Adult Education – Rochester NH


The Works Progress Administration (WPA) managed an adult education program in Rochester, New Hampshire during the Great Depression. The program replaced a similar one that had been locally organized and funded. A somewhat disdainful attitude toward federal assistance is typified by this addition to the school report by the City of Rochester School Board.

Contrary to our plans of last year we have again organized adult classes under W. P. A. The work is devoted wholly to preparation for citizenship to meet the needs of about seventy residents of this city. Both afternoon and evening classes have been organized to
serve those whose employment limits their opportunity to attend class. The interest shown is most commendable and progress to date is very satisfactory. There can be no doubt that recent social security legislation has prompted the worthy ambition to attain citizenship. This department stands ready to assist in every way possible. In response to economic pressure Rochester several years ago abandoned the regularly organized evening schools which had been maintained with good results. It seems to me that such service should be restored on our own responsibility and without reference to government assistance. By so doing we can more fully meet the needs of our people than when subject to W. P. A. restrictions. This Board is asked to approve the organization of an evening school for the winter of 1937-38 and to make financial provision therefor in the budget. Completion of a part or all of the twelve grades of public school should not mark the termination of school service to our former pupils. A public obligation continues beyond that point.”

Source notes

Annual Report of the CITY of Rochester New Hampshire.

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on January 1, 2015.

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Location Info

Rochester, NH 03867

Location notes: No exact location known.

Coordinates: 43.310406, -70.990344

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