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     Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children                 @mainlesson.com

Statement of Purpose

The Baldwin Project seeks to make available online a comprehensive collection of resources for parents and teachers of children. Our focus, initially, is on literature for children that is in the public domain in the United States. This includes all works first published before 1923. The period from 1880 or so until 1922 offers a wealth of material in all categories, including: Nursery Rhymes, Fables, Folk Tales, Myths, Legends and Hero Stories, Literary Fairy Tales, Bible Stories, Nature Stories, Biography, History, Fiction, Poetry, Storytelling, Games, and Craft Activities.

We offer these resources at no charge and grant permission to individuals to print copies for personal and educational uses. The texts are formatted so that attractive copies can be printed easily, in larger type for younger readers and smaller type for older ones, with illustrations included where possible. Teachers and parents can make use of the readers that are already available, or they can construct their own readers by selecting stories from the existing pool.

We hope that by offering these online texts that more of today's children will become familiar with the works of Padraic Colum, Howard Pyle, Andrew Lang, and James Baldwin, that were read so widely just a few generations ago.

To guide parents and teachers in their selection of stories for particular children, we plan to include suggested age ranges for each of the stories, both the age at which children first enjoy hearing the story read to them and the age when they can typically read the story to themselves. In addition we look forward to compiling anthologies of stories and lists of books suitable for each age.

The Baldwin Project is named in honor of James Baldwin (1841-1925). In the Acknowledgments included in his The Book of Virtues, William J. Bennett declares his indebtedness to James Baldwin among others: "The editor also gratefully acknowledges the endeavors of scholars and collectors such as James Baldwin, Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, and Andrew Lang, who in a past age devoted their energies to preserving some of the best of our heritage, and whose works have supplied this volume with many truly great stories."

We seek to accomplish in the online arena at the beginning of this century what James Baldwin achieved in the world of print at the beginning of the last century: bringing yesterday's classics to today's children.



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