Larchmont Gazette
1942 Year in Review

Year in Review interprets Larchmont history year by year. Larchmonters speak for themselves through news reports, pictures, and official documents.


October 29, 1942


At Murray Avenue School, wartime protection of children was discussed Tuesday afternoon at a meeting sponsored jointly by that Parent Education Committee, Mrs. Edward Kay, chairman, and the War Activities Committee with Mrs. Irving Taub as chairman.

Mrs. Kay presided and introduced Ralph Benjamin of the New Rochelle telephone office who showed a short film concerning air raids. The showing had been arranged by John Metcalf, and Murray Avenue school father.

Miss Loretta Hirshbeck explained details for evacuation of Murray Avenue School as far as they have been completed and approved.

Mrs. Charles S. Sutherland presented a simple block mother or open house plan which is being suggested for the protection of children while enroute home after evacuation. The purpose of this plan is to set up cooperative groups of neighborhood mothers to establish in each block or other convenient small units an “open house” which can be used as a shelter for children in an emergency.

Read the U.S. Office of Civilian Defense Handbook:
Protection of School Children and School Property

It is hoped that by the establishment of open houses designated by the special sign provided by the P.T.A. for that purpose, that wardens will be assisted in clearing the street immediately upon the sounding of the alarm, and by giving thought to the careful choice of those in charge of children under emergency conditions, that panic and discomfort of both children and adults may be avoided.

Discussion of the plan was led by Mrs. Donald Pendleton, chairman of the block mothers. Mothers had been invited to the meeting by the following poem written by Mrs. Irving Taub:

Mothers give us your attention.
Hear the facts that we must mention.
Tomorrow at a quarter of two,
Miss Hirschbeck will present to you,
A vital wartime education,
The new plan for evacuation.
This is important - you must come
To the auditorium
Learn the need to have “Block Mothers”
Protecting sisters and their brothers.
Show your spirit with agility.
Tuesday’s your responsibility.
And every other day as well.
What war may bring, no one can tell.

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