Tender twigs; A hand of help
That. His education forms the common mind. Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined. Toward. Us. This serious the tender twigs proposes to bring together those best able to address themselves to the individual and social problems of youth in the twentieth century. It proposes to discuss a few of the most clearly recognized problems of our time. Mental health. Delinquency crime social pressures and human growth. And the practical steps the parent school community and church may take. In order to ensure youth development that is safe sane and straight.
The tender twigs is produced and recorded by W. K.. Our radio at Michigan State University under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. The tender twigs are our youth a task to help them grow safe sane and straight. The title of this program a hand of help. This program features a single guest. Each week we present a distinguished person who we feel has left a mark on our time by his thought and by his work. As it relates to our youth our guest is Mark Beach program director of the MacGregor Foundation a multi-million dollar fund. Our interviewer for the series is Ben Thompson Research sociologist with the Michigan Department of Corrections. Mr. Beach you know in a preliminary discussion you were estimated that there are
approximately eight to ten thousand funds and foundations in the United States. And these organizations have a principle in the billions in the total working capital of about six to seven hundred million which is expanded yearly. Now the tender twigs this series is primarily interested in keeping American youth as we say safe sane and straight. And we've requested you as a program director of one of the large fund organizations to describe the activities of that organization as it may relate to our youth. Actually how do you feel about the significance of the foundation and the American way of life as it relates to the youth. I wonder if we're going to talk about. Foundations and what they do and what they want to do for you to keep them as you put it safe sane and straight. Perhaps we ought to talk a little bit about what a foundation
is good. Usually it's a nongovernmental as important organization organize not for profit. It usually has a group of trustees who are volunteers and I stress volunteers and amateurs and it usually has a corpus a capital fund. Which out of which it usually spends only income. And only rarely does it have. A professional staff to help IT spend this money. This I think is also significant. These foundations as you've indicated are numerous but they come in all shapes and sizes. I think I mentioned to you that probably the largest one was over 4 million times as large as the smallest so you can readily see that we can't talk about what foundations do to keep children safe sane and straight unless we talk about
a specific foundation. I'm sure they mean foundation means so many different things to different people. For instance a college president necessarily looks to foundations for a good deal of his support. I think so them is one thing A Well the director of a research team in the physical health project thinks some of the thinks of them in quite another way. The project director of the PTA or a League of Women Voters thinks in quite another way in the man on the street of course probably thinks of them in terms of only the fabulous Ford Foundation with its multibillion dollar capital account. Not only are they of different sizes but they have different motivations I think. And it's important to figure out just what it is the foundation wants to do. Unfortunately I'm
afraid that many of them are set up. As a tax conservation measure. However they all of the important foundations in the ones that we want to talk about have been set up as a means of conserving an important body of capital to use in for charitable educational religious purposes and it is within the framework of these large significant foundations that most of the worthwhile projects for you do Durai these foundations have indeed different different goals. And very few of them I suppose could be said to be interested primarily in the problem of youth. It's true that over the past 30 years or or more or even way back to the beginning of the child labor laws that we've been concentrating on what we can do for our youth but we were also interested in other things I
think that we can't forget about during the last 10 years as you recognized or lived or developed a very intense interest in the problems of the aging and the whole science of geriatrics and germ tala jihad as mature during this period. This I think has been due in good part to the pioneering work done by foundations. I can think of an outstanding example of a foundation that entered interested itself primarily in children. This was the children's fund of Michigan which was established by the late senator James Cousins about 30 years ago it was a unique in many ways not only that it specifically said we're interested in kids. But also because under cousin said I want all of this money spent within 25 years he put it germination date on it which is unusual for foundations. And during those 25
years the Children's Fund in Michigan and elsewhere spent about twenty five million dollars for the health and welfare of children in Michigan. For example they recognized that the children in the Upper Peninsula for example had to go down to the University of Michigan Hospital for their Pediatrics for their higher pediatric care and more complicated cases. And in thinking about this and thinking how they could best invest some of their venture capital to get the rest of the state to come along with them. They ultimately established children's clinics in Marquette way up in the Upper Peninsula Traverse City which is high in the middle part of the state which children's clinics eventually were taken over by the state of Michigan. You see the foundation
performed one of its major functions it put the risk capital in business got the program going and finally got the people to accept it as a good program and get them to finance it just the way foundations operate many times. Hopefully this is the way foundations operate. They are convinced of a need to try and get a program going. The program either works or it doesn't work if it ho if it does work you try and get it. The community to take over the obligation of keeping it going if it's worthwhile will. And this is one of the determinants in their vote says whether it's worthwhile or not. This same Children's Fund concerned itself over the mental health of children did another great pioneering job. They established Child Guidance clinics which you'll now recognize as being common all over the country. Did this actually start here. Lister's I started in
Michigan with this particular foundation and is now a nationwide commonly accepted way of doing business. The state departments of mental health put their money into it because the people are willing that they should do so now that the need and the utility has been demonstrated by this risk capital. They went into the business of dental clinics which were not well known and have done other interesting thing with the Children's Fund that I might mention is that and this might surprise you but 30 years ago there weren't too many county health departments in the state of Michigan and they just plain did a selling job on the various counties to get them estate to establish County supported health departments. They're not common place of course but this is another typical example of how a foundation can and should operate. You receive Of course I think you said something like a thousand projects a year that pass
over your desk or by way of telephone about what you have to make some kind of a decision. How do you feel about these things what are some of the kinds of things that you would like to see done. What are the kinds of things that you're doing that you think are worthwhile. Where might we go from here kind of thing in helping you stay safe sane and straight. Well the decision is easy and ninety nine percent of the cases the requests just do not fall within your interest. And regrettably the majority of them actually are not are not interesting. Well we're concerned in this area of keeping children safe sane and straight. I suppose number one with education mental health. The whole area of delinquency and prevention of work and recreation
and a very interesting field of family living family life education which is getting more and more attention. This business of all of our concepts are firmed up in the credo. Perhaps as a good deal of validity in lif a lot of attention to it in the matter of education I suppose which is where most of our money goes. I say all foundation money and all of our public money and Community Chest money goes into this broad thing called education. One of the important foundation contributions in this field is toward scholarships of course were interested in in the brighter kids were also interested in. I guess we'll have to refer to them as the dollar kids for example we have a program in the Detroit
Public Schools which we helped find and which we call a job upgrading program there's a certain group of kids who will you know you're going to drop out of school because they just can't keep up they don't quite understand the need for it in the first place they don't know what it leads to their personality and aptitude are such that they just can't get a job. Why try to get them into a program where we try and. And groom them for holding a job how they must look how they must act how they must prepare themselves for an interview and during the course of this. A little program we have a job or a job training on the job training where we've convinced certain civil service organizations and certain community just organizations that if they can take these kids on and
have them let them have a valid work experience draw a paycheck see how other people operate that they will learn something and gradually become self-supporting. Where we're aiming at this group of bitch will welfare cases if we can knock off some of those families so that they'll become self-supporting where we're getting at the hard core of the whole problem. You know I didn't I didn't realize that the MacGregor fund was involved in this and I want to say that having been through Chadsey high school in Detroit that's one of the centers you know and having picked up a lot of their material on the job upgrading program. I managed to borrow for our own publication in the corrections department for use with men going out on parole. Many of the ideas contained therein and I didn't know you were involved in this and I'm sure that you know that I had. And then I had to see good another one of our concerns in this field of education of course is that is the matter of upgrading teachers. It doesn't do much good to work on the kids
unless the teachers themselves or are competent were interested in program at the moment. On a statewide basis which has to do with the mental health of the teachers which may or may not be any of our business but we assume that it is. How do we make a more comfortable meaningful classroom experience. How can we help the teacher to understand her role in the classroom how do we make her feel comfortable comfortable with herself and her relationship with the kid. And we're doing this through a series of repeating seminars in specific areas in the state hoping that if we have a good experience in the four or five areas where we are working that this thing will grow so it can spread all over the state. One of my own concerns about this business and we seem to be concentrating on education and I didn't
mean to is is the business of our attitudes toward the Negro children in education. And I'm not referring to the integration squabbles throughout the country at the moment. But as you recognize from your experience and I do for mine the job of growing up is a tough one you have a lot of things to get used to and the negro child as well as the white child has to get used to all of these things. But on top of that the negro child as the problem of getting used to the idea of being a negro he has to cope with this additional problem. And we're interested in what this does to his personality. We're making tentative feelers toward several groups to see if they can help us answer this. We know nothing about it and neither does no one know and neither does anyone else at the moment.
We're hoping that this might come up with something useful. This whole area of mental health which I. Mention briefly is is one which is interested McGregor fund in the last few years I suppose you might call this our major with a group of relatively interesting miners collected around it. We've been interested in the physically read in the mentally retarded children. We've been interested in helping parents parent groups help themselves to organize and do something for themselves in the way of making the struggle of these mentally retarded kids a little less difficult on the parents. This is the field of your safe and sane topic. And if you live.
Delinquency which you referred to in your keeping them straight we have also had several interests as have a good many other foundations of course. The prevention of delinquency is a problem which a great many social scientists have directed their attention to over the years and I'm not sure that many of us know much about it. I hasten to add that we agree if I know nothing about it. But we are willing to make money available to those people who do convinces that they have the ability to think it through to see what they can come up with in the way of a project for example at the moment. There is a little area adjacent to the city of Detroit which is the largest of all negro municipality in the United States. This sounds unbelievable. But it's entirely negro.
They have delinquency problems which exceed those of the cross-section of the population. Fortunately we've found in the area several really thinking energetic young men who are willing to do some thinking about the problem and one of our theories being if you can bet your money on the right man you'll come up with the right answers we've put some money into a project which will permit these young men to try and predict the incidence of delinquency try and stop it before it gets started with specific kids in the area whom they know. A safe sane and straight and we've talked about mental health. We've talked about education.
I know of two devices in the business of straight that you haven't mentioned once then one for which the corrections department received a grant from your fun camping like with Camp bugs yes this was a very interesting project which we were delighted to be able to have a part in realizing that the actual money investment was a small part of it. The acceptance of this probation camp in the Traverse City area by the people of Traverse City itself as is one of the things that excited us their willingness to use their energy in trying to rehabilitate these kids on a probation bases led us to believe that the least we could do it puts money into it. Actually it's the only camp of its kind in the United States. Yes. The other one you're referring to is a grant we made to a particular area in the state of Michigan to enable them to concentrate
probation officers to try and determine what concentration is necessary in order to reduce the rate of people sliding back from their probation situation as a drain right into into prison and most of these projects incidentally are really pieces of pioneering effort. If we if we can get our hands hands on the handles and hear one of these cases that the camp which is kind of an intermediary step between being on probation in the street and big prison if we can find some middle ground to which a man may be. I like the expression you use if we can get our hands on the handles this is the key to the whole business of operating a foundation How do you find out what the handles are on a problem that you can actually pick it up examine it and do something about. You know I'm one of those optimists who actually believe that at this point in our knowledge we are getting awfully close in the social sciences to knowing which direction to go. And I I think I'm in the minority.
It's a home here right. There are a lot of very intelligent people spending their efforts toward this end. I might mention another area that interests me a good deal in that it's not new but it's one that's very close to all of us and that's the area of family law family living. McGregor fund is currently supporting several projects in this business of family living in there are some very interesting ones throughout the state and nation. For example. We have a very standard du program going with the Detroit Council of Churches whereby they have premarital counseling. We have a program in this same Council of Churches whereby the professional with the group can demonstrate by means of life size models the whole human reproduction process which have been
very stimulating and interesting and I might say that we lifted this deliberately and with the consent of the Clara Elizabeth fund in Flint this Clary Elizabeth fund another Foundation brought this particular method of. Education in family living to the front. Developed it to a great extent and it's been very popular now throughout the whole country. I've seen Dave treat of a hospital in Flint demonstrate this. Well he developed a mentor that Clara was about Fund and it's a fascinating and very instructive process which they take and we now take to school children Sunday schools youth groups and it's been very well received and very well received by parents. But it's in this whole area of family living that I think we're going to find a good deal of concentration and foundation money
in the next few years. Is this do the things you feel to the president. Cultural conditions of our society the fact the breakup of the family the great increase in population the mobility of the family television all kinds of mass media. Well the fact that we're going to do it is due to the fact that these social scientists about whom you're so optimistic have told us that this is where we ought to be spending more time attention and money. A foundation in Topeka great Menninger organization has done a great deal in this particular area. For example they have programs whereby they bring ministers and social workers from all over the country for a year to pick up and try and educate them into this process of the importance of family living and how can how they can in turn be counselors.
We're little have sort of a ripple effect that they affect the people they come in contact with and so on and so on. McGregor fund is supporting four part of that man Ingur project and we're very proud of our part and I think too from having talked with you at another time you mention your interest in counseling for the adolescent and you put in an interesting way that one of the things that you would like to see is someone. So the idea to the adolescent that he is important which infers of course that one of the problems of adolescence is at least an ambivalence toward whether or not he is or is not important. I think the reason for that is that at my advanced age I can still remember how important it was to me back in our audience right. And college how frustrating it was not to really know what the significant things ahead of me were. Why was it important that I
think in terms of good adjustments in high school why was it important that I. Concentrate on a wise decision on whether or not I should go to college or what college whether I shouldn't go to college whether I should concentrate on some more perhaps practical effort. How do I get a job. Why is it important to get a job. How do I think about these things why am i important. I think Art I'm not sure that I should condemn anyone but I'm not on the other hand sure that our high school counselors have the time and frequently the training to. Enable them to be helpful to my daughter for example or my son who has these same questions in his mind. On the other hand there are a great many kids who don't have these questions in their mind that you would have if we can stimulate them to start thinking about it this is a step forward. There ought to be some way and this we've been
thinking about a good deal that we could somehow upgrade the counsellors whose job is it is to upgrade the thinking of our kids. Actually you folks were somewhat instrumental in getting the idea of counselors in the schools in the schools to begin with foundations. Yes if you mean by that you folks. Which I thought I feel to with you is not been fully accepted by school administrators and perhaps by the public itself to the point of giving them full time which to function. I'm not sure it's a matter of acceptability it's a matter of availability and of both the training schools who will develop these counsellors and the number of people who are willing to go into this kind of work. It's interesting and it's going to develop. Our guest has been Mark Beach program director of the MacGregor foundation.
Next week man for himself. Our guest will be Dr. Eric frome head of the department of psychoanalysis at the National University of Mexico. You have been listening to the tender twigs a series devoted to ensuring youth development that a safe sane and straight. We invite you to join us next week at this time by the tended to A. Our interviewer was Ben Thompson. Research sociologist by the state of Michigan's Department of Corrections.
- Tender twigs
- A hand of help
- Producing Organization
- Michigan State University
- WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-542jbg4f).
- Episode Description
- Mark Beach, Program Director of the McGregor Fund, reviews the functions and purposes of private foundation capital, and how it may be used to aid our youth.
- Series Description
- This series discusses problems affecting today's youth, such as mental health, delinquency, crime, social pressures. It also considers solutions for parents and youths to employ.
- Broadcast Date
- Social Issues
- Media type
: Beach, Mark
Interviewer: Thompson, Ben
Producer: Wayne, Wayne C.
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 58-43-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Tender twigs; A hand of help,” 1958-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 31, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-542jbg4f.
- MLA: “Tender twigs; A hand of help.” 1958-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 31, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-542jbg4f>.
- APA: Tender twigs; A hand of help. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-542jbg4f