Each One Teach One: The Education of the Texas Freedmen
Freedmen's Bureau - Circular Letter No. 3
[Circular Letter No. 3.]
BUREAU REFUGEES, FREEDMEN AND ABANDONED LANDS, OFFICE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT SCHOOLS,
Washington, December 23, 1867.
DEAR SIR : Your attention is called to the following suggestions :
1. Do all you can to make your schools self-supporting by an appeal to local responsibility, and by calling out the means and efforts of the freedmen.
2. Encourage legislation, (State and municipal,) for a public school system which shall give educational privileges to all.
Where the State will not act at present, you will assist local voluntary associations whose object is to educate the people irrespective of color.
52 FREEDMEN'S SCHOOLS.
3. Whenever it is practicable organize the freedmen into school districts, having suitable limits, with a school committee who will be pledged to carry on schools within their respective districts. Such organizations can be aided by this bureau, and by the educational societies of the north.
4. It is desirable that all internal school regulations be perfected classification, government, methods of teaching, selection of books, and full supply thereof, with special attention to all the habits of pupils, both in and out of school. Please report the moral condition of the freedmen in all respects. The teacher's blank, as revised, asks for facts on the subject of temperance.
5. Gather statistics of localities destitute of schools, with the number of children in each between the ages of 6 and 21 years.
6. Report all places where committees or teachers will open schools if a school- house is provided. State the present condition of school buildings. The new blank for sub-assistant commissioners and agents will give much information on these subjects.
7. As far as you can, bring the adult population into night and Sabbath schools. Urge all suitable persons, of both colors, to become their teachers. Visit asylums and report what instruction the inmates are receiving.
8. Labor to improve your normal schools. Encourage promising young persons of both sexes to attend and prepare themselves for teaching. Address your advanced schools on this subject.
9. It need not be added that, in all ways, general intelligence among the freedmen is to be encouraged; industry, honesty, and saving habits, as well as a high morality.
10. You will impress upon parents that they are to have a part in this educating work; and the children of the schools should be instructed to exert a good influence at home upon brothers, sisters, and parents, conveying to them the knowledge which they themselves are receiving.
I congratulate you in view of success in the past, and unite with you in high hopes for these freed people in whose behalf we are laboring. Yours, &c., very respectfully,
J. W. ALVORD, General Superintendent Schools.