Final Report

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Higher Horizons
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The final report for Higher Horizons includes a full timeline for 1965 and 1966, beginning on p. 41. AF was interviewed on 3/23/65, hired for $12,000 per year, and began on 6/1/65. The project leased space in Whittier Elementary, a school being shut down after the 1964-65 school year for segregation after a CORE lawsuit. HH leased the principal's office, 2 classrooms, and the cafeteria. AF arrived to find temporary staff and no office furniture. He hired staff. HH created a Block Club Association with 12 Block Club Captains, who canvassed for eligible youngsters to be given transfer slips for the Washington State Employment Service, launched a tutoring program that lasted into August 1965, and a weekly public information film series for July and August 1965. HH Coordinated between the Washington State Employment Security Special Project Unit and the State Vocational Educational Department's MDTA Unit. The idea was to create jon training opportunities. HH created a temporary daycare center for parents receiving job training through HH at the YMCA in October while waiting for a grant to fund it; at the end of December the daycare center was no longer funded by YMCA and relied on volunteers. The daycare center grant was approved on 5/5/66, "just three months before the project was scheduled to terminate." According to the report, "[t][he day care center component was easily our most successful demonstration effort, although it was unplanned, unstructured, and considered a temporary effort throughout the entire project." HH sent volunteer teaching aides into local schools to handle teahcer's non-instructional tasks, freeing up teachers for more instructional time. "The effort was an immediate success, which led the school district to consider sponsiring the effort itself." AF, writing the report, added "The YMCA Higher Horizons Project was the first project of its nature to become fully operational in...the Pacific Northwest Region." Reports that HH was done in by interagency conflict, wherein the other agencies announced at a 10/27/65 meeting with AF and the editor of the Tri-City Herald that they were not part of Higher Horizons, the trainees should not report to Higher Horizons staff, and the newspaper should not treat the agencies as conencted to HH. AF attributes this to "race and race prejudice...the supervisors in question, both the retired Army officer and the instructional staff supervisor, were Caucasians who had never before been called upon to either take orders from or cooperate with a Negro in a supervisory capacity...this is a southern community in attitude...southern folkways, mores, and stereotypes...reinforce the resistance of the supervisors in question." AF and HH and YMCA had expected that this was a three-year project and were surprised in December 1965 when a DOL official called to ask why termination documents had not been filed, as the project was slated to end in January 6, 1966. Despite the opposition of the officials from the other local employment agencies, HH requested extensions and was granted them through the summer of 1966, during which time he mobilized community support for creation of the coop to replace HH. Also during this time HH saw a complete breakdown in coordination with the other agencies. The report documents complaints from trainees about their experiences and notes that HH could not ensure a perfect experience for all of them.