Courtesy of Sandpoint Magazine
Celebrated author Marilynne Robinson to help launch campaign for Idaho schools
"A pair of Sandpoint High School graduates are joining with a nationally acclaimed Sandpoint native in an initiative to reclaim traditional local values they believe are in danger of being lost.
The campaign kicks off on Thursday, July 20 at the Panida Theater, when Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Sandpoint native Marilynne Robinson returns to her hometown to speak about the value of public education. In addition to winning accolades as a novelist, Robinson is an eloquent advocate for public education. Her 2012 collection of essays, “When I Was a Child I Read Books,” tells the story of an extraordinary mind that was first shaped and nurtured by public school teachers in North Idaho. Her first novel, “Housekeeping,” was set in a fictional version of Sandpoint that drew on her childhood experiences here; it became a bestseller and popular movie.
Robinson was invited by Luke Mayville and Garrett Strizich, 2003 graduates of Sandpoint High School, and the organizers of a new grassroots campaign, Reclaim Idaho.
The pair organized a door-to-door campaign in support of this spring’s supplemental levy for Lake Pend Oreille School District. Sixty volunteers showed up to knock on nearly 3,000 doors in a single weekend. Voter turnout increased by some 55 percent compared to the previous supplemental levy vote, and the levy passed with 64 percent voting in favor. That response inspired them to create Reclaim Idaho, a grassroots campaign to restore Idaho’s commitment to public education, public lands, and healthcare for working families."