Ken­nard Alumni cre­ates cul­tural her­itage cen­ter

Record Observer - - News - By CLAY­TON WASH­ING­TON

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The Ken­nard Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion has been on a mis­sion to re­store Ken­nard High School, Queen Anne’s County’s first sec­ondary school for African Amer­i­cans, opened in 1936.

The old high school build­ing, which was leased to the alumni as­so­ci­a­tion, for 99 years, by the County Com­mis­sion­ers in 1996, re­mained va­cant for 40 years un­til restora­tion con­struc- tion be­gan in 2010. In 2012 the Ken­nard Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion pur­chased the prop­erty from the county, for $1, and is now its sole owner.

Restora­tion is ex­pected to be com­pleted by late spring of 2016, with pro­grams com­menc­ing in the fall.

The school’s restora­tion will pro­vide a learn­ing re­source that mod­els the his­tory and cul­ture of the African Amer­i­can com­mu­nity in Queen Anne’s County. This learn­ing re­source will of­fer pro­grams in ed­u­ca­tion and cul­tural arts to all youth and adults of this and neigh­bor­ing coun­ties.

Our vi­sion is to pro­vide this re­source through the cre­ation of the Ken­nard High School Cul­tural Her­itage Cen­ter and African Amer­i­can His­tory Mu­seum. The re­stored high school and mu­seum will pro­vide a win­dow into the rich his­tory and her­itage of African Amer­i­can cul­ture on Mary­land’s East­ern Shore.

The mu­seum will be a per­ma­nent ex­hibit with text pan­els, recorded au­dio/ video his­to­ries and ar­ti­facts do­nated by for­mer staff, stu­dents, and com­mu­nity.

Our re­search has shown us that there is a fun­da­men­tal need, es­pe­cially in the up­per county area, for af­ter school pro­grams tar­get­ing the “un­der­served” pop­u­la­tion of Queen Anne’s County. This need es­pe­cially im­pacts the African Amer­i­can and lower in­come pop­u­la­tion that can­not af­ford pri­vate en­ter­prise pro­grams for af­ter school care, tu­tor­ing, cul­tural arts, and ad­vance train­ing skills.

There are few com­mu­nity cen­ter lo­ca­tions for meet- ings, so­cial events, and re­source re­fer­ral. We be­lieve that the Ken­nard Cul­tural Her­itage Cen­ter will ad­dress that need.

Our tu­to­rial pro­grams in “STEM” (Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, Engi­neer­ing, Math) and lan­guage arts will fur­ther the op­por­tu­nity for our tar­get pop­u­la­tion to ad­vance ed­u­ca­tion­ally, cul­tur­ally and eco­nom­i­cally.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit ken­nardalumni.com or con­tact Clay Wash­ing­ton, pres­i­dent, at 443-239-2110.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Com­mu­nity lead­ers part­nered with the Queen Anne’s County Child Abuse Re­sponse & Eval­u­a­tion Cen­ter in April in recog­ni­tion of Child Abuse Pre­ven­tion Month. In the front row are Ma­jor Dwayne Board­man, Sgt. Mike Smith, Lance Richard­son, Gregg Todd, Det. Chase Ar­m­ing­ton and D/Cpl. Troy Low­ery. In the back row are Com­mis­sioner James Mo­ran, Su­san Cop­page, Jackie Veeney, Sharon Burns, Susie Spier­ing, Ch­eryl Con­way and Chris­tine Dulla Rickard.

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