The Bergen Record/1962/Residents Apathetic To Survival Classes

Residents Apathetic To Survival Classes  (1962) 
The Bergen Record

Residents Apathetic To Survival Classes. Eight Towns Plan Course Despite Bad Results In 3 Boroughs Last Year. By David Schmerler (Staff Writer) Can survival be taught in six easy lessons? Three communities in Bergen County tried it last year with indifferent results, but eight others with the help of the State Board of Adult Education are ready to try it again. State Pays. Last year's experiments were in East Paterson, Little Ferry, and Paramus, and attendance was uniformly scant. Officials in charge of the programs agreed that the public didn't seem to care about nuclear survival. The program soon will be offered In New Milford, Fair Lawn, East Rutherford, Hillsdale, Demarest, Oakland, Woodcliff Lake, Montvale, and for the second time, in East Paterson. Last October, the State began training instructors for a course called "Personal Preparedness in the Nuclear Age". Myron Steir and Walter Dudek, teachers at East Paterson High School, and Peter J. Scahdariato, an educator in Little Ferry took the instructors course. The U. S. Office of Education paid for the teachers' instruction. Steir and Dudck tried to teach the survival course in East Paterson in November. After three poorly attended sessions, the two teachers gave up, but said they would try again this year. The first of the East Paterson classes had an attendance of five, the second 15, The director of the East Paterson Adult School decided to cancel the course after the second session since the State would reimburse the school for Steir's and Dudek's salaries only if 25 students took the course. Steir and Dudek decided to teach the third class anyway, without pay. Three people attended, and the two instructors gave up, but said they would try to teach survival again next month. In Little Ferry, Scandariato, curriculum director, tried to teach the survival course last month. Scandariato gave up when less than 20 Little Ferry residents attended the first of five projected sessions. In Paramus last month, the Borough's Civil Defense organization tried to teach a course in nuclear survival that was similar to the State-federal course. The Civil Defense group got substantial advance newspaper publicity for its program and distributed more than 600 leaflets urging citizens to attend. Four attended. The course was canceled. What caused the three failures? Mrs. Sally Norton, Paramus C. D. coordinator, claimed people need something to wake them up. The two East Paterson teachers, Steir and Dudck, also found some reasons. The federal government, they said, is confusing the public about civil defense, and has no coordinated program. The average resident docs not have a fallout shelter, they continued, so he can't do anything even if he knows how. The current classes will be taught either in six 2-hour sessions or four 3-hour sessions. Copies of the textbook, "Personal Preparedness In the Nuclear Age", will probably be provided by the Department of Defense. Each of the classes, however, must have 25 or more students for the State to pay the cost of the instruction.

Selma Louise Freudenberg (1921-2009) in The Record of Hackensack, New Jersey on 19 January 1962.png

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