Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 03, 1928How to Get Our Children to Read Polish Books (A Letter)
Concerned not only about the spirit of our Polish youth, but with its moral and religious standards, I came upon an idea which, if placed in practical use, will benefit the students and ease the work of the school in training them. The Dziennik Chicagoski publishes various kinds of books by Polish authors at the nominal cost of ten or fifteen cents. These books are not written in any sensational style to gain popularity or material gain for the author, but are written to awaken the spirit of youth toward Catholicism and nationalism.
Our school children of today purchase various kinds of cheap American novels and popular magazines, many of which are harmful to the spirit of the student. A characteristic example of the above statement is the present American generation, which at the earliest age, became accustomed to reading the most common literature, and graduated to reading love stories and the like at maturity.2
The publishers of these books and magazines, primarily interested in harvesting fields of gold, appeal to the lowest instincts of their readers. This brings about the lowering of moral standards. A recent disclosure by Doctor Jacobson, after a study in this field, substantiates the above statement. He stated that this country is bringing up gangs of thieves, perverts, and insane persons. Taking this into consideration, are we to follow their example and imitate everything they do, or have we fallen so low that we cannot pursue something better? Let us concentrate our thoughts and spirits in a direction that will be worthy of us--toward better spiritual and moral standards which will place us above all others.
In order to maintain the purity of the Polish spirit, we must stay clear of the present course of the American generation. we must attach ourselves more closely to the precepts of Catholicism and our nationalism. Without doubt, we may be criticized for this, but this will soon pass. The critics will realize that "blessed is the fruit of our lives."3
Oh, how different it would be today if Jesus Christ would have catered to the Pharisees and other Jewish priests. The annals of the history of the world would be utterly strange. Who could hazard a guess as to the kind of civilization that would be dominant today? Yet one thing is certain, and that is that there would be no Christianity. We can see, therefore, that in order to counteract the backward trend we must strongly resist the present day attitudes, and work toward higher ideals. We must have courage, suffer many hardships and make sacrifices....However, our position is safe here because neither Siberia nor any threats of imprisonment await us. Although criticism would be flung at us for this, it would not last long. Therefore, we could accomplish definite steps in this direction without any funds of any kind, if we only wish to do this.
I suggest that all the school teachers of Polish schools influence their pupils from the third grade up to purchase books advertised in the Dziennik Chicagoski. Then, once a month, the teachers could choose a particular Polish book and discuss the contents in class. During vacation time, certain books could be 4suggested as reading matter. A reading list of this kind would cover the historical, literary, and social background of Poland. Books about our famous heroes could also be added. In this respect, the work of the teachers would not be wasted, and the students would familiarize themselves with the lore of our country.
2318 Rice Street.
I A 2 b, I B 3 c, I B 4, I C
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