The Batavia Plan of Week-Day Religious Instruction
The Elementary school journal
At our last teachers' meeting I asked our teachers the reason for the great interest in week-day religious instruction. I told them that I was receiving letters from all over the country making inquiries about the Batavia plan. Interest seems to have sprung up all at once. The teachers suggested that this great interest is due to the general moral let-down all over the country. They said that there is no question about the existence of such a moral let-down and that everyone interested in the
... tterment of young people is casting about for some means to counteract this moral decline. Since we had so many inquiries it was decided to publish a brief account of our Batavia plan of week-day religious instruction. Briefly stated, the Batavia plan consists in allowing the children to go to whatever church they choose for a quarter of a day each week for religious instruction. There is no compulsion about this. Those children who do not go to the church remain in school and spend the time in supervised study and in project work. The history of the movement here is briefly this. About four years ago, shortly before the United States entered the war, the Board of Education of Batavia was waited upon by a delegation of six ministers. These ministers requested the Board to dismiss the pupils for religious instruction for one hour and a quarter each week. The Board agreed to the scheme and asked the Superintendent to arrange the school program so as to make room for this work. Then the excitement of the war came on. Two of the leading ministers were called into the service, everybody was engaged in war work, and the matter was dropped till after the signing of the armistice. But at the opening of school in the fall of the year 1919-20 we started the work in earnest.