“ABC: A Better Chance” Pamphlet, Andover 1967

This pamphlet and a 1974 booklet detail a program that offered educational opportunities to disadvantaged kids in both private and public schools. In 1976, Andover voted to bring the program to the town. The tone of the booklet and flier reflect an increased, though cautious, concern for civil rights and social welfare programs.

Click here for a PDF of the transcription:


ABC ​stands for “A Better Chance”. It is a national program that seeks out boys and girls of superior moral and academic potential from disadvantaged neighborhoods and places them in the encouraging atmosphere of superior secondary schools.

To date, ABC has placed over 600 youngsters of promise in outstanding private preparatory schools. But with a current waiting list of over 1,000 the program must now be enlarged to include outstanding public high schools. Andover is one of five communities invited to participate in ABC, beginning September, 1967.

ABC is sponsored by leading citizens in the education, business, and church communities. The ABC program offers a tangible alternative to complete despair for human beings with latent talent and high aspirations. All ABC students have one thing in common . . . their need for A Better Chance to achieve a higher level of culture, education and social standing. In the three short years of the program’s existence, ABC students have gone on to such colleges as Harvard, Yale, Middlebury, Antioch, Western Reserve, Wesleyan, Boston University, Cornell, Simmons, Cal Tech, University of Connecticut, University of Denver, Grinnell and Bridgeport.

How Are ABC Students Screened?

Each student is screened four times. First, settlement house workers, teachers, clergymen, guidance counselors and high school principals interview and recommend candidates for their maturity, drive, academic potential, and interest in school and community. Next, those recommended are further screened by ABC’s recruiting organization. Then, the ABC committee in each community selects students they feel will be most suitable for that community. For the final screening, each youngster is put through 8 weeks of intensive Summer schooling at one of 5 colleges: Dartmouth, Williams, Carleton, Duke, or Mount Holyoke.

How Many Students For Andover?

There will never be more than ten ABC students in the high school at one time. If three seniors graduate in June, they will be replaced only by three sophomores the following September, so the number never exceeds ten. In Andover, the students will all be boys.

Is This An All Negro Program?

No. Candidates come from the Negro, American-Indian, Puerto Rican, Japanese-American, and White communities. However, of the ten boys, it can be expected the majority will be Negroes. While Negroes represent only 10% of our population, they make up a large percentage of our “poor”. Negro ghettoes in our urban areas representt thet most urgent challenge to American well-being in thet coming years.

Where Will They Live?

A dormitory, large enough for ten boys, two college students as advisors and tutors, adn a live-in adult supervisor with his family, is recommended. The boys can thus receive regular tutoring and supervision; and, because the program demands the very most of their talent and ability, they will get support and encouragement from one another.

Who’s Going To Pay For This?

The town of Andover is not being asked to appropriate funds. The funds for a dormitory and operating costs will be solicited from individuals, organizations, companies, and foundations in the greater Boston area. Already, the Rockefeller Foundation has promised $20,000 annually for three years towards operating expenses. Since this is 2⁄3 of the estimated annual operating costs, about $10,000 per year must be raised. The cost of a dormitory and furnishings will depend on whether a new facility is immediately built or an existing house rented.

Stay Late and Vote Yes on Article 36 At Town Meeting, March 11

Who Decides If The Program Comes To Andover?

The school committee must make the final decision, but will be guided by your vote on Article 36 at Town Meeting, March 11.

Why Should Andover Do This?

In addition to moral reasons, Andover

●  will be the second town in the nation to stand up and be counted in this worthy effort. Last September, Hanover, N.H. opened its high school to 8 boys and the program isenthusiastically supported by the townspeople.

●  will provide broader exposure for our own children and assist them in becoming aware ofthe conditions of life in the urban and rural societies of our country. It is these highschoolers of today that must inherit the great national problems in a few years time.

●  will give our school system a deserving national reputation that will attract the bestteachers, so the whole public school system will benefit ultimately.

Andover Committee For “A Better Chance” Board of Directors

Robert H. Klie

Mrs. Max Russell
Vice Chairman

William G. Scheerer

Mrs. Jerome E. Andrews, Jr.

James Simmons
Chairman, Ways and Means

William V.N. Washburn
Chairman, Community Relations

Normal Viehmann
Chairman, Building Committee

Andover Committee For “A Better Chance” Advisory Committee

Theodore R. Acosta
Philip K. Allen
Frederick S. Allis, Jr.
Austin E. Anderson
Miss Mary S. Angus
Rev. A Graham Baldwin
Rev. Robert E. Bossdorf
Rev. J Allyn Bradford
Mrs. Rita Buchan
Judge Andrew A. Caffrey
Mrs. R. Milton Cole
Roger Collins
Mrs. Jerald M. Cornwell
Rev. John Crocker
Mrs. David L. Darling
Rev. Thomas S. Deipko
Dr. Douglas M. Dunbar
Mrs. John D. Edmonds
Richard Finnagan
Frederick P. Fitzgerald
Daniel Frishman
Rev. Hartland H. Gifford
C. Lincoln Giles
Dr. Michael A. Gravellese
William H. Harding

Daniel E. Hogan, Jr.
John M. Kemper
Rev. Paul T. Keyes
S. Leonard Kent
Mrs. C Carleton Kimball
Daniel M. Lerner
Mark Mazel
Dr. Milton J. Meyers
Rev. Keith C. Munson
Rev. Frederic A. Pease, Jr.
Judge Albert P. Pettoruto
Rev. J. Edison Pike
Miss Mariam Putnam
Harold R. Rafton
Donald D. Sagaser
John S. Sullivan
Miss Alice C. Sweeney
Miss Mary S. Sweeney
David M. Thompson
Miss Eleanor M. Tucker
Mrs. Louise B. Van Everen
Robert A. Watters
Rev. James Rae Whyte
Arthur Williams, Esq.
Mrs. Adeline N. Wright


Andover Committee for A Better Chance, ABC Pamphlet (1967). Andover Center for History and Culture, Andover, MA.