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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Tap dancing class, late 1930s
Tap dancing class, late 1930s. Photo: Rudolf H. Hoffmann

The South Orange-Maplewood Adult School

What began in 1933 as a small adult activities program under the sponsorship of the Parent Teachers Association of Maplewood Junior High School has grown into a non-profit school offering more than 170 courses and activities to adults in the communities of South Orange and Maplewood. The school also administers an extensive summer school program for children that registered more than 4,500 participants in enrichment programs and more than 800 in sports in 1999. Its mission is to provide "quality experiences which enhance understanding and enjoyment of life and create a learning environment for the betterment of the individual and society." (Mission Statement, South Orange Maplewood Adult School, 1988.) The curriculum is divided roughly between "liberating studies" -- the learning of occupational or other skills -- and "liberal studies" -- learning for intellectual growth and edification. The impetus for the founding of the school came from the nation's crisis in education that occurred during the Great Depression. Except for the years of World War II, the school has operated continuously since its founding.

Originally submitted by: Donald M. Payne, Representative (10th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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