August 2010 Family Reunion Anacortes, Washington
One of my first early role models as a child outside of my family and my first book read as a child was a biography titled “Jane Addams Little Lame Girl”. The book was part of a series of books my mother would buy for us every week. They were offered for a time at the local grocery store. This one was written by Jean Brown Wagoner. The collection was titled Childhood of Famous Americans.
In high school I did written reports about her life’s work from her autobiography titled, “Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House”. Published in 1910. Part of my MA thesis was related to her influence on my life, along with many others. As I reflect now I feel gratitude to my mother for her efforts in building a little library of books for her children over the years. Reading was difficult for me. As a young child I had a speech therapist and was in special reading programs through middle school. I had many unkind and unfavorable experiences from teachers throughout my school years unfortunately. I believe these experiences and my learning disability is what attracted me to the alternative and transformational work of Dr. Montessori. I was always struggling to keep up. I now realize it’s what led me to persevere through my years of study at Pacific Oaks College to receive my MA in human development, with three specializations in education and parenting, at the age of fifty. Working in the field of mental health, receiving my license and supporting families, struggling with ever so much. To then become an educator at the community college, sharing my life’s work of supporting children and adults in learning to read and fall in love with their own individual curiosity for learning and creating for themselves. Just as my parents lovingly did for me actually. This site on the Hull House museum and the women’s history site both describe Addams work as an advocate for peace and her work with immigrants, which began in her home, and would later become “Hull House” in Chicago.
“Jane Addams wrote articles and gave speeches worldwide promoting peace and she helped found the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in 1919, serving as its president until 1929 and honorary president until her death in 1935. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in 1931, the first American woman to receive the award. She also wrote a book about her work at Hull House, as well as other books promoting peace.”