Still Searching the Mountains

Sep. 24, 2018

Since the early days of Tamassee DAR School’s history there are recorded memories from the much loved Administrator from 1926-1962, Dr. Ralph Cain. Among the challenges he faced was searching the mountains for students whose quality of lives could be improved through the power of education.

In his biography written by Beth Ann Klosky, Dr. Cain says, “Of course, if Tamassee was to grow I could not sit and wait for the children to come to me. I would have to go out and seek the children.   The challenge that was mine was getting Tamassee’s message across to the mountain families who were in the greatest need of help, and this could be done only by personal contact.  By personal contact I could explain to these mountain people the purpose for the school and tell them what it had to offer.  I could also make it clear that the lack of money did not rule out the chance of their children’s acquiring an education.  My first task was to enlist their aid in interesting their children and convincing them that they would benefit from Tamassee.”  He went on to explain, “Boarding pupils at Tamassee had backgrounds which could be described in four general categories:  1. The child without a permanent home, often orphan or half orphan, 2. The pupil who was out of place in the public classroom because he or she had little opportunity to attend school and therefore was lacking in his education, 3.the boy or girl who was from an isolated community and, 4.the child from a home that was handicapped by extreme poverty or other causes, thus making removal of the child from such an environment desirable.

Dr. Cain explained, “Applications were made in various ways. Sometimes parents would write to the school requesting acceptance of their children.  Some parents would come in person, bringing their child or children with them.  Often a boy or girl would write, stating why he or she wanted to attend Tamassee, and occasionally a pupil would come to the school to state his own case and ask to be accepted.  Then there were teachers and others in the communities who would sometimes call my attention to the underprivileged youngsters and make application for them.”

Tamassee DAR School is once again “searching the mountains” for families with good intentions, but who are struggling with placing a priority on their children’s school work. You could be grandparents raising grandchildren in a whole new world, working parent(s) lacking the time to keep the student’s focus on school work, in bad health without the energy to be insistent.  Every scenario is different, but our invitation is to let us help you.   Privately placed children often stay at Tamassee during the week days and focus on academics. On weekends they go home to spend quality time with loved ones.   Please contact Erin Cash, our intake coordinator at 864.944.1390 ext. 113.   She would love to talk to you about how we can help.