Czechs always kept education in a high regard, which is obvious from the high literacy rate of the Czech immigrant groups (97% could read and write) compared to the other Slavic immigrants where the literacy rate was only 66%. Because they wanted their children to be taught about their Czech heritage, which was something that public school system could not provide, the Czech American communities would establish their own schools.
The earliest educators that came from the Czech lands were the Moravian Brethren, a Protestant religious group which came to America to find religious freedom between the years 1741 and 1762. They implemented especially the teachings of Jan Amos Komensky in their schooling system and were educating everyone, not just the Czechs. Even in these early years the Moravian Brethren already supported women to get equal education to men as well as the abolition of slavery. They were also the founders of the 6th oldest college in America (founded in 1742), the Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (see the picture attached;in the forefront is the statue of Jan Amos Komensky). (more…)