Night School for Working Boys
St. Nicolas Institute was an early example of continuing education promoted by an agency of the church. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul supported the institute’s provision of evening classes in basic skills to youth who were already employed but wanted to improve their position by improving their education. The following report for 1888 was prepared for the Society by one of the teachers of St. Nicholas Institute.
I beg to submit a brief report on the night school carried out at the St. Nicholas Institute during the past winter.
The school opened on December 26th, and continued for the ten ensuing weeks. The hours of teaching were from 7 to 9 each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. The average attendance was about 30 and of this number 20 were in the second class and the remainder in the third. The subjects taught were reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, dictation, composition and letter writing, with special attention to drafting of business forms, such as accounts, receipts, etc.
The interest taken in the work by several members of the various Conferences who visited from time to time had a very beneficial effect.
As prizes had been promised in the early part of the term, the sum of five pounds was subscribed for this purpose, and divided among seven of the most deserving pupils. The general interest manifested throughout the term was much more satisfactory than in former years, and the progress much more gratifying.
Oc 12, bulletin 33, 1888, p. 344