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JUNE, 1936 

The Story of the Woodbine Colony 

Anthony J. Mitrano* 

Down in the flat lands of South Jersey midst the low scrub 
pines and but a few miles from the island playground of Atlan- 
tic City is a Colony of more than six hundred handicapped but 
happy souls. In the legal archives of Jersey this institution 
is labeled the Woodbine Colony for Feebleminded Males. Since 
feebleminded institutions are quite plentiful on the Eastern Sea- 
board there is apparently no reason why one of them should be 
singled out for especial mention. But mankind has always 
evinced an interest in the rare and unusual. The Woodbine 
Colony is perhaps the only one of its kind in existence—a place 
designed solely for the care and treatment of idiots... those 
homo sapiens who by definition are possessed of the lowest de- 
gree of mentality. Since the Woodbine institution represents 
a step forward in the care and treatment of idiocy we are of 
the opinion that a few comments concerning its history, pro- 
gram, and activities may not be out of place. We shall give, 
first, a brief history of the establishment and growth of the in- 
stitution; then we shall present a general picture of some inter- 
esting but generally unknown facts about the education, train- 
ing, play, and personality of the idiot. Such information might 
prove of value to administrators and teachers engaged in insti- 
tutional work; further, some of the facts might prove of interest 
to the layman who is eager to obtain a clearer conception of 
idiocy—quite divorced from textbook paintings of this condition. 

* The auth 

work at th We graduate student at Yale University, is at present conducting research 

indebtedn ¢ Woodbine Colony. He wishes to take this opportunity of expressing his 

invaluable a to Mr. E. L. Johnstone, Superintendent of the Woodbine Colony, for his 
© assistance and criticism during the preparation of this manuscript. 


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Baron Maurice de Hirsch, a wealthy French philanthropist, 
disturbed by the persecution of Jews in Southern Russia during 
the latter years of the nineteenth century, decided to aid in al. | 
leviating the suffering of his people. Rather than turn over 
mere grants of charity, he bought and set aside large tracts of 
land in various parts of the United States which would serve 
as homesteads for the emigrants. His purpose was laudable. 
He wished to give them the opportunity of securing financial and 
spiritual independence and believed that a return to agricul 
tural pursuits would be the most certain means of effecting 
this. Each family was given a suitable tract of land under a 
long term lease. The terms were by no means stringent and 
emigrants were aided in a variety of ways. Cattle, seeds, and 
agricultural implements were furnished; homes and barns were 
built; financial aid for colonization was always readily avail- 
able. One of the areas where colonization was attempted was 
at Woodbine, New Jersey. 

In order to more adequately train the Jewish race in scien- 
tific methods of farming, the Baron de Hirsch foundation estab- 
lished a school of agriculture within the limits of the borough 
of Woodbine; this school, organized in 1897, was the first second- 
ary school of agriculture in the United States. Emigrants who 
had settled on other tracts throughout the country came to the 
Baron de Hirsch school to obtain the necessary knowledge for 
successful farming. It flourished for a number of years and 
graduated men who have since attained eminence as professors 
of agriculture. But improving economic conditions enticed 
many of the Jews into other spheres of activity, mainly com- 
mercial. Gradually, the school of agriculture lost its enroll- 
ment and it was finally compelled to shut its doors in 1919. 

Shortly after the closing of the school the trustees of the 
Baron de Hirsch foundation offered the estate of the agricultural 
school to the State of New Jersey provided that the State could 
find some way of utilizing it as a charitable institution. The 
estate covered 105 acres and had a number of substantial units 
such as the administration building, the school building, the 
commisary, the power house, and several farmers’ cottages. 
This offer by the Baron de Hirsch foundation came as a golden 
opportunity to the State which at that time had just set up 


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the Department of Institutions and Agencies. This department, 
which has always played an enviable role in the advancement 
of social welfare movements, was desirous of more carefully 
and scientifically segregating its wards according to the nature 
of the disease, the handicap involved, the mental age, the chron- 
ological age, et cetera. Spurred on by the enthusiasm and prom- 
ised cooperation of Dr. Edward R. Johnstone, Director of the 
Training School at Vineland, and Mr. George B. Thorn, Superin- 
tendent of the State School at Vineland, the State accepted the 
offer of the Baron de Hirsch foundation and appointed a com- 
mittee composed of the above two and Mr. Barton T. Fell to 
supervise the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the estate of 
the school of agriculture to provide an institution for the care 
and treatment of the low-grade mentally deficient. 

The committee was allotted $50,000 and given absolute con- 
trol of the reconstruction program. Naturally, the plans moved 
forward rapidly and within three months the institution was 
ready for occupancy. During May and June of 1921, thirteen 
patients were admitted, some of them from the Training School 
at Vineland. According to those familiar with the place at 
that time, the institution was a hastily renovated job. The cow 
barn and commissary unit had been turned into dormitories; 
the school building became a combined ward, employees’ hous- 
ing unit, and kitchen; the administration building served its 
former purposes but also housed some employees. Yet, in spite 
of the many contrasts and incongruities, the place was tenta- 
tively satisfactory. It now remained to be seen if the segrega- 
tion of idiots would prove to be feasible and practicable. For 
three years, in order to await results, little was done in improve- 
ing the tract or in the training and education of the inmates. 
Custodial care and treatment was the order of the day. 

The institution was soon overcrowded. Starting with only 
thirteen patients in 1921, there were 114 in 1922, 119 in 1923, 
and 156 in 1924. Further, the waiting list was larger and in- 
creased at a more rapid pace than the admissions. So in 1925 
4 new program of construction was started; the completion of 
this Program will provide satisfactory maintenance for an ap- 
proximate maximum capacity of 800. So far, six new-type 
dormitories have been constructed; two more are to be built. 
Airy, spacious, and clean they provide model habitation for the 


The Training School Bulletin 

children. At the rear of each cottage is to be found a play. 
ground equipped with a variety of recreational paraphernalia, 
Other additions include a new kitchen and service building, 
modern laundry equipment and facilities, a new home for the 
superintendent, a larger power house, adequate sewage disposal 
facilities, and plumbing and electrical improvements; a 44 bed 
hospital is, also, under construction. 

The employees have not been forgotten, either. Spatially 
and temporally removed from what might be called the “nicer” 
aspects of civilization, life becomes somewhat boring and intol- 
erable unless some means of recreation and entertainment can 
be found. Realizing the need of providing opportunities for 
social expression, Mr. Edward L. Johnstone, Superintendent of 
the Woodbine Colony, urged the State to establish club rooms 
for the employees. These rooms were finished in the fall of 
’35 and are located on the second floor of the service building. 
They have been furnished by the employees with card tables, 
table tennis sets, pool tables, and other recreational equipment. 
Beautifully decorated, these rooms might well be envied by 
many a college president. At the present time, although con- 
struction is still going on, the institution presents a beautiful 
picture of a well-laid out “campus.” Its 638 inmates* and 13) 
employees find life enjoyable on an attractive area of 120 acres, 
60 of which are under cultivation. 


The traditions of the Vineland Training School seem to 
have permeated into the Colony at Woodbine—the transfer ef. 
fect is most noticeable in the school system. Mr. Edward L. 
Johnstone, the present Superintendent of the Woodbine Colony, 
is a son of the famed Professor Johnstone of Vineland. He 
appeared on the scene at Woodbine in 1924 as a “Sense Training 
and Vocational Instructor.” “I didn’t know what the title 
meant,” relates Mr. Johnstone, “but I was firmly convinced that 
the patients at Woodbine were just vegetating. Sitting all day 
long, many of them in bed, the outlook for the training and edv- 
cation of the idiot was anything but cheerful. Not knowing 
where to start and yet realizing that something had to be done, 

* (Although originally designed only as an idiot institution, the Woodbine Colony 4 
present also houses imbeciles and morons who by reason of their physical handicaps are 
placed at Woodbine, since institutional facilities for physically handicapped mental 
defectives have not yet been provided for in Jersey. The patient population includes 
358 idiots, 199 imbeciles, and 19 morons. In addition, there are 62 inmates who com 
stitute the “Helper Group.” These boys, high-grade mental defectives, have been trained 
in various New Jersey institutions and are able, as the result of such training, to carry 
on work and perform tasks which in quality approximate that of the ordinary laborer. 


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[started out by taking some of the children out on hikes, teach- 
ing them simple calisthenics, and finally, after the installation 
of a certain minimum amount of playground equipment, teach- 
ing them competitive, recreational games.”” Unfortunately for 
the development of the school system, Mr. Johnstone left the 
Colony in 1925. His work was continued by Mr. George Buhl 
who for a period of three years not only supervised the recrea- 
tional activities started by Mr. Johnstone but also made a 
number of psychological studies one of which has been reported 
in The Training School Bulletin. In 1929 Mr. Johnstone return- 
ed to the Colony as assistant to the Superintendent, Mr. John 
Tinsley. In addition to his duties as assistant to the superin- 
tendent, Mr. Johnstone also set out to train the children... 
using the methods of Seguin. Generally speaking, individual 
training rather than group teaching was carried out. Does a 
child delight in ripping his clothes and in tearing off his buttons 
and shoelaces? Then give him a pile of burlap bags and rags 
and have him tear them up to his heart’s content but into neat 
strips so that some other child who is interested in the making 
of a rug may have the prepared material available. In one 
instance, where no other arrangement could be found, a quiet 
spool-knitting adherent and a rip-tearing excitable child were 
matched up. The spool-knitter knit all day and as soon as he 
completed a piece of work the rip-tearer returned the product 
into raw materials. Both were perfectly happy! 

In 1930 Mr. Johnstone was made Superintendent and decid- 
ed that one of his major duties would be to institute a specific 
program of teaching and training the idiot. In the light of 
that purpose he had succeeded in obtaining the services of Miss 
Ethel Horsfield, sometime instructor at The Vineland Training 
School, and, later, Mrs. Pauline Van Cauwenberghe, a teacher 
in the public school system in Newark. In the beginning, no 
definite program of school work was set. The objectives, how- 
ever, were obvious. First of all, the apathetic child had to be 
stimulated into some form of diversional and recreational activ- 
ity.* Secondly, each child had to be trained to carry on some 
sort of work independently and thus be self-sufficient for at 

Borne ny be Pointed out that the term “occupational therapy” is possibly a mis- 

that Mr E svetied to the training of mentally deficient children. It is for this reason 

death euumana Johnstone has preferred that the work at Woodbine be termed “‘diver- 

tained, all —— or “diversional activity”. If therapeutic benefits are sometimes ob- 

behavie a and good. The emphasis, however, is in diverting the otherwise random 
tT of the idiot into socially approved and worthwhile channels. 


The Training School Bulletin 

least a few hours of each day. Thirdly, the “social maturity” 
age of each child had to be increased; that is, for example, the 
child had to taught to control his body functions, to eat without 
assistance, to wash his face and hands, to put on his shoes cor. 
rectly, et cetera. Fourthly, children who displayed supervisory 
ability were to be developed as leaders to carry out the teach. 
ings and enforce them not only in the school room, but also in 
the cottages and playgrounds. This last phase is in reality the 
rudimentary beginning of the establishment of ideals and taboos 
so necessary in the control of conduct and behavior in any 

organized society. The ultimate goal of the entire program of | 

training was to awaken the latent abilities of each child to the | 

end that he would more adequately contribute to his own self- 
help and, perchance, contribute to the care of others. 

At the end of the third year of the school system all the 
objectives outlined above were being realized. There were few 
miraculous achievements. Idiots were not transformed into 
geniuses; yet, it was not infrequent to find that a child diagnosed 
as an idiot was developing into an imbecile or, mayhap, into a 
low-grade moron. But the purpose, after all, was not to raise 
the intellectual status of the idiot. In the majority of cases 
such a hope leads to disillusionment. On the other hand, the 
training potentialities of the idiot are not to be ignored. Ar- 
rested as they may be in their mental development, they yet 
possess a considerable fund of capabilities which can be exploit- 
ed in increasing their happiness. 

The school system at Woodbine is now divided into three 
branches, namely: 

1. Classes for the development and coordination of mo- 
tor and physiological functions. 

2. Classes for the teaching of diversional and recreation- 
al activities. 

3. Handwork classes. 

As is apparent to the reader, these classes form a hierarchy. 
As the child develops maximum ability in one category, he is 
transferred to the next higher. Moreover, the training is not 
confined to the school department. Every activity becomes 4 
part of the diversional occupation program. The cottage plat, 
for example, is a graded system on the same order as the school 
system. The children are housed according to age, capabilities, 


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personalities, and sociability. Then, for instance, when a child 
housed in a “soil” or “crippled’’ cottage demonstrates adequate 
physiological or motor control of his body functions he is pro- 
moted to the next ranking cottage. Reward, moreover, does 
not culminate at Woodbine. The brighter children are occas- 
jonally transferred to The Training School at Vineland where 
more advanced facilities permit finer instruction and greater 
emphasis on academic training. 

The school system is under the general supervision of Mrs. 
Pauline Van Cauwenberghe. The other members of the school 
department are: Mr. Ludwig Faye, Mrs. Margaret W. Compton, 
Miss Lydia Meech, and Mr. Henry Weeks.* It must be strongly 
emphasized that the school department is consistently aided in 
all of this work by the cooperation of the housemothers in the 
cottages. Progress would be rather pointless without such co- 
operation. Let us now consider the nature of the work and the 
methods employed in the various branches of the school system. 

1. Classes for the development and coordination of 
motor and physiological functions 

The first purpose in these classes is to stimulate activity 
and to insist upon a daily routine of exercise and recreation. 
In those cases where motor control is almost entirely absent 
the house mother or an attendant will massage the members 
of the body and then put the child through a number of simple 
locomotor movements. The child is not kept in bed. Even if 
the child has no means of locomotion, he is nevertheless placed 
on the floor midst a number of brightly colored toys and en- 
couraged to reach for them and play. This often leads to a 
crude form of crawling and occasionally to purposeful walking. 
Having established some form of locomotion, the child is then 
taught to go to the bath room, to the dinner table, and to bed 
unassisted. Simple exercises are then instituted, more notably, 
walking around in “chain-gang” fashion and while doing so rais- 
ing the arms above the head, to the side, and to the front. It is 
necessary to resort to various aids in many cases. One piece of 
apparatus which has been found most useful in the development 
of walking is two horizontal bars, placed parallel to each other 
and three feet from the floor. The child is placed between the 
bars and permitted to walk by helping himself with the support 

“ The three last named teachers are W. P. A. employees. Their addition to the school 
staff has made possible the increased scope of work which is being carried out. 


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The Training School Bulletin 

of his arms on the bars. Crutches are also used. These are fre. 
quently made from discarded broom handles with a piece of 
rubber heel attached to one end. Wheel chairs, however, have 
been storaged except in three cases. There were thirty-three 
of them in use five years ago. It was found that if the child 
were placed in a wheel chair he would show little inclination 
to abandon it. Not only did the wheel chairs hinder learning 
and develoment, but they also cluttered up the day rooms of 
the cottages. This necessitated the employment of attendants 
for the purpose of carrying the child from the wheel chair to 
the bath room, bed, table, and playground. 

By physiological control we mean the elimination of such 
undesirable habits as drooling, and uncontrolled defecation and 
urination. These behavior traits are not only socially repug- 
nant but also economically burdensome. The cottage with a 
large percentage of children with such habits will have an of- 
fensive “institutional odor,’ a maximum number of attendants 
on duty both night and day, and an ever perplexing problem of 
laundry service. The first procedure in the control of such habits 
is to have each child go to the bathroom every half hour. This, 
however, is an expediency necessitated by the exigencies of 
cleanliness. Hand in hand with this the child is subjected to 
associative learning of the conditioned reaction type. He is 
taught to associate the raising of his hand, a guttural sound, 
a word, or the holding of his stomach with the need of going 
to the toilet. In one case where the only motor expression was 
the contraction of the fingers of the hand, the child learned to 
press a rubber whistle to signify his needs. In connection with 
the problem of enuresis it was discovered that much nocturnal 
bed wetting could be eliminated if the temperature of the bath- 
room was lower than the temperature of the bed room. This 
finding is, no doubt, based upon a convenient physiological prir- 
ciple. If the child goes from a warm bed to a cold bath room 
the sphincter muscles will have a tendency to relax and thus 
stimulate adequate voiding reactions. It is encouraging to re 
port that at Woodbine unhoped for success has attended efforts 
controlling various physiological functions. Drooling is almost 
almost nonexistent and habits of urination and defecation have 
readily lent themselves to learning. 


The Training School Bulletin 

2. Classes for the teaching of diversional and recrea- 
tional activities 

There are three developmental phases to these classes. 
When first admitted the child is taught to sing Mother Goose 
rimes and other ditties such as the “Farmer in the Dell” liked 
by children. The method of instruction is to have the child 
imitate the singing of the teacher. Poetry is also taught. The 
acme of the first phase of development is to have the child be- 
come a member of the “Rhythm Band” where he is given a bell, 
ora jingle, or a drum and taught to keep in time with the singing 
of others and to piano playing. The second developmental 
phase attempts to incorporate some of the rhythm and music 
of the first phase into simple childhood games such as hopping, 
skipping, leapfrog, and somersaulting. Thus, rhythm is fused 
with motor control. The third phase is really an elementary 
form of creative work precedent to the handwork classes. 
Whereas the child was formerly taught to more adequately ex- 
press himself in play and song, he is now permitted to engage 
in simple creative work such as folding, cutting, pasting, and 
coloring of pictures; weaving paper strips; stringing beads ac- 
cording to color, size, and shape. One of the more fascinating 
aspects of this phase is the clay modeling. The teacher will 
tell the story of a cat, for example, and then introduce one into 
the room. After the instruction period the child is told to go 
to the clay pile and “make a cat.” After the completion of 
the task, the child is asked to get up before the class and “tell 
us all about it” while displaying the results of his efforts. And 
although most of them can use only single words and phrases, 
guttural sounds and gestures make the story complete. Diver- 
sional and recreational activities are carried over into the play- 
ground and into the cottages under the tutelage of leaders. 
“Rover Red Rover,” “Leap Frog,” “Marbles,” and “Ring Ball” 
are some of the games which are played. 

3. Handwork Classes. 

The most advanced category of instruction at Woodbine is 
represented by the handwork classes. The diversional and re- 
creational class pupils are often envious of the achievements 
of the pupils in these “advanced” classes and strive to ‘be ad- 
mitted, but it is necessary, as a rule, to restrict the class to 
pupils who have a mental age of at least a year and a half 


The Training School Bulletin 

and a fair degree of motor control. Various types of work are 
done in these classes and rather than go into a detailed discus. 
sion of what is done we shall conveniently summarize the work 


1. Unraveling burlap bags to obtain prepared material for 
the making of cocoa mats. 

2. The making of Persian rugs from wool. 

3. The making of braid woven and hooked rugs from the 
discarded stockings of inmates and employees. 

4. - The making of different kinds of brushes used in clean- 
ing, mopping, and scrubbing in the cottages. 

5. The making of woolen knitting bags, purses, and doilies, 

6. The making of waste baskets, hanging baskets, chairs, 
and foot stools. 

7. The making of embroiderd wall hangings and pictures. 

It might be mentioned that embroidery offers the greatest 
training possibilities in the handwork classes, since by varying 
the design and color of the article a new situation is presented 
the child and provides a stimulating change of interest. Fur- 
ther, by taking new and more complicated stitches the adaptive 
child will be spurred to greater heights of creative accomplish- 

The story of the school system has been outlined in a more 
or less rubric fashion. We have limited ourselves in giving 
only the more salient features. Unless the reader were to visit 
the institution, he would be unable to fairly appraise the pro- 
gress made. 

But not all of the Woodbine boys go to school. Some have 
been “graduated” and others have not required the benefits of 
“formal” training. These individuals are the older boys who 
do no small part of the yeoman service which is needed in the 
maintenance of a large plant. They work in the “out gang,” 
in the kitchen and cottages, on the farm, and in the laundry. 
The tasks vary from such simple chores as weeding, dusting, 
and sweeping, to setting and waiting on tables, making beds, 
and running errands. Of course, most of the boys require sup- 
ervision but certain of them, who have their own particular 

routine, may for days perform their tasks without guidance of 
assistance of any kind. 


The Training School Bulletin 


As the result of the lack of systematic psychological re- 
search, idiots have been targets for a vast amount of specula- 
tion much of which is yet prevelant. These opinons are the 
result of casual observation. Let us cite a number of examples 
of such statements from various authorities. 

“The idiot is, of course, incapable of even caring for 

himself; he is simply a custodial case, a misformed ani- 

mal which society insists must be kept alive until mer- 

cifully it dies” (*, page 227). 

“In the case of idiots gross errors of conduct, incoher- 

ence, irrationality, and dirty habits are common” (**, 

page 228). 

“The instinct-emotional life is crude and uninhibited. 

The appetite is voracious. Animal-like, they gulp 

down anything with little mastication. Anger and 

fear are evident, but self-protective power is at a mini- 
mum. There is nothing which could be termed intelli- 

gent play. And they are destructive. Some show Ds 

signs of affection. With most it is difficult if not im- .* 

possible to teach the fundamental habits of physical 

cleanliness” (***, page 394). 


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The above statements suffice to give the text-book coloring 
of the condition of idiocy. To those engaged in institutional 
care of idiots such statements, although not entirely unjustified, 
are not representative of all the facts. It may perhaps be true 
that in a few institutions such conditions exist, but it is cer- 
tainly not true at Woodbine. To what may we ascribe the dif- a 
ference, assuming that there is one? 

It must not be forgotten that at one time hope was held : 
that idiocy was a phenomenon amenable to therapy. It was the 3 
belief of Seguin that mental defectives could be brought to nor- fe 
maley. Such a hope lead to disillusionment and, tragically, 
toa reactionary stage. This reactionism has taken this trend % 
of thought, “Since we cannot cure the mentally defective, why 
bother to train them?” More specifically, it has consisted in giv- 

athe ee and L. C., Mental abnormality and deficiency. New: The Mac 
* Schrubsall, F. C. Jilliams ‘inden ; 

sity of London in A. C., Mental deficiency practice. London: Univer 
Cogent, F- S., Principles of abnormal psychology. New York: Henry Holt and 



The Training School Bulletin 

ing training and guidance only to those in whom the effects of 
instruction are most noticeable and rapid, i.e., the high-grade 
imbecile and moron. The idiot has been ignored, neglected, and 
relegated to custodial care. Under such conditions of neglect 
it is not surprising that idiots present a most unattractive ap. 
pearance. The point which we wish to stress is that repug- 
nant behavior traits are not inherent in the idiot. Under maxi- 
mum supervision and guidance, the behavior of the idiot is no 
more repugnant than that of the normal child of the same 
mental age. If the child of two years wallows in filth, screeches 
and yells, gulps his food, and is destructive, the finger of scorn 
may more often than not more justly be pointed at the parent 
than at the child. Likewise with idiocy. If institutional ad. 
ministrators are of the belief that custodial care is the only 
alternative, then they must be held to account for much of the 
“queerness” of idiocy. 

Aside from the purely altrusitic question of raising the 
standards of behavior and cleanliness among idiots, there is the 
practical problem of economy to be faced. The institution 
which makes a serious effort to teach and instruct its idiot 
population will find that in the long run the school system will 
repay itself. A certain number of brushes, mats, and rugs will 
be furnished by the idiot classes; the control of undesirable 
physiological habits will curtail the laundry needs and lessen 
the labor of attendants. Cleanliness is then not so vexing 
a problem. In the redirection of random behavior, the material 
result, such as a rug or a basket, may not always be a com- 
modity of value, but through the very process of training, the 
subject acquires habits which are economically desirable. 
To ignore the training potentialities of the idiot is tantamount 
to increasing the economic burden of the institution. 

In conclusion, let us lament the fact that the idiot has not 
been subjected to more intensive research studies . . . for his 
own good and for the light he might shed on the functioning of 
the human mind. Comparative psychologists are prone to re 
mark on the merits of infra-human studies of behavior in shed- 
ding more light upon the human mind. Rats, cats, dogs, and 
chimpanzees are extolled. But the idiot, whose simplicity of 
behavior manifestations should make him an excellent subject 
for research, is ignored. Apparently the “odium theologicum" 
of the handicapped, a relic of medievalism, is not yet a dissi- 
pated entity. 


The Training School Bulletin 


We called attention to some modern aids to teaching in The 
Training School Bulletin for December 1935. These sugges- 
tions may have seemed ingenuous to those teachers who were 
already using these devices, but we have been surprised to learn 
how many teachers of subnormal children are not familiar with 
them. Our attention has since been called to the helpful ma- 
terial published by the American Education Press, at Columbus, 
Ohio, which issues excellent inexpensive material especially val- 
uable in the early grades and especially useful for mentally 
retarded children. At the moment we especially commend the 
Unit STuDY READERS, published by this press, because the 
content, vocabulary, and style of this material seem particularly 
well adapted to the mentally handicapped. These READERS do 
more than facilitate good reading, they provide excellent read- 
ing matter that the chronologically mature but mentally imma- 
ture pupil finds especially valuable. 

These readers are well graded by school grade and mental 
ability level, are marked for grade, deal with the surrounding 
cultural and social world, social events, and social organizations, 
and are fascinating for grown-up children and even adults. Each 
book, of which there are about fifteen at each grade level, serves 
as a supplementary reader. These books meet a definite need 
in education by providing material that fits into an activity 
program. Moreover, not the least of the advantages are the 
low cost and the readiness with which they can be exchanged 
among pupils. 

This American Education Press is the same house that 
Basic SUBJECTS, and other modern material that the progressive 
teacher of handicapped children will find very useful. Moreover, 
this material is well organized from the point of view of con- 
tent and teaching method as well as wholesome incentive and 
inherent interest. 


The Training School Bulletin 

The Plymouth Press, of Chicago, Illinois, likewise publishes 
many useful devices which are educationally helpful, especially 
with subnormal pupils. This material is useful for individya) 
instruction and corrective teaching, particularly with those pu- 
pils who have an emotional antagonism toward certain subjects 
and the traditional method of dealing with these subjects, 
These emotional sets often trace their origin to poor teaching 
and poor teaching material and are usually difficult to eradicate. 

It is not practicable to call attention to the detailed mater. 
ial available from the Plymouth Press and from the American 
Education Press, but both of these houses will no doubt be glad 
to supply teachers with catalogues, if not also sample materials, 

We invite the readers of The Bulletin to “write up” their 
own experiences with educational devices and materials which 
they have found useful. Do not hesitate because you think all 
other teachers are fainiliar with these. E. A. D. 


Our forty-eighth Annual Day was one of the finest we have 
had. The attendance was large and the interest manifested in 
the work of every department of the School was a great inspir- 
ation to both employees and children. The reports of the Asso- 
ciation meeting will appear in the September Bulletin. 

The testimonial dinner given the previous evening for Mr. 
Branson for his thirtieth anniversary as a member of our Asso- 
ciation was an enjoyable occassion. 

Summer activities began with the closing of the regular 
classwork at school. Baseball, swimming and other sports of- 
fer recreation. Camp will open in July. Among the younger 
school boys, creative interests have already begun to spring up. 
Tents, playhouses, wagons and carts are developing in every 
back yard. 

Children’s gardens are a constant interest and are found at 
practically every cottage. The children run to the garden the 
first thing in the morning to see “what’s up.” It is seldom 
that some child is not found either working or just looking at 
the garden. 


The Training School Bulletin 

The gardens at the Colony, of which Raymond has been 
the leader for years, have developed in size and are indeed real 
beauty spots. Many another garden is growing beautiful flow- 
ers from the seeds that were gathered and carefully classified 
and sent as Christmas gifts to his friends. 

The following program was presented by the school child- 
ren for the entertainment of our guests on Annual day. A 
similar program will be given on parents’ day, July fourth. 

The Village of Happiness Amateur Hour 
Over Station T. S. V. at Vineland, N. J. 
Mr. Wilbur Budd—Announcer 

Recitation—“‘Back Seat Driving” - - - - - Solomon 
“The Merry Widow” - - - - - - - - -  - Band 
Sports Drill - - - - - - - - Horace and his pals 
Song—“Keep That Twinkle’ - - - - May and Jimmy 
Clog Dancing - - - - - - - Eddie and his buddies 
“Stars of the Summer Night” - - - Junior Brass Quartet 
Calisthenic Drilland Song - - - Johnand his gym-mates 
Games and Songs - - - Joseph and Kindergarten Class 
AFairy Tale - - - - - - - - - -  - Charlie 
Tinkling Tambourines - - Mabel and her dancing friends 
Russian Folk Dance - - - - Harvey and his class-mates 
Recitation—“‘When Mother Looks at Me” - - - Horace 
An Interpretive Dance—“To Spring” Florence and flower girls 
Finale Ensemble—‘“‘Just Singing Along” - Eighty children 

A boy in a special school had for his task among other 
things, the care of certain pieces of equipment. After an ab- 
sence of two days, he returned to find part of the equipment 
broken. He was disturbed and said, “There, that is why I never 
can take a day off. Something is sure to happen and go wrong 
when I am away.” This may be just an amusing remark, but 
underlying, the gratified teacher finds that a sense of respons- 
ibility has been developed, a feeling of being needed has been 
engendered, and a certain security has been given to the boy 
which will be a good foundation to help him meet the larger 
tasks to follow. 

The Binet Review 


The Training School Bulletin 

Committee on Research and Provision 

Clarrette Sehon 
Executive Secretary, The Training School at Vineland, N. J. 


To make this annual report absolutely correct as such, 
columns of figures and statistics should be given concerning the 
contacts that have been continued by personal visits and mail, 
with the lawyers, the trust officers and the doctors in our files; 
the many speaking engagements that have been filled with dif- 
ferent organizations and club groups; the articles that have 
been written for publication in magazines and newspapers; the 
exhibits prepared and taken to large conventions; and the other 
specific lines of work that have been furthered to.keep this de- 
partment growing. 

Instead, however, I wish to tell more informally, of certain 
work or events that seem to stand out during the year, as most 
representative of growth and progress. 

The first event of importance was the exhibit prepared for 
the New Jersey Federation of Women’s Clubs, and taken to 
their conference in May, 1935. This conference lasted four 
days, with club women attending from all over New Jersey. 
The exhibit from The Training School consisted of pictures, post- 
ers, and attractive handwork made by the children in the School 
Department, and was kept open from early morning until late 
at night, creating considerable interest in the work of the 

It was at this convention that I met with the committee to 
talk over plans for making a New Jersey Women’s Club Federa- 
tion project of the Research Endowment Fund created by the 
Vineland Woman’s Club the year before. The idea met with 
favor and soon the necessary steps were taken and the Endow- 
ment Fund project for the Vineland Research Laboratory was 
absorbed by the Welfare Department of the State Federation. 
I was made State Chairman of a new committee, and through the 
past months have continued the work, asking clubs to contribute 
five cents a member toward this fund. On April 30, 1936, we 


The Training School Bulletin 

had received contributions from 97 clubs, totaling $625.88; this 
sum including the splendid gift of $219.00 from the mother club 
in Vineland. (On June 10th, 1936, the amount was $663.00 
from 107 clubs.) This represents interest and cooperation 
among thousands of club women throughout New Jersey, and 
is another step in the growth of the project which we hope 
some day will be national in scope. 

In June, a special exhibit, consisting of a puppet show, was 
planned and taken to the American Medical Association meet- 
ing in Atlantic City. Puppets were ordered from expert Pup- 
petiers, and I wrote a little three-act sketch, depicting the fam- 
ily problem of a subnormal child in a normal home. The little 
show was given many times each day, and each time the doc- 
tors not only filled the Training School booth, but over-flowed 
into the booths nearby and filled the aisles. Literature was 
given out during the week of the convention, and many of the 
doctors have since written for more information, some also 
recommended that certain children be sent to the School. 

Through the summer my schedule of speaking engagements 
was prepared. About 65 invitations to speak before groups 
were received, though it was only possible to accept 43 of this 
number. The invitations came from every part of New Jersey, 
and included such groups as Women’s Clubs, Parent-Teacher 
Associations, Women’s Auxiliaries to County Medical Societies, 
Nurses’ Associations, University Alumnae, Daughters of the 
American Revolution, Church Societies and High School stu- 
dents; the most distant coming from Wheeling, West Virginia. 
There I was invited to speak before a club that has a member- 
ship of about 1200. In each case the organization has paid 
traveling expenses, including the trip to Wheeling. 

Through the summer also came the changing of the little 
puppet show arranged for the American Medical Association 
into a similar one that would be usable for talks before clubs. 
Through the cooperation of Mrs. Nash, a copy of the little 
theatre first used was made, and that is now a permanent part 
of my equipment. Through the year, wherever the puppet show 
rs “7 in connection with my talk, it was received with in- 

We have started a survey of the pupil inquiries covering 
the years 1932-35. Card file abstracts have been made from 


The Training School Bulletin 

Miss Lapp’s files, covering those who did not come to the Schoo] 
as pupils, stating, if known, why they did not come, where they 
went, source of inquiry, etc. The correspondence relating to 
those who entered the School is scattered, and while we haye 
looked for the sources of the original inquiries, this correspond. 
ence has not been abstracted. 

In October, Pearl Buck gave another of her fine lectures for 
the benefit of our Research Laboratory. This, the third, was 
given in the Academy of Music, in Philadelphia, under arrange- 
ments made with the Philadelphia Forum. From this lecture, 
The Training School realized $857.75, and being under the aus. 
pices of the Forum, I had no responsibility as to the publicity 
and sale of tickets, and therefore no expenses. 

In November my work began with Clubs in earnest, and 
from then on, I was more or less constantly “on the go,” meet- 
ing large groups and small groups, and always talking and 
answering questions abovt The Training School. 

In looking about for an auspicious place for another of 
Pearl Buck’s benefit lectures, a suggestion came that one might 
be possible in Washington, with Mrs. Roosevelt as_ sponsor. 
This suggestion was followed through, plans starting sometime 
in December, being fostered by the exceptionally fine coopera- 
tion of several Training School friends. I first visited Mrs. 
Roosevelt at the White House on the 17th of January, and she 
graciously consented to head our list of patronesses, as well 
as to introduce Pearl Buck on the evening of the lecture. 

Through January, February and March, trips to Washing- 
ton had to be arranged to fit in with my previously scheduled 

program of lectures and other work in progress, both in and 
out of the office. 

It was not possible to find in Washington an organized 
group to sponsor our lecture, so it was necessary to go ahead 
for the first time, ‘on our own.” I found a most efficient and 
delightful person there to take charge of the publicity and the 
sale of tickets, and after visits to some twelve or fifteen audi- 
toriums, decided that Constitution Hall, seating approximately 
4,000, would be the best place for our meeting. One of our 
Washington friends gave me a list of suggestions for patrons 
and patronesses, and I had many interesting and enjoyable ex- 
periences when calling upon them, with the result that through 


The Training School Bulletin 

these personal visits and correspondence, we were honored by 
having 53 of the finest and best known men and women in the 
country become patrons and patronesses for our event. Dr. 
J. W. Studebaker, Federal Commissioner of Education, delight- 
ed everyone when he accepted our invitation to preside at the 


It was during my visit in this connection that I called on 
one gentle and charming lady, who did not wish to be a pat- 
roness, but gave me a check for $1000.00 to be used for our 


On the evening of the lecture, Mrs. Roosevelt gave a dinner 
at the White House, and included among the guests were Pearl 
Buck and her husband, Mr. Richard J. Walsh, Dr. and Mrs. 
Studebaker, the Honorable and Mrs. Sanford Bates, Dr. John- 
stone, Dr. Doll and myself. After the dinner we were all sent in 
the White House cars to Constitution Hall, and were happy to 
find that great auditorium more than two-thirds filled with 
eager people, who had come to pay tribute and to enjoy the 

Dr. Studebaker opened the meeting, telling of the work of 
The Vineland Training School Laboratory and its value to edu- 
cation in general. He then introduced Dr. Johnstone, who ex- 
pressed appreciation to all present, in behalf of the great group 
of children who could not say “Thank you” for themselves. 
Then Dr. Studebaker introduced Mrs. Roosevelt, who in turn, 
introduced Pearl Buck. 

Pearl Buck was her most delightful self, and held those 
hundreds of people spellbound for an hour and a half, telling 
them of “China, the Land I Know Best,” and then for another 
half hour, answering questions sent to the platform. 

The meeting was a success financially, with $1855.85 com- 
ing in from the sale of tickets, but even more worth-while was 
the fact that the scientific work of The Training School was 
brought to the attention of so many illustrious individuals in 
our Nation’s Capitol. We believe we shall be getting echoes 
from the evening of April 8, 1936 for many years to come. For 
all this we are deeply indebted to Pearl Buck. 

During one of my visits to Washington, I called on Mrs. 
Roberta Campbell Lawson, the National President of the Feder- 
ation of Women’s Clubs, and talked with her about the possi- 


The Training School Bulletin 

bilities of trying to create among women’s groups all over the 
country, a special interest in the feeble-minded. She was very 
cordial and suggested that I see Mrs. Fraim, of Wilmington, 
the National Chairman for Club Welfare work, under whose 
direction such work would come. I have since called on Mrs. 
Fraim, and found her to be most interested, and we hope soon 
to be able to lay plans for National work. 

The closing event of this year was our Women’s Club Spend- 
the-Day Party on April 29th. On that day about 250 women 
from all over New Jersey, some from as far away as Orange, 
Roselle and Cape May, came to spend the day at The Training 
School. We took the entire group to visit the Colony at Menan- 
tico. Mr. and Mrs. Merithew acted as hosts, and we had our 
luncheon there in the boys’ sunny and attractive dining rooms. 
Afterwards all came back to Garrison Hall for the afternoon 
program, which consisted of a splendid entertainment under 
Mrs. Nash’s direction, and talks by Professor Johnstone, Dr. 
Doll and Dr. Kreezer. 

Because we are attempting to develop a real Research En- 
dowment Fund in our New Jersey Federation, and because we 
believe that only by first-hand knowledge can the problems of 
the feeble-minded be really understood, I have emphasized 
through this past year the work with club women. It has been 
a satisfaction to note that the group of those really interested 
is steadily growing and increasing in power. 

The past year has been the busiest and the most gratifying 
since I have been with the School, and I wish to express my 
deep appreciation to Professor Johnstone, the members of my 
Committee, and all of the others who have helped, through their 
encouragement and understanding, to make the work of this 
department more valuable to The Training School.