JUNE 29, 1954
NEW YORK, Monday—I want to tell you more about the day I spent in Hartford, Conn., at the conference sponsored by the service bureau for all the Connecticut women's organizations.
First of all, I sat in with a group who were discussing community organizations and the development of leadership in the community. It seemed to me that this was done very well and that they covered most of the areas in which women's organizations function in the community. The only thing they did not talk about was information on international subjects—which touches very closely the lives of all the people in a community and is a part of the activity of many women's organizations. This they were to cover in a second meeting, along with a discussion of the United Nations.
After lunch there was a plenary session at which all the different round-table groups made short reports. Then they separated again, some to visit the children's museum, others to rest or do some quiet studying.
I went to the children's museum and was much interested. One room is devoted in summer to outdoor projects which youngsters can undertake. I thought this would be of great value to young mothers who, once school is over, sometimes find it difficult to keep their children usefully occupied. As one young mother wrote me, "It seems as though suddenly I have too many children!" It's quite difficult for a mother to make instructive suggestions for projects that children of different ages can undertake. But at this museum, the youngsters can find any number of things just waiting for them to take up.
I was shown some of the material that the museum sends out to schools and churches and other responsible organizations to be exhibited under glass. If you write in and say you would like an exhibition on Japan or China, they will send you enough to give you a little idea of the life in those countries. They also send out exhibitions which are of such indestructible material that school children may handle them. This, of course, is a great advantage.
The rest of the museum had the usual exhibits that can be found in any children's museum but I thought they were well mounted and that everything was shown with imagination.
In the evening, Miss Katharine Lenroot, former chief of the U.S. Children's Bureau, spoke on the responsibility the community has for the atmosphere in which children grow. I thought her speech very interesting and helpful.