JULY 23, 1941
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Last night I dined with Major Henry S. Hooker and afterwards went to Radio City Music Hall, which is certainly a marvellous place. We saw a light movie, with Ginger Rogers playing the heroine. I imagine it ended in the right way, for her heart won over her head.
However, I am not at all sure that, even if her head had been working well, she would not have realized that the marriages which seem to promise that you will be on the receiving end for all the good things of life, are never very satisfactory. Down deep in all of us, there is a desire to give as well as to receive.
Mrs. David Levy called for me at 9:30 this morning and we visited two of the summer play schools, run under the auspices of The Summer Play Schools Association. I thought that this association was primarily interested in keeping children entertained in playgrounds and off the streets during part of each day. Instead, I found that this association carries on real education.
These schools open for the most part, after the Fourth of July and close around the Twentieth of August. During that period, they take children from 8:45 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. There is one hot meal, a rest period, milk at 4:00, as well as outdoor play and recreation. There is also an opportunity to work in the shops and the science rooms, to carry on projects with paint and blocks, and to cook. They go on field trips and come back to make things as a result.
They had been to the New York Grand Central Station yesterday and one child had painted quite a decorative mural of it. Another one was busy on the floor, constructing out of blocks what I imagine was a train shed. The ages of the children run from five to twelve though, in some places, they are making an experiment and taking boys and girls up to fifteen.
The children are not the only ones who benefit from this program. The parents are allowed to come and watch and help, and there is a social service worker who follows up the problems in the home. Every child has a physical examination and follow-up work is done. Young teachers and students get practice training, for which they get credit in their school and college courses. This association benefits the community in many ways.
One of the schools we visited is in the housing project near the 59th Street bridge in Queens, New York City. I was interested to get a glimpse of this project, for I have always thought that it looked nice. They have various other playgrounds as well, but there would be nothing for the children between seven and twelve, if the Play School Association did not exist in summer and after school hours in winter.