Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 374
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 374
 
in the Tenth Ward. If temptation had come that way in the shape of a pushcart with pineapples—we are all human! Anyway, they had learned the right.
  That was the beginning of a work of which we shall, I hope, hear a good deal more hereafter. It is all in its infancy yet, this attempt on the part of the municipality to get the boys off the street and out of the reach of the saloon. A number of schools were thrown open, where the crowds were greatest, for evening play and for clubs, and sometimes they laid hold of the youngster and sometimes not. It was a question again of the man or the woman who was at the helm. One school I found that surged with a happy crowd. It was over at Rivington and Suffolk streets, No. 160. Oh, how I wish they would soon stop this hopeless numbering of our schools, and call them after our great and good men, as Superintendent Maxwell pleads, so that “the name of every school may in itself be made a lesson in patriotism and good citizenship to its pupils.” There they would be in their right place. One alderman got the idea during the Strong reform administration, but they hitched the names to the new parks instead of the schools, and that turned out wrong. So they have the Ham Fish Park for Hamilton Fish, the “Sewer” Park for William H. Seward, the Thomas Jefferson

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