The DAR School Tour - Hindman Settlement School

Written by: Leslie Miller, Kentucky State Regent
October 10, 2016

The first stop on the DAR School Tour led by President General Ann T. Dillon and DAR School National Chair Peggy C. Troxell was Hindman Settlement School. Daughters from many states converged in Eastern Kentucky to experience Appalachian hospitality and learn about the programs at this DAR Approved school. Sunday’s tour began with a Chapel Service followed by a traditional Appalachian lunch, tours of the classrooms and the dedication of the Hindman Settlement School Flag Plaza by the Tennessee Society and the dedication of the Lynn F. Young Outdoor Classroom donated by the Junior Membership.

As early as 1902, Kentucky Daughters were striving to improve education for the underserved in the remote mountains of eastern Kentucky when May Stone and Katherine Pettit founded Hindman Settlement School on the forks of Troublesome Creek in Knott County, Kentucky. Part of the Progressive Movement, both women were also members of DAR; Stone a member of the Fincastle Chapter in Louisville and Pettit a member of the Lexington Chapter.

In 1910, Hindman became Knott County’s official high school. In 1921, it became one of the DAR Approved Schools. Over the years, this school has evolved into an educational center that promotes the cultural heritage of the Appalachian region through music and through support of local artists. The Appalachian Writers Workshop nurtures budding authors and helps them hone their craft. Important authors like Silas House had their careers launched through their connections to Hindman.

Today Hindman continues to serve the educational needs of residents of the community and region and since 1979 has addressed the needs of children with Dyslexia. They provide screening of the youngest students in the schools so that these learning differences can be addressed as early as possible. They provide after school reading programs and the Summer Tutoring Program. During the summer school graduation in July children were recognized who gained 2-3 grade levels in just 6 weeks! These gains are so important for these students; both for their academic success, and also for their self-esteem.

Kentucky is proud to have one of the six DAR Schools right here in our state and Kentucky Daughters are passionate about Hindman and the amazing programs they provide. Kentucky Daughters support the educational programming and over the years established the Kentucky Endowment for Reading. We have supported the After-School Tutoring Program, and the Reading Lab Partnership with Knott County Schools, and the Summer Tutoring Program.

The Troublesome Creek DAR Chapter meets at Hindman and several members are also  on the school staff. In fact, Executive Director Brent Hutchinson was extremely helpful by providing meeting space and publicity when we revitalized the chapter a few years ago. It was a wonderful collaboration. Kentucky Daughters recently showed their support and raised $2,500 in the first two months of this administration so that KSDAR will be a Gold Level Sponsor at Hindman Day at the Races at Keeneland on October 20, thus proving that sponsorship can be fun! And more than one hundred Kentucky Daughters traveled to Hindman from across the state to meet the DAR Schools Bus Tour yesterday!

Kentucky feels pride in Hindman Settlement School, however Hindman depends upon the generous support of many DAR members and chapters from across the country. The long tradition of involvement exemplifies our commitment to Education. Ensuring the success of students enriches the greater community by providing enlightened leaders for the future.

It is my hope that those who visited will be inspired with a sense of love and admiration like I feel towards this school and its staff.

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