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Page 4 of Mountain Life & Work vol. 16 no. 4 Winter, 1941

Part of Mountain Life and Work

Page 4 MoutvrntN Lit L AND WORK Winter, 1941 meet sent us copies of the "Alabama Highway Code" and "Rules of the Road." Upon request from the members of the class, a highway patrolman met with them and discussed the problems of the highway today. We are now studying the duties of the various departments of Marshall County Government. We are particularly interested in how the following officials get their jobs, the sources and amounts of their salaries, and as much as possible about their duties and responsibilities: Tax Assessor; Tax Collector; Farm Agent; Farm Security Administrator; County Welfare Worker; Judge of Probate Court; Circuit Clerk; County Solicitor; Circuit judge; Judge of Chancery; Sheriff; County Superintendent of Education; County Health Officer; County Commissioner; and others. Committees are selected to collect data and work out questionnaires on such topics as taxes, crime and education. Department head officials are then asked to meet with the class and answer the questions, which are given to them in advance. A heated discussion recently arose in class on the subject of tax equalization. The committee on taxes went to the county seat, examined assessment sheets and gathered other material and then reported to the class on the results of their investigation. It had been discovered that one local farmer had listed his farm at seven hundred and fifty dollars but it was known that he had recently asked a prospective buyer four thousand dollars for it. The class then decided unanimously that tax equalization would be a good thing. Later we were pleased to see that the Legislature passed a bill designed to equalize taxation. The tax collector met with the class while the tax unit was being studied. Our most recent official visitor was the sheriff. He met and discussed with the class the crime situation in the county. In one semester our Senior Class visited three other high schools in Marshall County and presented a program to each of the school assemblies. The program consisted of interesting, factual material on the social, economic, educational, religious and health conditions now existing in Alabama. The programs were well received and our students profited greatly from the experiences. At the beginning of the present school year an Opportunity Class was organized. I am going to quote to you the first and last paragraphs of an article about this class. The Opportunity Class at the Kate Duncan Smith D. A. R. School was organized for the purpose of providing an interesting and functional educational program for a group of students who were not making satisfactory progress in their regular classes. It is made up of twenty-nine girls and boys ranging in age from thirteen to twenty. The members come from the fifth, sixth and seventh grades. An effort was made to make the pupils feel that it was a privilege to become members of the class in which they would be given the help they needed. Most of them realized they were unable to do the work in their regular classes and were glad to have an opportunity to get the foundation which they lacked. The results which have been achieved in the Opportunity Class are encouraging. All except five members of the class are regular in attendance. They all seem to be happier since they are doing work which they can understand and which interests them. They are experiencing some measure of success, probably for the first time in their school lives. This is having a very wholesome effect upon their lives in school and also at home. Opportunity Classes are not considered a solution to all the difficulties faced by the schools today. However, it does seem quite evident that the methods and procedures which have been used in this class are sound, and will improve the work in any school where they can be put into practice. We, who are in charge of the policies of the school, are certain that the success of our efforts is dependent upon improvements which will have to be made on the farms and in the homes of our people. Our Vocational Agriculture and Home Economics departments arc having great success in promoting these improvements. The school sponsors adult education classes, and at all times we try to cooperate fully with the federal, state and county agencies in the promotion of the welfare

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