2016-04-28 / Around Town

Child & Family


Children receiving spending money from the Matron of the Home for Friendless Children, circa 1920s. (Image provided by Child & Family) Children receiving spending money from the Matron of the Home for Friendless Children, circa 1920s. (Image provided by Child & Family) As the first social service provider in Newport County, Child & Family first served as a shelter (The Home for Friendless Children) for orphans and children of destitute parents. The last report to list the total number of children who had lived in the home since it first opened in 1866 was published in 1923 and totaled 825. Activities of the children were similar to those of children who lived in private homes. Older children attended school and Sunday School at Trinity Church. During the 1920s, the home paid tuition for one or two boys to attend St. Andrew’s School, and in the summer of 1921 a kindergarten teacher was hired since there were many young children. Some of the older children were sent to the Community School at the Second Baptist Church. Older girls helped with the care of little ones and also with food preparation and sewing. One girl received training as a server in a private home during the summer and the older boys were taught how to do odd jobs. Girls were also taught cooking, serving meals, laundering and mending. Many of the girls could cut, fit and make their own clothes. It was believed that “the feeling of responsibility decreased the feeling of institutional life.”



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