It will be one year ago on November 19th that Country School: One Room - One Nation premiered at the State Historical Building in Des Moines, Iowa. Much has transpired since that opening weekend of public showings. The film has screened 39 times from Iowa to New York. A one-room school restoration fundraiser in Healdsburg, California will mark the 40th public event.
The documentary was an official selection at three film festivals and received several awards including "Best Pro-AM Documentary" at the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival, an award for "Artistry and Scholarship" from the Country School Association of America, and a special award from Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area with the citation, "The Rundles have been uncovering stories that are nearly forgotten and preserving stories that are soon to be gone. Their work connects us to Iowa's early inhabitants and farmers, and brings light to how one room built one nation."
Country School received good reviews from film critics, media reviewers and most importantly from audience members. It enjoyed a regional DVD release in March of 2011, and will be released nationally on DVD through Passion River Films in December 2011, in time for Christmas.
What have we learned in this first year of Country School? That we are fortunate to have been part of preserving this story. That there is so much to be shared by generations that have come before us, if we only listen. That the crumbling walls of once thriving one-room schools are filled with stories and inspiration. That the film can help save historic sites that might have been lost forever. That there is a community of passionate individuals out there dedicated to education and restoration.
And, though we have come full circle, and reflect on the wonderful experience that Country School: One Room - One Nation has been, and how grateful we are for the people we met and friends we have made along the way, the journey is not over. We have just now rolled up our sleeves...
Thank you to everyone who has taken this journey with us. You need only look at the credits to see that there were many who helped tell the story of "Country School". ~Tammy & Kelly Rundle