NEW KENT – New Kent County students now have the county's history of African-American education in their libraries.
During the November 4 New Kent County School Board meeting, the George W. Watkins High School (GWHS) Class of 1963, represented by Katie Johnson, donated four copies of "Heritage of African Americans in NK, Volume 1, Early Education – Colored Schools," written by Camilla Tramuel and Lavonne Allen, of Allen-N-Tramuel Books – one to each of the county's schools: George W. Watkins Elementary, New Kent Elementary, New Kent Middle and New Kent High schools.
"We donate these books to ensure that students and their families will become more aware of the county's education of all of its citizens, and to better understand and appreciate the struggles, contributions, and accomplishments of African American citizens that have helped make this county what it is today," Johnson said.
Fifty years ago, Johnson and 19 other students graduated from GWHS and went on to become successful citizens.
"Our hard working parents, as well as our teachers back in the day, stressed education as a way to improve the quality of our lives as well as contribute to the community in our society," Johnson said. "All the while, they instilled pride in our heritage, and all the while, they knew that our road would probably be a little stony along the way."
"Like so many other graduates at GWHS, we have fond memories of a lot of good times there, and we perservered in spite of difficult situations and conditions to become successful in our endeavors and productive citizens."
Members of the GWHS Class of 1963 have served as businessmen, teachers, principals, ministers, social service professionals, program managers, and military soldiers, Johnson said.
Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.