Clean-up Jobs, Informal Sessions Are Prelude To Summer Vacation

Story by: George McCue
Photos by Jack Gould
Sunday June 21, 1953.

Strips of printed letters of the alphabet, which had been hung at top of the blackboard, are carefully arranged for storage by Connie Herberts.

In April, the end of school is far, far in the future; in May, the summer vacation is still so remote in time as to seem a little improbable. But suddenly it is June, and the day comes when school ends, summer begins.

For lower graders, the approach of the last day of school means an exciting new round of activities. The usual class routine comes to a halt. The teacher finds she has a lot of little jobs to do to get the room ready for its three month cooling-off period. Would the boys and girls like to help? Like other teachers in the St. Louis area, Anna Johns of Dewey School 6746 Clayton avenue, had no trouble getting all the help she needed.

In Miss Johnsí room of second semester first graders and first semester second graders, the problem was to assign jobs so there would be enough work for everybody. The textbooks were gathered from studentsí desks and stored in cases. Drawings and cut outs came down from the walls. Blackboards were cleaned. Samples of studentsí work were distributed to be taken home.

On that last morning with the room safely cleared of lesson reminders, work was unthinkable. Miss Johns gathered her pupils around her for the final class session, and invited them to tell of their summer plans. They played their favorite records once more, and then Miss Johns had a couple girls bring in ice-cream cups and cookies, her farewell treat. Just before noon, she handed out report cards, and accompanied her class down the front steps. With a flutter of waving hands, her 38 pupils were gone.

Chart made by pupils is carried away with special care. Titled "Our Helpers," it is an arrangement of cut-out drawings marked "The Policeman," "The Fireman," "The Postman," and "The Milk Man."

Standing on library table, Barton McClellan takes down crayon drawing of the beet plant. It was one of a set of vegetable pictures the teacher had drawn to teach recognition of plants."

Collette Prechtel bends over nearly double to count the health books, ready to be stockpiled for next fall's newcomers.

Tulip cutouts are reminders of a pleasant activity in May. They were colored with crayons and taped to the blackboard; a fringe of green color suggests grass. They too come down.

During record-playing period, pupils took turns singing with characters in their favorite stories and pantomiming the action. David Dwyer reaches for a low note in a bit from "Robin Hood."

Teacher Anne Johns hears Collette outline what her summer activities will be. Other class members seated comfortably on the floor, listen patiently as they await their turns.

Long-lost crayons and pencils sometimes comes to light when drawers are cleaned out. Arden Sipola checks his odds and ends.

Holding report cards students rush out the school door, pause to say goodby to Miss Johns on steps, then, without losing another moment, hurry down walk for a season of freedom.

Bob Corbett


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Bob Corbett