Democracy to be discussed at Scandia Corners on Friday

The public is invited to a program on one-room schools, an essential foundation of our American Democracy, on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Community Center at Scandia Corners. In the past, our immigrant population came from societies, where the aristocracy or dictators ran the government, and they had no voice or vote, so there was no reason for them to become informed about governmental practices. But healthy democracies depend upon a well-informed electorate to stay strong and effective, and that became an essential function of our schools in America.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, most Warren County residents lived on family farms and the children received their formal education in one-room schools throughout the 19th century. For decades, county parents tried to keep their one-room schools open, in a movement called S.O.S. (Save Our Schools), but eventually each one was closed by the county school board. The LAST one-room school in the county to be closed was Scandia’s, and that happened in 1999.

Community volunteers, however, instead of complaining about this unpopular closing, sprang into action to preserve their school for posterity and to promote its important legacy in a Democracy. Several years later, the Elk Township Historical Society was formally founded with by-laws, officers and committees and it continues today as an incorporated 501c(3) organization. Elk Township is the only Warren County township that has its own historical society.

Volunteer parents who immediately began preserving the original wooden school buildings in Scandia (1878 & 1890) will share what they accomplished. S.O.S. parents who protested the closure of their one-room schools for decades are also invited to discuss their dilemma.

We welcome you to come to learn about the essential role that one-room schools and parents had in preparing our citizens for developing and functioning effectively in a Democracy.


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