Rotating spotlights will sweep the sky to mark the occasion tonight as a new film makes its world premiere in Des Moines. The documentary, “Country School: One Room – One Nation,” details how those tiny schools helped to transform pioneers and multilingual immigrants into a literate and patriotic nation.

The film will be shown to the public for the first time at the State Historical Building, where Jeff Morgan is spokesman.”One-room country schools played a strong, significant and prominent role in Iowa’s past and they remain a source of interest today to many people,” Morgan says.

“Many Iowans either attended a country school or had a relative who did. This film will bring back cherished memories for everyone whose lives were touched by a part of rural Midwestern education that simply doesn’t exist anymore.” The schools were phased out in the 1950s and ’60s.

The documentary features one country school that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright along with dozens of more traditional structures in rural areas of Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri and Nebraska. Morgan says the husband-and-wife team that created the 80-minute documentary is from Davenport.

The film was written and produced by filmmakers Tammy and Kelly Rundle who also made two other notable Iowa documentaries, “Villisca: Living with a Mystery” and “Lost Nation: The Ioway.” The first showing is at 6 P.M. tonight with a replay at 8 P.M. Each will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers. More showings are scheduled through the weekend.

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