Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Objects of parent-teacher...
 In the beginning
 The silver anniversary convent...
 Parent-teacher education
 State headquarters
 Candlelight memorial service
 Mother Tillson
 Official state song

Group Title: Lest we forget : silver anniversary history of the Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers, 1923-1948.
Title: Lest we forget
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053469/00001
 Material Information
Title: Lest we forget silver anniversary history of the Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers, 1923-1948
Alternate Title: Silver anniversary history of the Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers
Physical Description: 198 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers
Publisher: The Congress
Place of Publication: Orlando Fla.
Publication Date: 1949
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053469
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01489792
lccn - 49029143

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Half Title
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Table of Contents
        Page 13
    Objects of parent-teacher associations
        Page 14
    In the beginning
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Mrs. F. E. Godfrey
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
        Mrs. L. M. Anderson
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
        Mrs. Mary Leary
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
        Mrs. A. F. Fanger
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
        Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
        Mrs. Howard Selby
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
        Mrs. Malcolm McClellan
            Page 66
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
        Mrs. W. Sumner Covey
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
        Mrs. Clinton F. Parvin
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
        Mrs. Malcolm McClellan
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
        Mrs. L. H. Gibbs
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
        Mrs. Walter Beckham
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
        Mrs. J. Floyde Griffin
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
    The silver anniversary convention
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Parent-teacher education
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
    State headquarters
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    Candlelight memorial service
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
    Mother Tillson
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
    Official state song
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        First constitution of the Florida Congress of mothers and parent-teacher associations
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
        National life members and state life members
            Page 176
            Page 177
            Page 178
            Page 179
        State conventions
            Page 180
        Directory of official personnel
            Page 181
            Page 182
            Page 183
            Page 184
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
            Page 188
            Page 189
            Page 190
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
            Page 194
            Page 195
            Page 196
            Page 197
            Page 198
Full Text

-" .^ .

-1. t
C _- -r.

r. .



of the

1923 -1948




I am proud and happy to greet the Florida Congress of Parents
and Teachers upon its twenty-fifth anniversary. As a member I
appreciate the fellowship of the organization, and, more than that,
I appreciate the fine programs for education which the Congress
has sponsored and carried forward to fulfillment.
During the years parents and teachers have learned to know
each other and to work together on common problems. From these
cooperative efforts have come many benefits to our schools.
The Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers is increasingly
a beneficent factor in education in Florida. It is growing not only
in numbers but also in effectiveness.
Achievements of the past twenty-five years have been great.
The future promises even greater achievements.
I have great faith that the Florida Congress of Parents and
Teachers will not be satisfied with anything less than full and equal
opportunities for .the development of all Florida children into fine
and useful citizens.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

This learned I from the
shadow of a tree
As to and fro it swayed
upon a wall
Our shadow selves .- our
influence-may fall
Where we can never be.
-Anna E. Hamilton.




With loving appreciation this book is dedicated to
the Pioneers of the Florida Congress of Parents and
Teachers who have given freely of their talents, their
time, and their strength that the highest possible ad-
vantages might be secured for all children and youth.
May their influence-their shadow selves-challenge
us always to greater efforts toward our common goal.


Someone has said that "History is philosophy teaching by ex-
ample." In this History the philosophy of the parent-teacher move-
ment is demonstrated by the example and activities of the leaders
whose stories are told here.
History is really a ceaselessly flowing stream, ever widening
and deepening its course. Changes, like changes of the season, are
gradual. Each period flows into the next as imperceptibly as winter
into spring. Our growth has been slow but constant, as a child
grows into youth and then develops into adulthood.
It is the earnest desire of the Florida Congress of Parents and
Teachers that, as you turn these pages, you will learn to know our
leaders as real people, dealing with problems that were of vast
importance in their day; recognizing that each individual person-
ality has made a contribution toward the shaping and molding of
our organization, and toward the strengthening of our ideals. These
leaders have been people of vision and determination with devotion
to their work. The stories of their progress, their self-sacrifice, must
be a challenge to us to put forth our greatest effort toward our goal,
the highest advantages for all children.
The records in this history are far from complete, but they
should aid those of us who are leaders today to chart our future
course. As we continue our activities, we, too, are making history.
Thomas Carlyle has said, "In a certain sense all men are historians.
Is not every memory written quite full with annals, wherein joy and
mourning, conquest and loss manifoldly alternate?" May the rec-
ords of our achievements carry on our philosophy as steadfastly
as those included here.
Then, with pride for the meaningful years it details, and with
hope for the contribution it may make for the future, we give you
this book, "Lest We Forget."

-Sibyl N. Griffin, President
Florida Congress of Parents
and Teachers.


It is hardly possible in any age to achieve results which will
seem quite satisfactory to those following in a riper and more en-
lightened age. Fortunately we can learn something from the efforts
of our early leaders and a good many things seem clear and possible
of attainment today which, a quarter of a century ago, were only
beginning and discerned by a few of the keenest and most courageous
of our pioneers.
But if we would really understand what has gone before and
know how a better state of things has grown out of it, we must en-
deavor to distinguish the elements of strength in this earlier period,
as well as the elements of weakness. These things the history
committee has tried to point out and to be as accurate as history-
never wholly accurate-will permit, while attempting to write an
interesting story.
It would be impossible to enumerate all of those who have
contributed to the making of this book. Special gratitude, however,
is due the past state historians, Mrs. Mary Leary, Mrs. A. B. Lem-
mon, Mrs. A. F. Fanger and Mrs. John Higgins who have furnished
valuable data and placed at our disposal a large collection of manu-
scripts and records. It is a pleasure, too, to acknowledge the valu-
able aid rendered by various members of the state board of man-
agers in the actual writing of the script and in furnishing pictures,
maps and charts to add to the interest of the text. A full measure
of appreciation is due the state office personnel for clerical work
and for assisting us to obtain certain important items of information.
We gladly extend this acknowledgment and express our grati-
tude for the privilege of having a part in making available to parent-
teacher members in Florida this Silver Anniversary History.

Sibyl Griffin
Ruth English
Lucile Higgins
Edith McBride Cameron
Alma Gibbs, Chairman


IN T HE B EGINNING ...................................... 15

M rs. F. E. Godfrey................. ... .......... 23
M rs. L. M Anderson .............. ........ 31
M rs. M ary Leary................... .. ............ 38
M rs. A. F. Fanger ............ ............... 47
M rs. H B. H utchinson ........... ............... 55
M rs. Howard Selby........ .. ........ .. .... 61
M rs. M alcolm M cClellan ............. ............ 66
M rs. W Sumner Covey.............. ......... 71
M rs. Clinton F. Parvin ............. ............ ..... 79
Mrs. Malcolm McClellan .......................... 86
Mrs. L. H. Gibbs ................... ............. 90
Mrs. Walter Beckham............ .............. .... 97
Mrs. J. Floyde Griffin.................... .......... 105
THE SILVER ANNIVERSARY CONVENTION ........ ............... 111
PARENT-TEACHER EDUCATION .............................. 127
STRUCTURE .. .. .. .................................... ... 145
STATE HEADQUARTERS ............. ..................... 152
CANDLELIGHT MEMORIAL SERVICE. ... ..................... 155
M OTHER TILLSON ............. ........................... 158
O FFICIAL STATE SONG ..................................... 170

First Constitution of the Florida Congress of
Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations ............. 173
National Life Members............................. 176
State Life M embers ............ ................... 176
State Conventions ................................ 180
Directory of Official Personnel ......................... 181


To promote the welfare of children and youth in home,
school, church, and community.

To raise the standards of home life.

To secure adequate laws for the care and protection
of children and youth.

To bring into closer relation the home and the school,
that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently
in the training of the child.

To develop between educators and the general public
such united efforts as will secure for every child the
highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and
spiritual education.

Acting President-1921-1922

This is the history of a great movement. Like all history it
has a beginning but no end. The parent-teacher movement on a
state level in Florida began during the administration of Mrs. Milton
P. Higgins as president oi the National Congress of Mothers and
Parent-Teacher Associations. The trend of that period, 1920-23,
experienced by all of the states, is well expressed in the National
Jubilee History: "The nation had need of clear-headed purpose and
calm endeavor on the part of all of its citizens. It was a post-war
period-a time of restlessness, troubled minds, confusion of ideas.
Politics, economics, even morals were shaken to their roots. Amer-
ica and the rest of the globe were seeking a new equilibrium after
the tremendous cataclysm of a world war. Ideals of peace and
brotherhood had to be built afresh; security, for individuals as for
nations, had to be reborn from the ashes of conflict and devastation.
In so doing, intelligent men and women strove to preserve the best
of the old ways of thinking and acting while constantly evaluating
the best of the new."


It was a propitious time for the birth of a state organization
devoted to the Objects for which the National Congress stands, for
already many local groups had been formed for the same purpose
and were carrying on worthwhile projects in child welfare in their
own communities.
The events leading up to the organization of the Florida Branch
of the National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associa-
tions took place in Duval County and date back as early as 1899
when the East Jacksonville Mothers' Club was formed with Mrs.
Henry Cooper as president. There may have been other groups in
the state at that time, but this was the earliest one on record. It is
understood that these early groups were known as Mothers' Clubs
for the most part and some of them were responsible to the Women's
Clubs for their existence, as they were organized as a part of their
education program.
From other early records in Duval County we learn that in
1903 the late Mrs. Wellington W. Cummer, affectionately known to
all Jacksonville as "Mother Cummer," called a meeting and organ-
ized what was known as the General Mothers' Club, with every
mother in Jacksonville eligible. This club, embracing as it did all
sections, was really the forerunner of any county organization.
This organization ceased to exist after a few years and in 1913
the Duval County Federation of Mothers' Clubs was formed with
eight associations, varying in name from Mothers' Clubs to Improve-
ment Associations. Mrs. James A. Craig, representing the Central
Grammar School Mothers' Club was elected first president of this
Federation. Although Mrs. Craig was destined to play an important
part in the early history of the Florida Congress, it was not until
the February 1921 meeting of the Federation that the seed for the
state organization was planted.
At that time the West Riverside Parent-Teacher Association of
Jacksonville, said to be the largest in the state, was in membership
with the National Congress, and proved to be fertile ground for
cultivation by two of its officers, Mrs. A. V. S. Smith, president, and
Mrs. Earl Smith, recording secretary. The latter, a personal friend
of the National President, Mrs. Higgins, had come to Florida from
Boston where she had had experience as one of the organizers of the
Massachusetts Congress. Thus she was well qualified to speak
when, at the February 1921 meeting of the Duval County Federation
of Mothers' Clubs, she asked the privilege of outlining and explaining


the Objects of the National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher
Associations and urged the local clubs to join. Mrs. A. V. S. Smith
then announced that the West Riverside P.T.A. would be hostess to
an organization meeting of the Florida Branch of the National
Congress and invited all groups to attend. Invitations were also
extended to similar groups throughout the state which were working
toward the same objectives.
Consequently, the first convention of the Florida Branch opened
in Jacksonville at the Seminole Hotel on March 11, 1921 and the
organization was perfected, subject to ratification by the National
Congress when the necessary number of members and associations
was attained. At that time twenty associations and a combined
membership of five hundred were required. Mrs. Higgins, National
President, called the meeting to order, presenting Mrs. Earl Smith,
state organizer, who presided throughout the convention. Miss Ruth
Bottomly, secretary from the National office in Washington, was
also present and assisted in the organization. About forty delegates
attended representing the following associations: West Riverside,
Riverside, Central Riverside, Central Grammer, Fairfield and Brent-
wood of Jacksonville; Gainesville, Melbourne, Bradenton, Clermont,
Barberville and DeLand.
With West Riverside as hostess many. social courtesies were
enjoyed by the delegates, and Mrs. Higgins contributed much inspi-
ration and help in laying a firm foundation for the new state group.
During the business session it was agreed that all clubs or associa-
tions paying dues before April 1, 1922 would be considered charter
The following officers were elected: President, Mrs. Arthur
Cummer of Jacksonville; first vice-president, Mrs. T. V. Moore of
Miami; second vice-president, Mrs. Cary D. Landis of DeLand; third
vice-president, Mrs. A. V. S. Smith of Jacksonville; fourth vice-
president, Mrs. James A. Craig of Jacksonville; recording secretary,
Mrs. J. D. Alderman of Jacksonville; corresponding secretary, Dean
B. C. Riley of Gainesville; treasurer, Mrs. H. B. Hoyt of Jackson-
ville. Since the newly organized group wished to have vice-presi-
dents from sections of the state which they designated as districts,
they elected to these positions: Mrs. Floyd Roe, Clermont; Mrs.
J. A. Hendley, Dade City; Mrs. Eva Tibbets, St. Petersburg;
Mrs. Amos Norris, Tampa; Mrs. A. E. Armstrong, Daytona; Mrs.
W. S. Calvin, Eustis.


Much credit is given the West Riverside Association for
its part in this great movement, when as one local it assumed
responsibility for the state organization-a stupendous and coura-
geous undertaking. The Florida Congress is very grateful too, that
Massachusetts sent them, in the person of Mrs. Earl Smith, one
who had such courage and vision, and who found in our own state
a responsive personality in Mrs. A. V. S. Smith. In looking back
through the years and viewing the foundation laid, we honor these
two dauntless women who were the instruments by which the
Florida Congress was brought into being.
The exigencies of life took both of these workers out of the
state that same year, and in 1932 word came of the death of Mrs.
A. V. S. Smith. But their influence-their shadow selves-will be
with us even when you and I shall have contributed our bit and shall
have passed on to the land of our "shadow selves."
Those who held the organization meeting made the mistake of
electing people to office without consulting them. As a result, the
president and the first and second vice-presidents declined to serve.
Because of this, and because Mrs. Earl Smith, who had been appoint-
ed state organizer, moved from the state, not much work was done
and the outlook for the Florida Congress seemed anything but prom-
ising. When the third vice-president, who had been acting president,
also found it necessary to leave the state, the responsibility fell
directly to Mrs. James A. Craig. Had it not been for her exceptional
pioneering spirit and her faith in the potentialities of such a state
organization, the progress of the Congress would have been greatly
hampered at the very beginning.
Again the Duval County Federation of Mothers Clubs stepped
into the picture when Mrs. Craig asked them to be hostess to the
second convention of the Florida Branch of the National Congress
of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations. The Federation gra-
ciously responded to this request, immediately setting a date and
issuing invitations to all local clubs in the state through a committee
appointed by their president, Mrs. J. D. Alderman, who was also
recording secretary for the Florida Branch. The dates set were May
3 and 4, 1922 and the Seminole Hotel was again chosen for conven-
tion headquarters.
Forty-one delegates responded, and they were greeted at an
informal reception on Monday evening, May 2, by the Duval County
Federation of Mothers' Clubs. Greetings were extended by Jackson-


ville's mayor, John W. Martin, to which Mrs. J. O. Lucius, of Or-
lando, responded. This first evening's program included music and
two addresses. Fred B. Noble, of the Duval County School Board
discussed "Public Affairs" as related to the public schools, qualifica-
tions and salaries of teachers, consolidated rural schools and free
text books. W. A. MacWilliams, president of the Florida Senate,
spoke on "Educational Legislation." Frank Jennings, speaker of
the Florida House of Representatives, in his address on "Education
and Child Welfare Legislation in Florida," stressed the need for
constructive legislation to provide more adequate financial support
for the school program.
When the first business session was called to order by Mrs.
Craig, acting president, a great deal of interest was shown in the
treasurer's report which indicated that the new organization was
being received with enthusiasm over the state. A great deal of time
and study were given to the report of the constitution and by-laws
committee, presented by Mrs. H. B. Minium, of Green Cove
Springs, chairman. This very important committee also included
Mrs. J. D. Alderman and Mrs. H. B. Hoyt. The bylaws as finally
adopted by this convention are printed in the appendix of this book.
It is interesting to note the changes that have been made during the
past twenty-five years, as revealed by comparison with the present
Mrs. W. S. Jennings, of Jacksonville, president of the Florida
Legislative Council, explained its purposes and program to the dele-
gates. The Congress voted to accept membership in the Council
and to adopt its legislative program.
Mrs. A. F. Fanger, a member of the Better Films Committee
of Jacksonville, gave a comprehensive report of the Better Films
Conference of the Southeastern States held in Atlanta, April 28,
1922. Mrs. Fanger, Mrs. Jennings and Mrs. Craig had attended
this meeting which was the first Better Films Conference ever
held in the world. Some of the recommendations from this confer-
ence were: to place motion picture machines in the schools for visual
education; to organize Better Film Committees; and to use the slogan
"Selection not Censorship-the Solution." Several resolutions were
adopted by the Congress as a result of this report.
The speaker at the luncheon meeting that day was Mrs. W. B.
Young, a member of the Duval County School Board, who in turn


presented the county attendance officer and school supervisors, each
making a valuable contribution to the program.
The afternoon session featured addresses by Dr. R. C. Turk, of
the State Board of Health; Marcus Fagg, of the Florida Children's
Home Society, and Dr. W. W. MacDonnell, Jacksonville City Health
Officer. It was at this meeting that Dean B. C. Riley first offered
his support to the parent-teacher movement when he addressed the
convention on the subject, "How the General Extension Division of
the University of Florida Can Help the Parent-Teacher Associations
of the State." This interest, remaining steadfast through the years,
has culminated in the annual summer short course on parent-teacher
leadership training sponsored by the General Extension Division and
the Florida Congress. After adjournment the delegates were invited
to the Palace Theater where a demonstration of a visual education
program was presented.
The report of the findings committee resulted in the adoption
of the first official Congress resolutions, which were presented by
Mrs. F. E. Godfrey, of Orlando, They included recommendations
for: educational requirements for state and county superintendents
of schools; furnishing free text books; and increase in millage for
school support.
Individual reports from all associations represented were given,
showing that the general trend of objectives was in line with that
of the National Congress.
A nominating committee with Mrs. Malcolm McClellan as
chairman had been previously appointed by Mrs. Craig so that the
committee might have time enough to get the consent of the nomi-
nees to serve if elected. The nominees presented by the committee
were unanimously elected to serve for two years. They were:
President, Mrs. F. E. Godfrey, of Orlando
First Vice-president, Mrs. J. D. Alderman, of Jacksonville
Second Vice-president, Mrs. Mary Leary, of DeLand
Third Vice-president, Mrs. D. P. Council, of Lake Worth
Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. J. O. Lucius, of Orlando
Recording Secretary, Mrs. H. B. Minium, of Green Cove Springs
Treasurer, Mrs. Harry B. Hoyt, of Jacksonville
Auditor, Mrs. A. F. Fanger, of Jacksonville
Those keenly interested in the success of the organization had
great hopes that Mrs. Craig might carry on as state president,' since
she had so ably demonstrated her leadership and courage, but other


duties, which included the Regency of the Florida Daughters of the
American Revolution, influenced her decision to decline the nomina-
tion. Her keen interest did not diminish, however, and for many
years she was actively engaged in the parent-teacher movement.
Her contribution as acting president was an inspiring incentive to
the group of officers who followed her, and they, in turn, held high
the torch which she had kept aglow.

"Then lift the torch, you did not light its glow,

'Twas given you from other hands, you know."

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4 : "4... ......

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The invitation to attend the 1922 convention, sent to Mothers' Clubs and other
groups interested in child welfare, by the hostess group, the Duval County
Federation of Mothers' Clubs.

- IL-rI '''' '~r

I -

I .


I think that people are just beginning to realize
how important the National organization of the
Parent-Teacher Association can be. It is the one
national organization that has preserved its first
policy intact, that of child welfare, and I believe
it will always stick to that principal of child welfare
and better homes.

The year 1922 was an eventful one for the National Congress
of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations-eventful because of
important changes made in the National set-up, and because Florida,
the land of sunshine, took its place with forty-four other states to
work toward the goals of the National Congress.
It was during this year that the National Congress adopted the
revised set of bylaws; the states were grouped into regions; the
National committees were consolidated into five departments; the
oak tree was selected as the symbol; and the golden oak on a field of
blue was adopted as the National Congress pin.


I think that people are just beginning to realize
how important the National organization of the
Parent-Teacher Association can be. It is the one
national organization that has preserved its first
policy intact, that of child welfare, and I believe
it will always stick to that principal of child welfare
and better homes.

The year 1922 was an eventful one for the National Congress
of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations-eventful because of
important changes made in the National set-up, and because Florida,
the land of sunshine, took its place with forty-four other states to
work toward the goals of the National Congress.
It was during this year that the National Congress adopted the
revised set of bylaws; the states were grouped into regions; the
National committees were consolidated into five departments; the
oak tree was selected as the symbol; and the golden oak on a field of
blue was adopted as the National Congress pin.


With all of this structural development it is no wonder that
Florida, entering the fold in this golden era, began a steady growth
in all things which concerned Congress activity.
The first state president of the Florida Congress was elected at
Jacksonville in May 1922. This honor was bestowed upon Mrs.
F. E. Godfrey, of Orlando, who brought to her new position consid-
erable experience in organization work, including the Mothers' Clubs.
Guided by her wise leadership, the Florida Congress passed through
the difficult organization years and developed into a properly func-
tioning state branch.
Mrs. Godfrey was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, December
1, 1882. When she was eight years old the family moved to Boston.
She was graduated from.the public schools in Boston, and attended
Smith College at Northhampton where she tutored foreign-born stu-
dents in mathematics and physics as a special social service under
the auspices of the Home Culture Club. A serious illness prevented
her from completing her fourth year.
Mrs. Godfrey was married in 1905. In 1912, the Godfrey
family moved to Jacksonville, Florida. It was in Jacksonville that
she became interested in the organization of Mothers' Clubs which
was being sponsored by the Woman's Club.
After moving to Orlando in 1918, Mrs. Godfrey became identi-
fied almost immediately with parent-teacher work. As her children
moved from school to school, she worked with various associations,
spearheading the action to establish lunchrooms and to improve
school facilities. She was the first president of the West Central
P.T.A., and later of the Delaney P.T.A. She also served as treasurer
of the Senior High association.
Recognizing her ability and deep interest in the welfare of
children and the schools, the Orlando school district elected her to
serve as a member of the board of trustees in 1922. Her work
proved of such value that she was re-elected in 1924, 1926, and 1928.
As the first woman in such a position, she considered her special
province lay in the supervision of lunchrooms and in securing better
housing for teachers, and she worked indefatigably on these projects.
The growth and development of the Florida Congress was slow
at first, as is usual with a new organization. Money was limited, and
records are sketchy. Outstanding achievements were in the organi-


zation of rural P.T.A. units and in the establishment of lunchooms
in the schools.
Mrs. Godfrey believed strongly that lunchrooms were vital to
the health of the children, and as she worked unceasingly to get
them established in the Orlando schools where she was local P.T.A.
president, so, as state president she continued her campaign for more
lunchrooms in the schools of Florida.
The establishment of lunchrooms was not an easy task. Each
presented a new necessity for promotion, perseverance, and action.
The association, intent on having a lunchroom, used what was at
hand and what was donated by friends, since funds were inevitably
Mrs. Godfrey tells of a report which was made at the state con-
vention. The delegate told of a particular school which had needed a
lunchroom badly. Although it had seemed almost an impossibility,
the association was determined to secure one. At last, the members
found a shed which they could use. Step by step, they equipped it
by donations and with what was brought from homes. But one
necessary piece of equipment was still lacking. The delegate said
she finally admitted defeat and called upon her husband for assist-
ance. He was as interested as she, and began to look around to see
what he could cdo. The next day he came in with the crank case
from an old auto, and this became the lunchroom's first kitchen sink.
With struggles such as these in mind, the P.T.A. member today,
going into the modern well-equipped, clean and shining cafeterias
all over the state, appreciates the struggles and determination of
these pioneers of 1922.
The annual convention met in Orlando April 11, 1923 with
headquarters in the Angebilt Hotel. Twenty-five associations were
represented at this convention by sixty delegates.
At the first open session, Mr. Sexton Johnson, who was city
superintendent of schools, gave an address calling attention to the
fact that the Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations
was helping to bring the schools to the highest state of efficiency.
Mrs. Godfrey, the state president, spoke on "The Starting and
Financing of the School Lunchroom."
Reports on activities by the delegates were inspiring and showed
wide interest: lunchrooms, kindergartens, nurseries for children,
beautification of school grounds, playgrounds, equipment for libraries,
lights, ball courts, drinking fountains, pianos, phonographs, curtains,


organized high school groups, Y's and Girl Reserves, and moving
During the year 1923 business in the lunchrooms at Tampa had
grown to such an extent that it was necessary to employ managers
and assistant cooks, and some groups reported the necessity of paid
supervisors of playgrounds.
The election committee announced the re-election of the follow-
ing: Mrs. F. E. Godfrey, Orlando, president; Mrs. J. D. Alderman,
Jacksonville, first vice-president; Mrs. Mary Leary, DeLand, second
vice-president; Mrs. D. P. Council, Lake Worth, third vice-presi-
dent; Mrs. J. C. Lucius, Orlando, corresponding secretary; Mrs. A.
F. Fanger, Jacksonville, auditor. Newly elected officers were: Mrs.
Charles Caldwell, recording secretary; Mrs. L. M. Anderson, Tampa,
When Mrs. Milton P. Higgins, third National President (1920-
23), finished her term of office, the State Congresses and the Na-
tional officers presented her with a necklace handwrought in green
gold. The design, created and executed by a young St. Louis artist,
employed forty-six oak leaves, one for each state, to form the chain.
The golden oak tree on the azure background, adopted the year
before as the national emblem, embellished the oak-leaf bordered
medallion. Since the necklace required considerable time to com-
plete, the artist did a water-color design which was given to Mrs.
Higgins in advance of the actual necklace.
The letter of the National vice-president explaining the gift
appears in the State History Scrapbook, with Mrs. Godfrey's "O.K."
in pen, indicating Florida's share was contributed.
It was this necklace, enhanced by nearly a quarter of a century
of sentiment, which Mrs. Higgins' children presented to the Na-
tional Congress at the Golden Jubilee in Chicago in June 1947 to
be worn by each president and passed on to her successor. The
necklace was accepted for the Congress by Mrs. L. W. Hughes.
Early in 1924 the executive committee, meeting in a called ses-
sion, decided to recommend to the convention withdrawal of the
Florida Congress from the Legislative Council. Enlarging upon the
reasons for withdrawal, Mrs. Godfrey told the executive committee
she felt the annual dues of $25 could better be used in Congress
work, and that it was a violation of the National Congress policy
to endorse legislation other than that for child welfare. It was very


awkward to work under two sets of bylaws and the best thing to
do was to withdraw.
Inequality of educational opportunity among the various coun-
ties in Florida came early to the attention of the Congress. In 1924,
R. L. Turner, State Rural Inspector, addressing the conven-
tion held in Tampa, April 23-25, told parent-teacher workers
that Baker County children were receiving education costing 75 cents
per child per year, while Pinellas County children were being edu-
cated at a cost per child of $17.50 per year.
Inequality of this kind, recognized from the early days of the
Congress, was never far from the center of thinking of the educa-
tional leaders of the state; and the minimum foundation program,
designed to insure that every child's education includes certain
minimum essentials, was the direct result. The need for trained
workers which Mr. Turner also stressed, has been partially solved
for the rural field by consolidation although it remains a problem
throughout the educational system today. Florida's general educa-
tion law of 1947, with its provision for remuneration based on train-
ing and experience, and its teacher recruitment program, may prove
effective in helping to solve this. problem.
Music played its part on the program. A talk on "Relation-
ship of Music to Life" was greatly enjoyed; an article on music
which had been recently used at a meeting in Jacksonville of the
Federation of Music Clubs was read and proved interesting. Music
by the male quartet of Hillsborough High and violin selections de-
lighted the audience at the opening sessions.
Among the resolutions adopted at this convention was the fol-
lowing: Be it resolved to stand for the moderation of the use of cos-
metics by school girls. Believing the excessive use of same in
public places and at all times an exhibit of poor taste, the Florida
Congress is convinced that when girls are brought to the proper real-
ization that the use of cosmetics in excess, as is now the fad, detracts
instead of adding to their natural charm of youth, they will of their
own accord discontinue this unpleasing habit.
At the close of this second year of Mrs. Godfrey's administra-
tion the membership had grown to 1,626. The treasurer reported a
balance of $303.70.
The city of Eustis extended an invitation to hold the 1925 con-
vention there and the invitation was accepted.
The nominating committee presented a slate of officers and they


were elected without opposition. The slate included the following:
Mrs. L. M. Anderson, Tampa, president; Mrs. Mary Leary, De-
Land, first vice-president; Mrs. E. M. Steel, Miami, second vice-
president; Mrs. Norman Briggs, Pensacola, third vice-president;
Mrs. C. M. Slaughter, Orlando, recording secretary; Mrs. W. F.
Mantey, Eustis, treasurer; Mrs. J. P. Hamilton, Tampa, correspond-
ing secretary; Mrs. A. F. Fanger, Jacksonville, auditor.
During this administration the organization met the necessary
membership requirements and became a duly authorized state
branch of the National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher
Associations when the state charter was granted on April 14, 1923.
Delegates treasure the memories they take home from con-
ventions. Some are gay, some are serious, but all enrich. Mrs.
Godfrey says it was the same back in 1922-24. She tells this incident.
Wearing a white silk dress which had become yellowed from
frequent tubbings, as pure silk does, Mrs. Godfrey was presiding
during a convention session devoted to reports. As the president
listened with official preoccupation, Mrs. Fanger, who later was to
become a state president, and who sat nearby on the platform,
slipped her a folded note.
"Do you know you can buy Whitex to whiten your dress?" the
president read.
Among all the memories which a former state president treas-
ures, this woman-to-woman sharing of feminine know-how stands
out, and brings a smile to Mrs. Godfrey's lips after these many
When Mrs. Godfrey was asked how so much progress was made
during her administration, she said, "There is nothing to tell, be-
cause, just like a baby, we grew."

^ *h~

SA~atioata ~ongre of mottffo
rentm~earber Tfooiationo
3be CrafirLts -
q164 .A!~&..-.d c ~ c -L~.._

A copy of the first charter granted to the Florida Branch by the National Congress of Mothers and Parent Teacher Associations
on April 14, 1923. Attached are seals for the years 1923, 1924, and 1925.

&eC~s~;;eeF~sarra~s~prs~i~pma ~qF~agsu.rvsL~snl~'~Easrr -~


A. b.

Mrs. J. P. Hamilton, of Tampa, was
another pioneer, serving as secretary dur-
ing the administration of Mrs. Anderson.
She was the first person to represent the
Florida Congress at a National convention.

Mrs. A. B. Lemmon, of Orlando, whose
records of the early years of the Congress,
collected during her service as state secre-
tary and state historian, have been of
great value to those compiling this history.

Mrs. Cliff Edwards, of Tampa, whose
song, "0 Glorious Florida," was chosen
as the official song for the State Congress.



)our figure is brill *:ich promise. Opportunity,
like a golden sunrise, floods the eastern sky in Flor-
ida today and is a challenge io the bIest Ihat is in
you. Surely youn will not be found wanting.

It was well for the Florida Congress that it had at its helm,
during these early years, such a person as Bertha Graham Ander-
son. As the daughter of Professor and Mrs. B. C. Graham, she
provided for the organization an easy entree into the offices of the
educators of the state. Her father had for years been in the educa-
tional field, as school teacher, high school principal, county super-
intendent and president of the Florida Education Association.
Mrs. Anderson was born in Manatee but lived most of her life
in Tampa. Being a native Floridian, she gave the public with whom
she came in contact a sense of security, a feeling that this organiza-
tion must be a good thing, on a firm foundation. A word of expla-
nation may be in order here. Those persons who were in the state.


at that time, historically known as the "Florida boom days," know
that to meet a native Floridian was a rare occurrence. People were
rushing to Florida. Few knew from whence they came, nor where
they would go. "Ten minutes is ancient history," was the slogan
of real estate dealers.
For outside contacts, her qualifications were ideal. Also for
training parent-teacher members already interested, Mrs. Anderson
was well equipped. Parent-teacher work was not new to her. She
had her first experience in educational work as a member of the
education committee of the Tampa Woman's Club. In all, she
was active in parent-teacher work for about fifteen years while her
three children-a girl and two boys-were in school; she worked in
four Tampa units, serving as second president of Henry Mitchell
P.T.A., after having served as vice-president, and was largely re-
sponsible for the organization of the Hillsborough County Council.
She served as state treasurer before assuming the responsibilities of
the state presidency.
Mrs. Anderson served in this capacity for seventeen months,
profitable but hard, pioneering months. As she, herself, described
it, "So much doing was my undoing," so, on doctor's orders she
resigned. In 1928 she was made an honorary state president.
At the fourth state convention, held in April 1924 in Tampa,
Mrs. Anderson was installed as president. Taking their places at
the same time were: Mrs. Mary Leary, DeLand, first vice-president;
Mrs. E. M. Steele, Miami, second vice-president; Mrs. Norman
Briggs, Pensacola, third vice-president; Mrs. J. P. Hamilton, Tam-
pa, corresponding secretary; Mrs. C. M. Slaughter, Orlando, record-
ing secretary; Mrs. W. F. Mantey, Eustis, treasurer; and Mrs.
A. F. Fanger, Miami, auditor.
Mrs. Anderson was immediately invited to address the 1924
Florida Education Association convention. She accepted and ar-
ranged for Mrs. Charles E. Roe, National field secretary, to speak
before the assembly also. At the P.T.A. sectional meeting held in
conjunction with this convention, Mrs. Anderson presided. Thus
it was that the Florida Congress received its first formal recognition
as a co-worker in education.
At Mrs. Anderson's first executive committee meeting, the
F.E.A., through its secretary, Dr. O. I. Woodley, offered to do the
Florida Congress' clerical work without charge, except for the cost


of supplies, so long as the office force could handle it. If an addi-
tional worker became necessary, the Congress was to pay for that,
Dr. Woodley to continue supervision of the work. Those who are
accustomed to the work of the Florida Congress' state office, and
the smooth running machinery of today, must stop and think, to
appreciate the work of these pioneers. Until the time of this offer,
the state president had had to mail out from her home the Congress
publications. Though the citizens seemed to be "flush" with easily
earned real estate profits-this organization was not.
Much working and planning was necessary before any project
could be undertaken. Mrs. Anderson interestingly described the
means whereby one mailing of the Congress publications was accom-
plished, and thereby related the impetus given to the sale of life
memberships. Less than five dollars were in the treasury, she tells
us. Mailing of material was being delayed due to lack of funds.
Thinking of her dilemma, she recalled provisions in the bylaws
for honorary life memberships and immediately telephoned her
corresponding secretary to suggest a plan. That same day they
called on two prominent Tampans interested in children and youth,
and with the twenty-five dollars collected from each of them for
a life membership, the publications were mailed-thereby saving the
day for the Florida Congress. D. P. Davis, now deceased, famed
for his man-made islands in Tampa, was the first honorary state
life member.
Interest in this activity immediately was picked up by various
units and individuals, who presented memberships to persons they
wished to honor for the child welfare work they had done. Today,
many well known persons have been so honored. Among these was
Thomas Edison, whose membership was bestowed by the Tampa
association bearing his name. Mrs. Anderson was presented a
life membership by her first vice-president, Mrs. Mary Leary.
To further interest in honorary life memberships, Mrs. Ander-
son offered a silver loving cup to the association having the most
life members. The cup later became the permanent property of
the Seminole P.T.A. in Tampa.
On another occasion, lack of funds threatened to hinder the "
Congress' progress. The state was unable to send its president to
the National Board meeting in Denver, in September 1924. For-
tunately for the Florida Congress, its corresponding secretary, Mrs.


J. P. Hamilton, was vacationing in the west; she was asked to at-
tend this meeting, and thus Florida was well represented-the first
time the new state organization was represented at a National
Undaunted by lack of state funds, Mrs. Anderson arranged to
take her three children to vacation in Athens, Georgia, for the month
of June 1924, in order that she might take a three-week P.T.A.
short course offered at the University of Georgia. This was another
"first" for the Florida Congress-the first Florida president to re-
ceive such training, under the new National plan for trained lead-
In her annual report she says, "Due to the fact that there was
in Hillsborough County quite an extensive building program supply-
ing many new districts with modern school buildings, and a new
ruling whereby all lunch rooms must come under the supervision
of the parent-teacher association, a perfect epidemic of parent-teacher
associations broke out in every direction. It was impossible to
answer every call, and your president found a most able assistant
in Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson, at that time president of the Hillsborough
County Council, who, with Mrs. J. P. Hamilton, visited and organ-
ized all over the county."
So great was the interest shown at this time, that an institute
for leadership training was planned for Florida. Because of the
sudden and very serious illness of one of her children, Mrs. Anderson
was unable to carry out her plans. In spite of telephone and news-
paper announcements of the cancellation of the institute, quite a
number came prepared to take the course. Mrs. Hamilton again
came to the rescue, and together with Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson, a
future state president, carried the project to completion.
The Florida Congress staged its first real institute the following
summer, June 15-20, 1925, at the University of Florida in Gaines-
ville. This was under the leadership of Mrs. Noyes Darling Smith,
Texas Congress president, assisted by the Florida president and
vice-president. This course was a part of the training course for
community leaders and social workers. College credit was given
those taking the week of parent-teacher work along with three weeks
of other social work. In the meantime, the parents and teachers of
Florida had had their first real glimpse into the possibilities of a well-
planned working group and its potentialities, through a series of


meetings held throughout the state in January 1925, with Mrs.
Charles Roe, the National field secretary, as instructor.
Other historical "firsts" were established at the fifth annual
convention held in Eustis April 8-10, 1925. Most outstanding, was
the presence of Mrs. A. H. Reeve, National President-the first time
a National President had attended a Florida convention since its
organization meeting. Particularly interesting to those who have
examined it, is the first printed convention program which was
prepared for this meeting. Only a little two-page leaflet, it might
be called "quaint," but what an accomplishment for that small band
of workers! In all there were 137 delegates registered, represent-
ing 43 local units.
Business men of Eustis helped make it possible to have Super-
intendent Willis Sutton, of Atlanta, as a speaker; and Dr. Charles
Alexander McMurray, of Peabody College, Nashville, was another
out-of-state program participant. The local presidents gave short
reports. It is also interesting to note that the Women's Clubs were
still actively interested in fostering this infant organization. The
president of the local Woman's Club gave a welcoming address at
the opening evening session, and her group was hostess at the re-
ception which followed.
A committee was named to recommend revisions in the by-
laws, to be acted upon the following year. The old bylaws were
described as, "unique in many instances"; for example, the state
president appointed the nominating committee and all chairmen.
This procedure is now considered most undesirable.
Increase in funds was so imperative that dues were increased
from ten to fifteen cents per member, to be evenly divided among
the National, state and districts. The new bylaw revisions recom-
mended that the state be divided into five districts, agreeing with the
Florida Education Association districts.
Until this time Mrs. Anderson had served not only as presi-
dent, but as extension chairman as well. This.was necessary be-
cause of the few workers available. At the beginning of this admin-
istration the first vice-president was named as chairman of social
hygiene and racial health; the auditor was placed in charge of press
and publicity, then later changed to legislation. Other chairman-
ships were education, illiteracy, kindergarten extension and Child
Welfare Magazine. Added later were committees on public school


music, mothers' study classes and pre-school child, P.T.A.'s in
churches, and child welfare in Florida. By the time of the state
board meeting in June 1925, presidents of the five districts had
been appointed, and one of these, Mrs. Charles Hemphill, of Clear-
water, became Florida's first student to take the parent-teacher
course at Columbia University.
Almost immediately after the state convention Mrs. Anderson
marked up another "first," being the first Florida president to at-
tend a National convention-this one in Austin, Texas. While
there she served as secretary for the Social Standards sectional
meeting, and also as chairman of the committee to draw up resolu-
tions from this section, presenting them to the convention body.
Ranking second, Florida received National recognition for its
percentage of membership gain. Beginning with a membership of
1,636 in the spring of 1924, by the close of the parent-teacher year,
April 1, 1925, it boasted 5,445 members in 43 locals, an increase of
235 per cent. Louisiana, however, took first place with a 272 per
cent increase. Florida's Child Welfare Magazine subscriptions to-
taled 277, of which 245 were new subscribers. Founders Day gifts
totaled $42.10.
In addition to the clerical services provided by the Florida Edu-
cation Association space was given in its Journal for reporting par-
ent-teacher activities, thus giving the Congress a semblance of a
bulletin-another "first." This arrangement, it is felt, was of un-
told value to the parent-teacher movement because it gave the teach-
ers a clearer conception of its aims, and the parents a better insight
into the teachers' problems. The state Congress chairman of press
and publicity, Mrs. Floyd Roe, of Clermont, served as an assistant
editor on the Journal staff. The first issue of the Journal for the
fall of 1924 (Volume 11, No. 1) carried the first P.T.A. section and
the first official bulletin message from a state president. Much of
the space was given to local unit activities. Many of them recorded
for the first time included: the first official report from a rural unit-
Fairvilla; the first printed local program-Henry Mitchell of Tampa;
the first county council to report a P.T.A. in every school-Dade
County; the largest association in the state-Ada Merritt Junior
High of Miami with 330 members; the first classroom with 100 per
cent membership-one of Ada Merritt's classes. Thus this admin-


istration was showing progress toward the aims for which it had set
out-extension, increased funds, and a bulletin.
In the study of this administration we see that many of the
"firsts" for which its leaders struggled, are today's members' ordi-
nary "musts" in parent-teachtr procedure; but many of the attain-
ments of those days, such as "100 per cent membership," thrill, and
will continue to thrill, those interested in the work.
Those who only today are becoming active in parent-teacher
work in Florida-after it is well-organized, with its machinery well-
oiled-can little realize the hard road of these pioneers. But these
pioneers recognized no obstacles; they won many battles for child
welfare and laid the firm foundation so essential to the successful
organization which the Florida Congress is today.



There is no way today by which faith in
the good, the true and the beautiful may better
be carried into the homes of America and thus be
kept living and glowing than by way of the parent-
teacher association.
Mary Hutchinson Leary was born in Crescent City, Florida,
August 30, 1885. She is the daughter of the late George and Lillie
Brewster Hutchinson, and direct descendant of Eleezer Whelock,
founder of Dartmouth College; and of Abram Pierson, first presi-
dent of Yale University.
Her family moved to DeLand when she was five years old.
There she married W. J. Leary, Jr. in 1906. Mr. Leary died in
1911, leaving her with two young daughters, Lillie and Katherine.
Mrs. Leary is now the owner and manager of Hutchinson Hall in
DeLand. This small hotel has remained popular through the
years because of the delicious home cooked meals served there.
A parent-teacher association was organized in DeLand in


November 1913. Mrs. Leary was elected president of this asso-
ciation in 1920 and has served that organization in some capacity
ever since. She has also served as president of the Volusia County
Council and has been chairman of various committees of the coun-
cil. Mrs. Leary was one of the three delegates living outside of
Jacksonville, who attended the organization meeting of the Florida
Congress in March, 1921, and she has attended every state con-
vention since then, with the exception of the one in 1922, at which
time she was ill. At the state convention in Sebring in 1928, Mrs.
Leary was given a state life membership and made an honorary
state president.
In addition to her parent-teacher work, Mrs. Leary has always
been civic minded, having been a member of the DeLand Woman's
Club since 1913, and serving as a member and officer of the Volusia
County Democratic Executive Committee ever since women have
been on the committee. She is a member of the Episcopal Church
and the Rebekah Lodge.
In the fall of 1925, Mrs. L. M. Anderson found that ill health
made it impossible for her to continue as president of the Florida
Congress and sent in her resignation on September 15. As first
vice-president, Mrs. Leary called a meeting of the executive com-
mittee in Orlando on September 24, and she was elected to fill the
unexpired term of Mrs. Anderson.
Mrs. Leary brought to the Congress a splendid background
for her duties, having come from a long line of educators, and
having served on the state board of managers since its inception.
At a meeting of the executive committee in Jacksonville, December
30, 1925, much important business was transacted and a foundation
for future growth was laid. Mrs. George Cook, of Miami, served
as secretary pro tem and the treasurer reported a balance of
$119.00 on hand. At this meeting Mrs. A. F. Fanger was elected
first vice-president. Mrs. Charles A. Caldwell, publicity chairman,
was instructed to prepare a leaflet for distribution, explaining
parent-teacher work in Florida. Wishing to provide for a healthy
growth, since parent-teacher work in Florida was in its infancy,
the slogan, "An Educated Membership" was adopted. Miami was
chosen as the next convention city.
On December 31, the day following the executive committee meet-
ing, Mrs. Leary presided at a parent-teacher conference in the old
Dural High School. This was a sectional meeting of the Florida


*Education Association and was officially listed on their program.
Mrs. Arthur C. Watkins, National executive secretary, from Wash-
ington, D. C., was the featured speaker at this meeting. The Flor-
ida Congress and the F.E.A. each contributed fifty dollars toward
her expenses. Mrs. Watkins spoke on "How to Organize a Parent-
Teacher Association in Your School," and conducted a round table
discussion on parent-teacher problems. Following this meeting,
Mrs. Watkins spent a week in Florida, visiting various parts of the
state in the interests of the parent-teacher movement.
Unable to visit the local associations personally, Mrs. Leary
made their acquaintance by writing circular letters every five weeks.
Since this was the fore-runner of the Florida Parent-Teacher Bul-
letin, her first letter is quoted as a part of this story.


Office of President
DeLand, Florida.
October 17, 1925.
Dear President and Members:
First-If you are not the president, won't you give this to the
president? Second-Examine the address on the envelope and see
if it is correct. Or did you just happen to get this? Please send the
correct address, street number, if any, of the following officers:
President, treasurer, and chairman of Program Committee. Give
names or initials.
Vacation time is over. Schools are open everywhere. Are you
ready for your meetings? How many made your first meeting a
social meeting? Much can be accomplished by making the acquain-
tance of the teacher and giving her a hearty welcome.
Will you please have read at your next meeting the Aims and
Purposes of our organization? Many people do not realize what
this work really means. Our activities are broad and our purposes
are definite, namely, to effect better children by means of better
parents and better teachers. We work with the schools and only by
working together can the purpose be realized.
We recommend that every association conduct a study class
based upon the book "The Child, His Nature and His Needs."


The Child Welfare Magazine, the official magazine of the Par-
ent-Teacher Association, is a fine paper and there should be several
copies in each organization. It is adaptable to Pre-School Circles,
Mothers Clubs, Grade P.T.A., Junior High P.T.A., or Rural P.T.A.
You will find good programs that can be adapted to every communi-
ty. At any time a meeting seems to be going slowly, or the program
fails, read an article or two from your magazine and call for discus-
sion. Never give up or postpone a meeting except for the very best
of reasons.
If you want any P.T.A. literature, write to Mrs. J. P. Hamilton,
25 Hamilton Heath, Tampa, Florida. She will send you whatever
you request. .. Just tell her your needs.
Mrs. L. M. Anderson, our dear president, who has resigned on
account of ill health, is offering a silver loving cup to the association
getting the most Life Members. Life Members cost only $25.00.
Write Mrs. Anderson for further'information. Her address is 2204
Grand Central Avenue, Tampa, Florida. To stimulate interest in our
State Meetings, your acting president will give a silver loving cup
to the association sending the largest delegation to our next State
Convention, which will be held in Miami, in April, 1926. Mileage
and size of the association will determine this award. We want the
small association to have an equal chance in this.
Now, last, but not least, if you have an extra good program,
write and tell me. If everything went :.:'. ... write that also. I will
be glad to give what help I can. I am not free to visit each associa-
tion as I would like, but I can write-and that takes us back to
where we started. Remember the First and Second at the beginning
of this letter-they are important. Do it now before you forget,
Sincerely yours,
(Mrs.) Mary Leary, President.

The sixth annual convention of the Florida Congress was held
in Miami, April 7-10, 1926. The Venetian Hotel was headquarters
and the business sessions were held in the Northside school. More
than 300 people were present at the opening reception given by the
Miami Woman's Club in their new club house on North Bayshore
Drive. With Mrs. Leary presiding, the first session opened with
176 delegates present. A state membership of 7914 in 150 local


associations was reported, while the treasurer's report showed a
balance of $468.34, with a Founders Day gift of $92.55.
The National Congress was represented by Mrs. William Ull-
man,. third vice-president, who had recently moved to Miami.
Dr. W. R. Redden, National medical officer of the American Red
Cross, spoke on "Training of Children for World Service." Mrs.
Leary's theme was "The Parent-Teacher Movement-Why?" The
reports from the local associations showed remarkable progress.
The outstanding address of the convention was given by Mrs.
J. P. Hamilton, state corresponding secretary, on "The Six P's:
Peace, Prohibition, Protection of Children, Physical Education,
Protection of the Home, and Public Schools." This address was
printed in its complete form in all of the Miami newspapers and in
the Florida Education Association Journal.
The mocking bird was chosen as the state bird, and orange and
green as the state colors. The silver loving cup awarded by Mrs)
Anderson to the association having the most state life members was
given to Seminole Heights P.T.A., of Tampa, while the attendance
cup presented by Mrs. Leary was won by Kirby-Smith Junior High
P.T.A. of Jacksonville. Mrs. George F. Cook presented the Con-
gress with a gavel made from the original Trapp avocado pear tree.
A silver band with suitable engraving was authorized to be placed
on the gavel, and at the close of the convention, the retiring presi-
dent presented it to the incoming president, Mrs. A. F. Fanger.
With the aid of Mrs. Fred Nooney, president of the Duval
County Federation of Mothers' Clubs and Parent-Teacher Asso-
ciations, Mrs. Leary persuaded that group to change its name to
the Duval County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations and to
change its affiliation from the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs
to the State and National Congress of Parents and Teachers. There
were at that time, about thirty clubs in this federation, only six of
which were in state and National membership. This change added
materially to the state membership. All Mothers' Clubs changed
their names to Parent-Teacher Associations. This was one of Mrs.
Leary's greatest contributions to the work of the Florida Congress.
The aim of this administration was to perfect a working state
organization. With this groundwork laid, Mrs. Leary completed
a useful and profitable seven months as president, but would not
consider re-election.

G Iyrt National
nougrPae of Parents anb SIar1pro


ehis drrtilflure f ,r, .*-24 _^-"^ -- / *.**a
i'* /i .4 I .aiena,' C q.i-e,. I'w.vi, an T4 rir. a*.d 11 F -
i.. .na4 1' iia dparie,:r .. 'Au .rer f thi .'b a'IU' L .gn-
7..i 1. .. r i ~ erlsJl I t.flJt i 7'1I ir.i' dattreJ.

.. Te d,
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W W ^^Kv \C^-',7^^-

The second charter was given to the state when the name of the National organization was changed to 'The National Congress of
Parents and Teachers." The seals are dated 1926, 1927, and 1928.


Delegates numbering 238 attended the ninth annual state convention in Jacksonville April 2-5, 1929, at which time the National
Congress was represented by its president, Mrs. S. M. N. Marrs, and its school education chairman, Miss Charl Williams. This
convention marked the third year of Mrs. Fanger's administration.



_ ~jII s

Delegates to the thirty-third National convention held in Washington, D. C., visit Mt. Vernon on May 7, 1929. Among them are
Mrs. A. F. Fanger, president of the Florida Congress, Mrs. Howard Selby, district director and Mrs. Paul Delevan, state treasurer.

77PRTT -
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The Princeton P.T.A. "Singing Mothers," of Orlando, was the first Mothersingers group to appear on a state program. They sang at
the tree planting ceremony and at one of the general sessions of the convention held in Winter Park in 1930.





The Congress was born of the love of humanity;
it was reared with the one purpose of serving child-
hood, and to this purpose it has adhered persist-
ently through the years. No road has been too
long, no journey too arduous, to stay its leaders
from faithful completion of their appointed tasks.
My gratitude is deep for the high privilege of hav-
ing a part in making the world a better place for
Looking at the history of a sound organization from the vantage
point afforded by a quarter of a century, it becomes apparent that
each administration brings its own peculiar talents with some special
emphasis at a time when they are needed most.
In 1926 when Mrs. A. F. Fanger, of Hialeah, was elected presi-
dent, the Florida Congress was holding its sixth annual convention
in Miami, where it reported a membership of 7,914 in 150 associa-
tions. The treasury contained $468.34. Ahead lay a gargantuan


task in the building of public goodwill, for this was the period when
it became clear that parent-teacher associations, many of which
grew out of education committees of Federated Women's Clubs and
continued to hold membership therein, could not function effectively
if they bore double allegiance.
The Congress board, although acknowledging gratefully that
Women's Clubs were doing excellent work in many directions, recog-
nized conflict in the fundamental purposes of the two organizations,
one of which could not accept fathers and male teachers into its
membership while the other wished to concentrate exclusively on
working with the schools for the welfare of children and youth.
There was natural reluctance on the part of the Women's Clubs
to accept the fission upon which the Congress insisted; and in
many communities school authorities were apathetic or openly an-
tagonistic, insisting without a clear understanding of P.T.A. func-
tions and policies, either that there was no necessity for both organi-
zations or that there would be interference with school administra-
tion. But as the Florida Congress units became established and
as local leadership became better trained and therefore more capable,
the Federation and the Congress became firm, cooperative friends,
while, as school people began to recognize the tremendous potenti-
alities of the newer organization, the Florida Education Association
and the Florida Congress developed cordial working relations.
Mrs. Fanger traveled more than 12,000 miles on Congress busi-
ness during her first term of office, both within the state and to Na-
tional Congress meetings, largely without drawing on the tiny
treasury. Meeting with school people and lay groups in Florida,
she spread her enthusiasm for parent-teacher work, bringing to them
the knowledge of techniques, procedures, and principles which she
herself learned from the observation of operations in other states
and in the National organization, and from constant study.
Meanwhile, she found time to organize the Colored Congress
of Parents and Teachers in Florida, at the request of W. S. Cawthon,
State Superintendent of Public Instruction; to edit the first two
numbers of the Florida Parent-Teacher; to be a delegate at the Na-
tional convention; and to arrange a credit course on parent-teacher
work at the University of Florida. Resignations from the state
board were a continual problem, and replacements were not easy
since local leaders were scarce, and for the most part untrained.
The 1927 convention, held at Pensacola, inaugurated the "Tree


Planting" which was carried through several succeeding years, with
district directors, robed in the new state colors, orange and green,
bringing soil from their own regions for the ceremony. This first
tree was named for Lillian Perry, president of the Escambia County
Council. Membership was reported at 12,417 in 182 associations.
The convention theme covered "The Seven-Fold Program of
Home and School," with Mrs. Bruce Carr Jones representing the
National Congress. Again the convention body recommended
changes in school taxation and urged progressive development of
physical education regulations by the State Department of Educa-
tion. The state publicity scrap book took first place in a National
Mrs. Fanger, as president, was elected a delegate to the Na-
tional Convention at Oakland, California, attending the Arizona and
California state conventions enroute. She was elected to the Na-
tional Nominating Committee. She was National Congress repre-
sentative at the Pan-American Conference on Child Welfare in
Havana, Cuba; and, appointed as a member of the Florida Educa-
tion Survey Commission. she served under three governors.
The State Bulletin was established early in 1928, to be
issued four times each year. The president conducted a school
of instruction at a sectional meeting of the Florida Education Asso-
ciation in Tampa, and held a sectional meeting in connection with
the Lakeland meeting of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs.
The Congress accepted an invitation to become a member of the
Florida Public Health Council, and its representative was elected
vice-president of the council.
The eighth annual convention was held at Sebring, in March,
1928. on the theme, "Educated Parenthood." The convention body
re-elected Mrs. Fanger as president, voted to incorporate the organi-
zation, and changed its name. A charter was drawn, bylaws in
accordance with the state law for corporations were adopted, and
incorporation was recorded as of July 18, 1928.
While the accomplished fact of incorporation reads smoothly
as a paragraph in history, the occasion itself was not without its
anxious moments. Meeting in Tampa to take the final steps in con-
nection with the signing of the charter, the legal "parties" involved
discovered during roll call that several absences made their mission
impossible. A motion to postpone the "business of the hour" until
mid-afternoon prefaced a hectic council of strategy followed by a


series of frantic attempts to communicate with the absent officers.
When the meeting formally took up again at 2:30 p.m. with the roll
call, telegraphed proxies were triumphantly produced for every per-
son except one-and the body of incorporators solemnly proceeded
with its business.
The incorporators of the "Florida Branch of the National Con-
gress of Parents and Teachers" and signers of the charter were:
Willie T. Fanger, president; Ruth Nooney, Jacksonville, first vice-
president (by proxy); Amy E. Cook, Miami, second vice-president
(by proxy); Aldine K. Vinson, Tampa, third vice-president; Cath-
erine F. McClellan, Jacksonville, fourth vice-president (by proxy);
I. E. Phillips, Jacksonville, fifth vice-president (absent); Jennie E.
Hutchinson, Tampa, treasurer; Viola B. Edwards, Tampa, corre-
sponding secretary; Annie L. Lemmon, Orlando, recording secretary;
and Mary Leary, DeLand, historian.
The following October, Mrs. Charles E. Roe, National Field
Secretary, was again sent into the state by the National organization,
and numerous schools of instruction and institutes were well at-
tended. The reports of this period stress repeatedly the need for
leaders trained particularly to do parent-teacher work, and excel-
lent results were secured from these schools.
By the time of the ninth annual convention at Jacksonville, in
April 1929, membership in the Florida Branch, N.C.P.T.. had
grown to 19,437 in 322 local associations, and the funds in the
treasury had increased to $702.01. Mrs. S. M. N. Marrs, National
Congress president, and Miss Charl Williams, National chairman
of School Education, spoke to the theme "The Spirit of Learning."
The "tree" planted that year was dedicated by the National presi-
dent, in honor of Mrs. Fanger.
A delegate to the National convention in Washington. Mrs.
Fanger spoke at conferences on study classes, 'on home education,
and on rural education. Florida received a gavel from the Na-
tional Congress in recognition of the best rural work accomplished
in all states in 1928-29. The Florida Branch president was ap-
pointed chairman of the National committee to interpret the rela-
tionship between state and national vice-presidents and committee
chairmen; and she was likewise member of a committee on require-
ments for standard and superior associations. The Presidents' Club
of the National Congress, known in its earlier days as the Past State
Presidents' Club, owes its existence to her vision and executive


ability. She was directly responsible for its organization and became
its first president in 1928.
During this administration, the silver cup awards at conventions
assumed increasing importance. The cup which had been presented
by Mrs. Mary Leary for convention attendance, was won by the
George Washington Junior High P.T.A. of Tampa, and the State
Life Membership cup, presented by Mrs. L. M. Anderson, went to
Seminole P.T.A., Tampa.
At the Sebring convention, in 1928, Seminole P.T.A. won the
Life Membership cup for the third time, and it became their prized
possession. The Convention Attendance cup was awarded to Brent-
wood P.T.A., Jacksonville. White City and Chuluota tied for the
Membership cup-each having 100% membership-and since W.
L. Quinlan, state recreation chairman, had presented the cup for
this award, he agreed to provide another one, so that each associa-
tion could have its trophy.
Recognizing the impetus to membership growth through these
awards, Mrs. W. A. Elliott, of Jacksonville, Director of District
Four. announced that she would provide a cup for membership in-
crease, based on its proportion to school patrons, in city associations.
Mrs. Fred Nooney, first vice-president of the Congress, announced
that she would present one for a similar award to rural associations.
These cups were to be awarded annually for the next three years.
At the 1929 convention in Jacksonville, the Convention Attend-
ance cup was awarded to Coral Gables P.T.A. The cup given by
the Florida Times Union, through Mrs. Elliott, for increase in mem-
bership in city schools, was won by Miami High P.T.A. The cup
provided by Mrs. Nooney for rural associations went to Boynton
The awards at the 1930 convention in Winter Park were as fol-
lows: Convention Attendance, Allie Yniestra P.T.A., Pensacola;
Membership cup for city schools, Allah Pattah P.T.A., Miami;
Membership cup for rural associations, Lake Magdalene P.T.A., in
Hillsborough County.
This year another silver cup, a gift of the Florida Grower's Press,
Inc.; of Tampa, was awarded to the Duval County Council for hav-
ing the largest number of subscribers to the Florida Parent-Teacher.
An outstanding feature of the 1930 convention was the publish-
ing of the first edition of "Convention News," a project of the pub-
licity department, promoted by Mrs. John Higgins, state publicity


chairman, and made possible through the courtesy of the Tampa
Morning Tribune. At the close of the business session, the four page
convention digest was distributed by the delegates from Clearwater
P.T.A., dressed as "newsies." The Convention News was received
by the Florida Congress with enthusiasm!
The impressive annual tree planting ceremony was held on the
grounds of the grammar school in Winter Park. The state president
led the colorful procession of district directors, arrayed in robes of
orange and green, and carrying bowls of soil brought from their own
districts. Each director was escorted by a Winter Park high school
girl, carrying garlands of oak leaves. The tree was presented by
the president of the Orange County Council and dedicated to Mother
Tillson-a cousin of Alice McClellan Birney, founder of the National
On this occasion, "The Tree of the P.T.A." was sung by the
"Princeton Singine Mothers" of Orlando. This was the first appear-
ance of a Mothersingers Chorus at a state meeting.
Born in Marietta, Georgia, where her mother was a girlhood
friend of Alice Birney, Willie Fanger received her education in the
schools there and at St. Joseph's Convent at Fernandina, Florida.
In 1905 she married A. F. Fanger, of Philadelphia. The mother of
two daughters, Mrs. Fanger began her local parent-teacher work in
the Mothers' Club of Jacksonville in 1916, serving as chairman of
different departments, secretary, vice-president and president of
local associations, and then as vice-president, secretary, and chair-
man of various departments in the Federation of Mothers' Clubs.
She assisted in the 1922 convention of the Florida Congress,
signing the invitation which issued the call to convention. She
served the Florida Congress as legislative chairman, auditor, vice-
president, and then as president. Later she became fifth vice-presi-
dent. Besides serving on several important N.C.P.T. committees,
Mrs. Fanger also held the office of national historian.
During her years of work on the state board, Mrs. Fanger
studied continually, and with steadfast purpose. She holds a certifi-
cate from the National Congress for the first correspondence course
on Publicity; a national institute certificate; a certificate from Flor-
ida State College for Women in Parent-Teacher Training; a certifi-
cate for the 1929-30 correspondence course, N.C.P.T.; and she has
the distinction of being the first person to receive the Advanced
National Congress Certificate of Instruction. In 1929, she assisted


the National field secretary in giving a course at Florida State
College for Women.
Mrs. Fanger completed her four years as president at the 1930
convention in Winter Park. During her administration the member-
ship of the state organization virtually trebled, while the number
of associations more than doubled. The Florida Branch, N.C.P.T.,
was building well. Its public relations were good; it was training
its leaders; its growth was rapid; it was proving its value to the edu-
cational system of the state. It was established; and it could look
forward confidently to the future.


Group, including Dr. Colin English and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Edison, attend-
ing tree planting at Ft. Myers Convention in 1931.

Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson presenting silver loving cup to Thomas A. Edison at
the Ft. Myers convention.



l'ork in. the parent-teacher association helps
the individual to become a better parent-if she
takes advantage oi the many opportunities for
study; a better local citizen-if she makes use of
the training in making her contribution to the other
organizations of the community; a better world citi-
zen-if she becomes aware of and awake to the
problems of her country.

Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson became president of the Florida Con-
gress of Parents and Teachers in April 1930. She had been active
in local associations in Tampa, and just before accepting the state
presidency had been president of the Hillsborough County Council.
Her state work began in 1926 when she became state treasurer. She
was not a native Floridian, but, with her husband, came to Jackson-
ville in 1917, where they lived for two years before making a per-
manent home in Tampa. Mrs. Hutchinson's early years were spent


in New Hampshire. She graduated from Olivet College in Michi-
gan and later taught in a high school in a suburb of Detroit.
At the beginning of Mrs. Hutchinson's administration Mrs. A.
F. Fanger, retiring state president, sent to all National officers and
to all state presidents the following announcement:
Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson
5502 Taliaferro Street, Tampa, Florida
newly elected president of the
Florida Branch of the National Congress
of Parents and Teachers
The whole program of the Florida Congress continued to move
steadily forward under the splendid leadership of the new president.
Interest in parent education was high and the Florida Congress
received many National honors for publicity record books, subscrip-
tions to Child Welfare Magazine, and enrollment in National cor-
respondence courses. Florida ranked second in the latter.
The first correspondence course sponsored by the Florida Con-
gress was offered during Mrs. Hutchinson's administration. It was
on publicity, consisted of seven lessons and was prepared by the
head of the state publicity bureau, Mrs. John Higgins.
On a parent-teacher radio program the National Congress com-
mended Mrs. Higgins for her outstanding contribution to the pro-
motion of parent-teacher publicity, thereby giving her and the Flor-
ida Congress nation-wide recognition.
In September 1930, the Florida Congress took the first step
toward the establishment of a state office. A "conference room"
where Congress materials were on display and where the president
was available for conferences, was secured in a downtown office
building in Tampa. No rent was charged for the room and only
half the usual telephone rate was charged. Later a part-time secre-
tary was employed.
A cooperative project with the State Department of Agriculture,
stressing the use of Florida fruits, vegetables and milk in school
lunch menus was a special undertaking of this administration.
The Washington Bicentennial was generally observed and
medals to primary, intermediate and high school pupils were award-
ed by the Congress for the best essays on, "Washington, the Citi-


Mrs. Hutchinson spent much time in Tallahassee helping to
secure legislation for the welfare of children and youth. Measures
passed, in which the Congress took an active part, were the County
Health Unit bill, an enabling act for county libraries and the uniform
narcotic act.
The Florida Congress gave its unqualified endorsement to the
Florida Education Association's legislative program, to guarantee
every Florida child an eight-month school term each year.
In 1932, in response to a request from the National Congress,
the Florida Congress contributed fifteen dollars toward defraying
the expenses of a specialist who was to prepare a National History.
Many honors came to Mrs. Hutchinson, and through her to the
Florida Congress, during her administration of two years. She was
appointed by Governor Doyle Carlton as a delegate to President
Hoover's White House Conference on Child Health and Protection
and attended all sessions. As a result of her report of this confer-
ence to the Florida Education Association meeting in Orlando, she
was made chairman of the committee to promote, in Florida, the
infant and pre-school child survey recommended by the White
House Conference.
She was made a member of the executive committee of the
Florida Health Council; an advisory member of the Florida Educa-
tional Survey Commission; a director of the State Social Hygiene
Council, of the State Mental Hygiene Council, and of the State
Conference of Social Workers. When she was a representative to
a meeting called by Governor Carlton to form a State Unemploy-
ment Relief Committee, Mrs. Hutchinson explained that the part
of the Congress would be to help the children of the unemployed.
During this administration, in order to secure an official song
for the Congress, a statewide contest was promoted by the state
music chairman, which resulted in the adoption of the song, "0
Glorious Florida," written. and submitted by Viola Edwards of
The eleventh annual convention of the Florida Congress was
held in Fort Myers, April 8-9, 1931, with Mrs. Hutchinson presiding,
assisted by Mrs. Howard Selby. The general theme for this con-
vention was, "The Call of Today." It was also the theme for the
year's program of parent education. Convention News was again


published, this time financed by the Congress, and became a regular
convention feature.
The Lee County Superintendent of Public Instruction, Colin
English, was one of the speakers at this meeting. His participation
in this program marked the beginning of a close relationship with
the Florida Congress which continued throughout the years of his
service as State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
A most interesting courtesy resolution presented at this con-
vention was, "BE IT RESOLVED, that to the loyal, loving Daddies
of our Florida Branch, National Congress Parents and Teachers,
we extend sincerest appreciation for assistance in making this con-
vention possible by the care of the children and homes in the
absence of the mothers."
An outstanding feature was the tree planting in honor of
Florida's children, attended by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Edison,
honor guests. A silver loving cup was presented to Mr. Edison by
Mrs. Hutchinson in appreciation of his interest in parent-teacher
work. Mrs. Hutchinson had lost her voice, so the first vice-presi-
dent, Mrs. Howard Selby read her presentation speech for her.
Mrs. Edison accepted in the name of her noted husband, explaining
that he never made public speeches. He smiled when given the
cup. Fox Movietone took pictures of the presentation, showing
Mr. Edison, the oldest member present, shaking hands with one-
year-old Malcolm McClellan, the youngest person present. The
Thomas A. Edison P.T.A. of Tampa had, in 1926, honored Mr.
Edison with a state life membership.
At the close of the convention some of the state funds were
placed in one of the Ft. Myers banks for safekeeping. Before the
treasurer could reach home and transfer this fund to the regular
depository, that bank, like so many others throughout the nation
during this period of depression, suspended business.
At the fall board meeting, October 20, 1931, the members were
honored by a visit from Mrs. A. V. S. Smith, who was one of those
responsible for the organization meeting of the Florida Congress.
Shortly after the organization Mrs. Smith moved to Colorado and
this was her first return visit.
The twelfth annual convention was held in Clearwater, April
6-7, 1932, and the theme was, "Florida and the Children's Charter."
Speakers on the program were: C. C. Dolley, Director of Vocational


Education, State Department of Education; Marion Telford, asso-
ciate chairman of Safety, National Congress of Parents and Teach-
ers; Mirs. J. W. Pettengill, recording secretary of the National Con-
gress; Anne Gabriel, consultant in health education, State Board
of Health; C. M. Miles, State Department of Education; Dr. M. W.
Carothers, supervising principal of the Tampa Schools; Dr. Henry
Hansen, State Health Officer; Dr. Valeria Parker, National chair-
man, Parent Training in Churches. Five representatives from the
National Congress were present at this convention. Besides the
three mentioned above were Charl Williams, National School Edu-
cation Chairman, and Mrs. A. F. Fanger, National Historian. Mrs.
Pettengill was the official representative and her address was broad-
cast over station WFUL. The Florida Congress paid fifty dollars
toward her traveling expenses since at that time the National Con-
gress made no provision for expenses, at state meetings, for officers
other than the president and vice-presidents.
In the summer of 1930 Mrs. Charles Roe, field secretary from
the National Congress, conducted a two-weeks study course for
parent-teacher members at the Florida State College for Women.
Following this she spent two weeks conducting institutes and train-
ing classes in districts.
At the close of this administration the total membership in the
state was 25,800 in a total of 389 associations.
Mrs. Hutchinson continually emphasized the importance of
parent-teacher work for young mothers, pointing out that it enables
them to become acquainted with educational opportunities for their
children. Aside from the value to them personally, in learning to
understand the newer methods of the school room, this interest
helps to establish a closer bond between them and their children.
She felt, too, that leadership training in a parent-teacher association
prepares them for further service in other community organizations.

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The state convention delegation at the Hollywood Beach Hotel in 1933, during the administration of Mrs. Howard Selby.


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The world is now looking for new:v leaders, for
men who are truthful and resolute and eloquent
in the conviction that the American destiny is to be
free and magnanimous. The people are looking for
men and women who will talk to them about their
duty, about the joys of service and of sacrifice,
about discipline, and about their responsibility to
the world and to posterity-about all those things
that make a people self-respecting, serene, and con-
fident. May they not look in vain!

The marks of the "Great Depression" are plainly discernible
throughout the administration of Mrs. Howard Selby, of West
Palm Beach; and some of the problems which were to harry the
Florida Congress through the better part of the next decade came
before it then.
Emphasis was on the work of the thrift and mental hygiene
committee, and costs of every kind were examined carefully, with


a trend toward substantial price reduction on emblems, pins, publi-
cations, and services. The state board fixed the convention regis-
tration fee at fifty cents! Working together, the Florida Educa-
tion Association and the Florida Congress undertook the task of
arousing the people of Florida to the seriousness of the school finance
problem, explaining that the public schools currently were not re-
ceiving any revenue whatever from the gasoline tax, but only from
the sale of automobile tags.
A message to the board from Thomas A. Edison, life member
of the Florida Congress, renewed its determination to carry on
through the dark days: "My message to you is-be courageous. I
have lived a long time. I have seen history repeat itself again and
again. I have seen many depressions in business. Always, America
has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be as brave
as your fathers before you were. Have faith. Go forward."
And the Florida Congress did "go forward." While every other
state branch of the National Congress except one .(Texas) re-
ported a loss, so that the National Congress membership decreased,
Florida showed a gain-385 associations, 26,570 members, with 47
"standard" associations and 25 "superior" ones!
Management of the struggling Florida Parent-Teacher bulletin
was placed in the hands of a committee which was to be responsible
for finances and policies, with a staff to be composed of the president
as editor-in-chief, a managing editor, a business manager, a circula-
tion manager, and an advertising manager. Plans were made for a
sixteen-page bulletin to be issued every second month, reduced from
fifty to twenty-five cents per subscription-this, despite the fact that
there was a relatively heavy deficit to be cleared on the bulletin
account of the year before. With an eye to showing .delinquent
associations the importance of Congress membership-for delin-
quency during those days of "tight money" was a serious problem
-the board directed that the November bulletin be sent free to all
associations whose membership dues had not been paid.
The National President of the Colored Congress of Parents
and Teachers, invited to speak to the board at its fall meeting in
Jacksonville, expressed her appreciation of the help and inspiration
given her organization by the Florida Congress; and the Florida
Congress authorized its extension department to finance the printing
of bylaws for the Colored Congress.
The state office, maintained at the home of the president in


West Palm Beach, was granted a part-time secretary and a new
duplicating machine. Later in the year, funds were made available
for the purchase of an adding machine, with the admonition of the
board that it be bought as "cheaply as possible."
Early in Mrs. Selby's administration the Florida Education
Association, plagued by problems of school finance and general
apathy on the part of the people at large, formed the Continuing
Educational Council. Membership was composed of representatives
from all lay organizations in the state interested in education, and
of representatives from the Florida Education Association, school
boards, county superintendent, and the colleges and universities of
the state.
Under the bylaws of the Continuing Educational Council, the
president of the Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers is first
vice-president, ex officio, and the fifth vice-president, in charge of
the department of education, is always chosen as a member.
Mrs. Selby, then, had the honor of being the first to serve as
vice-president of the new Continuing Educational Council, which
almost immediately became a vital force for the betterment of edu-
cation in Florida. Educators and lay people, working together in
the council, sought solutions for the pressing problems of education,
and found means of disseminating information concerning both prob-
lems and solutions to the people of the state, through channels of
member organizations and through the cooperative public press.
Mrs. Selby served also as a member of the Education Commit-
tee of the State Chamber of Commerce and made many valuable
contacts for the organization which she headed. Her talent in public
speaking made her an effective representative of the Congress in her
liaison work with other groups and helped in the continuing task
of improving public relations.
The project of the Congress for the year was "Trained Leader-
ship," and the president and the extension chairman visited nearly
every district in the state to conduct schools of instruction and insti-
tutes. Florida led all states in the number of registrations in Na-
tional Congress correspondence courses and was second in the num-
ber of Congress libraries purchased.
The thirteenth annual convention, held at Hollywood, in April
of 1933, changed the name of the organization again, and it became
the Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers, Inc. The office of
corresponding secretary was abolished; the historian became ap-


pointive; bureau managers were discontinued; and several changes
were made in the internal organization of the various departments.
The convention theme, "Today's Child-Tomorrow," was pre-
sented by Mrs. Selby. Two honorary vice-presidents of the Na-
tional Congress were present at the convention Mrs. W. F.
Thatcher and Mrs. Mary Mumford, both of Philadelphia, who at-
tended the meeting in Washington at which Mrs. Birney and Mrs.
Hearst organized parents into the movement which later became the
National Congress of Parents and Teachers. Mrs. Mumford, past
ninety at the Hollywood convention, was the first women to serve on
the Philadelphia school board, and was instrumental in the organi-
zation of the first high school there.
Honor guests at the Gold Star banquet, a feature of the Holly-
wood convention, were representatives of associations with high per-
centages of subscriptions to Child Welfare Magazine and the Florida
Parent-Teacher bulletin. Numbering 1,386, the greatest subscrip-
tion list ever secured in Florida, this work in behalf of the Child
Welfare Magazine earned the Congress a prize at the ensuing Na-
tional Congress convention.
Honors for membership increase this year went to the Coral
Gables elementary association for winning the silver cup awarded to
city units; and to Tavares P.T.A. for the silver cup for rural units.
Great interest was manifested in the awarding of the convention
attendance cup to the Eliza Jane Wilson P.T.A. at Pensacola, which
had the largest number of delegates traveling the greatest distance.
Used by the president at this convention was a beautiful gavel,
property of the Orange County Council, made by the Orange County
Vocational School from wood used in reconstruction of the White
House in Washington, following its burning by the British in the
War of 1812 during the administration of President James Madison.
This timber, removed in 1927 by Colonel U. S. Grant III, had served
twenty-six Presidents of the United States over a period of 112 years.
Dean Nathaniel H. Salley, of the School of Education at Florida
State College for Women, suggested as a possible plan for a college
P.T.A. at F.S.C.W. that once a year alumnae, parents, and students
at the college meet together to discuss the problems of college
students. The chairman of parent education asked for twenty-five
members to volunteer for training for leadership of study groups to
expand the program in connection with local unit work in this field.
Margaret Wells Wood, associate chairman of the Social Hygiene


Committee of the National Congress, and E. J. Coltrane, special
representative of the National Committee on Education by Radio,
were speakers at the convention, as were James S. Rickards, execu-
tive secretary of the Florida Education Association and Senator
Alfred H. Wagg, president of the Florida State Chamber of Com-
The close of the Hollywood convention also marked the end of
Mrs. Selby's administration, since she was moving from the state.
At its pre-convention meeting, the board regretfully accepted her
resignation, and filled the vacancy for the unexpired term of office
by appointment of the first vice-president, Mrs. Malcolm McClellan.
of Jacksonville.


There is a concerted effort being made in the
United States to cut down on educational appropri-
ations, with the depression used as a smoke screen.
Our children are as important as roads, and
the cause of our teachers and the cause of our
children, is inseparable If we educate our chil-
dren now, they can build more roads later. We
must work, shoulder to shoulder, to educate the
public to the needs of the school.
"Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such
a time as this?" might well have been used to express the opportune
appointment by the board of managers, of Mrs. Malcolm McClel-
lan, of Jacksonville, first vice-president, to serve as state president
during the last half of the unexpired term of Mrs. Howard Selby,
in April, 1933.
It was a time of crisis in education, not only for Florida, but
for the entire nation. Curtailment in educational appropriations,
lopping off of educational services, and a growing tendency of high


school youth toward leaving school to accept jobs because of the
economic need of their homes and families had created an emer-
gency state in education.
Peculiarly equipped by background, training and native en-
dowment to deal with contending interests and divergent person-
alities with fairness, sincerity and unremitting courage, Mrs. Mc-
Clellan not only led the Florida Congress in holding the line, but
actually in gaining ground in membership when many other states
and the National Congress were showing decreases. In spite of the
discouraging period which marked this administration, legislative
appropriations for public education and extension of state and local
facilities were made.
A native of Missouri, Mrs. McClellan came to Florida as the
bride of Malcolm McClellan, of Atlanta, in 1907, following their
marriage in Gulfport, Mississippi. She immediately began to take
an active part in the civic, religious, political and educational life
of community and state.
She was the mother of four children, Roby Blount, Margaret
Cave. Willard Cave. and Malcolm Allen, the youngest of whom
was still a baby at the time of the 1933-34 administration.
Active in the early days of Mothers' Clubs. in Jacksonville,
she served as president of the Riverside Mothers' Club, and of the
Duval High School Parent-Teacher Association, as well as of the
Dural County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations. She was a
leader and charter member in the organization of the Florida Con-
gress, in Jacksonville in 1921, and was later one of the signers of
its corporate charter. She became state chairman of student aid in
1926, and in 1927 was appointed to fill the unexpired term of the
fourth vice-president, who resigned. Her service as a state board
member was continuous from then until the time of her death in
Jacksonville, in January, 1946.
Probably her greatest contribution to her adopted state was in
the years in which she served as chairman of legislation, between
her two administrations, and following her second presidential term
in 1938-40. During each session of the legislature held between
the time of her first administration, 1933-34, until the session of
1945, Mrs. McClellan was a familiar and respected figure to the
leaders of government as she appeared before appropriations com-
mittees and others, of both houses in support of every constructive
measure which might benefit the children and youth of Florida.


In her courageous championship of more adequate aid to de-
pendent children, she won the approbrium, -"N A. I). C. McClel-
lan," and her personal contribution, in their formative days, to the
organization and stabilization of such now completely accepted
groups as the State Welfare Board, the Board of Health and the
Conference of Social Work, to mention only three, is inestimable.
Tireless in her devotion to the cause of childhood, modest and
unspectacular in her personality, she possessed an intelligent power
to evaluate the elements in a problem, and an ability to marshal
past and present facts in a coherent way, which gained for her the
admiration and affection of those fortunate enough to be her co-
workers. She also retained the consideration and respect of those
with whom she frequently came into mild conflict in her efforts to
secure those benefits to which both she and her organization were
By 1943, after having served twice as a member of the Na-
tional Board of Managers, her ability along legislative lines was
recognized, and she became chairman of the National Committee
on Legislation, an office which she held, together with the Florida
chairmanship of legislation, at the time of her death.
In this larger field her contribution aided the National Congress
through the difficult war years, when great pressure was brought
to bear upon organizations, sometimes to sacrifice their basic aims,
in the furtherance of the war effort. Though patriotic and loyal to
her inmost core, Mrs. McClellan stood firm in every conflict with
brass hats and high-ups in government in any effort to sabotage the
cause of childhood or to jeopardize the educational and welfare
gains won with so much difficulty through the preceding years.
The twelve-month administration led by Mrs. McClellan paral-
leled the developing "New Deal," and she served on FERA, PWA
and the Committee on Human Needs, as well as on boards of co-
operating agencies, and on the National Committee for the Emer-
gency in Education. "Community Service" was the state-wide
project, carried out in all departments and promoted in local com-
Mrs. McClellan, in evaluating her own administration, consid-
ered the greatest contribution to the Congress to be the completion
of arrangements for courses in parent-teacher work at both state
colleges, for the summer of 1934. "The Psychology of the Parent-
Teacher Movement," was the subject chosen for the courses, and


it was included in all education classes in the summer schools. These
classes were conducted by Mrs. A. C. Watkins, education secretary
of the National Congress, and were held in addition to the institute
work for the general membership.
Assuming office during the session of the 1933 legislature, the
new president found herself frequently in Tallahassee, where she
appeared before committees of both houses in the interest of ade-
quate financing for schools, and for the restoration of an item in the
budget for vocational education. Strenuous efforts were made also
toward the retention of the state Department of Public Welfare,
and mandatory instruction in health and physical education in the
schools. The Public Welfare Department was retained, but the
health education program had to await a later year.
A simple cataloging of the rapidly expanding facets of service
in which the president found herself involved would pad this brief
history unbelievably. It is a trend which has continued, unabated,
to the present day, and makes vivid the rapidly growing apprecia-
tion of both the aims and the potential power of an organization in
which all people who care about children unite in a common cause
for their benefit.
Outstanding accomplishments of the year included a vast
amount of leadership training and parent education work. Classes
in parent education, led by Dr. Alice Sowers, of Oklahoma; child
hygiene studies conducted by Miss Ann Gabriel, child specialist with
the State Board of Health; lectures and conferences on social hy-
giene. by Mrs. Margaret Wells Wood, of the National Social Hygiene
Association; radio listening groups with programs arranged by the
parent education chairman, on health, music, recreation, character
education, mental hygiene, and social hygiene, were held throughout
the state. County council, district and state schools and classes
promoted leadership training. District and county schools of in-
struction gained a new impetus, and within the eight districts and
seventeen organized county councils there was created a backlog of
well-trained leadership which has insured the continuous growth of
both the organization and its services until the present day. Mem-
bership at the close of the year was 27,041.
Much work was done on the National motion picture plan for
educational films and for outlawing block booking and blind selling
of films. The sponsoring of narcotic essays by students was discon-
tinued and efforts were concentrated on narcotic education.


It was a time of solidification of the pioneer phase of the Con-
tinuing Educational Council of Florida, organized in 1932, and des-
tined to play an increasingly important part in the educational prog-
ress of the state. Mrs. McClellan served as first vice-president of
this important co-ordinating group, by virtue of her office as presi-
dent of the Florida Congress, a provision which still holds.
It was during this administration that a set of standing rules
for the board of managers was adopted. The state office was in the
home of the president, in Jacksonville, and publications and mate-
rials were still being mailed from the home of the chairman of pub-
lications, rather than from a central office, as now. The name of
the committee on library extension was changed to library service,
and student loan to student aid. Pre-school and kindergarten com-
mittees were combined as pre-school and placed under the depart-
ment of extension.
The fourteenth annual convention, which marked the close of
the administration, was held in Daytona Beach, April 5-6, at the
Tourist Church, with the Princess Issena Hotel as headquarters.
The theme chosen was "Our Florida Child and His Community."
Honor guests and speakers included Mrs. Hugh Bradford, president
of the N.C.P.T., and Marian Telford, National Safety Chairman.
The rural association receiving the silver cup at this convention,
for having the greatest per cent increase in membership, was Thomas
Jefferson, in Duval County. The city cup went to Kinlock Park,
Miami. The largest association in the state at this time was John
Gorrie, of Jacksonville, with 777 members. The Eliza Jane Wilson
P.T.A., of Pensacola. won the attendance cup for the greatest per
cent of members going the greatest distance. Since this was the
third time this association had won this cup, they were allowed
to keep it.
At the summer meeting of the executive committee, it was de-
cided to invite the 1935 convention of the National Congress to meet
in Coral Gables. Mrs. McClellan issued the invitation officially to
the National fall board meeting in Washington, D. C., and this invi-
tation was accepted. Undoubtedly this National convention, held
during the following year, did much to stimulate the rapid growth
of the Florida Congress during the years which have followed.


To me, it seems that the most significant achieve-
ment of my administration, though it might better
perhaps be called a development, was the dawning
in the Congress units of the first realization that
they were really a part of a state-wide, a nation-
wide, a w(orld-wide movement, in their parent-
teacher work, and no locally isolated units, work-
ing for the childhood and youth of their own small
comn nu7nities.

Mrs. Covey, born in Duluth, Minnesota, began parent-teacher
work long before she became a member of a parent-teacher asso-
ciation. Shortly after the birth of her first child in Chicago, she
and her neighbors organized a Mothers' Group, to study how best
to care for and to train their young children. When the children
entered school, a Mothers' Club was formed, of which Mrs. Covey
was the first president. Later, due to her influence, the group
became a real parent-teacher association.


In 1922, after the arrival of her next two sons, the family
moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where, through association with
Mary Harmon Weeks, a National Congress worker, Mrs. Covey
became active in both local and state work. She attended leadership
training groups and assisted Mrs. Weeks with the state program
Back in Chicago in 1924, her children attended a school having
no parent-teacher association, so once again she and other parents
worked together for the good of the children of the community, and
a P.T.A. was organized.
In 1928, due to the ill health of Mr. Covey, the family moved
to Daytona Beach, Florida, where Mrs. Covey was happy to again
become a member of a real parent-teacher association. She held
various offices at both local and county levels, and served as presi-
dent of Lenox Avenue and Seabreeze Junior-Senior High Associa-
tions. During these years, her work with study groups created a
lasting interest in this project, and she herself was an inspiration to
all the parent-teacher members in Daytona Beach, where she is
remembered with love and admiration by all those with whom she
came in contact.
Mrs. Covey was elected to fill the office of sixth vice-president
of the Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers during the term
of Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson. She also served as state chairman of
radio, but was probably best known over the state for her excellent
work as state chairman of Standard and Superior associations. The
National Congress had established these classifications to indicate
achievement of goals.
Mrs. Covey was elected state president in April, 1934, at the
state convention in Daytona Beach, at a time when, to'quote from
the Golden Jubilee History, Depression lay like a heavy, choking
jog on the whole world, crippling people's activities, stifling hope
and enterprise and ambition. Everyone suffered, but most tragic
was the suffering of children whose parents were often unable to
buy -enough food to nourish their growing bodies. The Summer
Round-Ups of the early thirties revealed alarming evidences of mal-
nutrition-so alarming, in fact, that in 1934 Secretary of Labor
Frances Perkins called a Conference on Child Health Recovery to
deal with this serious threat to America's boys and girls. Despite


these discouraging conditions, there followed months of progress and
accomplishment for the Florida Congress.
No less important than the effect of depression on children's
physical welfare was its effect on their educational welfare. The
public schools were in a critical state. Many, especially in rural
areas, were closed for lack of funds. Many more had to reduce
their curriculums and their teaching staffs. Budgets were slashed
mercilessly. It was clear that something had to be done to hold
the line for education, reads the Golden Jubilee History. Recog-
nizing this, "Safeguarding Education" was chosen as the theme for
the year, with the department of education centering its efforts on
adult education. In cooperation with the College of Education, of
the University of Florida, twenty-eight radio programs were pre-
sented. These included lectures on health, music, recreation, char-
acter education, and mental and social hygiene. Listening groups
were formed all over the state.
Efforts were made to have art, music, and physical education,
labeled as "frills" and removed the previous year, replaced on the
mandatory school curriculum. More than two thousand school li-
braries were augmented. Safety patrols were organized and fos-
tered by the Congress in coordination with the State Safety Com-
mission's efforts to reduce accidents.
A real crisis had arisen in public school affairs due to the "mer-
ciless slashing" of budgets. A citizens' mass meeting was held in
connection with the opening of the Florida Education Association
meeting in Jacksonville in January, 1935. It was arranged by Mrs.
Parvin, director of the department of education of the Florida Con-
gress, in the interest of better schools and resulted in arousing public
concern. There was an estimated attendance of three thousand.
In September Mrs. Covey and Mrs. Parvin went to Tallahassee to
hear the lawyers retained by the Congress argue the Parity Clause
before the supreme court. This clause would put the schools on an
equal basis with other departments of the state. For the time being,
the case was lost, but work was continued.
At this time the Florida Congress had thirteen districts, ten
of which were organized, and twenty county councils. Membership
reached 35,331 in 434 local units. The state office was maintained in
the home of the president in Daytona Beach, with a part time secre-
tary employed. Classes in leadership training, as well as district and


county schools of instruction, were held in all parts of the state.
A survey of district boundaries was made; the state bylaws were
revised; and a set of standing rules to govern the board of managers
was compiled. .A membership Honor Roll plan for local units was
set up and the Florida Parent-Teacher was placed on a sound finan-
cial basis.
Mrs. Covey attended the National convention in Des Moines,
Iowa. and the National Board meeting in Niagara Falls. She
served as a regional consultant to the Joint Committee for the
Emergency in Education, and as first vice-president of the Florida
Continuing Educational Council. She was a member of the educa-
tion committee of the State Chamber of Commerce, vice-president
of the Florida Social Hygiene Council, member of the board of the
Florida Health and Tuberculosis Association and the education
committee of the Florida Education Association.
The highlight of the year was the thirty-ninth annual conven-
tion of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers April 30-
May 3, 1935, in Miami. The National President, Mrs. B. F. Lang-
worthy, appointed the first vice-president of the Florida Congress,
Mrs. M. H. Tallman, as general convention chairman, and she was
known throughout the convention as, "General Tallman." The
director of District Thirteen and the president of the Dade County
Council were in charge of local arrangements. A courtesy dinner
for the National Board was held at the Roney Plaza Cabana, Miami
Beach; and Mrs. A. F. Fanger arranged the annual luncheon for
the. State President's Club of which she was organizer and first
president in 1928. At this luncheon, held in the Pan American Inter-
national Terminal, Mrs. Covey was elected president of the club.
An impressive tree planting ceremony in Bay Front Park, honoring
Mrs. Frederic Schoff, Honorary National President, was presided
over by Mrs. J. K. Pettengill, First Vice-President of the National
The convention theme was, "The Home-The Index to Family
Life." Mrs. Covey extended greetings from the Florida Congress
and also spoke at the convention banquet. Conferences were con-
ducted by the national chairmen, assisted by the corresponding state
chairmen. Taking part in a symposium on the program of the School
Education Conference were James S. Rickards, executive secretary
of the Florida Education Association and Charles M. Fisher, Dade


County Superintendent of Public Instruction. Many Florida Moth-
ersingers joined the National Mothersingers Chorus as it appeared
on the convention program under the direction of the National
Music chairman. A demonstration of a Standard Safety Patrol was
given by the Coral Gables elementary school. The Miami High
School home economics department presented a review, "Dame
Fashion Speaks," portraying youth trained in the cultural arts of
the home, in a tropical setting of the Biltmore Amphitheater.
The total registration was 920, which included 81 National
Board members, 313 voting and 526 visiting delegates. Florida was
the only state with full delegate attendance, having one National
Board member, 38 voting delegates and 483 visitors. Every state,
except Montana, was represented. Quoting Mrs. Covey, "This was,
perhaps, our most spectacular achievement, though I would not say
our most significant. The latter was doubtless the result of the for-
mer-the result of the fine support of our local associations in enter-
taining the National Convention, and their contacts with the won-
derful parent-teacher men and women from all over the United
The program of the National Convention supplied the needs of
the fifteenth annual convention of the Florida Congress of Parents
and Teachers which met in Miami, April 30 and May 1, during this
time. Short business sessions were held at seven-thirty both morn-
ings, preceding the regular sessions of the National Convention.
There were 409 delegates registered, of which 349 were voting dele-
gates. Resolutions adopted by the Florida Congress at its state
convention recommended: the appointment by the governor of a
non-salaried State Board of Education, which should select a prop-
erly qualified commissioner of education; a minimum 180-day school
term; vocational training in the schools; adequate health and cul-
tural education in the school curriculum; the teaching of scientific
facts about the effects of alcohol and narcotics; support of the
teacher tenure and pension program, and the compulsory school law.
The resolutions also included recommendations for the adoption of
a uniform state traffic law; more adequate protection and care for
children in the state hospital; the regulation of trade practices of
the motion picture industry; adequate training for the personnel of
the State Board of Health and appointments on the basis of merit
rather than politics; the organization of County Health Units; the


conscription of money and material to take the profit out of war;
and the improvement of radio broadcasts for children.
Awards were presented to thirty-six Superior and fifty-four
Standard Associations; 165 associations had increased their member-
ship over fifteen per cent during the year. The silver cup for rural
associations went to Dade City P.T.A., who had a fifty per cent
increase, and the city cup to Seminole High P.T.A., in Sanford with
an increase of 833 per cent. Hendry County received a copy of the
National Convention Proceedings for having an average of ten or
more subscriptions to the Florida Parent-Teacher for each associa-
tion in the county. Florida received National recognition for having
1,638 subscriptions to the National Parent-Teacher.
The meeting time of state conventions was changed from spring
to fall; and it was decided to discontinue the Standard and Superior
awards, setting up other goals to replace them.
Two parent-teacher institutes for leadership training were held
during this administration, one starting June 25, 1934, at the Uni-
sity of Florida in Gainesville, and the other the following week at
the Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee. Mrs. Arthur
C. Watkins, Education Secretary for the National Congress, con-
ducted these institutes. In 1935, Mrs. Charles Roe, National Field
Secretary, conducted parent-teacher institutes in Florida, at Gaines-
ville beginning June 15 and at Tallahassee beginning June 22.
Healthy flexibility of an organization is indicated-by shifting
and reorganization of existing committees and the creating of new
ones to meet changing needs. Vigor and dynamic strength are nat-
urally resultant qualities. At the state executive committee meet-
ing in Tampa in August, and at the fall meeting of the state board
of managers in Orlando, changes were made to facilitate the
work of the Congress. The kindergarten committee was discon-
tinued; music and art were combined as fine arts; a committee on
home education was created and placed in the department of home
service; the committee on National correspondence courses and citi-
zenship were made standing committees, the latter, including the
duties of social standards and international relations, was also
placed in the department of home service. The committees on
Founders Day, budget and National Parent-Teacher (formerly Child
Welfare Magazine) were made committees-at-large, as was educa-
tion by radio. This last was simplified to radio. A rural service


committee was created and colored extension was changed to co-
operation with colored parent-teacher associations. A letter was
sent from the state executive committee to State Superintendent
W. S. Cawthon, asking that the Federal funds available through
state superintendents for parent-education, be requested, and that
a specialist in this field be employed.
Cooperation was given to the National Colored Parent-Teacher
convention in Tallahassee, and Mrs. Covey spoke to 1700 colored
students at the summer session of the A. and M. College.
The death of Mrs. Covey's husband during the first year of her
presidency placed so much responsibility on her that she felt com-
pelled to resign at the fall board meeting in DeLand in October,
1935, and her resignation was accepted with the deepest regret.
Mr. Covey's keen interest, understanding, and sympathetic attitude
toward parent-teacher work made his death deeply felt by the entire
Mrs. Covey's last official act was to install Mrs. Clinton F.
Parvin as state president to complete her unfinished term.



itA :~r



The state convention in Sarasota, in November 1938, was the occasion for the last treeplanting ceremony held bv the Florida Con-
gress. Past state presidents taking part and receiving past state presidents pins were: Mrs. C. F. Parvin, Mrs. W. S. Covev, Mrs.
Malcolm McClellan, Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson, Mrs. A. F. Fanger, Mrs. Mary Leary and Mrs. L. M. Anderson.

It S%


This w.as a turbulent administration, a time
when it became ,necessary for the entire member-
ship to join in a determined stand in the matter of
a full school term for every child. Unselfish and
loyal cooperation on the part of the entire board
of managers made it possible for the Florida Con-
gress of Parents and Teachers to be represented at
many meetings of cooperating groups. Hundreds
of miles were traveled, with scores of speaking en-
gagements kept. Never a dull moment!

Energetic and tireless though she was, as a parent-teacher
leader, Beatrice Ward Parvin came to Florida because of her health.
Born in Westminster. Vermont, she received her schooling there,
and it was while she was attending Northfield Seminary, a Junior
College, that it became necessary for her to have a change of cli-
mate. Her parents brought her to Manatee County and, with her


husband and three sons, she has continued to make Manatee her
Mrs. Clinton F. Parvin began her parent-teacher work as a
member of a Woman's Club-sponsored local in Manatee County.
From this beginning she accepted the presidency of the then newly
organized Manatee local. She studied her Manual, and just a
few weeks after taking office attended a three day district school of
instruction in Tampa conducted by Mrs. Charles Roe, a National
field worker. At this school Mrs. Parvin said she found all the
help she thought she could use for the rest of her life in parent-
teacher work. Soon she accepted a district chairmanship, then
served as president of a local high school association. Her first
service on the state board of managers of the Florida Congress was
to complete a term as social hygiene chairman.
In 1930 Mrs. Parvin became state pre-school chairman. Later
she was third vice-president. With Mrs. Howard Selby, who was
president of the Florida Congress at that time, she toured the state
from Pensacola to Key West holding schools of instruction.
She next accepted the office of fifth vice-president because, after
schools of instruction were well established procedure in the state
program, she was more interested in the work of the department
of education. This office seemed to her to offer a tremendous op-
portunity to work closely with school people. It was while serving
as fifth vice-president in 1935 that she was elected president to fill
the unexpired term of Mrs. Covey. After serving the remaining
year of that term she was re-elected and served a full two year term
as president. Her last state office was that of legislative chairman
during Mrs. McClellan's administration. She held this chairmanship
two years.
If Mrs. Parvin, from her vast experience in parent-teacher
work, were giving advice to a group of beginning members, she
would tell them never to let a lack of parent-teacher background
be an excuse for not accepting an office. Beginning with little or
no experience, she found worlds of information in every field she
To her work as president, Mrs. Parvin brought not only experi-
ence in many phases of parent-teacher work, active interest in civic
affairs and in legislation, but the energy and ability to accomplish


the things she deemed necessary for the betterment of school, com-
munity, and home life.
During the fifteen years preceding Mrs. Parvin's administration,
the Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers had had ten presidents,
and the lack of continuity in leadership had retarded the work con-
siderably. Much of the machinery of organization had been devel-
oped in those years but it remained for a president who could and
would serve for a number of years to stimulate, enrich and enlarge
the work of the departments. Mrs. Parvin possessed deep-seated
ideas of system, order and attention to detail. Through her family
letters she kept board members informed concerning all activities
of the Congress. Much credit for the great strides made during
this administration has been given to the inspiration and information
contained in these letters.
The outstanding achievement of this administration was the
fight made to secure for every school in the state a full eight months
term and to place the public schools financial support on a parity
with other departments and agencies of the state government.
Always behind the State Department of Education and the Florida
Education Association in their struggles for better schools, the
P.T.A. now moved into the front line trenches and carried the brunt
of the battle. The goals were realized, and from that time to the
present, the importance of the Congress in bringing about legisla-
tion for the welfare of Florida's school children has never been
Another achievement was the increased interest in citizenship
throughout the state, with emphasis placed upon the individual's
responsibility to vote and work for needed legislation. The entire
legislative program of this administration was outstanding.
Realization of a dream came in increased member participation
and an awakening on the part of individual members to the might
and power of a group of people united for the welfare of children
and youth.
Because of additional funds made available by a larger mem-
bership, increased cooperation of the Congress with educational and
other state groups was made possible. Department heads and
chairmen attended, as Congress representatives, the state meetings
of groups with whom they were closely associated in their work.


Much more was realized from this widened participation than could
have been done by brief visits from an already over-worked president
Among many other achievements of Mrs. Parvin's administra-
tion were the following: state and district funds were combined;
joining with the Florida Federation of Woman's Clubs, the Home
Demonstration Council, and the Alumni Associations, leadership
training courses were held at Florida State College for Women and
at the University of Florida; a state song sheet was prepared; a state
office was set up in Manatee with a part-time secretary; much inter-
est was aroused concerning the need for more opportunity rooms in
schools to care for handicapped pupils; and, as an educational part
of the spring board meeting in 1937, the board of managers made
a trip to Tallahassee and attended a session of the Florida Legis-
In 1936 the bylaws were amended to provide for a parliamen-
tarian, appointed by the president, who shall attend meetings of the
executive committee, board of managers and conventions acting in
an advisory capacity only and without vote. At the same time, the
managing editor of the Florida Parent-Teacher was given a seat
on the board, as associate chairman, with voice and vote in the ab-
sence of the chairman. Bylaw changes made the convention biennial
and, for the first time in the history of the Congress, the convention
was held in the fall of the year.
The first convention in Mrs. Parvin's administration was held
in Jacksonville. October 7-9. 1936. The theme was "Mobilizing to
Serve Childhood and Youth." Representing the National Congress
at this time was Mary England, National Membership chairman.
Other speakers were: Mrs. Parvin, Mrs. Howard Selby, a past pres-
ident, and Dr. Marvin S. Pittman, president of the South Georgia
Teachers College. A new feature of this sixteenth convention was
the early morning office hours kept by department heads to make
possible conferences with members wishing help in their work.
The seventeenth convention was held in Sarasota, November 2-4,
1938. Its theme was "Partners in Progress," and a most fitting
theme it was, coming as did this convention at the close of an ad-
ministration noted for its close cooperation with other groups work-
ing for the welfare of children and youth. National representative
was Dr. Harold Meyer from the University of North Carolina.
Other speakers were: Mrs. Annette Jackson, Mrs. Parvin, Beatrice


McConnell, Children's Bureau, Washington, D. C., Dr. Colin Eng-
lish, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Judge Malcolm
Hatfield, of Michigan, author of "Children in Court."
At the Jacksonville convention in 1936, the membership cup
awarded to parent-teacher associations in city schools, went to West
Side P.T.A., Arcadia, and the one for rural associations, to Bunnell
P.T.A., Flagler County. In 1938, at the Sarasota convention, San-
ford P.T.A. won the city cup, and was allowed to keep it. No
award was made to a rural association, and since these awards were
beine discontinued, that cup was placed in the state office.
The tree planting ceremony at the 1936 convention was held
at the Robert E. Lee High School. Inclement weather prevented
the trip to Willow Branch Park, as had been planned. This tree
was dedicated to Mrs. Howard Selby, a past president of the
Florida Congress.
At the close of an afternoon session at the Sarasota convention
in 1938. the delegates assembled in Lake Wood Park to plant an
oak tree dedicated to the pioneers of the Florida Congress of Par-
ents and Teachers. A selection by the Sarasota High School band
preceded the official presentation of past state presidents. Each
responded, telling of an outstanding achievement during her admin-
istration, then placed a shovelful of dirt around the tree. In view
of the fact that these presidents had served at a time when the
National Congress had had no emblem designating state presidents,
Mrs. Parvin presented state presidents' pins to Mrs. F. E. Godfrey,
Mrs. .L. M. Anderson, Mrs. A. F. Fanger, Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson,
Mrs. H. B. Selby, Mrs. Malcolm McClellan, and Mrs. Kathleen
Covey. This ceremony, which was the last tree planting ceremony
conducted by the Florida Congress, closed with the song, "O
During the month of February the Florida Federation of Wom-
en's Clubs sponsored a course on "Strengthening the Club Pro-
grams," led by Lena Madeson Phillips. Parent-teacher officers were
speakers, and the program chairman was sent to participate and
present the program of the Florida Congress. The second vice-
president represented the Congress at the Federation of Garden
Clubs; the president was designated by the Governor to speak before
service clubs on behalf of social security. Educational interests in
Florida sent the president as a state representative to Washington


for the House Committee hearings on the Harrison-Black-Fletcher
Education Bill.
Southern College invited the Congress to participate in an ex-
perimental community institute on Character Education, sponsored
by Pi Gamma Mu. Five parent-teacher officers were speakers dur-
ing the six lessons presented to the students of education. This was
a new venture in cooperation, for only the University of Florida
and the Florida State College for Women had previously worked
with our organization.
The Congress chairman of legislation was sent to New Orleans
to attend a conference on southern labor standards, presided over
by Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, and devoted to discussions
and reports on progress of labor legislation in the southern states.
Eleven southern states were represented at the conference.
The library service chairman worked with the State Library
Association and Kiwanis Clubs to secure county traveling libraries.
In close cooperation with the W.C.T.U., a scientific educational
program was launched against the marijauna weed. A joint state-
wide committee was formed to provide scientific facts regarding the
use and effects of alcohol and narcotics.
A Radio Service Council was organized, consisting of repre-
sentatives of thirteen state-wide groups united to make a study of
the uses of radio as an educational medium. This was under the
leadership of the president of the Florida Congress and the Univer-
sity of Florida.
The state radio chairman tabulated the results of 4000 question-
naires which had been sent to school children to ascertain their pref-
erence as to the type of programs broadcast for children. This
tabulation was sent to broadcasting companies.
Summer institutes were held during July, 1936, at both the
University of Florida and Florida State College for Women under
the direction of Mrs. Charles Roe. "Widening Horizons" was the
theme for both institutes. In 1937 an institute was held at Camp
Roosevelt near Ocala. The theme was "Forward March." Dr.
Elmore Reaman, of Toronto, Canada, lectured on phases of home
and family relationships. In 1938 an institute was held at the
University of Florida.
Regional conferences, in the five regions of the state, were held
instead of the annual convention in 1937. A convention program,


The delegation attending the regional conference in Panama City, October
27, 1937. This was the first of a series of regional conferences held in lieu of
a trate convention.

minus the business session, was taken to each conference. These
tookl place from October 27th to November 2nd and were held in
Panama City. Live Oak. Daytona Beach, West Palm Beach, and
Lakeland. Vice-presidents presided over the meetings and Mrs.
Parvin served as toastmistress at the banquets in each place. Mrs.
James Fitts Hill. of Alabama, a Regional Vice-President of the
National Congress, was the National representative. It was recorded
that many more delegates attended these smaller convention-con-
ferences than could have attended just one convention.
The years of this administration were remarkable because all
state organizations had recognized the Florida Congress as a pow-
erful ally in the child welfare program. It was a source of great
satisfaction to know that, at last, the Florida Congress of Parents
and Teachers had come into its own as a consultant among the
organizations of the state.


While :we are planning for the future, let us
never forget that we are building but the super-
structure on a foundation firmly built upon the
rock of right, justice, brotherly love and Godliness.
Even as our forefathers labored and struggled
to leave us this heritage, we should do our part in
this cycle of life for those who come after us, our
children-our children in the all embracing sense-
every child.
Mrs. Malcolm McClellan, of Jacksonville, chairman of legis-
lation. who had been appointed president by the board of managers
to fill the unexpired term of Mrs. Howard Selby, in the tense year
1933-34, was elected to the presidency at the 1938 convention, meet-
ing in Sarasota.
Tribute to her life of service in devotion to Florida's youth, and
an all too brief biographical sketch, is included in the history of the
1933-34 administration. Eighteen years of consecrated effort had


been poured into the organization and. the Florida Congress was by
now well established with over 50,000 memberships.
Probably the most significant and far-reaching change in the ad-
ministration just beginning was the establishment of a state office,
with a full-time secretary, in rooms provided by the Orange County
School Board in the Vocational School building, in Orlando. Serv-
ices rendered through this office included the channeling of all state
and national membership and Founders Day moneys, mailing of
presidents' packets, Summer Round-Up materials, membership
cards, free literature, and charters to local associations. Congress
publications and pins and emblems were available here. Local by-
laws were sent to the state office for approval. The president con-
tinued to maintain a personal office in her home in Jacksonville, but
the state headquarters has become increasingly the official center of
all Congress activities.
Important experimental changes were made in organization dur-
ing this administration. At the Sarasota convention it was voted to
combine the counties into five regions, instead of thirteen districts.
and to place the five regional directors and the thirty-four presidents
of county councils on the state board. By the end of the two-year
administration this administrative body had been found to be too
unwieldy and at the 1940 convention it was voted to revise the by-
laws and reorganize the state into ten regions, with representation
on the state board by their directors only. The biennial convention
plan, with regional conferences held on the alternate years, was
abolished at the closing convention of the administration, and annual
conventions have been held since, except for one of the war years.
"Living and Learning in a Democracy" was the theme for this
period. Summer institutes were held each June at the University
of Florida, sponsored jointly by the Congress and the University
Extension Division. Registrations exceeded the 400 mark in 1940.
Teen-age youth problems were especially spotlighted in the 1939
institute, and "Children and Youth in a Democratic Society" was
the theme for the 1940 short course.
Both the 1939 and 1940 White House conferences on "Children
in a Democracy" were attended by Mrs. McClellan, and first-hand
information and inspiration from these history making sessions
formed an important part of the institute programs both years.
Schools of instruction were held in many counties, under the


direction of the first vice-president. In May 1940, Mrs. Walter
Buhlig represented the National Congress in a series of regional
meetings and conducted a one-day school of instruction for state
board members.
October was proclaimed, "Parent-Teacher Enrollment Month,"
by Governor Fred P. Cone, and by the end of the administration
the Florida Congress had increased to 54,285 memberships in 576
local units.
Numerous state-wide projects received unusual impetus during
this period. The development of a new educational approach to
the problem of alcohol education led to the preparation of graded
instruction material by the physical education division of the State
Department of Education, regarding the effects of alcohol and the
other narcotic drugs on the body and mind. This was a project
in which Florida was breaking new ground in educational circles.
Other projects were: the codification of existing laws of Florida into
a comprehensive School Code; the preparation, publishing and dis-
tribution of "Avenues of Understanding," as a joint project of the
State Department of Education, the Florida Congress of Parents
and Teachers, and the Florida Education Association; and the or-
ganization of a state-wide public health commission, under the direc-
tion of the American Public Health Association, whose goal was
to secure a county health unit, or its equivalent in services, in each
In each of these four important projects the Congress was rep-
resented by the president and the corresponding chairmen concerned.
The contribution of the Congress was in no sense minor or merely
auxiliary, but was more often quite dynamic and influential.
Mrs. McClellan, by virtue of her office, served as ex-officio
first vice-president of the Continuing Educational Council of Flor-
ida, and the Congress was also represented by the director of the
department of education and the legislative chairman in this impor-
tant coordinating group. Conferences were held at the University
of Florida on school lunch policies in an effort to secure for needy
school children some participation in the surplus commodities then
available for such projects.
It is amazing to the compiler of a record such as this to observe
the vast expansion of facets of service and of influence from year
to year. During this two-year period, not only was the president
in attendance at both White House conferences, but also all regular


National Board meetings and conventions. The Florida Congress
participated, along with other states, through its official representa-
tive, Mrs. McClellan, in such nationally vital conferences as the
Adult Education Legislative committee of the N.E.A., the Southern
Conference on Human needs, and the regional meeting of the Safety
Education project of the N.C.P.T. held in Nashville, in June, 1939.
She served as state consultant for the National Educational Policies
Commission, and as second vice-president of the Florida Council of
International Relations, a subsidiary of the Southern Council of
International Relations.
"Our Concern, Every Child" was the theme of the eighteenth
convention, which opened in a lovely patriotic setting in White Tem-
ple Methodist Church, Miami, on the morning of November 13,
1940, and closed the following night, under Miami's matchless moon,
in exotic Bayfront Park. This convention marked the all-time high
in attendance reached thus far, with a registration of 907.
Honor guests included Mrs. William Kletzer, National Congress
President; Katherine Lenroot, chief of the Children's Bureau, U. S.
Department of Labor; Mrs. George Calvert, National chairman of
Home and Family life; Marian Telford, National Safety chairman;
Dr. Harold Meyers, Professor of Sociology, of the University of
North Carolina, as well as many of Florida's own educational
Probably no convention has featured more varied entertainment
than did this one. The keys of the city were literally and figuratively
in the hands of the delegates, many of whom were in the "Magic
City" for the first time.
Mirs. McClellan's complete knowledge of the parent-teacher
movement made her invaluable to the smallest, as well as the largest,
local units in their varied activities. With her legal mind she was
able to guide the Congress through dangerous legislative waters and
present to the public a strictly non-partisan program. Her quiet
strength and sense of humor steered the Congress through many
difficult situations, and her time was always at the disposal of her
board members, county councils, and local associations. No matter
how small the problem, she offered sympathetic understanding and
advice. Her untiring efforts were another milestone in the forward
progress of the Florida Congress.




.Is wc gradually shift the emphasis of our et-
iorls fromn defense Io post-car planning for peace, I
should like ,o remind vou of the .r'eat fact that all
our malr aerial effort and strewn~ lh are not enough.
There is something still greater, more fundamental.
While inalcrial things will be linitied more and
more, God's pow,'er, spiritual strength, is unlimited
and neer:r ra'ioned. Th/ help that He can supply
is inexhauslible, except as 'we limit ourselves. Spirit-
ual strength not only will help us to face and solve
the problems of tihe moment but it is leading us to
plan our work for the future.

like several other presidents of the Florida Congress of Parents
and Teachers, Alma Frantz Gibbs, who served from November
194(., to November 1943, had her first practical parent-teacher ex-
perience as a teacher when, in her native state of Iowa. she was an


instructor in the primary grades for three years. She received her
teacher training at Iowa State Teachers College.
As the bride of Lyle H. Gibbs. she moved to Kansas, thence to
Oklahoma. and during World War I lived in Washington, D. C. At
the close of the war the Gibbs came to Sanford. Florida. In 1926,
with their two daughters, they moved to Orlando, their present home.
In this same year, daughter Dorothy entered school, which meant
that Mrs. Gibbs resumed her active interest in parent-teacher work
and has been busy in it ever since. At present she is serving on the
state board as chairman and managing editor of the Florida Parent-
Like so many parent-teacher workers, her first assignment was
with the lunchroom committee, hers being with the Princeton P.T.A.
in Orlando. Logically, she served next as lunchroom chairman, then
as treasurer of the association. By the time she assumed the respon-
sibility of the state presidency she had had the personal training
that is part of being president of a local, president of a county coun-
cil, and district director, as well as having served as state music chair-
man and state recording secretary. While state president, Mrs.
Gibbs served on three National Congress committees. As a mem-
ber of the National Board, she served as consultant for the Educa-
tional Policies Commission in Washington, and participated in a
National regional conference sponsored by the National Safety Coun-
cil in Dallas, Texas.
It was well for the Congress and the State of Florida as a
whole that this organization had at its head, at this time, such a
person as Mrs. Gibbs. She not only had a thorough knowledge
of parent-teacher work, but possessed that tranquility and serenity
which was so necessary in these years of the nation's preparation for
defense and participation in war. Under her leadership, the Florida
Congress successfully demonstrated the service it can and does ren-
der its country in time of national stress as well as in time of peace.
Having established a well rounded program of defense activities, the
Congress was prepared, when war was declared in December 1941,
to go a step further in an all-out war effort. The state president
was named the Congress' war activities chairman and she served on
all advisory committees of the State Defense Council, whose work
touched in any way this organization's program for child welfare.
Another special committee named on the state board as a result of


wartime activity, was that on the community school lunch project.
This has been continued as a permanent committee.
In all communities the parent-teacher groups worked hand in
hand with their local Civilian Defense Councils. Because of Florida's
geographic position, which placed it in one of the most dangerous
zones, it was imperative to plan immediately for the protection and
identification of children. In many communities local associations
were in charge of the identification tag program for all children, un-
dertaken in cooperation with the Defense Council. The Congress
worked in every conceivable way to further the War Savings Pro-
gram in the sale of bonds and stamps. It invested $750.00 in bonds at
this time. Promoting the purchase of government bonds has re-
mained part of the Congress' thrift program. Likewise, "youth cen-
ters," which had their beginning during the war and were generally
sponsored by P.T.A. groups, are today a permanent part of com-
munity life. For the pre-schoolers, nursery schools and play-
grounds, primarily for children of war-working mothers, were es-
tablished. Many of these are still functioning.
A total of 91,226 books were collected in Florida during the
first Victory Book Campaign, giving Florida first rank in the num-
ber of books collected and sent to army camps. In the parent-
teacher groups this activity was sponsored by the library commit-
tees. For those whose sons-were in distant training camps a card
of introduction was prepared by the Congress. This was used to
introduce the young men to the parent-teacher people in the locality
in which they were stationed.
Most of the information on these war activities was presented
to the locals through the Florida Parent-Teacher; and this publica-
tion became increasingly important as the war progressed, because
of the restriction on travel and telephone service. For the same
reason work in the state office increased materially.
Total defense was the underlying thought at the 1941 conven-
tion, but by the 1942 meeting, all ideas were geared to an all-out
war program. The 1941 gathering, held in Tampa, November 5
and 6, just a month preceding the declaration of war, was the first
in the return to annual meetings. Dr. John E. Anderson, National
Congress Chairman of the Committee on the Exceptional Child,
sounded the convention keynote, "Florida's Problems in Community
Living." Other out-of-state speakers included Mrs. Garry Cleve-


land Myers, associate editor of Children's Activities; Miss Helen
Stacey, nutrition consultant for the Children's Bureau; R. E. Carl-
son of the National Recreation Association, and Dr. William Carr,
Secretary of the Educational Policies Commission.
Bylaws revisions at this time changed the term of elected officers
from two to three years, and stipulated that no officer may serve
more than one term in any office; limited the term of chairman to
two three-year periods; introduced a staggered plan of election and
increased the number of regions from five to ten. These changes
became effective at once.
The 1942 convention, held in Jacksonville November 3 and 4,
was strictly business and had as its theme, "America Strong With
Spirit Free." Mrs. James K. Lytle, National Congress treasurer,
acted as moderator in the forum discussion on "The Role of the
P.T.A. in Wartime." A. C. Flora, president of the National Educa-
tion Association, and Mark A. McCloskey, of the Federal Office of
Defense, Health and Welfare Services, were other out-of-state
This twentieth convention of the Florida Congress had 675
delegates. Its final act was to empower the executive committee
to decide whether or not a convention would be held in 1943, be-
cause of the increasing difficulties caused by travel restrictions, ra-
tioned gasoline, limited train service, and crowded hotel accommo-
dations. The executive committee did find a convention in 1943
impossible. As a result, the state election was conducted by mail
and the new officers were installed at a state board meeting in Or-
lando in November 1943, by Mrs. Harry Nelson, a field secretary
of the National Congress. In connection with this meeting Mrs.
Nelson participated in a school of instruction for state board mem-
bers and the one for county council presidents held the following day.
Regional meetings also suffered because of travel restrictions
but were held in Region I and- in the even numbered regions in
March 1942. Mrs. Chris Hirning, National field worker, participated
on the programs and installed the directors chosen in the even
numbered regions. By the time for the 1943 regional meetings
travel was out of the question and no meetings were held. As a
result, at the 1943 spring state board meeting it was voted to
"freeze" the then presiding regional officers until such time as meet-
ings and elections could be held.


The 1943 summer institute also was a casualty of the war, but
those conducted in'the first two years of this administration were
among the most successful in the history of the Florida Congress.
Dr. Harold Meyer, of the* University of North Carolina, who had
appeared on the program of the eighteenth convention of the Con-
gress, and Mrs.. Walter Buhlig, of Chicago, a National field secre-
tary, were the out-of-state instructors at the 1941 institute held at
the University of Florida in Gainesville, where registration totaled
506, an all-time high in attendance.
The ninth annual institute, held June 8-10, 1942, in Gainesville,
featured Mrs. Garry Cleveland Myers, a popular speaker at the
Tampa convention, and Dr. Kathryn Abbey Hanna, formerly
head of the department of history and political science at the. Florida
State. College for Women. Workshop sessions, a new departure in
institute procedure, were guided by Dr. Hanna and participated in
by those who had attended more than three institutes. These work-
shops were based on her lectures, "Materials of Reconstruction,"
given at the general sessions. In spite of travel difficulties, 385
persons attended.
During this administration, as in the past, the Florida Congress
was represented on the programs of many outside groups, and in
meetings sponsored in cooperation with other organizations having
similar interests. Among these were included the Florida Radio
Service Council, the Citizens Committee of the White House Confer-
ence. the State Cooperative Committee on Narcotics Education, Flor-
ida Conference of Social Work, State Tuberculosis Association, Flor-
ida Commission on the Defense of Democracy through Education,
State Advisory Committee, on the School Lunch Program, and the
Statewide Public Health Committee.
Among the cooperative programs were the one-day welfare insti-
tutes held throughout the state to report the latest White House
Conference, and to bring to a local level tie findings of this confer-
ence. Cooperation was also given to the State-wide Public Health
Committee in planning and holding a state-wide conference in Orlan-
do on "Health in the Home, and National Defense," featuring U. S.
Surgeon General, Dr. Thomas Parran.
Realizing the great need for increased state appropriations for
Aid to Dependent Children Program, the Florida Congress under-
took, in cooperation with the State .Welfare Commissioner and his


staff, a statewide survey of conditions affecting child welfare. This
survey was conducted by a special parent-teacher committee in each
county, together with a member of the county welfare board, to
ascertain the present needs of this program and to furnish proof of
such needs to the state legislators. An effective follow-up was made
and the support of all legislators requested. A series of articles
based on the findings of this survey was prepared by the Congress'
vice-president in charge of the department of public welfare and
published in the Florida Parent-Teacher. This proved to be one of
the most interesting projects undertaken during these years. The leg-
islation chairman upon appointment by the governor served as chair-
man of a State Children's Code Committee which studied existing
legislation concerning child welfare and made recommendations for
action by the legislature.
Work on parent-teacher organization was included on the sum-
mer schedule of several universities in the state-during 1943, and due
to arrangements made by the school education chairman and the
vice-president in charge of the department of education, teacher
training classes in six of the colleges heard Dr. Harold Meyer imme-
diately following the summer institute, and Mrs. James K. Lytle
when she was in the state for the convention in Jacksonville.
Within the organization three projects were undertaken which
have became established procedures: to increase interest in a more
expansive program of activities among local chairmen, question-
naires for them were compiled annually by the state chairmen; to
strengthen and develop their .program of service, "Blue Ribbon"
standards were given to locals and awards presented annually at the
convention; to stimulate parent-education, study group certificates
were offered to those units meeting certain standards. To help over-
come the loss of leadership training because of inability to hold
meetings, a correspondence study course on the Parent-Teacher
Manual was prepared by the state study group chairman and
offered to the membership in October 1943. This study course
proved very popular and was considered one of the outstanding
pieces of work of this administration. A Florida parent-teacher
song book, entitled "Let's Sing," was compiled by the state fine
arts chairman, copies were distributed to the delegates at the
1941 convention in Tampa, and then placed on sale from the state
office. Through the efforts of the education department, require-


ments of Florida schools now call for a parent-teacher unit in
membership with the state and National Congress in order to make
superior rating.
Despite the war, there was an increase in membership. At the
close of the parent-teacher year, April 1, 1941, the Congress had
57.642 members in 600 associations. April 1, 1942, the membership
was 59,603 in 576 associations and on that same date in 1943 the
membership was 61,849 members in 539 local units. The loss in
number of locals was attributed generally to the consolidation of
schools and to the inability to hold any type of meetings in communi-
ties where the members were widely scattered.
During this administration, more emphasis was necessarily
placed on committee activities than on regular meetings, and in
many instances the result was a finer piece of work than was
ever before accomplished.
The close of Mrs. Gibbs' administration marked the close of
the first three-year term, with no re-election of officers. These
were three hard years, perhaps the hardest to face in the personal
lives of all parent-teacher members. A tenseness permeated all indi-
vidual and group activities which cannot be transcribed to paper.
Naturally, it was extremely difficult to see that the work of the
organization progressed, but leaders heeded the admonition of the
National president to "Hew to the line," in accentuating the long
established P.T.A. objectives, realizing that war conditions provided
added incentives for accomplishing them as thoroughly and as
speedily as possible.
In her last letter as president to her board members, Mrs.
Gibbs wrote, "The last few years have perhaps been the most strenu-
ous the Congress has ever known-the next few years will require
all our faith and courage, too. But we will carry on in the future as
we have in the past-because we cannot and must not fail our coun-
try's richest heritage, its children!"


To en un erair such activities as numerical
groi'th, organisation and administrative, procedures,
and Co, cnress projects, is to leave the story practi-
cally untold. The intangible ,row'th which cannot be
set douen on paper in words and figures-the cour-
age of our members, the loyalty and love for youth,
the silent influences in school administration, the
efforts to improve home and community condi-
tions, the spiritual ideals of sacrifice and service-
this grorclh will be embodied in the lives of boys
and girls in Florida, and the membership of the
Florida Congress.

In Clara Marshall Beckham, president of the Florida Congress
of Parents and Teachers from November, 1943 to November, 1946,
the organization again had a leader with both "teacher" and "par-
ent" experience. A graduate of the Georgia State College for Wom-
en, she was a classroom teacher in her native state. Georgia. In her


work she met her future husband, then a principal of a South Geor-
gia school, and now judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations
Court of Dade County. Florida.
The family moved to Miami in 1925 and Mrs. Beckham again
became interested in parent-teacher work when the oldest of their
three sons entered school the following year. She has served con-
tinuously, at present serving as the Congress' institute chairman.
Prior to her service as state president she was third vice-president,
then first vice-president. She also had been president of the Dade
County Council. at the time council presidents were members of
the state board of managers.
While serving as state president, Mrs. Beckham was appointed
a member of the National Committee on Juvenile Protection and
was elected vice-chairman of the State Presidents' Conference. In
1946 she was elected chairman of the National Committee on Mem-
bership, and was named on the National Program Committee on
Having served as first vice-president, an aid to the president,
during the preceding administration, and being of a forceful per-
sonality. Mirs. Beckham was well equipped to take over the reins
of the Congress at this crucial hour-when the energies of every
individual American were pushing forward, determined on a suc-
cessful and early conclusion of the war, with sights set on a suc-
cessful peace.
Recognizing that the youth of the nation were among the "war
casualties"-since the adults were too concerned with war activities
-the Florida Congress stressed juvenile protection throughout this
administration. A large "youth activities" committee from the board
was appointed. It worked to discover conditions in the communi-
ties which threatened normal development of its youth; to acquaint
the public with them; to cooperate with agencies organized in the
interest of child welfare; to take the initiative in sponsoring projects
that served the needs of every child and prepared children and
youth for service in a democracy; and to bring parents to a full
realization of their own responsibilities.
Local units followed through; worked toward creating juvenile
courts; and used their influence to keep children away from un-
wholesome conditions. The teen-age canteens grew in number. Liv-
ing memorials to the war heroes, such as community buildings and
parks, were promoted.


Two large-order projects of the youth activities committee
were a compilation of a simplified edition of Florida laws pertaining
to children and a survey of labor conditions in the state. This check
attempted to find out to what extent the laws were being enforced.
The compilation of laws affecting children was prepared in the
attorney general's office with the aid of the State Department of
Education and the State Department of Public Welfare. Ten thou-
sand copies in booklet form were printed for distribution. Another
publication, sponsored by the Florida Congress and the State De-
partment of Education, was the pamphlet, "A Guide to Child De-
velopment Through the Beginning School Years."
"Keeping Faith With Youth" was the theme of the 1944 con-
vention-termed a "conference" to comply with the Office of De-
fense Transportation regulations. For this twenty-first convention,
held in Sarasota, November 14-16, 445 delegates, representing 194
units, registered.
Mrs. William A. Hastings, National president, was the Na-
tional representative. She was the featured speaker at the "Allied
Workers" banquet, and had a part in the panel discussion on "The
Influences of Homes, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." Another
outstanding program highlight was the concluding address by Dr.
R. Z. Tyler, pastor of the First Methodist Church of St. Petersburg,
who urged the delegates to "Make a thorough examination of
values in living, so that young'imen may not have died in vain during
this world conflict."
When the time came to consider arrangements for the 1945
convention, such gatherings still were not permissible; however,
Mrs. Beckham insisted upon outlining plans for a meeting to be
held in Daytona Beach, November 6-8. Although fighting with
Japan did cease the middle of August, it was some weeks before
the Florida Congress could work on convention arrangements with
any degree of assurance. The theme was, "United We Build," and
the National Congress representative was Mrs. L. W. Hughes, presi-
dent. Marian Telford, of the National Safety Council, and Dr. and
Mrs. Gary Cleveland Myers were returned as convention program
participants by popular request.
"For Every Right a Duty," was the theme of the convention
held in Tallahassee, November 12-14, 1946, with Charles W. Phil-
lips, second vice-president of the National Congress, as official rep-
resentative. Dr. Paul Witty, then Professor of Education and Direc-

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