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The Annenberg Rural Challenge is a national effort to revitalize rural communities and schools and their long-standing values of community, democracy, and care for the natural environment. This collection of five essays presents a number of themes that are central to the Rural Challenge's philosophy. "Bringing It All Back Home: Reclaiming the Rural Story" (Mary Casey) talks about the stories that give definition to the diversity of rural American communities. This perspective provides a richer way to think about "rural" as a concept, not just a demographic category. "Democracy, Schools and Communities" (Carla Fontaine) explores democracy as a critical legacy of rural education. Reviving the idea that school and community are intertwined can be an inspiration for reconstructing a more local base for schools and rebuilding communities. "On Living Well in Our Place: Earlier Rural Reform Movements" (Julie G. Canniff) reviews efforts to revitalize rural schools and communities in the early 20th century, noting parallels with the Rural Challenge's efforts toward social, economic, and cultural revitalization of local communities and their reintegration with their schools. "The Genius of Place" (Ben Williams) provides a philosophical base to the concepts of place and community. Turning away from what is local and seeking progress in the far away can result in profound moral, spiritual, aesthetic and educational losses. "Reflections on Leonard Covello: Teacher with a Heart" (Vito Perrone) describes a teacher who brought a village conception to his urban school environment. The essays aim to suggest additional possibilities for the school-community exchange interests of the Rural Challenge. (Contains 163 references.) (TD)

Descriptors: Community Control, Community Development, Democracy, Educational Change, Educational History, Elementary Secondary Education, Essays, Place Based Education, Rural Education, Rural Environment, School Community Relationship

Author: Perrone, Vito, Ed.


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