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Reading for the children “Who Will Tell Me Where Is Conrad?” Will Carleton,
City Ballads. Harper & Bros. “The Hero of the Furnace Room,” Jacob A. Riis, Chil
dren of the Tenements. The Macmillan Co. “Jim Bludso,” in Poems, John Hay. Houghton Mifflin
Co. “Dolly Madison,” in American Hero Stories, Eva March
Tappan. Houghton Mifflin Co. “The Fireman,” in Careers of Danger and Daring, Cleve
land Moffat. Century Co.
Reading for the teacher Town and City, Frances Gulick Jewett, Gulick Hygiene
Series. Ginn & Co.
OUR PUBLIC SAFETY 1
When you see the blue uniform of a police officer or a fireman, you know that our city has taken good care to make life and property as safe as they can possibly be made. It is in order to safeguard the interests of every man, woman, and child in the city, that we have the Police and Fire Departments.
There are policemen patrolling the streets every hour of the day and night. They try the doors of houses and stores at night to see if they are locked; they keep
1 From Civic Reader for New Americans. Copyright, 1908, by Meyer Bloomfield. By arrangement with the American Book Company, Publishers.
their eyes open for any wrong-doing, and they must be ever on the alert for any cry or sudden call for their services. In truth, they are peace officers. Their chief work is not so much to arrest law-breakers or those who disturb people, but rather to prevent trouble, so far as they can, and keep people from interfering with one another. Theirs is the difficult task of making it as easy and as safe as can be for many thousands of people from all over the world to work and live and get their pleasures in great numbers.
Such work cannot be easy. The officers must be ready at all hours of the day and night to be called out for extra work. Often they must go without sleep and be on their feet for many hours. Sometimes the police officer risks his life — indeed, many an officer has lost his life — in trying to rescue people or defend their interests. They must be brave men to do police work well.
On the street the policeman has very many things to look out for. In case of an accident or a fire he runs to the nearest telephone to call for an ambulance from the hospital, or to the nearest fire box to summon the firemen and their engines. He must know what to do when there is sudden public excitement. He can direct strangers who ask questions as to certain streets, stores, or how to get to certain places. He is on the lookout for lost children, and directs homeless wayfarers at night to the city lodging-house and wood-yard. To see a big policeman helping a child across a street noisy with heavy wagons and electric cars is always a pleasing sight. The police officers who are placed at busy street crossings have no easy work to do. The officer, too, often has to remind parents of dangers that children are running into, or of bad company that they have fallen in with.
Now men who have such hard and very often danger
e trying to at whene at-thinking
ous work to do, work so vital and important to every person, deserve the hearty help of all right-thinking people. It is a law, therefore, that whenever a police officer is in distress while trying to do his duty, he shall have the right to call upon any persons he sees for aid. If such persons should refuse to assist they may be arrested.
Like the policeman, the fireman's chief business is to act when danger threatens the life and belongings of any person. Before they are made firemen the men must go to a school where they learn the many things that make skill, courage and ability in fighting fires. If they do not show the strength and the power that the city asks of its firemen they are not put on the fire force.
The head of the Fire Department is the Fire Commissioner. His men are divided among the engine companies, ladder companies, fire-alarm service, the repair shops, the water towers, which shoot up streams of water into the topmost stories of our high office buildings, and the tow fire-boats which serve the water front of our city. Every part of the city is protected by some company of firemen.
The fire-houses are as clean as soap and water and the hard work of the men can possibly make them. It is a pleasure to look into one of these houses and see what system, good order, and attention to duty can do. The men sleep in the fire-houses so as to be ready in a very few seconds to rush out with their horses and engines to a fire. A very few seconds will make a great difference in a fire.
Besides the saving of lives at fires and the fighting of flames, firemen visit the buildings of their neighborhood to see what special dangers such buildings might present in the event of a fire. One of the very worst dangers the firemen meet with is the fire-escape loaded with boxes, pots and bedding. Many a life has been lost because of
a blocked fire-escape. A fire in a crowded part of the city is a very serious matter, and it is the duty of everybody to use great care in handling matches, oil stoves, and other things that may set fire to a house.
Men whose work calls for so much that is good are very naturally looked up to as heroes by the public whom they serve, and this is right. But this fact, too, should be borne in mind, that all those who serve the city the best way they know how, whether it be in the cleaning of a street at night or in building its bridges, are worthy of public esteem.
FEBRUARY: OBEDIENCE TO
For the Teacher:
Open thy door straightway, and get thee hence;
Of noise alone is born the inward sense
The inward knowledge of true love and faith.
Suggestions for morning talks Closely connected with our protection of property is the matter of obedience to laws made for the common good. As soon as boys and girls realize that laws are made to protect themselves as well as other people, they will begin to obey. There are many laws which even children should know about, the trespass law, bird laws, speeding in automobiles, riding bicycles on
1 From A Sonnet Sequence.
the sidewalk, as well as school laws. Boys may join the Boy Scouts of America; girls may
like to become members of the Campfire Movement. Or again, these children will catch the spirit of organization by forming a civic league, or civic club. In New York City, the civic club pledge reads: “We who are soon to be citizens of New York, the largest city on the American continent, desire to have her possess a name that is above reproach. We therefore agree to refrain from littering her streets, and as far as possible prevent others from doing so, in order that our city may be as clean as she is great, and as pure as she is free.” In the city of Lowell the Bartlett School pledge reads as follows: “I will not injure any tree, shrub or lawn. I promise not to spit upon the floor of the schoolhouse, nor upon the sidewalk. I pledge myself not to deface any fence or building, neither will I scatter paper, nor throw rubbish in public places. I will always protect birds and other animals. I will protect the property of others as I would my own. I will promise to be a true, loyal citizen."
Reading for the children Town and City, Frances Gulick Jewett, Gulick Hygiene
Series. Ginn & Co. Good Citizenship, Richman and Wallach. The Young Citizen, Charles F. Dole. D.C. Heath & Co. Lessons for Junior Citizens, Mabel Hill. Ginn & Co.