Monday, August 08, 2016

Why Children Don’t Go to School

It’s time for school to start again—August 2016.

As a former teacher in Mississippi, I’m concerned about the educational opportunities of children. I’ve presented the pathetic situations in Mississippi schools about one hundred years ago. In The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson, Loretta quotes statistics about inadequate schools for African American youth. She also exposes the lack of opportunities for Italian immigrants to attend school.

In The Dream Bucket, white children struggle with the dread of going to school when they should stay home to help their mother keep the house warm to protect the baby.

The novella Manuela Blayne paints the grim picture of pathetic schools for African American children.

Sarah Walker Gorrell and I have a new novel in progress, Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek. We are showing a group of children who were unwelcome in any schools because of their ethnic differences.

School attendance and the resulting illiteracy is still a major problem in my beloved state. In 2012 statistics showed that 20 percent of the adults in Mississippi could not read.

By showing conditions a century ago, I hope to call attention to the lack of education in our own time.

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