Letter from Samuel Hill's Descendants

Dear Members of the Board: 

I am writing today representing myself and my 14 Cousins who are direct descendants of Samuel Hill’s daughter Emily.  Emily would be our Great Grandmother.  I will list of all our names at the end of this correspondence.  Growing up in Northampton in a very large family, who celebrated family at every turn of a corner, we were told the stories of our heritage over and over again so that we could appreciate the contribution they had to Florence as well as Northampton.  The first story told was always the founding of the First Free Kindergarten by Samuel Hill.  Samuel charged the Board of Hill Institute with the promotion of a healthy, physical, moral and intellectual development of children without distinction of race, nationality or previous condition.  Just look at where we are today in our country and the division we are feeling and think of Samuel Hill and his  forethought to include everyone.  Before I moved, my husband and I raised our two children on Middle Street in Florence.  My son James Brian Dickinson was the last descendant of Samuel Hill that attended Hill Institute.  We lived right behind.  My Grandmother Eva Learned taught Sewing at Hill Institute for many years on into her 70’s.  I spent many a Saturday morning with her in the Sewing Room.  My father Robert Learned took Woodworking and my mother was a Student of my Grandmother’s when she attended Annunciation School.  This part of history means the world to our family. 

You are citing the reduction in Students for the reason to close down the Kindergarten.  What would like to know is what is the Formal Program to enroll students or make the Kindergarten visible enough so everyone could take advantage.  I think as the Board of Directors you owe it to his memory to reconsider your decision. 

I only ask that you consider making changes to the enrollment instead of just throwing in the towel of a program that was founded in such a way as this one was. 


Karen Ann Learned Dickinson 

Steven Learned (deceased)

Karen Ann Learned Dickinson

Fred Frost 
Wilfred Learned  
David Frost 
Peter Frost 
Jack Learned 

Thomas Learned

Richard Learned

Michael Learned

Raymond Learned

James Learned

Ann Rome

Deborah Annunziata

Donald Learned