Guide to the Eau Claire Community Learning Center Records,​ 1971-​1975

Last Updated

Overview of the collection

Special Collections & Archives
McIntyre Library
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
P.O.  Box 4004
105 Garfield Ave.
Eau Claire, WI 54702 – 4004
(715) 836-2739

Reference Code: USGZE UHC281

Accession Number: 06-121

Collection Number: University Historical Collection 281

Creators: Community Learning Center (Eau Claire, Wis.)

Title: Community Learning Center Records

Dates: 1971-1974

Quantity: 0.4 linear feet (1 archives box)

Location of Collection: A10/2g

Languages: Collection materials are in English.

Summary: Records of a private, non-profit organization that administered several schools offering individualized instruction to Eau Claire area children.

Historical Note

According to its introductory brochure, the Community Learning Center was established “for the purpose of developing a school where students receive totally individualized instruction.”  LaMoine Maclaughlin, a teacher at St. Bede’s Academy in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, developed the idea for the Community Learning Center in 1971.  As “free schools,” the Community Learning Center schools allowed children to choose their areas of study and to determine the appropriate amount of study time.  Teachers did not give formal grades to their pupils.

The Community Learning Center operated several schools, including an Early Learning Center, the River City School, and the Discovery School.  In addition, the Community Learning Center aspired to open a college operating under the principles of free education. At the end of its first year of operation, the Community Learning Center had 100 students, 12 teachers, 4 student teachers, and many volunteer workers.  In 1973, the Early Learning Center was closed because of financial problems.  The organization appears to have disbanded in 1975 due to financial and administrative difficulties.

Content Description

The richest sources of documentation are the various minutes and reports submitted by the Community Learning Center’s Directors, Board of Trustees, administrative committees, and schools.  They contain a good deal of financial information and document the economic and administrative struggles of alternative schools.  The school reports contain financial information as well, along with glimpses into the teaching and learning activities carried out.  Other records include a the Community Learning Center’s founding documents, a handful of institutional publications, correspondence and letters of resignation, clippings, and other miscellaneous items.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Donated to Special Collections & Archives, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire by Cal Eland prior to March 2006.

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public.

Use Restrictions: Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. Copyright not owned by the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.

Preferred Citation: Community Learning Center (Eau Claire, Wis.) Records, 1971-1975.  UHC 281. Special Collections & Archives.  McIntyre Library.  University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Eau Claire, WI.

Processing Note: Processed by Colleen McFarland in May 2006.

Arrangement: Flat arrangement; alphabetical order


Personal Names: Eland, Calvin

Corporate Names: Community Learning Center (Eau Claire, Wis.)

Subject Terms:
Education – Wisconsin – Eau Claire
Free Schools – Wisconsin – Eau Claire
Educational innovations – Wisconsin – Eau Claire

Detailed List of Contents




Box/Folder 1/1



Box/Folder 1/2


1972-1973, undated

Box/Folder 1/3

Founding Documents

1971, undated

Box/Folder 1/4

Letters of Resignation

1972-1975, undated

Box/Folder 1/5

Minutes and Reports

1971-1974, undated

Box/Folder 1/6


1974, undated

Box/Folder 1/7



Box/Folder 1/8

School Reports

1972-1973, undated