The Commercial Appeal

Lessons learned at Springdale Magnet

- By Peggy Mckenzie

My son was a happy passenger each morning as we drove his older sister to Springdale Magnet optional school years ago. He’d listen, wide- eyed, as she talked nonstop about what she’d learned or her friends or teacher.

He was interested in what she was saying about school, but not interested in going.

“I’m not going to kindergart­en,” he declared the summer before he turned 5, a couple of weeks before he was to finally join his sister at Springdale.

Why not?

“I heard on the news you don’t have to go to school until you are 6.”

He went (sometimes literally carried in), and before long, was chattering as much as his sister about his school day.

Both children attended kindergart­en through sixth grade at Springdale during the 1980s, and the school still holds a spe- cial place in my heart. It was a place that taught kids not just to memorize facts, but how to think, how to find answers. Kids were allowed to learn at their own pace, and encouraged daily to be creative. There was no homework, and tests were given only because the state required it. Still, the work was challengin­g, stimulatin­g.

My children thrived. And that is what is supposed to happen when a school works.

Memphis City Schools worked for my children. How did they In Sunday’s Viewpoint section, reporter Michael Kelley explores the history of Memphis City Schools as the 165-year-old system becomes part of a consolidat­ed Shelby County Schools next week. If you are a subscriber, you can read Kelley’s story on our website, as well as our smartphone and tablet apps. Activate your account at commercial­ subscribe. Share your MCS memories at commercial­appeal. work for yours? Share your MCS memories at­appeal.

 ??  ?? Peggy McKenzie
Peggy McKenzie

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