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POINT NOIR WOMEN SHOW INTEREST IN DEMONSTRATION
SOME WALKING LONG WAY TO LEARN HOME HELPS

The Crowley Signal February 21, 1928

In a community where but two or three speak or understand English the home demonstration and farm demonstration work cooperated with by the home economics teachers in such schools as employ them there has been in the last few weeks, a competitive house dress contest promoted by Miss Iris Davenport, clothing expert with the state extension  department and put in motion by a personal visit by Miss Davenport who with Mrs. D.T. Canan, parish home agent, conducted a series of clothing demonstrations in the parish.

Because of its accomplishments in a number of activities, Acadia parish was chosen as the initial parish to have a clothing contest. Mrs. Davenport brought a large number of pieces of cloth, displaying colors and material suitable for home working dresses for women of agricultural communities, which she placed on various types of women and girls, explaining the shades becoming to each and the qualities of material which resist the continuous laundering required by house dresses.

The interest raised is beyond the most extensive dreams of the promoters. Monday afternoon Mrs. Canan, accompanied by Mrs. M.A. Kennedy visited the school at Point Noir, a small two-room schoolhouse in a community of small farmers or tenant or other landholders. Not over four of those attending spoke any English and but few more could understand, but they knew what they wanted and were eager to learn and to profit by what they saw.

Over 30 were present. Many of whom had walked from one to three miles to attend, some bringing babies in arms that they might enjoy the afternoon. One room of the building was arranged for the babies and in the other Mrs. Canan spent a busy afternoon.

The first subject was a practical demonstration in biscuit making in which as she gave a constructive talk on certain adjuncts of bread making. The one oil stove in the community had been brought to the school house and in this the product of her hands were put to bake. While the stove worked Mrs. Canan gave a talk on clothes and material and called for volunteers for the demonstration. Nearly every one present offered themselves and 18 were finally ranged in a row for the work. Intense interest was displayed by those present in the talk that followed and the trial of materials for each person was eagerly followed.

At the close over 20 enrolled in the house dress contest and a day was set for Mrs. Canan to meet them to select the materials. In this community also there are very few chickens other than the native small bodied fowls. Farmers who possess well bred stock in other communities have agreed to contribute settings of good eggs to the women of this community and all agreed to give special care to this feature of improvement. One setting was given Monday to a woman who could not express her thanks but whose eyes shown like stars at the possibility she say in those Rhode Island Red eggs.

The women of this community have promised to meet Mrs. Canan once each month to learn of those things she can teach them and the interest is a revelation. At this meeting also a delegation of women from the Richard school were present and begged for a day for their community. As a result, Mrs. Canan will establish a day for their community. As a result, Mrs. Canan will establish a community club in that school house this week.

Through the efforts of Mrs. Jesse Little, home economics teacher at Estherwood, a sewing class was started among the younger women. This has increased to over thirty members and they are clamoring for admittance into the house dress contest. Every day come new applicants asking to be taught, and the interest is rapidly taking hold of people never before being reached.  Many from these classes have learned the first principles of constructing neat clothing.

All over the parish increasing interest in betterment movements is being manifested and people are planting trees, flowers and gardens, who heretofore were content with little or none all.

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Project Coordinator:    Bryant W. Walker
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