by Kristin Holt
I won the parent lottery. My parents read to me.
I won the first grade teacher lottery. I'll never forget Miss W's patience and kind explanations to my questions, including, "But how do you read so quickly?"
If you can read, you can learn anything.
Literacy rates in the Old West were lower than in education-focused New England.
- Old West parents were more worried about harvesting the crop than their children's 100% attendance in one-room schoolhouses. In New England, well-to-do fathers saw their sons into high school as a preparation for college.
- While the working poor of New England often did not need basic literacy skills (cotton mills and factory jobs), neither did most western pursuits: miners, railroad construction workers, and hired ranch hands.
- Nineteenth Century Americans knew they needed a basic education. Without the ability to read a bill of sale or contract, swindlers had the advantage.
- Old West Education often ceased at 8th grade--though a good percentage of students stopped attending before then. Whether orphaned or pressed into the work force, education, for many, proved to be a luxury.
TEACHERS are real-life heroes. Whether in a one-room schoolhouse on the dusty streets of an Old West town or in today's crowded classrooms, the work teachers do in building the future, investing in hope and possibilities and opportunity qualifies them as heroes.
Did you have a teacher who made all the difference for you?
Hi! I'm Kristin Holt, author of Sweet (wholesome, "clean") Romance set in the Victorian-era American West. Mail-order brides, small-town love stories, bonds strong enough to withstand significant challenges, and love to last a lifetime.
My engineer husband of nearly three decades rolls his eyes at my romanticism and fondness for happily ever afters. But he agrees with me--growing old together has been a beautiful journey. Given the opportunity, I'd do it all over again...and I'd still choose him. (Our 28th wedding anniversary is in two days, March 17th.)
I love hearing from readers. Please post a response here or stop by my website and say hello!
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