Reading, Riding and ’Rithmetic

This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.

From 1926 to the mid-1960s children in remote communities throughout Ontario were schooled through an innovative program that brought the classroom to them via rail. Fred Sloman, one of several dedicated teachers in the program, rode the rails for 39 years delivering lessons and social services to kids and their families. His wife and five children went along for the ride making their home at one end of the rail car that doubled as a classroom. There were seven cars in all used throughout the railway car school era travelling along more than 7,000 kilometres of rail line.

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Janis Nostbakken