably great.

Preparation of materials, while requir25 and above have not gone beyond the Much of this need for materials is in the ing skills not widely found, may be the fourth grade.

nonfiction field as indicated by answers to easier problem. Word lists, readability 2. Nearly one-half of all adults have not this question: "How acute is the need for formulas, and a number of other tools definished more than the ninth grade. Be- more nonfiction reading material for adults veloped by research make it possible for a cause of forgetting and other reasons, adults who can read only at the third-, fourth-, or writer with reasonably good language fa. usually read comfortably two or three fifth-grade levels -- adults who

adults who cannot cility to learn to write at a given grade level grades below their last grade of schooling. handle normal 'adult' materials of eighth- without sacrificing an appealing style.

3. Two-thirds of our people never fre- grade level or higher?” The answers and Adaptation of materials to lower grade levquent libraries—partly because the bulk of number of times mentioned: Little, 15; els can also be learned. Reading experts material contained therein is too difficult for moderate, 10; considerable, 18; great, 12; have already helped some government dethem. no answer, 1.

partments, newspapers, and other publish4. Annual sales of adult trade books The fields of needed material were ex- ers to reduce the difficulty of their publicanever exceed one for every four adults. plored by another question: “In what sub- tions. Most of this, however, has been a Only 25 percent of our population read ject fields is the need for materials of low reduction from the difficult technical to the books, as against 50 percent magazines, and and intermediate difficulty most acute?”

average level; little of it has benefited the 95 percent newspapers.

below-average reader. Enough simplifica

Frequency of

Subject 5. Easy-to-read magazines are

tion has been done, however, to demonstrate CitizenshipHomemaking

20 mously popular.

that it is practicable. Family life and parent education.


Distribution seems to be the key problem. A growing amount of instructional m Science and technology-

18 Health..

17 Most of the market is not organized for mass terial is being written for adult illiterates in



sale as is true of the textbook market. Only cluding several items produced by the Lit- Consumer education.

Arts and crafts..

8 a very small percentage of illiterate adults eracy Education Project recently sponsored



Public speakingby the Office of Education. The shortage

are in literacy classes each year. Unless

8 Recreation

7 the materials can be given away, mass sale Elementary education..

5 1 See SCHOOL LIFE, 32:74, February 1950.



(Continued on page 127)






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