Sheldon Schoolhouse Video


Ruth Ann Van Donselar attended Baker County School Number 5 in O’Brien County. This school, like many in the state of Iowa in the 1930s and 1940s was an example of Iowa’s unique and successful system of rural township schools. Because this system is long gone, she wanted to make a video about the school and its students. After discussing her dream with another woman who had made a video of this type – Ruth did what Iowans do—she got to work.

Ruth didn’t know how to make a digital video; however, that didn’t stop her. She contacted Mark Volkers of Dordt University arranging for his media department to make the video. Ruth paid the media team with her own money.

On May 18, 2018 Mark Volkers and his team filmed the Sheldon school park and the eight participants. The park had been prepared with a clean-up day and new signage.

The film won the Gold Hermes Creative Award in a National Competition for digital films.