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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"

Chapter  25 - The Public Schools of Eau Claire

by W. H. Schulz

Junior Citizenship

(-As transcribed from pages 428 - 429)

This plan of organizing the school children of our city was begun several years ago. We learned by experience that very practical results could be attained.  These organizations are formed when pupils complete the second semester of the fifth school year.  The pupils in that division of the grade organize by electing officers similar to the officials of the city.  While this organization is being formed, the pupils study a textbook entitled "Junior Citizen."  In this textbook they learn all the features of modern city government in its various departments.  In addition to this, constant comparisons are made with similar departments in our own city government and also the functions of the different offices and departments of their own school government. This seems to be one of the most interesting pieces of work that we now offer in our graded system.  We have thought it best to continue the organizations as the pupils go through school.  I have received reports from quite a number of these organizations in which I have been told many things about their Junior Citizen government.  One of the fundamental ideas much emphasized is the fact that it is their duty to aid the city government as far as it is in their power to do so.  I believe that pupils who have had this kind of preliminary training get much more out of their more advance studies in civics.

During the school year of 1912-13, according to the laws of the state of Wisconsin, an Industrial Board of Education was created consisting of five members:  George Blystone, Henry Leinenkugel, Oluf Carlstrom, G. A. Burkart, W. H. Schulz.

Mr. Blystone was elected president.  Later Mr. Blystone removed from the city and Fred Thomas was appointed in his place and elected president of the board, and G. A. Burkart, secretary.

Up to the present time the following departments have been organized.  A continuation school for boys and girls under fourteen years of age, an all-day industrial school for boys and girls over fourteen years of age, and evening schools in dressmaking, millinery, shop mathematics, mechanical drawing, bookkeeping and English for foreigners.  Prof. W. W. Dixon was elected principal of the school.  Miss Martha Gaustad, Eleanor Quigg, Ingabor Sather and Charles Felton were elected teachers for the regular day work.  A number of other teachers were elected for the night work.  During the two years that the school has existed the attendance has grown from less than 100 to over 200.  It has been eminently successful in all its departments.  There is no doubt that it has a great future before it.

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