Community Invests in Summer Playground Plan – Geneva 1943

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(Headline from The Geneva Republican Newspaper, March 19, 1943)

With Mrs. R. E. Armstrong presenting an idea for the program and backed by representatives of the local Girl and Boy Scouts and other civic organizations, the Geneva city council at the mid-month meeting Monday night agreed to give favorable consideration to a plan for supervised playgrounds for the youngsters of school age whose parents may be called into war work in local factories.

In outlining the plan Mrs. Armstrong stated that while the school-age children are in school now and will be until next June, the problem will arise as to what to do with them and how to keep them interested and well occupied from about July 5th until August 27th.  She set the date for the start of the program of supervised play for July 5, as she said that many of the local churches plan to have bible schools immediately following the closing of school and there is no desire to conflict with these plans.

She made it plain that the city to have complete charge of the recreational program as she said the Girl Scout program for the summer added to what the women are already doing, makes it impossible for them to take on any more duties. It was suggested that there should be several supervisors hired for the period and that men and women would be preferred and that those who like children and know them should be engaged if possible.

It was proposed to ask the Community Chest for a contribution of $300 toward defraying the expense of the recreation program.  The city officials indicated that a like sum might be expected toward this cause though City Attorney James H. Scott citied various laws to show that the city could not contribute a sum for this purpose.

Harold Miller, president of the Geneva Lions Club, attended the meeting and said that he felt certain the club will vote to have all funds above expenses of the annual charity ball, contributed to this purpose.

Both E. Roy Wells and Supt. H. M. Coultrap expressed themselves as favoring the program and said they were sure the boards of education would be sympathetic toward the plan.  It was proposed that the school gymnasiums might be used when the weather outside was inclement.  Supt. Coultrap said he believed this arrangement could be made but the rest of the school buildings would have to be closed off from the children.

He added that it may be a job to secure competent help to carry on the program.  He said the program should be well organized and properly supervised and that he would say the school coaches would co-operate in any way possible.

Upon motion by Ald. Barney seconded by Ald. Lennartz, the recommendation of the Girl Scout officials was accepted and the matter was referred to the building and grounds committee.

This is a post in celebration of the Geneva History Museum’s 75th anniversary, 1943 – 2018.

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