May 24, 1951
George J. Hecht, chairman of the American Parents Committee and publisher of Parents Magazine, spoke to the Vassar Child Study Club on the need for government action to aid the country’s schoolchildren. Of the nation’s 51 million children under the age of 18, he said three-quarters needed dental care, 10 million had defective vision, 3 million were deaf to some degree, 500,000 had orthopedic defects and 175,000 had active tuberculosis.
"Schools are perhaps the number one problem of the country," reported The Miscellany News, "in regard to children at the present time according to Mr. Hecht. Three or four million children are attending school on a two or three shift basis." A million school children, he added, suffered from mental disabilities. Action was still pending in the House of Representatives on a National School Health Services Bill approved by the Senate the previous year.
The father of Susan Hecht '52, Mr. Hecht and Parents Magazine established an awards program the following year, offering two $50 prizes for the best senior theses in child study. "Mr. Hecht," said The Miscellany News, "also announced that if any thesis, prize-winning or not, proves worthy of publication in Parents Magazine, the magazine will pay the author for publication rights at its regular rates." The New York Times, The Miscellany News.