Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 363
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 363
 
out that door the house will never be what we planned. And there is the key, all ready-made, in the children.
 
 
The New Idea: a Stairway of Public School No. 170.
 
  The mere contact with nature, even out of a barrel, brought something to those starved child lives that struck a new note. Sometimes it rang with a sharp and jarring sound. The boys in the Hester Street school could not be made to take an interest in the lesson on wheat until the teacher came to the effect of drought and a bad year on the farmer’s pocket. Then they understood. They knew the process. Strikes cut into the earnings of Hester Street, small enough at the best of times,

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