Stories of SD’s country schools published

Stories of SD's country schools published A collection of stories about learning in a one-room country school has been published by the South Dakota Humanities Foundation and is available for sale from the Humanities Council in Brookings for $12.45.

Part of the publication costs came from a $6,000 grant from the Sioux Falls Mary Chilton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). One-Room Country School: South Dakota Stories edited by Norma C. Wilson, University of South Dakota, and Charles L. Woodard, South Dakota State University, contains 93 anecdotes of rural education experiences in the state from 1883 when there were nearly 3,000 rural schools in South Dakota to 1998 when the state had 50 elementary schools with fewer than 20 students each. Most of the submissions came from current residents, but a few came from former South Dakotans who have moved to another state.

Arranged thematically, the stories reflect a century of teaching and learning through the lenses of a school day and a school year. The editors introduced the volume with an overview of the history of education in South Dakota. Several photographs accompany the stories to illustrate the close-knit communities and some of the history those stories represent.

The book is designed to stimulate further research, community discussions, and storytelling. Questions to start the process are given at the end of the book. Proceeds from the book will be matched on a three to one basis by the National Endowment for the Humanities to meet requirements of an NEH Challenge Grant.

A readers' theatre of the stories has been written and is available for community readers to audition and perform as part of a fundraising effort by the South Dakota Humanities Foundation to meet the NEH challenge. For more information on the readers Theatre, contact Foundation Consultant Mary Gederos at 605-229-4263 in Aberdeen.

To order the book, contact the South Dakota Humanities Council at Box 7050, University Station, Brookings, SD 57007, call 605-688-6113, or order through the Council website at


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