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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

Classroom at the Original Potter Fresh Air School

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Unknown, CLASSROOM AT THE ORIGINAL POTTER FRESH AIR SCHOOL (1913). Courtesy of the Indiana State Library.

Creator Unknown
Context Reformers sought to provide education for all children.
Audience General public in Indiana
Purpose To show that the State of Indiana attempted to address the educational needs of children with tuberculosis

Historical Significance

The open-air school movement originated in Europe. It quickly spread to the United States and the first first open-air school was founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1908. By 1913, the Indiana Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis had established the first open-air school in Indianapolis. The purpose of these schools was to educate children who had anemia, malnutrition, tuberculosis, or exposure to tuberculosis. The schools aimed to provide children with fresh air, physical exercise, rest, and wholesome food through a curriculum that taught manual training, gardening, and crafts. Although the health of some students improved, the State of Indiana closed the open-air schools during the 1930s because of concerns about academic results.

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