October 12, 1909


Commercial Arithmetic Class So
Crowded It Is Divided Into
Two Sections -- Prim-
ers Distributed.

The opening of the night high school at the high school building in Kansas City, Kas., last night, was marked by the attendance of 119 pupils, whose ages ranged from 17 to 45 years. Principal E. L. Miller and the assisting teachers divided the pupils into 12 classes. The recitation periods were made from 7:30 to 8:20, and from 8:20 to 9:10 p. m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights.

The pupils were given the choice of two of the following twelve subjects: Chemistry, English, Latin, German, geometry and algebra, commercial arithmetic, grammar and spelling, penmanship, book keeping, stenography, woodwork and mechanical drawings.

The commercial arithmetic class was so crowded Mr. Miller had to make two sections of it. Book keeping, penmanship and chemistry were the next three most popular classes. A large number of graduates of the high school en rolled in the language classes to complete work they had failed to finish while in school.


The most interesting class of all was that of nine Polish young men, who are attending the school to learn to read and write the English language. The young men live in the neighborhood of St. Margaret's hospital, and work in the packing houses during the day. They became interested in the school through the efforts of Charles W. Szajkowski, a cabinet maker, who has lived in America nineteen years, and who received a training in English in the night schools of New York city.

A teacher had not been designated for this class and M. E. Pearson, superintendent of the schools, volunteered to start the class in their studies. He began by attempting to call the roll, but was forced to call Mr. Szajkowski to his aid.

The following were the pupils enrolled in this class: Andrzoj Kominick, Cypryan Lauter, John Pasik, Alex Mimeszkowski, Anton Catrowski, Stamstan Butklewicz, Joseph Wiskiewski, Michael Kryska, and John Balamat.

After the roll call Mr. Pearson distributed primers and prepared for foreign students, and after reading over simple sentences, had the class repeat them. Notwithstanding the fact that none of the class knew anything of English, within half a half hour they were reading such sentences as "Five cents make a nickel," and "Ten dimes make a dollar."


The class was next sent to the blackboard, and after Mr. Pearson had written simple words on the board, the class was told to copy them. It was surprising how well they wrote the words.

Mr. Pearson and Mr. Miller were gratified with the results of the first session of the school.

"I am certain the school will be a success," Mr. Miller said. "The pupils all appear earnest and I believe will improve their opportunity. At least fifteen pupils told me that they would bring another pupil with them at the next session."

Mr. Pearson was very much interested in the class of foreigners. "I am very glad, indeed, that we are enabled to take up this work," he said. "I studied night school for foreigners in the East two years ago and from what I learned there I know they pay."


"Our own American pupils will have to look out or the Polish boys will beat them when it comes to earnestness and ability to stick with their studies. Mr. Szajkowski told me after class tonight that he expects to have at least seventy-five Polish young men enrolled within two weeks."

All of the students attending the school pay a monthly tuition of $2. This fee will be used to pay the teachers, except Mr. Miller, who gives his services to the school. The pupils come from all over the city. One pupil enrolled from Mount Washington, a suburb of Kansas City, Mo. Several more enrolled from Kansas City, Mo., and one from Rosedale.