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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