Published: 30-06-2011, 06:56

Hull-House - American Education

The second and most famous of the more than 400 settlement houses that sprouted in city slums across the United States between 1890 and 1910. Founded in the Chicago slums in 1889 by social reformer Jane Addams and a college classmate, Ellen Gates Starr (1868–1940), Hull-House initially housed college-educated women bent on bringing the advantages of college education to workingclass people. Hoping that such education would help lift the poor out of the slums and to better lives, the Hull-House workers arranged art exhibits, university extension classes, a summer school, cooking and sewing classes, Sunday concerts and special lectures. They also sought to aid the foreign-born to become Americanized by conducting language and citizenship classes and organizing a day nursery and kindergarten that freed mothers to go to work. Hull-House also operated a free health clinic, and it put together a Labor Museum that taught young immigrants a respect for the labor movement and the accomplishments of their predecessor immigrants. predecessor immigrants.
To combat the degradation of children, Hull-House organized public rallies on behalf of compulsory, universal public education, an end to child labor and the construction of more public libraries, parks, playgrounds and schools. Hull-House also organized a free kindergarten, day nursery and health clinic. It gradually expanded its plant to include 13 buildings housing day care programs, a gymnasium, meeting and recreation rooms for youngsters and adults, arts-and-crafts workshops, classrooms for adult education, a music school, a theater for amateur dramatic performances, a social service center, a kindergarten and nursery school and a health clinic. As times and social problems changed, so did Hull-House services. By the 1960s, it was serving troubled youth and, a decade later, senior citizens.