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In addition, we run two child day care centers taking care of children from 3 to 6. There, too, I can see the need at that point for extending the program, if you could, to the 3-year-old to the 6-year-old group.
Mr. SCHEUER. I was hoping you would give us some testimony along that line.
Mr. ROTHSTEIN. Surprisingly enough, it is a very extensive program. Any help that can be had in that regard is tremendous. It costs us for the school day care program about $1,200 a year per child for the program.
Mr. SCHEUER. How many months?
Mr. SCHEUER. That is almost exactly what the Headstart program costs. Sargent Shriver estimated it costs between $1,100 and $1,200 for a year long Headstart program, so your figure is quite consistent with the way the Government functions.
Mr. ROTHSTEIN. This budget has been established by the department of welfare. They have 2 teachers for each 15 or 20 kids.
Mr. SCHEUER. May I add, Mr. Rothstein, that it was exactly to help out your kind of private agency, the nonprofit private agency, doing an indispensable and vitally needed function the year around, that this bill was drafted. You see, the school lunch program does extend into the summer where the school is functioning as a neighborhood center. But there was a real gap that, I know, caused real hardship to groups like yours which were struggling to meet the ever greater demands for neighborhood services of all kinds, particularly as our consciousness sharpened, that we had to go lower and lower down the chronological age scale to reach the kids earlier and earlier, so you were wrestling with a larger and larger segment of the population.
You are now considering ages 3 to 16, or 3 to 17 years. It was just to fill the vacuum and the need of an outstandingly effective private nonprofit group like yours that we designed this bill. I can't thank you enough for your marvelous, stimulating, and interesting testimony. We have gotten a great deal of support for this bill. Most of the experts and the professionals from whom we have heard have emphasized the nutritional aspects, the nutritional benefit.
I think you are perhaps the first witness I have heard who emphasized the psychological benefit, as this being a symbol, a tangible, dramatic evidence to the kid that his community cares for him, to give him this nourishment over the summer. I think that was a wonderful testimony.
Mr. ROTHSTEIN. I would like to make a remark in answer to a question the chairman asked, in connection with whether the State Department or some other agency should administer this. Because of the fact that this program is designed primarily for children in school, because most children are not in school, I think some other resource agency should administer it, either the community development program or some such agency in the State, because somehow, when an outside agency gets involved with the educational administration, they don't seem to get together as well as they could.
Mr. SCHEUER. Do you agree with that?
Mr. SCHEUER. Mrs. Reiss, don't hesitate to speak up because we are considering you two a panel. You speak up when you have a point to make.
Mrs. REISS. I agree with Mr. Rothstein on that. An outside agency cannot understand what we have. I am speaking for my community now. They have to have somebody in the group, in the area, who knows, you can't teach anybody. It takes too long to learn, and they have to be there to know what goes on.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Mr. Rothstein, is there anything else you would like to add?
Mr. ROTHSTEIN. I would like to thank the subcommittee for the privilege of testifying.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Very good. We want to thank you, Mr. Rothstein and Mrs. Reiss.
The committee will have a 10-minute recess to give our court reporter here a chance to get a little break from his duties. (A short recess was taken.) Mr. PUCINSKI. The committee will come to order.
Resuming our hearings on H.R. 9339, our next witness is the deputy superintendent of schools of New York City, Mr. Thomas Fitzpatrick.
Mr. Scheuer, would you like to introduce Mr. Fitzpatrick?
Mr. SCHEUER. I am particularly happy to have Mr. Fitzpatrick here representing the greatest school system in the United States, and perhaps in the world. I wish to state what a wonderful experience I have had working with Superintendent Donovan, who is doing such a terrific job and bringing such qualities of heart and mind to the channels of educating New York schoolchildren.
We are very happy that you are here with us today representing him and our great and glorious school system, besieged, as it is, with problems and difficulties which stagger the ordinary mortal. STATEMENT OF THOMAS FITZPATRICK, DEPUTY SUPERINTEND
ENT OF SCHOOLS, NEW YORK CITY Mr. FITZPATRICK. I am delighted to be here, Congressman Scheuer, and to represent Dr. Donovan. I am grateful to you for your kind remarks for the New York City school system, and for the efforts that the professional staff and the board itself has made to meet the commitments that are thrust upon us.
Dr. Donovan was eager to be here today, but he did have a commitment in Chicago. He called me last night and asked me to come and give you the benefit of our thinking on this particular bill.
I have read the bill. I am delighted with the possibilities of our obtaining aid in the way of a summer lunch program. As you know, the lunch program which obtains in the regular school session helps the youngsters, especially those coming from the disadvantage areas. During the summertime we do not have a commensurate program for these youngsters, although we do run summer schools for them and I would say that for the most part the schools are operated in the disadvantaged areas of the city. They are designed to help these children acquire the essential tools of reading and writing, and in number they amount to about 12,000 or 13,000 children.
But in addition to the program of the elementary level, we have a junior high school group. Since your bill would aid children up to the age of 16, they would also come within the benefits of H.R. 9339.
I was delighted to see that the bill also would permit the supplying of the summer lunch to the youngsters who might be engaged in activity other than educational. That is the playground group, the summer camp groups, both public and private. As you probably know, the facilities of the New York City schools are extended to private organizations that operate a nonprofit summer camp program. It gives a chance for these children from very modest homes and from the poorer homes to have the advantages of a summer camp without leaving the city.
The summer lunch program will be one of the highlights that can supplement the experiences of these children during the summer. I don't have with me the exact figures on what number of children would benefit in our summer camps, but I am sure they are considerable.
We operate two programs in all the senior high schools that have swimming pools. The children who take advantage of these would come within the purview of your legislation. We have often felt that there is a void in this respect, namely, in helping these children and in preventing them from getting quick energy only from food which is not nutritious and which is more or less of a stop-gap. I am talking about the desire for pop and candy that these children normally go in for. During the summer they must expend tremendous amounts of energy in their recreation. I think as a result of a bill of this kind being enacted into law the children of our city would benefit in many, many ways. It would be reflected in the subsequent health education programs that go on in our city and in our schools by way of children coming back and showing fewer deficiencies in the way of nutrition. It should redound to a much better attendance record for the child, too. There is no doubt that the colds and indispositions that usually come with the fall, would be forestalled if the children had the benefit of a program of this kind.
So, I will close by saying we will be very grateful to cooperate with the State agency in helping to implement the program. I think that the 10 percent you recommend is a very modest matching fee. It is a very modest fee for the State to expend in meeting such a worthwhile program.
Mr. SCHEUER. Do you envisage thai that would produce any difficulty?
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I don't think so; no.
Mr. SCHEUER. Can you give us any estimate as to the number of children who come to your schoolhouse doors in the fall with nutritional problems?
Mr. FITZPATRICK. It would be difficult to do so, Congressman, but I would say this: Of course, absence varies from district to district within our school system, but we must have a daily absence somewhere in the vicinity of 10 percent. In some schools it is much larger.
Mr. SCHEUER. You mean the average schoolchild in this town misses 1 day of school every 2 weeks?
Mr. FITZPATRICK. No, but I would say 10 percent of the children miss time-one child may have far greater and extensive absence than other children. There are many children who have a perfect record throughout the year, but we do find that absence is associated with problems of nutrition, food, and health which, too, varies proportionately to the ability of the community and the home to supply these things.
As you probably know, the lunch program in the regular session is frequently the best meal and probably the only full meal that the child obtains. In the summertime this has been lacking. I happen to be the coordinator of the New York City summer high schools. We do have many complaints of stomach disorders. You probably know kids will partake of food that may be very satisfying while it is going down but it frequently causes difficulty.
Mr. SCHEUER. I want to thank you for your most interesting, stimulating, and thoughtful testimony.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. I am very grateful, Congressman.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Mr. Fitzpatrick, this bill, as you probably noticed, provides for lunches to be made available to children between the ages of 6 and 16. As Mr. Scheuer has pointed out, it was originally designed to follow the regular school lunch program.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. Yes.
Mr. PUCINSKI. But during the summer months you have a substantial Headstart program going now, I presume.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. That is right.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Would you agree with the sponsor of the bill that perhaps that figure should be changed to 3 rather than 6, and through 16? Would it give you a little more latitude to meet some of the problems of the younger children, the nursery children who are in the various day-care programs and your Headstart programs?
Mr. FITZPATRICK. There is no doubt, Congressman Pucinski, that the extension of the benefit to the lower age group would be advantageous to us here in New York City. As you have pointed out, we have this Headstart program which is designed to permit youngsters of 3 and 4 to learn those skills and acquire those insights that permit them to come to the first grade abreast of the other children who come from more advantageous homes or areas. They, too, would benefit by such a program, There is no question about it.
Mr. PUCINSKI. We are very grateful to you for your testimony. I am particularly very grateful for the fact that you have taken time out from a very busy schedule to meet with us here in New York and give us your views. I am sure that your testimony as deputy superintendent of schools, the largest school system in the country, will go a long way to the successful enactment of this legislation, Mr. Fitzpatrick. We wish to thank you for your time.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. You are very welcome.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Our next witness is Mr. Frederick H. Lewis, director of the Herald Tribune Fresh Air Fund.
Mr. Lewis, we are very grateful to you for coming before the committee to share your views on this important legislation.
I should like to point out at this time that a member of this committee is the distinguished former publisher of the Herald Tribune, Mr. Ogden Reid. Mr. Ogden Reid has distinguished himself time and again in the full committee by his contributions to the drafting of legislation. I dare say that much of the very progressive legislation which has come from our committee bears a part of his trademark.
STATEMENT OF FREDERICK H. LEWIS, DIRECTOR, HERALD
TRIBUNE FRESH AIR FUND
Mr. LEWIS. That is good to know.
Mr. PUCINSKI. I hope when you go back to the Herald Tribune you will tell your colleagues what a tremendously high regard the members of the entire Education and Labor Committee have for your former colleague, Mr. Reid.
Mr. LEWIS. I will tell them that.
Mr. SCHEUER. I am very happy to welcome you here today and to hear the testimony which you are going to give us, which I am sure will represent the experience you have had in operating these summer camps.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Mr. Lewis, we welcome you before the committee. You are free to proceed in any way you wish.
Mr. LEWIS. I have prepared a statement which I will be glad to read first and then we can take off from there.
I endorse the principle of Congressman Scheuer's bill that would establish a special summer lunch program for children, particularly for boys and girls from families for which the antipoverty program was established.
I represent an organization that annually sends 14,000 of these children to the country for a completely free vacation of 2 or more weeks-some 2,600 of them to our 7 camps and over 11,000 as guests in private homes on farms and in smaller communities throughout 12 Northeastern States. This is perhaps the oldest and largest operation of its kind in the Nation.
The antipoverty experts are faced with a dilemma on how to reach the hard core of poor families, the ones most in need of help if they are to break the generation-after-generation cycle of poverty and dependency. All of us, both in Government and volunteer agencies, are seeking ways of reaching the hard to reach, ways to help them relate meaningfully to the mainstream of American life.
The effect of Congressman Scheuer's bill, it seems to me, would be to spur the summertime efforts of voluntary nonprofit agencies by supplementing their budgets; such that more of their own privately raised money could be devoted to increasing the quality of their program.
We all know that the extent of malnutrition has been drastically reduced in the United States as far as food quantity availability to the poor is concerned, but it is the experience of the fresh air fund that there is widespread ignorance of proper nutritional planning among parents of children we serve, those from the most deprived areas of this big city.
To give a balanced lunch to children during recreational summer programs is at least a step in the right direction. Whatever assistance can be given to organizations that endeavor to fill summer days for needy children with healthful as well as educational activity has my approval.
We heard from Albany just about a week ago that in all probability we would not be reimbursed this year for milk used in our camps as has been the case in the past for a number of years.
I remember the 1965 and 1964 figures both of which were in the neighborhood of $3,500 which is really a lot of money to us, despite