Wednesday, December 18, 2019

All Roads Lead Home





I was 15 years-old, when I left my problems behind in the life sucking red clay of Sassafrass Lane in Madison County NC.



But mud is thicker than water, and all roads eventually lead home.




May 18, 1988

Mars Hill, NC

Mildred Puryear Shelton accepted her degree in Early Childhood Education at Mars Hill College, now Mars Hill University. 


June 1988    (last day of school)
Haywood County, NC


My kids got off the bus on the last day of school in 1988 and found our home on wheels, again. Their daddy and I loaded supplies in the trunk of our car, left our trailer behind, and set up camp in the Coleman Boundary area of the Pisgah Mountains in Buncombe County NC.

July 28, 1988
Madison County NC

The News Record, Madison County's Newspaper publishes notice:


The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust in Chapel Hill funded family literacy projects in NC and KY. 

Parents who never finished high school and their 3 or 4 year-old children will go to school together. Madison County Schools and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (AB Tech)  provide resources. An early childhood specialist and an assistant will teach the preschoolers and AB Tech will provide an adult education specialist to work with the adults.

* For the history of The National Center for Families Learning and its President and Founder, Sharon Darling, see          Grit, Grace, & Gratitude: A 30-Year Journey

Late August 1988
Madison County

Mildred Shelton accepted the position of Project Director of Madison County's Kenan Family Literacy Project. She will soon be known as "Mountain Mama."


Allegra Aylward is selected as the Adult Education Specialist.

Pat Edwards will be the assistant in the early childhood classroom.


August 1988
Walnut Creek Apartments
Marshall, NC



With less than a week before the first day of school for Madison County students, I moved into public housing with my four kids, Mike, Misty, Megan, and RL. 

Our apartment is on the end, far right.





All these roads are about to converge.










Mildred, Pat, and Allegra started traveling the bends and curves of Madison County leaving pamphlets in doors.


I found the pamphlet they left in my door and sat on the top step to our apartment and read it, over and over.


Are you a parent or grandparent of a 3 or 4-year-old and do you want to learn to read or get your GED?









    But what does having a 3 or 4 year-old have to do with  getting a GED?




National Center for Families Learning celebrates 30 years of success. Visit to learn more and view videos of many success stories of the last 30 years. Search for a family literacy program.

Official GED Website for information on how and where to begin.









1 comment:

  1. I love how you are telling your story, Regina! I can't wait to read more. Happy holidays to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete

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All Roads Lead Home

I was 15 years-old, when I left my problems behind in the life sucking red clay of Sassafrass Lane in Madison County NC. B ut mud...