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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50

The Success of the School

page 35

The Success of the School.

The Managers of the School are abundantly confirmed in their views, as set forth in the Prospectus three years ago, by the experience of the school during its first three years. From the start it has been well patronized, and vacant seats have been few; at times every seat has been filled.

The zeal and enthusiasm of the students has been developed to a most gratifying extent, extending into all the departments of work. The variety afforded by the daily program has had the moral and intellectual effect expected, and an unusual degree of sober earnestness has been shown. The wholesome moral effect of a course of training which interests and stimulates the ardor of the student is most marked. Parents observe the beneficial influence of occupation. The suggestions of the day fill the mind with healthy thoughts and appetites during the leisure hours. Success in drawing or shop-work has often had the effect of arousing the ambition in mathematics and history, and vice versa.

Progress in the two subjects, drawing and shop-work, (and we had little previous knowledge of what could be done with boys as young as those of the first-year class) has been quite remarkable. To be sure there was little doubt of the final result, but the progress has been more rapid than it seemed reasonable to expect. Among the graduates of last June are several excellent draughtsmen, and not a few workmen of accuracy and skill.

page 36

The habit of working from drawings and to nice measurements has given the students a confidence in themselves altogether new. This is shown in the readiness with which they undertake the execution of small commissions in behalf of the school, and the handiness which they display at home. In fact, the increased usefulness of our students still in school is making itself felt, and in several instances the result has been the offer of business positions too tempting to be rejected. This drawback, if it can be called one, the school must always suffer. The better educated and trained our students become, the stronger will be the temptations offered to them outside, and the more difficult it will be for us to hold them through the course. Parents and guardians should avoid the bad policy of injuring the prospects of a promising young man by grasping a small present pecuniary advantage at the cost of far greater rewards in the future. From the testimony of parents the physical, intellectual, and moral effect of the school is exceedingly satisfactory. The unanimous response is: an unusual interest and pleasure in school; and very generally an increased fondness for good books and periodicals. A few boys who had never shown any interest in tools have developed into good and enthusiastic workmen. As a rule the good scholars are the good mechanics.

All communications relating to the school should be sent to the Director,

C. M. Woodward

, Manual Training School, St. Louis.