By Robert Halpern
After-school programmes have gotten a massive improvement aid for low- and moderate-income kids. This ebook describes the old improvement, present prestige and significant concerns dealing with those programmes.
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Additional resources for Making Play Work: The Promise of After-School Programs for Low-Income Children
African American children were generally not permitted into playgrounds in neighborhoods where they might have used them. In 1920 they were permitted into only 3% of all urban playgrounds (p. 147). African American neighborhoods were the last to get their own playgrounds, and those playgrounds had the smallest budgets. (As late as the 1930s, “just two out of 225 new playgrounds” built in New York City were constructed in African American neighborhoods [Reiss, 1989, p. ) 20 Making Play Work Supervised playgrounds were, finally, at least somewhat controversial from the perspective of the larger adult community.
Like schools, municipal parks and recreation departments sponsored a modest amount of programming, although they were more active in the summer, and sometimes provided facilities for programs run by settlements or boys’ clubs. They also served as an occasional funder of afterschool or summer programs. For example, in the early 1920s, the city recreation department in Indianapolis worked with boys’ clubs to run summer programs, using boys’ club facilities. RATIONALES AND GOALS As the after-school field grew between 1900 and 1920, it proved difficult to keep purposes simple and expectations modest.
Children designed and built complete “products”—bookracks, brooms, chests, chairs, kitchen utensils, baskets, birdhouses. Industrial crafts, sometimes called manual training, had vocational aims as well. It was intended to familiarize boys with the basic concepts of specific trades, introduce them to a variety of tools, teach specific skills such as “precision and patience,” and not least give boys useful vocational skills (CC Archives, Box 6, Folder 1). A report on one month’s activity for a radio club noted that “instruction was given in the theory of the apparatus; code practice and construction of simple sets, and work continued on the house receiving station” (NUS Archives, Box 13, Folder 11).