Central to all small communities in rural America was the value placed on education. The schools, along with churches, were the glue that kept these small settlements and villages alive, thriving and providing an unforgettable way of life for over a century. Life was hard then, by today’s standards, but everyone seemed to be in a similar situation. Education became the key. The schools played a vital role with each generation learning and growing in their trades, their farming practices and their family-centered way of life.
This book tells the story of one such area, in beautiful southwest Wisconsin, where over 40 small school districts consolidated into one larger district spanning nearly 200 square miles. The rural leaders in the 1950s realized that the one-room school concept could no longer meet the growing needs of their children. Society was advancing and education, once again, remained the key. Rural cooperation is well exemplified in this book as these tiny districts looked to a future of growth and opportunity and claimed it for their families. They birthed the school known as Iowa-Grant. The name tells proudly of its origin in both Iowa and Grant counties.
The book includes photos and stories of the one-room schools and the town schools spanning over a hundred years of changes. It features the construction and dedication of this new high school in the middle of corn and oat fields. Then it tells the story, in photo form by the decades, of life in a rural high school. It is said that it takes a whole village to raise a child so the names of the teachers, school board, students, administration, support staff and community members are included to clearly show who proudly help raise these children of Iowa-Grant.
Some fifty years later, education still remains the vital key to the success of our children. This look back in history may just remind us that there is still a part we must all play to keep it growing forward. This look at the past can also show us how collectively we can take an idea and build it into something bigger than each of us can do alone. But it takes each of us to play a part, for the greater good. We are so thankful for the individuals who had the vision and acted on it together, for the greater good.
308 page paperback, 9 x 10 inches