Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Becoming "the best citizen possible" -- a junior high school student handbook from the 1950s presented as a serial

In April, I wrote about the importance of preserving paper ephemera, but I have not been overwhelmed with documents yet.

However, thanks to Janet Stevens' mother, you're all going to have an opportunity to view an important bit of paper ephemera: The Central Junior High School Handbook. Janet has given me the copy of this little booklet her mother saved for decades, and I'm going to reproduce it here on a blog, a few pages at a time.

The date on the book cover is 1957, but this probably represents the date when it was published. Janet presumably would have received her copy in the fall of 1959. I suspect all incoming 7th graders were given a copy, but this is the only one I know of that still exists -- unless someone else comes forward with a copy.

The booklet is approximately 7.25" high and 4.5" wide and has 35 pages. I'll be scanning all the pages and publishing copies on the blog over the next few weeks, so you all can be reminded about what kinds of behavior were necessary for a student at Madison Central Junior High School who wished to develop "scholastically, emotionally, morally, physically, and socially into the best citizen possible."

Title Page

It's called the index, but it's in the front of the booklet. There is no table of contents.

Reminder: You may double click on the images of the pages to enlarge them in your browser window.

1 comment:

D Strand said...

I remember the book. I may still have a copy in my dresser. That's where I would keep such a thing. I don't think that I would dare throw it away, even at the age of 58. If I have my copy, I will be forthcoming with it to you, Nadine. I never read it, though. We had the personification of it in the form of Vida V. Smith, Mr. Harris, Mr.'s Olson, Mr. Brown, Mr. Marsh, etc. They would interpret the book for you and you usually didn't even have to ask! On that list of characteristics, where is SPIRITUAL? Oh, that's right, Central had to be NEUTRAL on that!