Rushville Republican

Columns

December 31, 2013

The youth of today have it easier

I have been a Foster Grandparent for Head Start for the last four years. Head Start is a Federal program for preschool children at risk. We have a class of about 14 youngsters 3, 4, 5 years old for four hours a day. I put my time in at the Milroy School although there is an afternoon class at Booker T in Rushville. Being at a school building and around children from preschool up to 6th grade sure is different from the time I was that age. First off, there was no preschool when I was young. I did attend kindergarten at Belle Gregg School on 8th street then on to Graham Annex on 7th and Perkins for grades 1 to 6.

The thing that really stands out to me is that the children of today are a heck of a lot larger and taller than in my day. I am not used to 6th graders being taller than I am and Milroy has a lot of those. In my day, recess was something we had to manage ourselves. At Graham Annex, we had a playground between the elementary and high school buildings. It was originally only gravel and when we went outside to play we had possibly baseballs or small balls to toss about other than that we made up. What games we played we usually made up ourselves. We all generally dressed pretty much alike. Even up to high school boys dressed in jeans and white tee shirts with no idiotic comment on them. Shoes were usually leather sneakers were not too well used other than for gym class. We did not have field trips, long vacations or many snow days. And I assure you we had snow and should at times probably not had school but we did.

Rushville had three elementary schools, Graham Annex at 7th and Perkins, Belle Gregg at 8th where the administration offices are today and Havens on 3rd street down by the train station, an apartment building today. Booker T was abandoned and not used in my life time. The high school and junior high was in the same building in front of the Annex on 7th and Perkins. There was no student parking lot, few had cars even if they were old enough to drive. No buses in town, we walked or rode our bikes to and from school. The county had their own schools usually townships and under the trustee. The county did have a county wide superintendant to be certain they fulfilled the state requirements for education of the children of the time.

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