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Friday, May 30,2014

Local school, national exposure

One-room schoolhouse in Grand Ledge to be featured on CBS Sunday Morning

by Alexandra Harakas
Photo courtesy of Brenda Hydon.

FRIDAY, May 30 — CBS Sunday Morning viewers across the country may be surprised to learn this week that one-room schoolhouses still exist. Viewers in the Greater Lansing area may be even more surprised to see one they might recognize on national television.


The one-room Strange School, located at 8981 Oneida Road in Grand Ledge, will be featured on Sunday’s episode of CBS Sunday Morning at 9 a.m. Earlier this year, CBS news correspondent Barry Petersen spent two days learning about how Strange School manages to keep its traditional teaching style afloat in 2014, after 135 years in operation.


Although Strange only has 18 students — ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade — Brenda Hydon, Strange’s sole teacher, said the school isn’t entirely different than those of other public schools.


“It’s just like the old days,” she said. “But with modern things — like iPads.”


Hydon, who has taught at Strange for three years, teaches the students one grade at a time, subject by subject, throughout the school day. The one-room schoolhouse format also has its advantages, she said. Despite the age differences, students often work together and help one another. The small class size allows for more personal interaction, and by establishing close relationships with each student as they grow, she is able to help them better.


“It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn in this very unique and historical setting,” Hydon said. “The children are more like one big family.”


And Hydon can’t wait for Sunday when viewers nationwide can see what Strange School is all about.


“It’s an honor and a privilege,” she said.

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