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devote themselves purely to the pursuit of personal pleasure. These women realize that an increase of ease and comfort means also an increased responsibility for the way in which they are to meet their changed conditions and the first question which they asked themselves, after their eyes had become somewhat accustomed to the growing light of freedom was, “In what way can we become most useful in this new universe in which we are to live?"
Woman had learned motherhood, and beauty, and cleanliness before she entered her new life. Some people still assert that all her work for education and philanthropy, grows out of her knowledge of motherhood and all that the term implies; that all her devotion to art and civics and forestry is but the natural outlet of her love for order and beauty. But be that as it may, she soon found avenues unexplored and she formed with others of her kind, study classes, and gained what help she could from research and discussion. These study classes have been the means of developing and training many a mind which would otherwise be still dwelling on petty neighborhood differences.
But the self-culture club, the exclusive club of ten or fifteen years ago where twenty-five or thirty chosen women met and discussed matters in which they alone were interested, the club that was a semi-social affair and which only those women who were socially congenial were invited to join, is fast disappearing and the best clubwomen are bidding it a glad farewell for in its place there has arisen the inclusive club whose watchword is service to humanity.
What part has the woman's club in educational progress?
For improved school conditions the club has shown great activity and many a kindergarten, manual training and domestic science room owes its existence directly to the clubwomen.
Each state federation of women's clubs has a wellorganized Educational Committee who are bending every effort toward the betterment of educational conditions in their state. In New Hampshire the Educational Committee is devoting itself to securing the lengthening of the school year in rural districts, the increasing of the number of public school superintendents, and the assisting of New Hampshire girls to a higher education in normal schools, in domestic science schools, and in colleges.
Everywhere women are awakening to the fact that, if we are to have women as teachers and girls as pupils, if we are to expect from school boards any supervision over the sanitary conditions of the school houses, if we are to have school rooms and grounds made beautiful and attractive, we should have on our school boards women, as well as men, who can and will devote time and thought to these matters. Women are beginning to realize that they too are responsible for the improper educational conditions wherever they prevail and already they are working to make them right.
A great movement in charge of the joint committee of the Collegiate Alumnæ and the Federation of Women's Clubs in Massachusetts, aims to secure the most efficient teachers possible for the salaries paid, regardless of their place of residence at the time of
appointment. General Federation of Clubs is making a strong campaign for better child labor laws. The General Federation also urges the establishment of juvenile courts and the probation system for youthful offenders and uniform legislation in all states and territories for the protection of children.
A significant feature of our work is the education of the adult population by means of lecture courses, open to the public. In almost every town, regardless of its size, where a woman's club has been organized, the lecture course is an annual feature of the work. It varies in usefulness and scope, according to the size and financial standing of the club, from a course which presents the best lectures in history, science, literature and art to the course which simply employs the local clergymen or the officers of the state federation. But, be it the broader course or the more restricted one, the club is still the means of extending its educating influence and the magazines and the newspapers, the encyclopedia and the public library become each year more and more the intimate and appreciated friends of the people because of the awakening of an interest by the lecture course of the woman's club.
Another means of educational progress which owes much to the club movement is the Traveling Library. One of the most interesting exhibits at the St. Louis Biennial was a fully-equipped circulating library. In this way thousands of books are to-day going from town to town all over the United States, sent out by women of the different federations. Massachusetts alone sends out five thousand volumes. Maine, whose work has been recognized and adopted by the State,
sends out five thousand more. Many other state federations are doing this work with marked success.
A very important work for education which is being vigorously pushed by clubwomen is the Arts and Crafts movement which is endeavoring to teach the great public to recognize good workmanship and to love simple and beautiful handiwork.
Forestry is already in the list of club interests and in many states the work done by the Forestry Committee has been the means of arousing the people to a keener appreciation of the beauty and value of the forests. This department is also teaching that Art is no longer a thing to be sought only in museums and in the homes of the rich, that Art may be out of doors as well as in doors. More and more is the knowledge spreading abroad that, wherever beauty appeals to the soul, touching life with an upward impulse, whether it be in the painting on the wall, in the bit of finely chiselled marble, in the neatly trimmed lawn, or in the grandeur of the forest, there is Art in its best and highest sense.
Everywhere the club movement is touching the industrial question and the working woman and child have become the especial charge of the club woman. Factory inspection, health inspection, day nurseries, evening clubs and classes are in many states the direct result of investigation and labor by clubwomen.
Civil Service Reform is counting among its advocates a few of the most advanced clubs and state federations.
The Legislative Committees of the various state federations are asking each year for better laws relating
to higher standards of morality, education and industrial life.
But the best and highest work which the club has done for education or civilization has been to teach each member and the world at large the true value of the individual. The club movement has been and still is a great leveler and no church exists to-day that has been so successful in its work for real Christianity as exemplified by the Golden Rule as the woman's club, which knows neither creed nor color but asks simply that each be of use according to her ability.
That the club movement is impetuous and crude at times and sometimes even impractical in its plans, the club women admit; but the wisest leaders know that their best work must be done as auxiliary and supplemental to that done by men along the same lines and the club committees who are to-day doing the most valiant service are working with the advice and cooperation of the men at the head of similar lines of work.
ATHLETICS AND ETHICS.
ALFRED E. STEARNS, HEADMASTER OF PHILLIPS ANDOVER
Let me say at the outset that I am a firm and an enthusiastic believer in school and college athletics. I pity the schoolmaster who sees in athletics only a necessary evil, which he would gladly do away with if he could, and who does not recognize in them an efficient safety valve for youthful spirits and a splendid moral force in the life and administration of his insti