stand up for your schools and communities
Rural places and small towns can be transformed by the good work of passionate individuals and committed organizations. In fact, rural communities are ideal places for inspired community action. It has been this way throughout history. In the early 1830’s, Alexis de Tocqueville toured what was then a mostly rural United States. His experiences left him thoroughly impressed by the way people banded together in informal and formal ways to get things accomplished.
“The American makes associations to give entertainments, to found establishments for education, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; and in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools.”[i]
This knack for independence, self-reliance, and accomplishing things outside of the governmental realm was the theme of de Tocqueville’s famous work; it was the American trait he found most fascinating. It is an innately rural characteristic, one worthy of emulation.
Arkansas’ Rural Community Alliance exemplifies the spirit found by de Tocqueville nearly two centuries ago. Their earnest work on behalf of small schools has expanded into literacy programs, youth engagement, and economic development. Through sheer commitment and, sometimes, tenacity, the Rural Community Alliance is making a real difference for small communities from the Delta to the Ozarks Mountains.
The Rural Schools Collaborative is dedicated to working with groups and organizations that are committed to rural schools and communities. Please let us know if you are interested in our capacity building or technical assistance ventures. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[i] De Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America, originally published in 1840; re-released in 1904 by D. Appleton and Company of New York, translated by Henry Reeve, p. 593.