Community Outreach

It takes an entire village to educate a single child.

—African proverb

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The American school system is the institution responsible for teaching children the history and

ideals of the culture and the language and thinking skills that will allow them to become

productive members of society. In earlier days, children were expected to learn hands-on

applications under the guidance and tutelage of family members and friends, or they were

apprenticed to local crafts workers. Moral instruction was provided by home and church. The

entire community assumed a share of the responsibility for educating its children. Townsfolk

joined together to build and care for the school building, search for a teacher, and protect the

school environment from harm. The teacher was held in high esteem within the community and

was often provided housing as well as a salary.

Communities are still responsible through their tax dollars for building and maintaining

public schools and paying the salaries of educators who teach and care for children. But,

unfortunately, many of today’s taxpayers believe their responsibility to the school ends there and

are loath to contribute additional resources once their own children are grown.