PBH Looks At Programs For Tots, Elderly
Phillips Brooks House would like to set up a nursery school for three- and four-year olds and an activities program for people over 65 at the Roosevelt Towers Housing Project in Cambridge.
This will be the PBH's first attempt to institute a nursery school or a program designed specifically for the aged.
Edward S. LaMonte '65, President of PBH, said that this expansion of the Roosevelt Towers Committee reflects a general PBH trend towards greater involvement in the total community, in addition to working in mental hospitals and other institutions.
This means working with people of all ages during their normal lives in the community, he explained.
The proposed expansion, LaMonte added, shows how PBH is now planning and executing a complete program, rather than merely furnishing volunteers to a mental hospital or prison.
Chester E. Finn '65, Director of the Roosevelt Towers Program, emphasized the tentative nature of the new direction. His committee, he said, is now deciding whether to institute these programs.
Finn hopes that the nursery school will use techniques modeled after the Montessori method. He noted that the New York City Board of Education has instituted some 20 public nursery schools of this kind.
One of the main purposes of the proposed nursery school would be to encourage children to express themselves clearly, Finn said. He noted that in low income areas many families are composed of only one parent and more than five children.
For these reasons, he said, children often do not receive enough individual attention and may not be encouraged to talk about what they see.
A well-organized nursery school, he noted, would add elements of stability and regularity to these children's otherwise hectic lives.
Several students, Finn went on, have expressed interest in a program for elderly people. If any action is taken in this area, he said, PBH workers will serve as assistants to an organization of people over 65, rather than as activity leaders.
Finn stated that initially the students might help the elderly people to meet together and to form an organization with a program committee.
After this, he said, the students would help the program committee to invite speakers and to arrange trips.
Finn stated that his committee would seek the consent and advice of Cambridge officials and professionals before proceeding