Linda Annable Works In St. Louis Slum
Class of 1960
Pocasset Girl Works In St. Louis Slum
Miss Linda Annable, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Annable of Pocasset, spoke to members of the Women's Society of Christian Service of the Bourne Methodist Church at the first meeting of the fall in the church vestry.
Miss Annable was graduated from Bourne High School in June of 1960. The previous summer she had volunteered for a work program sponsored by the United Churches of Christ of which the Congregational Church is a part.
Miss Annable had attended a Congregational Church before coming to Bourne and had heard of this program there. She was sent to Vermont for two weeks to work with a group to prepare a camp for retarded children. A barn had to be made into sleeping quarters and much physical work had to be accomplished, such as painting, cleaning and even digging.
Following her graduation from high school she applied to the Voluntary Service Program of the United Church of Christ for a year's work. This program was initiated by the Quaker Churches. The Methodist church has a similar program but only for college graduates. They are now planning one for high school graduates.
Linda was sent for two months of training at the training center at Potsdam, Pa. Teachers there come from all parts of the United States and a very intensive program is conducted during the two months. Classes cover wide range of subjects from stewardship, teaching, working with children and adults to worship services and audio visual aid work. At the conclusion of the two month training the girls are given a list of twelve localities and they may pick three. They will probably be sent to one of their choice. Linda picked and went to the Caroline Mission at St. Louis. She had never before experienced real city living and this mission is in one of the worst slum areas in that city, with 60 percent negro and 40 percent white population. The mission there consists of ten large tenement houses, the large mission building with chapel and gymnasium.
Linda assisted the nursery school teacher from December to June with three to five year old children. During the summer Linda worked in a day camp program for children aged six to 13 where six groups of about 15 children each were led by a staff member . The group met at the building at 8:30 A.M. and were taken to a park for games and crafts. Children brought sandwiches with them. During August a Bible School was held at the mission building for that group and older teenagers.
A literacy program was set up during the year which Linda attended. There are 73,000 persons in St. Louis who cannot read or write. Frank Laubach's method is being used where one person teaches another, who in turn is requested to teach another. Linda's first "pupil" was a Choctaw Indian from Mississippi, aged 56.
Linda spoke of the common problem of teenagers desiring summer work. They set up a program to find work for these youngsters. Over 2,500 teenagers signed up in two weeks and long lines of them would stand for hours each morning outside the building, hoping they would be called. Only about 800 were finally employed.
Linda has found this year's work very broadening and most rewarding. She will return to months of work after which she plans to enter Brevard college in North Carolina where she will major in teaching. She then plans to study for a master's degree in social service work.
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