by Sheri Neprud Ballard, 2016
The little girl got ready for school, slipped into her warm winter coat and her winter boots. She gathered up her books and her lunch pail and waited for her brother. Shortly they were out the door and braving the December winds and the snow flurries.
Never mind that the temperature hovered around zero degrees and the roads were already full of ice and snow. The little girl and her brother lived 1.75 miles from their school, so there was no transportation for them to their school. Most of their classmates walked to school as well, except for the neighbor’s boy who was driven in by his father with a horse and sleigh.
|Sheri Neprud Ballard in 1952; 8 years old|
After the children’s lessons were done, it was time to rehearse for the annual Christmas program. Everyone took part as a group, singing wonderful old Christmas carols, being in a skit or for the little ones, speaking a “piece.” Sheets had been hung at the front of the school room to set the stage and the back-stage area. The teacher could play piano and accompany the children. Sometimes, the singing was a cappella if the teacher could not play piano. That was alright too, as there is nothing sweeter than the sound of children singing.
The little girl and her classmates helped to trim a tree in the schoolroom. They also worked, with the teacher’s guidance, to make gifts for the mothers. Soon, all would be ready for the big day, the long-awaited day of the Christmas program!
The little girl and her friends felt so special that night, as they all had new dresses purchased or sewn by their mother, just for this special occasion!
The children’s parents, the school board, even the neighbors who had no children, attended the Christmas program. The community, at that time, revolved around the one room school, and so the Christmas program was looked forward to with much anticipation.