FEBRUARY 13, 1953
NEW YORK, Thursday—At noon on Wednesday I attended a board meeting of the Citizens Committee on Children here after spending some time in the morning at the office of the American Association for the United Nations. Then I went off to Providence, Rhode Island. I spent the night with Mrs. Foster Hunt and spoke Thursday morning at the University of Rhode Island at Kingston. I was there some years ago and they named one of the halls after me, so I was happy to go back again to see what improvements have been made since my first visit.
After lunch I returned to New York City to attend the Sixth Annual Institute on the United Nations, sponsored by the School of Education, New York University and the Department of Public Information of the United Nations.
I have had a number of letters of late from people who are looking for a place in the country where they might spend some time in convalescence without paying exorbitant prices. I thought, therefore, that I should like to tell them that I had been told about such a place and have had correspondence with the lady who operates it—a Mrs. Irene Ehrenberg, at Stamfordville, N.Y., which is not far from us.
Mrs. Ehrenberg tells me that we met some years ago. She is a licensed practical nurse and has opened a beautiful nursing home. Her husband, she says, is not in the best of health and cannot help her take care of patients, so she prefers to have people who are convalescent and not bedridden patients. She has made a specialty of caring for diabetics.
She tells me that her home faces the lake, has ample ground surrounding it, and they would be glad to welcome more convelescent patients.
The Girl Scouts, in whom I have always had great interest, have just sent me word that in March, in connection with the 41st birthday of Girl Scouting in America, they are going to have a new proficiency badge: "My Government."
This is what they write: "Designated for girls of junior high school age, the new badge, is, in effect, a sort of post-graduate degree in our Community Life Field of Interest."
Requirements to earn this badge will really give girls a good preparation for citizenship. They will have to learn about dates and polling places for registration, primary days and elections.
They will have to know what makes one eligible to vote and what the rules are concerning absentee ballots. They will have to study the major duties that have to be undertaken by those running for office in an upcoming election. They will have to know something about the claims made by the various parties in presenting their candidates and they must familiarize themselves with the issues.
In addition, they must study public services and find out whether they are paid for out of Federal, state or local funds, and they will compare democratic election procedures with the regular practices in Girl Scout troop government. They must know the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and be able to relate these basic documents to the welfare of the individual and the country.
This knowledge should make good citizens. Do you remember the story not long ago of the people who refused to sign a paper that contained quotations from one of these basic documents? These youngsters, however, will not be so embarrassed because they will be familiar with our precious documents.