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ences do not deviate far from what they are actually doing now in their spare hours. One hundred thirtythree put motoring on top of the list, movies and watching games came third and fourth, visiting and attending musical shows took ninth and tenth place respectively. The other activities they desired, within the limit of the upper ten, were participation in outdoor sports, such as hiking, swimming and horseback riding. In the minority groupings, we found twentyseven who wanted to study, nineteen to attend night school; eighty-four wanted more reading of books and magazines; sixteen wanted more lectures and debates; thirteen wanted a class in music appreciation, utilizing the phonograph; fifteen wanted arts and crafts. Over 100 wrote in subjects they preferred to discuss with others. Their selected subjects ranged from "doctoring" to cartooning, archery to girls. What they want to talk about falls into the expected categories: to know more about their own jobs, to retrain for some other occupation and to acquire knowledge of general subjects. Everything knowable is of interest to them. Shoeworkers are curious about astronomy, a carpenter wants to get acquainted with entomology, a printer wants to know more about flowers, two laborers want to learn "typistry." Interest is high in matters of current issue, politics and the various aspects of the depression. As one worker put it, "I want to find out how to acquire and keep a living wage."
Courtesy Chicago Park District
for baseball and tennis, skating rinks for ice and roller skates, swimming facilities, public dancing places, if provided solely for adults under public control and properly survised, would go a long way towards lessening the overindulgence in sitting-down pleasures. The commercial amusement merchants would find it difficult to compete with a variety of absorbing activities offered by the city, under pleasant surroundings, without charge. The recent vogue of commercial play centers where grown-ups play ping pong, chess, checkers, view freaks and try their hand at gambling machines, is a sad commentary on the shortsightedness and the backwardness of our educational leadership. Why are there not more community centers offering such mild outlets for energy and pursuits that are satisfying to a very great degree? Why are so many public school gyms kept closed at night? It is the choice minority that indicated its interest in discussions, or who would like to take part in dramatics, play in a band, learn to write, to paint, to sing with a chorus. They particularly stand in need of leadership. There are in our community at the present time many agencies that could provide leadership and facilities for their use. The next step is the preparation of a cross-section of all the programs which these institutions offer and the setting up of a clearing bureau to bring this new clientelle and the service agency together.
There is fortunately a growing number of cities where working men and women may go to create and where they may, by participation in activities they themselves desire, become more aware of their potentialities.
The Community's Responsibility
The great majority may desire to participate more intensely in activities they are already engaged in, but they also place high on the scale. their eagerness for outdoor activities. Play fields
Our study, while indicative of much that could be done now, needs amplification, follow up, and opens many avenues for further research. Its findings must be brought to the attention of our city fathers so as to galvanize them into action. While we are waiting for the economist, sociolo(Continued on page 392)
Developing Clubs in Community Centers
By ALAN KRIM
Mr. Krim, who is the director of
N SPEAKING of a community center, I think of it as an institution which is both recreational and educational in nature — a center which provides an atmosphere where people may find during their leisure time relaxation and joyous self-expression through participation in purposeful activities under the stimulating and sympathetic guidance of trained leaders. I think of it as a place where the participants in such activities are provided an opportunity for the use and progressive development of the abilities and skills they possess, are stimulated to seek out and experiment in new fields of activity, are assisted in satisfactory social adjustments and aided toward the development of community consciousness through mutual interest, improvement and growth.
In a progressive community center of this type it is the club work program which offers us one of the best mediums for making our work educationally and socially valuable. It is a means of developing proper attitudes and human conduct which to a large extent are determined by group activities.
Through club work we can create, by providing good leadership, intelligent organization, a stimulating and challenging program, that kind of an environment which contributes to personality development and social-mindedness. For just as the community center, with its broad and varied program determined by community interests and needs, is a powerful force in perpetuating democracy, so the club in the community center is educationally sound and a splendid training school for democracy.
It is understood that when we speak of a club we are setting off one part of our field of activity, that which provides small cohesive units or groups within the larger unit which is the community center. These clubs are identified by having regular meetings, officers, generally a constitution and a set of records, and they usually devote themselves to some specific interest. In many instances this interest is nothing more than a desire on the part of the individuals to belong to
As with any successful venture, so with the club group, the most important factor is leadership. Leaders can be divided into three classes. There is first of all the leader whose authority rests on the position he occupies; the type who is always giving orders and forbidding anything and everything because it does not meet with his approval or conform to the plans as laid out by him. This type of leadership is undesirable and does not lend itself to the formation of a self-disciplined, social-minded group. Such a leader occupies the center of the stage instead of allowing the membership the spotlight.
The second type of leader is the teacher or instructor type whose authority rests on his or her knowledge of the activity in which the club is interested. The program offered is based on the interest of the individuals and from this interest projects are developed. This type of leadership, while necessary for a certain type of club where group activity is motivated by a particular interest, has elements of danger in that the activity too often is the end instead of the means to an end.
The third type of leader is the counselling, guiding, or companion kind of leader, whose authority rests on his ability to establish himself with the group and live with its members, gaining their confidence. This type of leader develops a program that is sociologically sound, one which grows out of the situation in which the group finds itself. This is the leader who is emotionally mature, versatile, creative, resourceful, with an inquiring experimental point of view.
The chief cause for the disintegration of clubs is lack of good leadership. It would be interesting to know the number of clubs organized each year
DEVELOPING CLUBS IN COMMUNITY CENTERS
that die a natural death because of inadequate leadership. With intelligent, emotionally matured leadership, the program and details of organization is readily evolved. Lacking good leadership, no plan can be developed nor machinery set up that will take the place of it.
Whether professional or volunteer leadership is most effective has no bearing on the presentation of this article. I am taking it for granted that our boys and girls as the citizens of tomorrow are entitled to the finest quality of leadership that is available, and no arbitrary rule can be laid down. There are hundreds of volunteers serving with the finest of professional pride in their work, and paid workers who are functioning with a devotion that is out of all proportion to the amount of compensation they are receiving. Leadership must and should be recruited from both fields and given a sense of dignity and worth of the task that is undertaken.
I am not ready to say whether the ability to lead is natural or acquired. I do believe, however, that the best natural ability can be improved and is made most effective with adequate techniques.
In too many instances leaders receive no help whatever, no guidance or supervision, and practically lose all contact with the administration after their assignment. Those who do make provision for training usually concentrate too much on program material and such matters as discipline and organization, with too little emphasis on the newest development in the fields of modern psychology and sociology.
It is a false assumption to say that little can be expected from volunteer club leaders. Those of us who have attempted to guide and direct such leaders know with what enthusiasm they have responded. In fact, these volunteer club leaders look upon this leadership training as an educational opportunity. It is important to note that whether the leadership is voluntary or paid, experienced or inexperienced, expert supervision and intensive training must be encouraged constantly. With inspirational guidance from you, the trained community center director, these club leaders, through frequent consultations, should acquire progressive educational procedure and a realization that activities in a club program are only a means to an end.
As you keep yourself informed as to the newest development in the field of psychology and sociology, so you should in turn inform those in your charge. This is important, for it helps keep
your community center club program dynamic and changing.
Among other considerations of leadership that can be approached in a practical manner are the following: Is the best type of leadership that which has been developed within the community center itself among young people who are familiar with the neighborhood and with the homes and cultural environment which the boys and girls themselves represent, or is it preferable to enlist college graduates and fairly successful young people from entirely different walks of life to bring to the boys and girls the contacts and cultural advantages which they may be presumed to possess?
The choice between these two types of leaders should not be made in an arbitrary manner as both types have a contribution to make. There are advantages that cannot be ignored in the plan to bring older boys and girls from the community center into positions of leadership. It provides an incentive to the older boys and girls and is a means of making the loyalty of this older group a factor in building the permanent traditions and ideals of the center.
In order for club leadership to be effective it is important that regular conferences or meetings should be held. At these conferences the leaders may talk over their mutual interests and the director has an opportunity to enlarge upon the philosophy, principles and techniques of group activities and of individual boy and girl problems -an educational process that is going on regularly and which is tied in very closely with the administrative task of the community center director. It is also a good idea to have a dinner meeting where you can "break bread," for this creates a spirit of good will. Remember, leadership is your strongest link and represents the strength of your organization and club program.
While no arbitrary rules can be laid down for the organization of groups or clubs, it is nevertheless important that spontaneity be preserved and that groups as well as individuals be considered from the standpoint of their own interests and desires. Occasionally we find an artificial group cultivating common interests, providing the age range is not too wide, the leadership is wise and the environment stimulating and challenging. We in Newark, however, have come to recognize two distinct types of clubs.
DEVELOPING CLUBS IN COMMUNITY CENTERS
The first type is the group which is discovered after it is already formed, in which some natural motivation had created the group consciousness. Usually we find this group coming to us and asking for a place to meet. Their ideas on club organization are vague but they do function excellently under leadership.
In the second type we find the group that is organized around a specific interest or activity. A club of this nature may be initiated by posting notices on the bulletin board, or it is the result of a talk given at a special program, or of the casual interest of one or two boys. Handcraft, music, dramatics, debating, fencing, scout troops and others too numerous to mention fall under this category. In connection with this type of club it is well to have application forms indicating the interest on the part of the applicant. In this way it is relatively easy to bring individuals of like interests together, thereby creating a more homogenous grouping. We have been using the following form:
PESHINE COMMUNITY CENTER
Name of Applicant
Have You Been a Member of Another Club?.
What Are Your Interests?.
This is particularly true of school age boys and girls. In this case the danger is that the loyalty to the club, the smaller unit, is greater than it is to the community center. In this situation it is the task of good leadership to conserve all of the values in loyalty to the small group without setting up any conflict with the principles or ideals of the larger unit of which the boy and group are a part.
School age boys and girls as a rule want formal organizations with officers, memberships, rules and dues. These details should be developed as the club functions, and modified as it grows. However, in the matter of dues, rules have turned out to be a necessary evil because of failure to deposit the money with the proper person. The boy or girl treasurer too often was permitted to be the custodian of money and in too numerous cases the money disappeared, leaving distaste for club organization on the part of its membership. This has been the cause of the disintegration of many a club. If dues are to be collected, it is advisable for the club treasurer to collect them and at the close of each meeting to turn the amount collected over to the community center director. This procedure makes the director, who is a more mature individual, the custodian.
In addition to receipting the treasurer's book, the director should have a system of deposit and withdrawal slips. The keeping of the financial account can be made as simple as the following,
May 15 V.05
May 22 V.05 T .05 V.10
As indicated, the record book contains space to record attendance and dues paid, together with space at bottom of each day's record for totals. and for director's signature, which is the treasurer's receipt for money turned over to the director.
Upon calling the roll, the secretary checks all present with a V. Those not answering to roll are marked with a vertical line (|). If the member comes in later, the absent mark becomes a record of tardiness by the addition of a cross mark at the top (T). The treasurer records the dues as indicated.
Constitution and By-Laws. It is a good idea to provide club leaders with a model constitution. We use the following:
ARTICLE VI Amendment.
This constitution may be amended at any meeting of the organization by a two-thirds vote, a quorum being present.
Duties of Officers
Section 1. It shall be the duty of the president to preside at all meetings of this club and perform all the duties usually pertaining to this office.
Section 2. In the absence or disability of the president, the vice-president shall perform all the duties of president.
Section 3. The secretary shall keep the minutes of all proceedings and record the same. He shall give notice of all meetings, notify officers of election, and send the names of newly elected members to the treasurer and perform such other duties as this office may require.
Section 4. The treasurer shall receive and safely keep all funds (or money) of the club, and pay out the same only on order of the president. He shall make an annual report of receipts and disbursements. He shall send notice to persons elected to membership..
ARTICLE II Election of Officers
Section 1. All officers shall be elected by ballot at the meeting and shall assume office at the close of that meeting. Section 2. No member shall be eligible to office who has not been a member of the club for one year. Section 3. No member shall hold the same office more than twice in succession, and filling an unexpired term shall, in this regard, be considered as a term in office.
Section 4. Should an officer resign during the club year, the president shall appoint some member of the club to assume the office temporarily, and order the secretary to send notice of a special election at the next regular meeting, when the vacancy can be filled.
ARTICLE III Membership
Section 1. One member must propose a candidate, and this proposal must be seconded by another member, no name being voted upon until the meeting following that at which membership was proposed. Three negative votes shall exclude a candidate, and the same name may not be proposed more than once during a club year.
Section 2. The secretary shall notify the treasurer of the election of all new members, whereupon the treasurer shall notify the successful candidates, with instructions to send dues to the treasurer. Failure to complete membership within thirty days, by payment of dues, shall forfeit membership.
Section 3. Resignation from membership shall be in writing, and no resignation shall be accepted from a member who is not in good and regular standing. Members in arrears (dues not paid) for
shall be dropped.
Section 4. On a two-thirds vote of members present at any meeting, a member may be suspended for.... for disorderly conduct or gross misdemeanor.
ARTICLE IV Dues
Section 1. The dues shall be $...... payable.... Section 2. When an election to membership takes place within two months of the expiration of a fiscal year, the dues shall be credited to the following year.
ARTICLE V Committees
Section 1. At the regular meeting next previous to the annual meeting, the president shall appoint the following committees to report at the annual meeting: a