Let the Children Come to Me

By: Emily Del Zotto

Thesis Statement

The Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, and the Vatican II Reformation are all connected because it shaped the education system we have today. Including how the people in the school are treated and interact between eachother.

Civil War

This was the central event in America's historical consciousness.

The Civil War of 1861-1865 determined what kind of nation the United States would be.

  • School was an important topic in most children's lives. Few states provided public education, but in communities throughout the nation, local churches and civic-minded citizens started schools. The schools were generally small, and often several grade levels were taught in the same room. Testing was often oral, and children memorized and recited more often than they wrote.

  • The agricultural economy in both the North and the South dictated school schedules, and children were excused from school during the months when they were needed to work in the fields. The modern practice of closing schools for long summer breaks is a holdover from this practice.
  • In general, students attended school for fewer years than students do today. However, a brief survey of school books from the period indicates that their reading books advanced through several grade levels today in any given year. By the fifth year of school, students were reading material at a level which is today considered college level.

Civil Rights Movement

The struggle for civil rights had defined the ‘60s.

It started when four black students sat down at a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, in February 1960 and refused to leave.

  • Later on October 1, 1962 James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Violence and riots surrounding the incident caused President Kennedy to send 5,000 federal troops.

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1674 has helped bring about profound changes in American education and improved the educational opportunities of millions of students. Many barriers that once prevented minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and African Americans from freely choosing the educational opportunities and careers they would like to pursue have been eliminated.

  • The sections of the Act relating to education are Title IV, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or national origin by public elementary and secondary schools and public institutions of higher learning. This also encouraged the desegregation of public schools because to help prohibiting discrimination along with giving the children the same educational benefits. They authorized the Attorney General to file suits to enforce said act.

History of the Civil Rights Movement

Vatican II Reformation

From 1962–65, sixteen documents redefined the nature of the church.

  • This did not affect the schools directly unless it was a Catholic school. The Catholic schools had to change their whole curriculum which affects the children learning about the faith. They were also able to eat meat on Fridays other than in lent, if they wanted to.

  • The children who were just learning about the their faith from their parents at this time had a very hard time because it was very difficult for the parents to teach when they did not fully understand the changes. The documents were very long and had a lot of depth and meaning which made it very hard to understand and be an example for their child.

  • They also changed ways the nuns could dress. They got to choose to dress more modern which appealed to made many people because they found them more approachable. This caused a lot of younger women to enter religious orders because they felt more comfortable in the modern clothes.


Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come by Santiago.7