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His education forms the common mind. Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined. To get. 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 that parents 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 youth the task to help them grow safe sane and straight. The title of this program the community is home away from home. 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 Vincent Reese director of the division of prevention and parole services of the state of Minnesota's Youth Conservation Commission. Our interview up for the series is Ben Thompson a research sociologist with the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Mr. Reese when we say that the community is home away from home a title which we chose for this series does this express the idea that you feel that it should in some way. It does. I would rather answer the question in this fashion however it is recognized that the first line of defense against a link when say if we're going to be talking this is the home. It is also recognised that the community through its services must support the home these community services our family counselling and casework school guidance and attendance Services Vocational Guidance religious recreation welfare police court and volunteer services. It is clear in my estimation that parents cannot meet all the needs of their children they cannot. As an example teach in the school room nor inoculate against polio. This means the home must be
vitally concerned with community services and the reverse is also true. Actually the state of Minnesota under the direction of Mr. Vincent Reese has accomplished I think quite a remarkable job. First of all they have published a manual for Community Planning which I would like to break a precedent on this series actually and recommend for those of you interested in learning some of the techniques for setting up community councils use councils groups to help the youth of your community. You going to obtain it from one twenty nine the state office building in St. Paul Minnesota. Actually what be a simple way for them to get stories simply as such. Mr. Thompson writing to the Youth Conservation Commission at 1:29 state office buildings St. Paul. Actually here in Minot and here in Michigan we are using this manual
in the development of some community projects of our own. And I would highly recommend it to you. Mystery's actuate when we look at it if you were to go into a community if you received a letter tomorrow from a community asking you to aid them in setting up a prevention program or a Youth Council it would probably depend which to what you would do. But what would you do first. We're fortunate first in Minnesota to have within our program some people of us who are skilled in community organization. With this being sole with an answer the latter usually by setting up a date and a field man will go to the community to meet with the person who wrote the letter. This could be any person and we will so respond. The thing that we're looking for as we go to meet with this person is a fuller picture of the problem
as this person particularly sees it and to begin working with that person it could be the PTA president it could be the president of the CCA Wanda's club it could be a housewife. To see more of the actual needs for community organization. This being a little clearly spelled out the first bit of advice the fiel person will give to this person who did write is to begin immediately making a list of all of the organizations that exist in that particular community. And by all of the organizations we mean can Juanes Rotary Lions Alex sunshine leagues any organization in that particular community this is the beginning thing. Actually you folks have had a number of years of experience now and what you have for permanent feel men full time Fiennes on your staff
serving communities and setting up various programs and I know that out of this you've sifted a lot of experience. What would you say are the essential ingredients that you have learned about community organization. First to move ahead you need to be concerned with this very basic thing is there a need to move ahead. When I said yes previously we asked that the local community begin listing the organizations. This is just a gathering of names and possible persons to use. The next thing that you're looking for is actually what is there to be done within the community. Ah the is legitimate needs. Is there a need to plan this being established. You begin to move further by meeting with the keys in the
community itself by key is we have mean the people who head the various organizations selecting the organizations that have demonstrated traditionally their real concern and interest and use bringing them in to the thinking right away so that there is actual participation on the part of a number of key organizations just in this early talking stage before any formal action is taken. The trick here and I think we must be conscious of it is that if this community council as it eventually is brought into being is to succeed it must be grown from within and so our outside man the feel man is only working with the people. There are only in the extent of advising them. And I think this is important. The local people's minds to begin to see the need themselves must begin educating themselves and must begin to suggest the next steps themselves. This brings
them tighter and then they begin to want to move. Actually in your manual you list a great many projects that have already been accomplished in various communities in Minnesota and I know that there are probably many people in our listening audience who have a feeling for kids who have an interest in doing something and they are probably thought to themselves Gee I wish I knew what I could do. I wonder how a fellow goes about this in and I would just wonder what I could do even if I did get somebody interested in doing something. What are some of the kinds of things which you think have been good which have been done through your community organization program. There was an article written not too long ago goal titled everybody here cares about kids and this was the story of the local citizens in the city of Alexandria
Minnesota. Truly this complete community of seventy five hundred really cafe kids they organized a community council. The things that they accomplished in a five year period were fabulous. First there were no guidance. Programming is within their school system. They took this as a project. They began educating the total community. As for the need for that now there are guidance councilor teachers hired within the school system. They felt that within the school system there was a need for remedial reading teaching. Eventually one such person was high add. There's been a tremendous growth in the recreational programming within the community. They have seen now to high add a police woman and this is awfully important because I think you know if you save a girl you save a family. And we're
not I don't believe really focusing on the need to plan and work with girls and all of our programming. These are a few of the things that they accomplished in Alexandria and this is an ongoing thing and it's going to continue. They've had such terrific success through all of the years of organization that is guaranteed. And it's another thing to remember in community organization at a community council is made up of every organization within that community. And Alex the reason why I believe they've been so successful is that they were Postle out a project to the Woman's Auxiliary to the American Legion through this organization. And the paper published today they say this project has been accomplished by that organization as against the Community Council where the credit line is hidden someone. Have you learned any keys to selecting leadership. How do you select. Let's let's assume I'll assume at least that Indigenous
leadership in the community is necessary in order to accomplish anything. And I further assume that there are some people who are leaders. How do you select them. This is the $64000 question of course Mr. Thompson. We don't have any real clear cut solution to this problem. Through our experiences however we can after we go in the community ourselves working with the peoples come away with a list maybe of 60 or 70 persons that we've looked at pretty carefully and are contacting in the educational part leading to at possibly a community council. We make real careful notes on why this person is the leader of this organization. Why this person wants to be the head of an organization and why this person wants to be out in front of the community. We start to begin to study the motivation behind why they want to be out front.
This is a healthy motivation prompted by their own feelings that there is a need and that they have something to contribute. Then we say this is the person or these other persons on whom you can successfully plan and hope to have them move ahead. We can't be any more specific than the US out of our experiences. And you are so right that if anything's to succeed and leadership is so vital and where we've had family has and we've had community councils for a way. Yes and it has been because primarily of poor leadership and improper selection of the planning committees and eventual executive secretary of such a council. Actually I wonder when we talk about community development if many people especially in the community of old 15 to 25000 where they have begun to have a group of
agencies social agencies especially aren't apt to say well by golly we need things for kids in this town. But that's the responsibility of family service or the police or the recreation department or something or something or something. How does this square with the kind of experience that you people have had in Minnesota. Well Mr. Thompson it's wonderful all of the people in the community will say that this is the job of family service. But I think the reason why we have so many difficulties today is that people have just done this. They said this is the job of somebody else and they've allowed it the sit at there at that and haven't moved to have themselves in order to see services that are necessary. Grohl You have to have the community involved and the community must get
in and constructively work toward the extension of the necessary services and the creation of other services. You're talking fanboy in Minnesota when you say 17 or 15 thousand population. They had some good community services but they felt that beyond the ones existent others were needed so that they did form the federal community council. This is made up of a camp of citizens as well as the professionals in that community. This is a busy community and all of the leaders are busy people I mean everybody wants them of course and it's it's pleasing to sit in on their monthly executive planning committee which is held on a Saturday morning over breakfast in that community. And here you see women and other leaders who have decided that we're not just going to say
this is the job of somebody else. They've gotten in there and have gotten people's completely interested in adequate planning. We talk about community involvement and those of us I think in the business have gotten so used to using words which have now lost their meaning or at least the content and community involvement is one of them which I hear bandied around a great deal. But for the for our listening audience I wonder when we see community involvement can we say more how do you involve people in the community. There are a number of find ways and Live had some healthy experiences with this. First of all I mean we're involving people today. We can involve people through these educational channels via mass media. This is good but it isn't as rich as it should be. Again in one of our communities they have what they call a block
jam in system within the community council. And the chairman of this particular block has the responsibility as a new project is proposed to have a series of coffee parties within that block calling in all of the people is there an to work goal of what they think is the need for this new project so that by the time the project is proposed for the total community it has been discussed in every block in that whole area. You know this isn't a city block now. Yes this is an involvement this way. The other involvements are if you know if you have structured your communicate consul properly with representation from every organisation and that representation going back to the organization. It involves them by discussion and by posturing out of projects to that organization and if a number of projects are underway this makes for good. But there's the patient stemming down through this whole structure.
How about youth in the community council. I'm glad that you mentioned that if we're going to go any place constructively we must have youth along with us in planning. In that we do most wholeheartedly recommend that with this adult thing we call a community council made up of adults. There is a power lying organization of you who have membership on the executive committee who participate in all of the discussions who contribute by their actual real know how and desire to be involved. We have had some terrific lead gratifying experiences. The Minnesota teenage cold while it isn't going to solve all of our problems is clear demonstration that kids have something constructive to offer. They wrote this called every word in this code is actually the expression of youth. When adults approved it they changed only one word and that total cored. Our youth in Minnesota
have now Vollard to put on a series of regional traffic safety conferences which will begin this fall. You have to fill in our state because we have involved them and we've shown them some directions and given them some assistance that they can make doing the right thing popular again. And this is awfully important you mean for other kids. Yeah doing the right thing. Yes and focusing on I think you see all of the headlines everything is one of the headlines or grab by those two or three percent we talk about that are always in trouble. And so we want to counteract this and I think we can counteract that by the other 90 percent standing up and doing something constructive that can be said as a real contribution on a part of Cannes this court I think it is and I think these traffic safety conferences and out of which incidentally they're going to write a suggested set of driving regulations and
advices for kids to live up to. Actually what kind of problems if any did you encounter in getting adults to allow you to do this and what kind of problems did you encounter in youth wishing to take this kind of responsibility. Well on the part of adults Mr. Thompson. Us adults just say we know one of the answers is really valid just say we felt that that youth had nothing to offer. We felt that it was they should not be speaking out. And this was the major problem. I mean they should be seen and not heard. Yes. But we had to demonstrate their usefulness and we had to start at state level incidentally to have this achieve so that communities would begin to agree with this. This was the big problem I had one on the side of youth. They were quite apprehensive talking out in front of adults this. They were a little fearful about
their real hazardous however. Came from the fact that I was sure they wanted to participate in community planning. But what do they do. How do they do it. And it's quite revealing to notice the report out of the national social welfare assembly youth in community of fans conference which was held April 27 through May 1st. Right now or at 58 in New York where youth themselves and these were delegates from all of the states yes you have to I guess they were saying as there are now such participation. And this means in Community Planning is a relatively new concept and youth must be made aware of their opportunities and responsibilities for participation before the general participation desired can be attained and what they were saying there is again. Yes. Bring us in. But give us guidance and give us direction and their attitude is good.
Actually of course Michigan is fortunate we have a governor's used Commission which has as a is the parent organization to what is known as yak for the Youth Advisory Council and they use advisory council made up of teenagers does sit in representation on the governor's Youth Commission and actually Michigan was sent more young people to the White House conference on education in 1955 in November than any other state in the union. So we I think have gone quite a long way I wonder looking at it from the standpoint of prevention of delinquency and crime or reordering the values of youth. When we get right down to the bedrock is there much that adult corrections for instance a juvenile corrections can do in prevention that cannot be accomplished much easier and a great deal more quickly by youth themselves
organizing as you have indicated here in their own communities. Well I think we must make it clear that corrections is only part of the total prevention job and that we must have adequate correctional systems. I mean this includes probation parole adequate court services so that the youth who is really in conflict with the law when we begin our planning now is given adequate services. Yes this is prevention but I think if we stop at this we're making a to a Radzik mistake in that. True prevention will only take place whether the youth lives where he sleeps where he is where he goes to school where he plays and where he gets in trouble. This is in every hamlet every home that's in every block it's within the total community itself. So we have to be concerned. All of us as parents and so called us late is
that we don't become trapped in just spending dollars for corrections. That's absolutely necessary. But we can prevent the Lincoln saves without spending money. If we take it on ourselves to do something. It's an interesting idea that the youth themselves and and prevention can be actually so easily accomplished. The unfortunate part about it is that we can't count what we prevent. We can only count that the which went wrong. That is that which came before the court or that which was arrested or our eyes on a court docket or on a jail by a police blotter. And we can talk prevention but we can't actually count the number of people that are saved by the programs that are in operation. I'd like to be counted as a member of this community that has the title and earned a title. Everybody here cares about kids. This is but a good count for me. It is true that a
community council can say we saved Johnny Jones a fictitious name from a delinquent act. They truly don't know this but they have provided the real moral moral climate the community atmosphere the community understanding the community awareness of its responsibilities that made him aware. Of his responsibilities also to the community. So while I can't count I still think they can earn themselves these labels that are actually in a sense the stamp saying well done. You have moved beautifully when in your experience what kind of a community can each of us have. Only missed the times and the community that we really fight for will have the type of school system we don't have the type of police services will have the type of probation services will have the type of
community that is thinking about our kids in so far only as well as individuals as parents as Agency people's actively fight for are sincerely interested in and to which cause we want give our time. Do we have a tendency to think that that which we have is good enough and that which we have is good. Before when you are began you asked about problems I ran all over the one pretty lightly that seems to be existent when run into a great deal of smugness and complacency. We're perfect here. We don't need to do anything. Let somebody else do it in some other community. Yes there's a complacency in spite of the headlines. There's perhaps maybe a feeling of inadequacy in that I don't know how to do it ness is important and I think that is how to do it. Guides for parents phrased which could be a teenage code
or a manual on how to walk and I was within your community the right structure that will help kids. I think we have to turn to the Is and use them. Yes maybe we all better settle and regardless of what we may think of our community for the slogan that our services for kids are not good enough no matter how good they are. I think we should. And you see we have new youth coming into each school we have new youth coming into each community. And this is an ongoing thing even if today were a week we are in good shape are we tomorrow. Are we the next day. Our guest has been Vincent race director of the division of prevention and parole services of the state of Minnesota's U.S Conservation Commission. Next week what we can do. Our guest will be Dr. James J. Brennan professor in the school of police administration and public safety Michigan State University.
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 tender to a. Our interviewer was Ben Thompson Research sociologist by the state of Michigan was Department of Corrections. The tender twigs was produced and recorded by Wayne C. Wayne or w o k r radio at Michigan State University under a grant from the
Educational Television and Radio Center. And is being distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end E.B. Radio Network.
Tender twigs
Community is home away from home
Producing Organization
Michigan State University
WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Vincent Reis, Minnesota Youth Conservation Commission Director in the area of Prevention and Parole, focuses on the problem of community awareness in creating a better setting for youth development.
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.
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Social Issues
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: Reis, Vincent
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: 58-43-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:31
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Chicago: “Tender twigs; Community is home away from home,” 1958-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 10, 2023,
MLA: “Tender twigs; Community is home away from home.” 1958-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 10, 2023. <>.
APA: Tender twigs; Community is home away from home. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from