Prairie West School Division: A Rural Legacy

Prairie West School Division: A Rural Legacy
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Author: Caswell, Jean
ISBN: 9781894431071
Pub. Date: Jan 1, 2006
Size: 7.00″ x 8.50″
Pages: 176

In commemoration of the Prairie West School Division in southwest Saskatchewan, a history of the school district and its schools is told in stories and photographs.
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In commemoration of the Prairie West School Division in southwest Saskatchewan, a history of the school district and its schools is told in stories and photographs.
Additional Information

Additional Information

ISBN 9781894431071
Publication Date Jan 1, 2006
Author Caswell, Jean
Illustrator No
Pages 176
Size 7.00″ x 8.50″
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SPG Book Review
History buffs will be delighted. Young people, accustomed to Ipods and cell phones as their constant companions, will be incredulous. Everyone in between will be entertained by Jeanne Caswell's book Prairie West School Division: A Rural Legacy. Her book chronicles the early days of the education system in the Swift Current area through to the contemporary schools of today. In 1905 when Saskatchewan became a province, there were no rural schools around Swift Current. By 1925, more than 100 schools had been opened.

Seven chapters and five appendices give the reader an insider's perspective.

Computer technology was not invented. Most schools did not even have a telephone. Looking after the children's physical welfare was part of the job description. In a blizzard, students spent the night at the school rather than relying on their horses to get them home safely. Teachers hauled coal and got the stove going before classes. One teacher, standing too close to the Quebec heater, burnt a hole in the back of her skirt.

In spite of no technology or teaching aids other than a blackboard (chalk allotment was one piece per day), students and staff have fond recollections. The school became the hub of the farming community. Dances, church services, recruiting meetings during World War 1, fowl suppers, Christmas concerts, and summer picnics took place at the school.

Caswell's book, full of humorous anecdotes, celebrates the past paying homage to visionaries who believed that education is the passport to the future.
Review by Elizabeth McGill (SPG) / (Posted on 2015-02-21)