Jane Addams Alumnae Association Records

The Jane Addams Alumnae Association (ca. 1990’s – unknown) was an organization formed in the 1990s by Joan Motl and other alumni of Jane Addams school in Cleveland, Ohio, in order to support the school and preserve its historical records. A major catalyst to forming the association was the demolition of the original school in 1991 and subsequent efforts to raise funds to place a memorial plaque at the original site. The memorial dedication and installation of a time capsule occurred on Sunday May 19, 1996 at 5310 Carnegie Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. The records in the collection detail activities, events, curriculum, and programs of Jane Addams High School, a vocational school for women. One of the school’s activities in the 1940s was an alumni tea for seniors graduating from the school. Another alumni activity in 1951 was to plan a reunion along with the faculty committee. The reunion was held December 5, 1951. The School was originally located in the former Sibley School building. In 1924 it became the Sibley School for Girls for a short period then was named in honor of Jane Addams, pioneer in the social work field and founder of Hull House in Chicago. It moved to a newly constructed building on East 30th Street and Community College Avenue in 1968. The school had various names including the Girls Opportunity School, Jane Addams School, Jane Addams High School, Jane Addams Vocational School, and presently the Jane Addams Careers Center. The name Jane Addams was chosen as a good example to show the girls attending the vocational school that with determination and life skills much can be accomplished. By the 1920s vocational education was on the rise. By 1924 the Girls Opportunity School opened for girls struggling with traditional academic work. The program included cooking, hygiene, home nursing, English, and math. Later the courses were expanded to include industrial trades such as sewing, pattern making, dressmaking, commercial cooking, and cosmetology. Men were admitted in the 1980s and vocational classes leading to state certification in Dental Assisting, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Computer Repair, Finance and Credit, and Tailoring were added. The school had previously offered post-graduate courses in dental assistant training in 1946; practical nurse training in 1949; and food supervisory training in 1952. There were also classes given at night in cake decoration, candy making, party foods, dressmaking, tailoring, power sewing, pattern making and millinery. The collection consists of a brochure, loose papers, newspaper clippings, school newspapers, and scrapbooks.