A Newcomer's Experience
Dear CSAA Members,
What started as a chance to attend the CSAA Conference in order to better understand the role country schools play in our history and our future, but ended with warm feelings for a diverse group of people who left us feeling grateful for being invited into this unique and lovely association. In case you don’t know who we are, I am the “young” volunteer recruited by Richard and Catharin Lewis who oversees the West Bay Common School Children's Museum in League City, Texas. My husband Mark volunteered to assist where needed, and was the IT guy who gladly helped in the minor emergencies of presentation woes. There are many memories we walked away with after that week in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, including how to properly pronounce Lancaster.
After an airplane delay of an unreasonable number of hours, we finally made it to Pennsylvania. The landscape was beautiful, the weather heavenly, and the people genial and welcoming. The first day mixer was fun, and we found a great walking trail that evening that led us to wild cherries and huckleberries. My Wildlife Biologist husband was in awe and nearly refused to go back to Texas. The first day of the conference was exciting, and after a fantastic breakfast, we were anxious to hear the speakers.
I learned about Lancaster’s public and Amish school history, while my husband navigated the conference rooms for IT help. He definitely got his steps in that week. The speakers offered a rich assortment of topics that made it difficult to choose which one to attend. I enjoyed each of the talks and walked away with many ideas for our museum and schoolhouse in League City.
Continued at "read more"….
Columbia, Illinois Field Trip
Still going strong after 15 years, the Sand Bank Society of Columbia, IL, curators of the Sand Bank School are proud of their preservation work. The society hosts education programs, lets not for profits use the school free, and rents it out for small parties and weddings.
This CSAA member school has a history dating back to 1816 and possibly earlier. In 1903, a Waterloo Times news clipping stated that a new frame Sand Bank School was being erected in 1902, and the old Log School on the property was sold to a Mr. Phelps, who moved it ...a sad ending to the oldest standing log school building in Monroe County. Around 1910, when Illinois law required cloak room for boys and girls, a new front was built onto the 1903 frame schoolhouse, giving it the look seen today.
The Sand Bank School was restored in 2009, and the Sand Bank Society was formed in 2010 to help with school maintenance and to promote the use of the restored school for educational purposes and social events.
Each spring third graders from Columbia study the book, Little House on the Prairie and spend a day at a Sand Bank School. Here they learn about the hardships of pioneer children endured to get an education, eating sack lunches, and enjoying games of the early 1900s.
Recognized by the Country School Association of America on the CSAA Landmark School Registry, Sand Bank School's listing and their marker not only serves to identify this school building as one of historical and/or architectural significance, but also recognizes preservation achievements and the continuing care of their schoolhouse.
CSAA thanks Dennis Patton for this submission...
Filming a Schoolhouse Restoration
Announcing the World Premiere presentation of "RESURRECTING FOREST GROVE...A Death. A Vision. A Miracle." from Emmy Award winning filmmakers, Kelly & Tammy Rundle.
This film documents the restoration of Forest Grove #5 schoolhouse located outside of Bettendorf, IA celebrating the 150th anniversary of the school. The film will premiere on September 23, 2023 at Davenport's Putnam Giant Screen Theater at 1717 W 12th St, Davenport, IA at 2:00 P.M.
Beautifully documented, the film gives hope to all those considering restoration of their own country schools across the nation!
Tickets are currently on sale on the Putnam Website. Click on the photo to view purchase!
CSAA Annual Conference 2024 - "GREAT LAKES-GREAT SCHOOLS"
It's in the works, so mark your calendar! The 2024 CSAA Annual Country School Conference will be held in Ohio, June 9-12, 2024 at the University of Toledo, Center for the Performing Arts. We know you have a story to tell and we will look forward to hearing it.
Additional details for presenters will emerge in the weeks ahead and Calls for Proposals will appear here and on our website. We will give plenty of notice.
Traditionally, two days of presentations focus on the history, preservation, and restoration of our remaining country schools. This is your opportunity to share information with schoolhouse enthusiasts from across the nation. Day 3 of the conference will offer the optional coach tour of preserved local schoolhouses.
We hope to see old and new friends at the conference!
Welcome to The Report Card
CSAA has added an additional feature to communicate with our membership and to share helpful information relating to our country school preservation efforts...a blog. Posts will be short and occasional so we don't flood your inbox.
Our first offering is a short video slide show of the 2023 Annual Country School Association Conference held in June at Millersville University in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Thanks to our conference coordinators Ginger Shelley and Kathy Brabson!
Future posts may include links to schoolhouse articles, conference updates, ideas for volunteers and museum programming, reading lists, where to find schoolhouse supplies, grant application reminders, etc.
The possibilities are endless and we'll always appreciate your input for posts.