"Moonlight Schools" Creator is Focus of 2005 Archives Symposium
Cora Wilson Stewart and her efforts to combat illiteracy through the "Moonlight School" movement are the subjects of this year's Public Archives Symposium. Dr. Yvonne Honeycutt Baldwin, professor of history and chair of the Department of Geography, Government and History at Morehead State University, will discuss the research for her forthcoming book, Cora Wilson Stewart and Kentucky's Moonlight Schools: Fighting for Literacy in America. She is as the featured speaker at the 17th annual Public Archives Symposium, Wednesday, Nov. 16.
The Symposium, a yearly event sponsored by the Friends of Kentucky Public Archives, Inc., in cooperation with the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), brings the products of recent historical scholarship to a wider audience and increases the public's awareness of the wide range of historical records available for research in Kentucky repositories. The Symposium will take place at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the West Lot Dwelling, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. The Symposium will be preceded by lunch at the Trustees' Office at 11:30. The Symposium is free and open to public. There is a $24 charge for lunch. Additional Symposium information and a registration form may be found at http://www.kdla.ky.gov/events/2005symposium.htm.
Stewart was an elementary school teacher and county school superintendent in eastern Kentucky who, in the fall of 1911, decided to open the classrooms in her district to adult pupils, later known as the Moonlight School movement. The movement's motto, "each one teach one," characterized education as the responsibility of every literate citizen. Stewart's Moonlight Schools caught on quickly and by 1914, they were operating throughout Kentucky as well as in other states.
Drawing on Stewart's papers, Baldwin examines these institutions, analyzes Stewart's role in shaping education at both the state and national level, and provides an assessment of the problem of illiteracy. Cora Wilson Stewart and Kentucky's Moonlight Schools: Fighting for Literacy in America will be published by the University Press of Kentucky in January 2006.