Using a collection of settler family letters to the Elementary Correspondence School (ECS) in British Columbia, the first provincial government–supported “schooling by mail” arrangement of its kind in Canada, I highlight the efforts of rural families to secure an education for their children in the period between the First and Second World Wars. The settler families who took advantage of correspondence schooling did so without the benefit of a professional teacher or a dedicated schoolhouse. This arrangement proved onerous for many settler families. In their letters to the ECS, adults and young people articulated the belief that the provincial government needed to do more to provide educational services for them. Families were acutely aware of their contributions to the prosperity of the province and, in return, they demanded schools for their children. Given the unique perspectives reflected through this collection of letters, my examination is situated in the interstices between rural schooling and correspondence schooling.
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