NOVEMBER 3, 1945
NEW YORK, Friday—A campaign sponsored by the New York Adult Education Committee will be held in New York City from November 11 to 17. The object of the campaign is to get people to visit the evening school program, and it is succeeding wonderfully in bringing older people into schools. There is a great hunger for certain mental skills among older people who, because of foreign origin or because of lack of opportunity when they were children, have missed out on acquiring the tools for academic education.
I think a program of this kind, when really successful, would make a difference in the home life of many families in our big cities. If it proves successful here, it ought to be equally successful in other cities throughout our nation.
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There is a growing interest in how we are to get on with the rest of the world and with people of different races and religions here at home, as evidenced by a meeting at Town Hall which I attended yesterday afternoon. It was sponsored by the Bureau for Intercultural Education. Their program, however, is one which would be benefited greatly by adult education, since they cannot possibly hope to get certain ideas over to people unless they are literate and have the habit of reading and expressing their thoughts.
In a democracy such as ours, the education of all the people is a vital necessity. They cannot become articulate and express their beliefs unless they can both write and speak.
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A lack of these abilities in our people often leads our leaders astray. On one particular issue, for instance, I think the people of this country are probably ahead of their Representatives. Almost every day some group or organization sends me a plan which they have undertaken for stimulating our Congress into supporting UNRRA, or for adding to the food supply which is being sent to allied countries. There is far more interest than most of us realize in seeing that people throughout the world do not starve this coming winter.
The interest is greater, I believe, than the people responsible for transmitting news evidently understood during the Quebec Food Conference. From what I hear, the general reporting of that conference seems to have been done with little understanding of the real achievements that were going on day by day. There were differences; but there was also great determination to come to an agreement and to make this essential part of the United Nations Organization work for the good of the world in the future. Peoples all over the world want to have faith that the overall organization will work, since they know their security depends upon goodwill among nations. They realize that success must come, however, through the meetings of different groups, and the food problems stand out as the most important in many people's thoughts.