The ladies…and other members…of the Twentieth Century Club of Garrettsville met on March 6 at the home of Iva Walker on Park Ave., Garrettsville,  for the penultimate meeting of the club year.  The theme for the year has been Exploring the World with Dewey, referring to the Dewey Decimal System upon which countless libraries and reference sources have been organized.  This evening the club arrived at the 800’s.

But first, business matters were to be dealt with.

Menu choices , price and location for the Spring Party, to be held  on April 24 were announced and reservations taken.  Candidates for club offices  in the next year were announced by the nominating committee.  Nasreen Kitko was welcomed back.

Jeanette Marvin Hall presented the program, illuminating what once was, for many in the American education system, the gateway to literature and learning in a broader sense, the famed McGuffey Reader.  These books were  literary outposts in the wilderness, designed to build good character and to instill a love of reading.  Often, they were the second book in a household, the Bible being the first.  They were intended to inculcateideals of hard work, education and good character; they incorporated lessons from the Bible, literary selections and poetry.  There was an emphasis on love of nature, kindness to animals and a deep regard for one’s fellow man, promptness, truthfulness, kindness and honesty.

The founder of this series was William Holmes McGuffey(1800-1873), an educational icon as a professor at Miami University of Ohio(where he wrote the Readers), president of Cincinnati College and president of Ohio University.  His chapter in the history of American education extended over three quarters of a century, through 555 published editions dedicated to the teachers of America.

His direction to all : “Let each think for himself, and learn from others all he can, accepting nothing less than the truth.”

Indeed.

The next meeting will be at the Garrettsville branch of the Portage County Library District, hostessed by the program committee and covering the 900’s, Geography and History.